The weather in Michigan has been warming up a bit over the past few weeks. As a lifelong Michigan resident, I am under no illusions that winter is over yet, but as the temperatures get into the upper 40s for the first time in months I can’t help but get excited about Spring hunting and fishing season. April brings the start of Michigan’s spring turkey season and the possession season for several different types of fish. Salmon and trout, bass, pike, and walleye all typically see possession season in April. We don’t have the exact dates yet, because less than 5 weeks before the end of the Michigan DNR fishing guide 2020, we do not yet have the new digest for 2021. I have spoken before about how frustrating it is to get fishing regulations so late each year. I think it puts us at a distinct advantage when trying to attract non-resident sportsmen because it makes it difficult for anyone to make concrete plans.
I am going to spend the first couple weeks of April this year hiking through Arizona as I hunt for a spring black bear. It will be my first time hunting the grand canyon state and I am eager to start exploring the backcountry there. Arizona has a ton of over-the-counter tags available for non-residents. You can hunt elk and mule deer over the counter, javelina, mountain lion, black bear, and several other species. It will be a challenging hunt requiring me to cover a lot of ground and spend most of each day sitting and glassing hillsides and valleys, but I am looking forward to it.
When I get back to Michigan, I will be heading out in search of a spring gobbler. Wild turkey is one of my favorite hunts each year. Seeing the spring come alive, dealing with the toms who can be extremely wary to hunt, and being in the woods early each day always make it memorable. Michigan, especially the lower peninsula, is home to around 200,000 turkeys. It is truly one of the state’s greatest success stories when it comes to conservation. Thirty years ago it was pretty rare to see a wild turkey. Today, they can be seen regularly—especially near rural areas.