(UNDATED) - DNR wildlife research biologist Steve Backs has advised that hunters will work a little harder this season that begins April 25 and runs through May 13.
Backs, according to a press release, is forecasting a spring turkey harvest of 11,000, plus or minus 1,000. His prediction is about 6 percent less than the 11,669 birds harvested in 2011, and 20 percent less than the 2010 spring harvest, when hunters bagged a record 13,742 turkeys.
Expectations are lower this year for two reasons: several years of below normal brood production and the advanced progression of vegetation.
Because of the record warm weather, the spring progression of vegetation is three to four weeks ahead of schedule.
"The increased concealment gets us into a potential hunter safety issue," Backs said. "Hunters are going to have to be very vigilant in correctly identifying their target and also recognize that the hunter's presence may not be as easily detected by another hunter in the same area."
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