The Department of Natural Resources says hunters registered 4,633 birds, down 34 percent from 7,054 in 2012. Agency officials say a late spring and a wet June hampered turkey reproduction, resulting in fewer young turkeys on the landscape. But they say the kill drop-off is still surprising and they plan to review hunter surveys to see if hunter participation or effort dropped off.
The spring season is set to begin with a youth hunt on April 12. The regular season begins April 16.
DNR officials say even though 2013 saw poor reproduction a large number of males hatched in 2012 and are now adults, promising plenty of gobbling action.