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Outdoors mailbag: The fate of hunting and fishing seasons

To our readers: Thanks for taking part in the Sports and Outdoors Mailbag this week. Star Tribune beat writers are fielding questions about their areas of coverage. See where to direct your questions here.

Q. Any possibility that turkey hunting or other seasons might be postponed or altered? -Dave Nevison (@DaveNevison)

A. (From Outdoors reporter Tony Kennedy) Gov. Tim Walz and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Sarah Strommen have indicated several times that hunting and fishing seasons in Minnesota will go as planned. The spring turkey season starts April 15 and runs through May 31. It's divided into six hunting periods. The inland walleye and northern pike season opens May 9. Licensed anglers already are fishing for crappies, sunfish and other species.

In the governor’s first “Stay at Home’’ emergency executive order, he said Minnesotans may leave their homes or residences to engage in fishing and hunting, “provided that all persons follow the guidelines set forth and maintained by the Minnesota Department of Health, including but not limited to social distancing, to the maximum extent possible.’’

Guidance from Strommen and the DNR has been for hunters and anglers to stay “close to home,’’ and not to crowd public boat ramps.

Walz has been reminded by legislators that hunting and fishing, unlike golf or other outdoor activities, are protected activities under the state Constitution.

Minnesota turkey hunting camp takes learning indoors

A Twin Cities business that produces special content around hunting and cooking wild food is offering some of its content free online to keep hunters engaged during the coronavirus pandemic.
Nearly 300 people signed up for a turkey hunting webinar March 28, part of a package of five courses called Hunting Camp Live created by Modern Carnivore. The next live webinar, focused on turkey calling and roosting, is at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Register at huntingcamp.live, and click on "My Library" to view the March 28 webinar, and get more details.
Mark Norquist, Modern Carnivore’s founder, said the initial virtual gathering was a positive experience.
“We had people tied in across Minnesota, but also New York to Idaho, too,” he said in an e-mail to the Star Tribune. “The audience was very engaged and asked very thoughtful questions about turkey hunting ethics, strategies and calling technique.”
The Minnesota spring turkey hunting opener is April 15.