charlie elk wrote:WI has become a turkey hunter's paradise especially for residents although compared to other states NR coming to WI get one heck of deal on license fees. Depending on unit selected particularly 1&3 where permits have not sold out for the last 2 seasons any hunter can kill as many turkeys as they want, no limit except you can only purchase one tag per day. Of course you could stock up in advance if you have are really large pro turkey hunter ego.
As a young man living in MN I was one of the many volunteers helping with the turkey reintroduction. WDNR likes to rewrite the history a little by making it seems they the government workers came up with trading geese for turkeys with MO. However, it was volunteer citizen hunters in Forest Lake, MN who hatched that idea and began the stocking program with wild birds. MN agreed to trade geese and grouse for turkeys. The geese were easy to catch so MDNR and FWS took care of that part. The grouse well not so easy that task fell to some of us younger volunteers. Ever try and catch a grouse alive? Very labor intensive I think MN still owes MO quite a few grouse to this day. I worked on the grouse catching crews thereby earning my chance to release some turkeys in Houston.
Years later my most satisfying hunt ever; my very first turkey hunt in the hills of Houston, MN hunting for the descendants of the turkeys I released. Would love to claim that hunt culminated with a tagged gobbler but alas I had a lot to learn about turkey hunting. Took me 5 hunts before I figured it out but since that 5th hunt I have killed a turkey on every hunt since with few exceptions. But I digress.
WOW Charlie! Seriously WOW! I have never heard that story before and it is awesome to say you were involved with the reintroduction of turkeys into MN. Not very many people can say that they have done something as cool as that, at least in my eyes. Hats off to you.
In 2011 there were about 126,000 turkey licenses sold this is very light hunting pressure statewide. The number of turkey hunters has been going down each year and turkey population going up except for 2011 due to a severe winter in the areas I regularly peruse I think we lost about 30% of the turkeys(WDNR strongly disagrees with me on this.), even with that loss there is still plenty of birds.
I never saw the # of licenses sold in 2011 but as a comparison sake if WI has 320,000 birds an only sold 126,000 that is only 1 hunter for every 2.54 birds. Where in MN in 2011 the number of licenses sold was 45,983 with an estimated population of 70,000 so 1 hunter for every 1.56 birds. I would imagine that you, Charlie, bought about 5,000 tags last year, right
After hunting in WI last year I agree WI is very good to their NR hunters especially compared to other states where they require your arm, leg, first born and $$$$$$.