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Spring Turkey Digest

Cover of spring turkey digest.

Spring Turkey Digest

  • Managing wild turkeys in Michigan involves the complex interactions of turkey populations, their habitat and their relationship to people. Hunting plays an important role in managing turkeys by regulating their numbers. The goal of the spring wild turkey hunting season is to maximize hunter opportunity while maintaining a satisfactory hunting experience. License quotas are developed to harvest the desired number of turkeys to meet the management goal. Michigan is ranked fourth in the nation for turkey harvest according to National Wild Turkey Foundation study results. 
  • From Jan. 1 - Feb. 1, you can apply for one limited-quota license valid for a specific spring turkey hunt unit during specific season dates. You must be at least 10 years old to apply.

    Keywords: application, period, timeline


    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order
  • An application is $5.

    Keywords: cost, price, app, dollars


    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order
  • Call 517-284-9453 (WILD) for assistance.

    Keywords: help, customer, support, phone, helpline


    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order
  • You are responsible for obtaining your drawing results online. They will be available at Michigan.gov/Turkey March 7.

    Keywords: draw, drawn, selected


    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order
  • If you’re selected in the drawing, you may then purchase one limited-quota license. See license purchase information for further details.

    Keywords: draw, buy, tag


    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order
  • After the drawing, beginning March 14 at 10 a.m., unsuccessful applicants have the opportunity to purchase a license for another hunt period, with leftover licenses available until quotas are met. Depending on how many hunters apply, leftover licenses may or may not be available for some hunt units and/or dates.

    Keywords: draw, tag, leftovers


    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order
  • If you didn’t apply for the drawing, you have two options. You may purchase a leftover license, if available, or you may purchase a Hunt 0234 license. Leftover licenses and the Hunt 0234 license will go on sale March 21 at 10 a.m. See the Hunt 0234 and Leftover Licenses information for more further details.

    Keywords: draw, buy, tag, leftovers 


    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order
  • You can buy a license from a local retailer, or online at Michigan.gov/Turkey.


    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order
  • You can purchase one spring turkey license.


    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order
  • You can harvest one bearded turkey.


    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • If you are licensed under the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, you automatically receive a spring turkey license.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • You will need a valid driver’s license issued by the state where you live OR a State of Michigan ID card (issued by the Secretary of State) OR a DNR Sportcard (issued by retail license agents or at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses).

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • If you are licensed under the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, you automatically receive a spring turkey license, so there is no need to apply. See the Mentored Youth Hunting Program section for more information.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • First, look at the hunt unit map and choose the unit you want to hunt. Next, look at the table that shows the hunt units and season dates to find the number for the hunt unit you chose. Then, purchase an application for the hunt number(s) you chose (you can select two hunt numbers -- first and second choice). You can purchase an application at a retail license agent or online at Michigan.gov/Turkey. Finally, check your receipt for accuracy and retain it as proof of your application.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • You can only apply one time. It is unlawful to apply more than once.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Yes, you may apply in a partnership with one other person. If you apply with more than one partner, you will be ineligible for the drawing.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • The first person to apply (either you or your hunting partner) chooses a hunt unit and receives a “party ID” number, which is printed on the receipt. A new party ID number is issued each year. Then, the other partner uses the party ID number when applying to complete the partnership. Make sure to verify the party ID number is identical on both receipts.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • You are responsible for obtaining a DNR application receipt that states your customer ID and hunt choice. Do not accept a receipt that is not legible. Check this receipt for accuracy and retain as proof that you applied. Ensure any application errors are corrected prior to the application deadline. If you submit an invalid application, you will be ineligible for the drawing.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • The private-land-only license, Hunt 0301 (Unit ZZ), is not valid on county, state or federal lands, except to hunt Fort Custer military lands with permission. Hunters should have permission to hunt private lands before applying for one of these licenses.

    Hunt unit Season dates Maximum license quota Hunt number
    ZZ April 23 - May 31 50,000 0301

    Complex map of the state of Michigan displaying spring turkey management units. For a written description of boundaries, please see the wildlife conservation order at Michigan.gov/dnrlaws


    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • The general licenses listed below are valid on all public and private land within the unit.

    Hunt unit Season dates Maximum license quota Hunt numbers
     A April 23 – May 6  5,500 0101
    B  April 23 – May 6 1,000 0102
    E April 23 - April 29  850  0103
     E   April 30 – May 6  850 0104 
    F April 23 – May 6  5,000 0105 
    J  April 23 – May 6  4,000  0107
    K  April 23 – April 29  4,000 0108 
    M April 23 – May 31   6,000  0110
    ZA April 23 – April 29 & June 1–7   1,200  0111
    ZA  April 30 – May 13  1,800  0112
    ZA  May 14 – May 31   1,800  0113
    ZB   April 23 – April 29 & June 1–7  650  0115
    ZB   April 30 – May 13   975  0116
    ZB   May 14 – May 31  975 0117 
    ZC April 23 – April 29 & June 1–7   600 0119 
    ZC  April 30 – May 13 900   0120
    ZC   May 14 – May 31  900  0121
    ZD  April 23 – April 29 & June 1–7  10 0123 
     ZD   April 30 – May 13  15 0124 
    ZD May 14 – May 31    15  0125
     ZE  April 23 – April 29 & June 1–7   500  0127
     ZE April 30 – May 13   750  0128
     ZE  May 14 – May 31  750  0129
     ZF  April 23 – April 29 & June 1–7   1,300  0131
     ZF  April 30 – May 13 1,300   0132
     ZF May 14 – May 31    3,000  0133
    Complex map of the state of Michigan displaying spring turkey management units. For a written description of boundaries, please see the wildlife conservation order at Michigan.gov/dnrlaws 

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • With the Hunt 0234 license, you can hunt on:

    • Both public and private lands in the Upper Peninsula (Unit M) and in the northern Lower Peninsula (Units A, B, E, F, J and K).
    • Private land only in the southern Lower Peninsula (Unit ZZ).
    • Fort Custer military lands with permission.
    Hunt unit Season dates Maximum license quota Hunt number
    Statewide May 7 - May 31 None 0234

    Complex map of the state of Michigan displaying spring turkey management units. For a written description of boundaries, please see the wildlife conservation order at Michigan.gov/dnrlaws


    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • You can buy a Hunt 0234 license when leftover licenses go on sale March 21 at 10 a.m. This license has no quota and can be purchased throughout the entire spring turkey hunting season.

    Hunt unit Season dates Maximum license quota Hunt number
    Statewide May 7 - May 31 None 0234

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. You may only purchase one spring turkey license.

    Hunt unit Season dates Maximum license quota Hunt number
    Statewide May 7 - May 31 None 0234

    Complex map of the state of Michigan displaying spring turkey management units. For a written description of boundaries, please see the wildlife conservation order at Michigan.gov/dnrlaws


    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • There is no guarantee that leftover licenses will be available for any hunt unit, except Hunt 0234, which has no quota.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • If any licenses remain after the drawing and you have a current base license, you may purchase a leftover turkey license online or from any license agent on a first-come, first-served basis for a one-week period beginning March 14 at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • You may purchase any limited-quota licenses that remain as of March 21 at 10 a.m. EST if you have a current base license.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • You may purchase only one spring turkey license.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Hunting and fishing licenses may be purchased online at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses or from a retail license agent.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • If you purchase your spring turkey licenses online, your kill tag will be mailed to you seven to 10 business days after your purchase.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • A base license is required for everyone who hunts in Michigan. While an application may be purchased prior to obtaining a base license, you must purchase a 2022 base license before you can purchase a spring turkey license.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Base licenses go on sale for the current hunting year on March 1.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. It is unlawful to obtain or purchase more than one spring turkey hunting license per hunter.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Yes, you must carry your spring turkey license and the identification used to purchase that license and present both upon demand of a Michigan conservation officer, a tribal conservation officer or any law enforcement officer when hunting.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • License by age Age: up to 9 Junior age: 10-16 Resident age: 17+ Resident senior age: 65+ Nonresident* age: 17+
     Mentored youth license  $7.50 NA NA NA NA
     Application for license drawing NA $5.00  $5.00  $5.00  $5.00
     Base license  NA  $6.00  $11.00  $5.00  $151.00
     Spring turkey license  NA $15.00 $15.00 $6.00  $15.00
    • *Nonresidents under 17 years of age may purchase a resident base license.
    • Active Duty Military Personnel and Veterans with Disabilities - Resident active-duty military personnel and resident veterans with a 100% disability rating may obtain a leftover spring turkey license free of charge beginning March 21. Licenses are full-price for those who apply for a license and are selected in the drawing.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • If you do not have a hunter safety certificate and are 10 years of age or older, you may purchase a base apprentice hunting license.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • As an apprentice hunter, you may purchase this license for two license years before you must successfully complete a hunter safety course.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Yes. The base apprentice hunting license is available to residents and nonresidents.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • When hunting as an apprentice hunter, you must be accompanied by someone 21 years of age or older who has a regular, current-year hunting license for the same game species that you are hunting.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • If you are an apprentice hunter who is 10-16 years of age, your accompanying hunter must be your parent, guardian or someone designated by your parent or guardian who is at least 21 years of age. The accompanying hunter must have a regular, current-year hunting license for the same game species that you are hunting.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Your accompanying hunter must be able to come to your immediate aid and stay within a distance that permits uninterrupted, unaided visual and verbal contact.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • For hunting wild turkey, your accompanying hunter needs a current-year spring turkey hunting license, but it does not have to be for the same hunt unit and season dates as your apprentice hunting license.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • You may accompany no more than two apprentice hunters.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • The Mentored Youth Hunting Program allows youth hunters 9 years of age and younger to hunt with a mentor who is a least 21 years of age, has hunting experience and has a valid Michigan hunting license other than an apprentice license.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • The mentored youth license is a “package” license to hunt small game, waterfowl, turkey (spring and fall) and deer, trap furbearers, and fish for all species. Additional restrictions apply; complete program details can be found in the Michigan Hunting Digest or online at Michigan.gov/MentoredHunting.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • As a mentored youth hunter, you get one spring turkey kill tag, which is valid for one bearded turkey in any open spring turkey hunt unit on public or private land.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. You will receive one spring turkey kill tag with your mentored youth license. All hunters are allowed only one spring turkey tag.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. An application is not required for the mentored youth license.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Yes. The Fort Custer Training Center near Battle Creek offers turkey hunting opportunities for properly licensed youth (Hunt 0301). A mentor is available for each participant. Free housing is available, along with range time. Special hunting opportunities are also available for properly licensed hunters with a disability during May (Hunt 0234). For hunt dates and more information, please visit FortCusterHunt.org or call 269-731-6570.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Actual legal hunting hours (one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour before sunset) for Zone A are printed in the table. To determine the opening (a.m.) or closing (p.m.) time in another zone, add the minutes shown on the map for the zone to the time from the Zone A hunting hours table. The hunting hours listed in the table reflect Eastern Standard Time adjusted for daylight saving time where appropriate. If you are hunting in Gogebic, Iron, Dickinson or Menominee counties (Central Standard Time), you must make an additional adjustment to the printed time by subtracting one hour.

    Zone A hunting hours table
    One-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour before sunset (adjusted for daylight saving time).

     Date Time Zone A a.m. Time Zone A p.m.
    April 23 6:10 7:52
    April 24 6:08 7:53
    April 25 6:07 7:54
    April 26 6:05 7:55
    April 26 6:04 7:57
    April 28 6:02 7:58
    April 29 6:01 7:59
    April 30 5:59 8:00
    May 1 5:58 8:01
    May 2 5:57 8:02
    May 3 5:55 8:03
    May 4 5:54 8:04
    May 5 5:53 8:05
    May 6 5:52 8:07
    May 7 5:50 8:08
    May 8 5:49 8:09
    May 9 5:48 8:10
    May 10 5:47 8:11
    May 11 5:46 8:12
    May 12 5:44 8:13
    May 13 5:43 8:14
    May 14 5:42 8:15
    May 15 5:41 8:16
    May 16 5:40 8:17
    May 17 5:39 8:18
    May 18 5:38 8:19
    May 19 5:37 8:20
    May 20 5:37 8:21
    May 21 5:36 8:22
    May 22 5:35 8:23
    May 23 5:34 8:24
    May 24 5:33 8:25
    May 25 5:33 8:26
    May 26 5:32 8:27
    May 27 5:31 8:28
    May 28 5:30 8:29
    May 29 5:30 8:30
    May 30 5:29 8:30
    May 31 5:29 8:31
    June 1 5:28 8:32
    June 2 5:28 8:33
    June 3 5:27 8:34
    June 4 5:27 8:34
    June 5 5:27 8:35
    June 6 5:26 8:36
    June 7 5:26 8:36

    Complex map of hunting hours showing over multiple zones in the State of Michigan. For assistance, please call 517-284-9453. A written description can be found in the Wildlife Conservation Order at Michigan.gov/dnrlaws.


    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • You are allowed to kill one bearded turkey per spring turkey license.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. Only bearded turkeys may be killed during the spring turkey hunting season.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. You may only purchase one spring turkey license per hunter.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. It is unlawful to tag a turkey you did not kill.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. It is unlawful to use a tag more than once.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. It is unlawful to use another person’s tag or allow another person to use your tag.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • You may use a bow and arrow, a crossbow, a firearm that fires a fixed shotgun shell, or a muzzleloading shotgun. It is illegal to use or carry afield any other firearm. Pneumatic guns are legal when using ammunition containing No. 4 shot or smaller.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Yes. The prohibition on carrying any other type of firearm does not apply to pistols carried under authority of a concealed pistol license, or under a specific exception from the CPL requirement.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • When hunting wild turkey, you may not use or carry afield any ammunition except shotgun shells loaded with No. 4 or smaller shot or No. 4 or smaller loose shot for use in muzzleloading shotguns.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • While not required by law, it is recommended that you use nontoxic shot when hunting turkey.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • You may only use arrows, bolts and quarrels at least 14 inches in length, tipped with a broadhead point at least 7/8 inch wide.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • You may hunt turkeys from an elevated stand or tree using a bow and arrow, a crossbow or a firearm. Tree stands or any other device to assist in climbing a tree are not permitted to be used on state lands for the spring turkey hunting season. Tree stands or any other device to assist in climbing a tree are only permitted to be used on state lands from Sept. 1 through March 1.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. Turkeys may not be hunted with dogs during the spring season.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. Turkeys may not be taken while they are in a tree.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. It is unlawful to use bait to aid in the taking of a wild turkey.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • For the purpose of this regulation, “bait” means a substance composed of grain, fruit, vegetables or other food placed to lure or entice wild turkeys. This does not apply to standing farm crops (normal agricultural practices) or other naturally growing grains, fruits or vegetables.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. Mechanical, electronic or live decoys are prohibited.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Mechanical decoy means any device that, by design or construction, uses motion as a visual stimulus to attract a wild turkey.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • A wind sock or similar decoy body anchored at a fixed point into the ground, and whose only motion is derived exclusively by power of the natural wind, is legal.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. Stalking turkeys with a handheld decoy or silhouette is illegal.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. The use or possession of electronic devices that imitate calls is illegal.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. Immediately upon killing a turkey, you need to validate your license by notching out the appropriate information as instructed on the license and securely attaching the license around a leg of the bird. You may not transport or have in your possession a turkey unless the validated license is attached to a leg of the bird.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Yes! We need your help. After your hunting season has ended, please report your hunting activity online by visiting Michigan.gov/Turkey. Information you provide will improve management and ensure that decisions regarding hunting seasons are based on the best information available.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • You can assist the DNR by reporting any sightings of wild turkeys in January. This information, which is kept confidential, is used to manage the turkey population. You can make your report online at Michigan.gov/Turkey or contact a DNR office listed on the back of this digest.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • You can age a turkey based on spur length. Use the table below to estimate the age of your harvested turkey. 

    Spur length (in.) Curvature Sharpness Age of turkey
    Less than 0.5"  None Rounded Younger than 1 year
     0.5" to 1"  Straight Blunt 1 to 2 years
     1" to 1.25"  Slightly curved Pointed 2 to 3 years
     Over 1.25"  Curved Sharp Older than 3 years

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Michigan’s wild turkey patch program is coordinated by the Michigan State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, in partnership with the DNR.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Yes, that is true. Young hunters, 17 years of age and younger, who have a valid wild turkey hunting license may get a free patch by sending their name and complete address, along with a legible copy of their valid wild turkey hunting license, to National Wild Turkey Federation, Wild Turkey Patch Program, P.O. Box 471, Schoolcraft, MI 49087. If you have questions, please email MiTurkeyPatch@gmail.com.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • You should receive your patch in approximately 6 weeks.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Adult hunters, patch collectors and other interested individuals may purchase the patch for $6, including postage and handling costs.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. Only the current-year patch is available for purchase.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • No. You do not have to harvest a turkey to purchase a patch. Patches will be available after January 1st and can be purchased online at MINWTF.org. Patches will only be available for purchase online.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • The National Wild Turkey Federation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting tradition. Proceeds from patch sales are used to fund wild turkey-related projects and management in Michigan. Each year the NWTF, working cooperatively with the DNR, contributes more than $300,000 to wild turkey and hunter-heritage programs in Michigan.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Health assessors from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Michigan Department of Natural Resources determined that samples of wild game from the floodplains of the Tittabawassee River and Saginaw River downstream of Midland contained high levels of dioxin and dioxin-like compounds. Wild game tested include deer, turkey, cottontail rabbit, squirrel, wood duck and Canada goose. As a result, the MDHHS advises that hunters and their families to follow these recommendations related to turkey:

    • Do not eat turkey harvested in or near the floodplain of the Tittabawassee River downstream of Midland. If you choose to eat turkey taken from this area anyway, at a minimum the skin, liver and gizzard should be removed and discarded.
    • Other wild game that have not been tested in this area may also contain dioxins at levels that are a concern. To reduce general dioxin exposure from other wild game, trim any visible fat from the meat before cooking. Do not consume organ meats such as the liver or brains, and do not eat the skin.

    For additional information regarding dioxin, dioxin-like compounds and wild game advisories for the Tittabawassee River and Saginaw River floodplains, including a map of the area covered by these advisories, go to the MDHHS website at Michigan.gov/Dioxin.


    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • The DNR encourages you to report any sightings of sick or dead wildlife, including wild turkeys, at Michigan.gov/EyesInTheField. You should provide information about the location, number of animals and condition of the animals you observed. Contact the Wildlife Health Disease Laboratory at 517-336-5030 if you have any questions.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • All commercial hunting guides utilizing state-owned lands must get written authorization. Guides are required to meet the conditions of the written authorization. If you are a guide who utilizes state-owned lands, please visit Michigan.gov/StateLandPermission or contact a DNR customer service center for more information.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Commercial guiding on National Forest (NF) lands requires a special use permit. Applications can be obtained through any office or by calling -- Hiawatha NF: 906- 428-5800; Huron-Manistee NF: 231-775-5023; or Ottawa NF: 906-932-1330.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Over 4.5 million acres of public land is managed by the DNR and open to hunting! Millions of additional private-land acres are leased or enrolled in programs to allow hunting by all. Visit Michigan.gov/Hunting to find out where.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Violations of turkey hunting regulations, including application violations, are misdemeanors and the following penalties may apply. Misdemeanors may be punishable by up to 90 days imprisonment, up to $1,000 in fines and license revocation for up to five years. Reimbursement to the state for unlawful taking of wild turkey is $1,000 per animal plus an additional $1,000 for a turkey with a beard.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • If you witness a natural resource violation, report it immediately. You can do this by texting or calling 800-292-7800 -- phone lines are open 24/7. You may remain anonymous!

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Yes. The DNR, Michigan Wild Turkey Hunters Association, National Wild Turkey Federation and other groups may offer wild turkey hunter orientation courses. A fee may be charged, and space may be limited. For details about events, visit Michigan.gov/Turkey.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order

  • Turkey Tracts are a series of actively managed, walk-in wild turkey hunting areas across southern Michigan. With accessible walking trails and a kiosk with maps and area information, these are great places for new hunters to explore. With the help of hunters and partners, such as the National Wild Turkey Federation, the DNR developed this program to highlight local wildlife management on public hunting areas and connect hunters with local business partners. Visit Michigan.gov/Turkey to learn about locations.

    Species: Wild turkey
    Applicable season: Spring season
    Sources: Spring Turkey Hunting Digest and the Wildlife Conservation Order