Looking for a sign of spring? For some it will be hearing the official opening of the spring snow goose conservation season, others will note if and when the first robin arrives. The nesting of bald eagles and the annual groundhog celebration are also on the list.
I started to notice the daylight getting a little bit longer the end of January even when then temperature was -25 and the snow was piling up. I know it was a stretch but the sun setting a little bit later gave me a little hope the winter was turning past the midpoint.
For many the realistic sign will occur on Saturday, April 13, 2019 when the spring turkey season opens.
If you would like to have a license, then the first thing prospective hunters must do is apply for a license. The deadline to apply is midnight Feb 13.
This year across the state the North Dakota Game and Fish Department is offering 6,025 wild turkey licenses for the 2019 spring hunting season, 370 more than last year.
Eleven of the 22 hunting units have more spring licenses than in 2018, seven have fewer and three remain the same. Unit 21 (Hettinger and Adams counties) is again closed in 2019 due to lack of turkeys in the unit.
Spring turkey applicants can apply online at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Applications can also be submitted by calling (800) 406-6409. Paper applications are not available.
The deadline for applying is Feb. 13.
Successful spring turkey applicants must purchase a 2019-20 hunting license, as last year’s 2018-19 licenses expire March 31. In addition to the spring turkey license, hunters must have a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate, and a general game and habitat license. Also, hunters ages 16 and older must possess a small game license, or combination license. These required licenses must be purchased in advance of the successful applicant receiving the turkey license.
First-time spring turkey hunters ages 15 or younger are eligible to receive one spring license valid for any open unit. To be eligible, the youth hunter must be 15 or younger on opening day of spring turkey season, and have never received a spring turkey license in North Dakota.
Spring turkey licenses are available only to North Dakota residents. Per legislation, an additional four spring wild turkey licenses are available to the Outdoor Adventure Foundation and three to the National Wild Turkey Federation.
The spring turkey season opens April 13 and continues through May 19.