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Contact information
For information on turkey hunting, contact:
Jaqi Christopher
Assistant upland ecologist
Bureau of Wildlife Management

Common questions about turkey hunting in Wisconsin

What do I need to participate in the turkey hunt?
To hunt wild turkey in Wisconsin, you need a valid permit, a turkey license and a wild turkey stamp. If you applied for and successfully drew a permit, you will still need to purchase a turkey license and a wild turkey stamp, unless you are a Conservation Patron or Senior Citizen Recreation card holder. You must have a valid copy of your turkey permit, license and stamp with you while hunting turkeys. A copy of the wild turkey collector stamp is a available at any DNR service center or online.
How do I get a spring or fall turkey permit?
Permits are distributed using a preference-based lottery system. To receive a turkey permit, hunters must submit a $3 application, available at any DNR service center, licensing agent or online through Go Wild. There are separate applications for the spring and fall season. The deadline is December 10th for the spring season and August 1st for the fall season. Successful applicants will be notified by mail. After the lottery drawing occurs, remaining turkey permits will be sold over-the-counter on a first-come, first-served basis.
How is preference determined for the lottery?
Preference status is based on Wisconsin residency, land ownership, and preference points. Below are the preference categories, where #1 has the highest preference:
  1. Resident landowners with 50 or more contiguous acres;
  2. Residents with 1 or more preference points;
  3. All other residents;
  4. Non-resident landowners;
  5. All other non-residents.
What are preference points?
Preference points are awarded to applicants who applied for, but did not receive, a turkey permit the previous season. The more points you have, the higher you rank in your respective preference category. Fall and spring seasons collect separate points. Preference points are cumulative, but you must apply once every third fall/spring to retain points for that designated season. Points are returned to zero upon receiving a turkey permit, or upon failing to apply for 3 seasons in a row.
What is landowner preference?
Residents that own 50 or more contiguous acres within an open wild turkey management zone are eligible for first preference in that zone. If more than one individual is the landowner of a single parcel, only one individual may be considered a qualified landowner for the turkey drawing. A qualified landowner may assign his or her first preference status to an immediate family member, to a resident farm operator, to a family member of the operator or to a minor for that particular zone. After this assignment, the landowner who assigned his or her eligibility may not apply for a turkey permit using landowner preference.
How do group permit applications work?
A maximum of ten people who wish to hunt together may apply as a group. Each group must designate a leader. Each member (including the leader) must submit an application indicating the same group leader in section E of the application. If group members have different preference levels, the lowest preference will be used for the group in the lottery. Group members must request identical zones and time periods in the same order. If different, the choices on the group leader's application will be used. Failure to properly complete the application will disallow you from your group.
How do I know if I successfully drew a permit in the spring or fall turkey permit drawing?
The preference drawings take place in late January for the spring season and late August for the fall season. Postcard notifications are sent out to permit winners a couple weeks after the drawing. Customers who do not receive a postcard, or simply would like to know their permit status sooner, can check their application status online through Go Wild, visiting a DNR service center, or calling the DNR call center at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463).
Are the spring zones the same as the fall hunting zones?
Yes. Wild Turkey Management Zones [PDF]
What state parks are open to spring turkey hunting?
Information on hunting in state parks.
What areas are disabled spring turkey hunting only?
Information on spring turkey hunting opportunities for the disabled.
What is the bag limit?
The bag limit for the spring season is one bearded or male turkey per spring turkey permit. The fall season bag limit is one turkey of any age or sex per fall turkey permit.
Do I need a license for assisting other hunters?
No license is required to call turkeys if you do not possess a firearm or bow. A guide license is required if you are charging a fee for your assistance.
Can I shoot a turkey for another hunter?
Can I hunt turkey with the aid of dogs or bait?
  • Bait may not be used to hunt wild turkey.
  • Hunters with a valid turkey permit, stamp and license may use dogs to hunt wild turkey throughout the state of Wisconsin during the fall season only.
How do I register my turkey?
All turkeys must be registered online or over the phone through GameReg. In-person registration stations are no longer available. Visit the turkey harvest registration webpage for more information.
Last revised: Friday September 22 2017