In 2020, MUCC resolutions changed the way we turkey hunted, and those changes drove hunter participation. 

Last season, there was a 27 percent increase in license sales from 2019 due to a variety of factors including the COVID-19 pandemic and actions taken by MUCC. 

Last April, MUCC worked with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to execute an emergency order allowing hunters to transition their turkey harvest tags to a unit closer to their home. 

MUCC worked diligently to ensure hunters would still be able to pursue turkey amidst the pandemic in 2020, said MUCC Executive Director Amy Trotter.

“Without the emergency order, turkey hunters would have been hamstrung in their ability to pursue their passion,” Trotter said. “Instead of having to choose between an outdoor pursuit and keeping themselves and their family safe, this order allowed for people to stay close to home and hunt.”

A link to the 2021 Spring Turkey Digest can be found here

In October 2019, MUCC was successful in advocating for a Saturday opener for the spring turkey hunting seasons along with allowing turkeys to be taken from a raised platform. MUCC’s actions stemmed from a 2016 member-passed policy resolution

Turkeys can be hunted from a raised platform during the spring and fall seasons on private lands. However, due to separate public land regulations, treestands may only be set up and used on public lands in Michigan from Sept. 1 to March 1. MUCC is actively working with the NRC and DNR  to change this rule so that public land hunters will also be able to use treestands for the spring season.

Trotter said a Saturday opener provides for more recreational opportunity.

“Prior to current regulations, youth, parents and those without ample vacation time or opportunity were forced to choose between hunting only the last weekend of one-week seasons or sacrificing time off and schoolwork,” Trotter said. “A Saturday opener provides the greatest opportunity for the majority of turkey hunters because they aren’t deciding between time off or hunting.”

Hunters with tags for the first hunt period from April 17-23 who are unsuccessful will have the opportunity to pursue turkeys again from June 1-7 — a change that first occurred for the 2020 season. Those with Unit ZZ tags will be able to hunt from April 17-May 30 on private lands in Southern Michigan.

Best of luck this season and please do your best to stay safe as you take to the woods this weekend. We look forward to seeing your pictures and celebrating your success in the coming weeks. 

Since 1937, MUCC has united citizens to conserve, protect and enhance Michigan’s natural resources and outdoor heritage – and we do so from Lansing to Washington D.C. Please join us today: http://bit.ly/JoinMUCC

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