New year brings new opportunities for turkey hunters:

Article Posted: December 27, 2002

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New year brings new opportunities for turkey hunters

Applications for the 2003 spring wild turkey hunting season are available Jan. 1 through Feb. 1, 2003. The spring hunting season is from April 22 through May 31, with various hunting periods ranging in length from seven to 26 days.

This year, a total of 100,445 licenses are available through a lottery. More than 44,000 square miles are open to spring wild turkey hunting, including areas in both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas.

Hunters again have the option of applying for Hunt Unit ZZ, which includes all private-land units in southern Michigan. Hunters who draw this license may hunt the first two weeks of the season on private land anywhere in the unit.

New this year, Hunt No. 234 offers hunters the greatest hunting flexibility during the guaranteed hunt period, May 5-31. Hunt No. 234 includes all open areas, except public lands in Unit ZZ. Individuals who select this option will not be charged the $4.00 application fee. Hunters also may select this hunt as a second choice on their application.

“We are able to expand hunting opportunities based on the success of the wild turkey restoration program and an expanding turkey population,” said Al Stewart, Department of Natural Resources Upland Game Bird Specialist.

Hunters may apply for or purchase a turkey hunting license at any of the 1,700 authorized license dealers, at many DNR offices, or at via the Internet. It costs $4 to apply for a spring turkey hunting license. This nonrefundable application fee must be paid at the time of application and does not include the cost of the license.

When applying online at the DNR e-license system, hunters may use MasterCard and VISA to charge their purchase, and applications can be purchased through e-license 24 hours a day during the application period. Applicants may check drawing results on the Internet after 10 a.m. on Feb. 14. All applicants, except those who applied on-line, will be notified by mail before Feb. 21.

If licenses are still available after the drawing, the remaining licenses will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis only to unsuccessful applicants in the license lottery. These individuals may purchase one leftover license in person at any license-issuing agent beginning March 3 at 10 a.m. (EDT). The guaranteed hunt period (Hunt Number 234) is also available to unsuccessful applicants.

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