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Turkey management

The restoration of turkeys in Wisconsin ranks as one of the greatest wildlife management success stories in the state. Absent from Wisconsin as recently as the 1970s, turkeys are now so abundant that Wisconsin spring turkey harvests rank among the largest in the nation. They have also proven surprisingly tolerant of harsh winter weather, with populations established throughout the northern part of the state. After 20 years of rapidly increasing turkey populations and turkey harvests, turkeys in Wisconsin now seem to be stabilizing at levels suitable to the available habitat on the landscape. Turkey numbers and, in turn, turkey harvests, will now likely ebb and flow in response to natural factors such as weather and food availability.

Turkey management plan now available

Now available: "Ecology of Wild Turkeys in Wisconsin: A Plan for Their Management, 2015-2025"

Following acceptance by the Natural Resources Board, a final version of Wisconsin's revised wild turkey management plan is now available in electronic format. Printed hard copies will become available later this summer at all DNR Service Centers and offices. Many thanks to all who provided input and helped to guide the revision process!

The DNR Turkey Advisory Committee, which consists of staff from DNR as well as members from a variety of important partner groups and organizations, developed the new plan in order to update goals, identify opportunities to enhance wild turkey populations and habitats throughout the state and increase access to quality turkey hunting opportunities. The committee also sought to develop a plan that would make our turkey management program completely transparent to all citizens who have an interest in how our turkey population is managed. The document therefore includes significant background information on wild turkey ecology, management principles and the history of turkeys and turkey hunting in the state. Only through open dialogue and information-sharing can the myriad issues surrounding turkey management be coalesced into a path forward that best serves both turkeys and the citizens of Wisconsin, and we are hopeful that this document will serve as both an effective communication and planning tool.

Wisconsin Wild Turkey Management Plan, Final [PDF]

Contact information
For information on turkey management, contact:
Jaqi Christopher
Assistant upland ecologist
Bureau of Wildlife Management
608-261-8458
Last revised: Wednesday February 08 2017