Minnesota's spring turkey hunters are on pace for the second-highest harvest ever, yet turkey license sales are down 20 percent from 2010.
And state officials don't know why.
"It might be just a carryover from people who didn't have a good experience last spring,'' said Steve Merchant, Department of Natural Resources wildlife program manager. Last spring was cold and wet, and harvest fell from a record 13, 467 in 2010 to 10,055.
So far, the DNR has sold 41,863 licenses. Last year, for the season, it sold 45,923. But in 2010, it sold 52,399.
Merchant said the number of hunters applying in the lottery for a license fell, "and we haven't seen an increase in over-the-counter sales to make up for that.''
He's hopeful sales will rebound next year, when hunters who sat out the season see the high harvest this year. Through May 17, hunters killed 10,421 birds, compared to 8,331 at the same time last year, and 11,241 in 2010, a record-setting harvest.
The third annual Chisago Lakes Lions Carp Festival last weekend was deemed a success. The biggest carp was taken by Jake Lochen of Forest Lake and weighed 23 pounds, 9 ounces. Carl Sassen of Lino Lakes took second place with a 23-pound, 1-ounce carp, and also got the most carp, 20. Scott Brott of Brooklyn Park won a new bow.
Did you know?
• Conservation officer Daniel Baumbarger of Wheaton took a call about a person killing a pelican, a bird that is protected. He found the angler, who admitted he hooked the bird in the wing and killed it so he wouldn't lose is Dardevle lure. "After receiving his citation, he admitted it would have been a lot cheaper to buy a new fishing lure,'' Baumbarger reported.
• A wolf tried to carry off a pot-bellied pig near Two Harbors, reported conservation officer Dan Thomasen. "The squealing of the pig and quick response of the owner caused the wolf to drop the pig and retreat into the forest,'' Thomasen reported. "The pig should make a full recovery.''
• Officer Scott Fritz of LaCrescent handled his first rattle snake report of the season.