WTIP Outdoor News Podcast

Turkey Reintroduction in Minnesota & The Upcoming Spring Hunting Season

Following habitat loss and over harvesting of wild turkeys in the late 1800s and early 1900s, wild turkeys ceased to exist in Minnesota.

In the early 1970s, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) along with the National Wildlife Turkey Federation partnered to reintroduce the large bird species on the landscape.

Between 1971 and 1973, 29 adult wild turkeys were trapped in Missouri and transplanted to southeastern Minnesota. Fifty years later, the population has grown to more than 70,000 wild turkeys.

The success of the reintroduction efforts in the 1970s has allowed a turkey hunting season in all 87 counties in Minnesota.

In this week’s episode of the Outdoor News Podcast, host Kalli Hawkins speaks with Blaine Klemek, the regional wildlife manager with the Minnesota DNR in the Northwest region about the history of turkeys in Minnesota, the success of the reintroduction efforts, and shares turkey hunting stories. The spring turkey hunting season in Minnesota starts on April 12.