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Spring turkey hunting applications for 2010 accepted through Jan. 8

Applications for the 2010 spring turkey hunt are being accepted through Friday, Jan. 8, wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.

Adult hunters may apply for one of nearly 57,000 permits to hunt a five- or seven-day season in one of 77 permit areas. Youth 17 and younger no longer need to apply for the lottery. They will be able to purchase a spring turkey permit for any permit area and any time period directly from a license agent. Applicants choose one of eight time periods in which to hunt.

"Turkey hunters can look forward to more great opportunities this spring," said Bill Penning, farmland wildlife program leader for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "We have significantly increased permit numbers during the last two time periods, thereby allowing anyone who is not selected in the lottery or already purchased a 2010 spring turkey license for another time period to purchase a license for one of the last two time periods."

Minnesota residents 18 and older by April 14 must apply for a spring turkey permit either in person, via the Internet or by telephone at (888) 665-4236 by Friday, Jan. 8. A nonrefundable $3 application fee must be paid at the time of application. An additional nonrefundable $3.50 convenience fee will be charged for all applications made by telephone o r the Internet. Nonresident hunters may apply by mail or by telephone.

Penning said the permit application no longer asks hunters to indicate a second choice for the time period in which they want to hunt. Hunters who are successful in the drawing and choose not to purchase a tag, will lose the current year's preference point for future drawings They will not lose accumulated preference from past years.

Spring turkey archery hunters have two options. They can apply in the lottery or purchase a regular license over-the-counter for one of the last two time periods from the eight available, which allows them to hunt with a bow or firearm during the time period chosen. A second option allows them to purchase a spring turkey archery license, which allows them to hunt with a bow during both of the season's last two time periods.

Spring turkey archery licenses only are available in permit areas that offer 50 or more permits. Applicants who are successful in the spring permit lottery are ineligible for a spring archery license.

Spring turkey hunt application information is available at DNR license agents and online.

The application booklet contains maps of open wild turkey permit areas, permit quotas, season dates and an application worksheet. Hunters are encouraged to fill-out the application form prior to purchasing a license so the process goes smoothly at the license vendor.

The DNR uses a preference system drawing to select spring turkey permit winners. A special landowner-tenant preference drawing for up to 20 percent of the permits also is part of the drawing. Successful applicants will be mailed the 2010 Spring Wild Turkey Hunt Book in February.

For more information, call the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or toll free (888) MINNDNR (646-6367).