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Contact information
For information on turkey hunting, contact:
Jaqi Christopher
Assistant upland ecologist
Bureau of Wildlife Management
608-261-8458

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 turkey harvest authorization (formerly known as a carcass tag/permit), a turkey license and a wild turkey stamp. A turkey stamp and license can be purchased through Go Wild. For Conservation Patron License and Senior Citizen Recreation Card holders, a turkey stamp and license is included. A turkey harvest authorization can be obtained through the seasonal drawing, or purchased as a leftover authorization. Visit the turkey hunting webpage for more information.
What do I need to carry with me while hunting?
You must have a valid copy of your license, stamp and harvest authorization (formerly known as a carcass tag/permit) with you while hunting turkeys. This includes a DNR issued Conservation Card, a GoWild validated WI driver’s license, a GoWild digital file or a paper print out.
How do I get a spring or fall turkey harvest authorization (formerly known as a carcass tag/permit)?
Harvest Authorizations (formerly known as a carcass tag/permit) are distributed using a preference-based drawing system. To receive a turkey harvest authorization, hunters must submit a $3 application which are available at any DNR service center, licensing agent or online through Go Wild. There are separate applications for the spring and fall season. The application deadline is December 10th for the spring season and August 1st for the fall season. Successful applicants will be notified by mail. After the drawing occurs, the leftover turkey harvest authorizations will be sold over-the-counter on a first-come, first-served basis.
How is preference determined for the harvest authorization drawing?
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 harvest authorization (formerly known as a carcass tag/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 they expire for the designated season if you do not apply at least once in a 3-year period. Points are returned to zero upon receiving a turkey harvest authorization, or upon expiration.
What is landowner preference?
A resident that owns 50 or more contiguous acres within an open wild turkey management zone are eligible for first preference in that zone. A qualified landowner may transfer his or her landowner preference status to an immediate family member, a resident farm operator, a family member of the operator or to a minor. Only one person can receive landowner preference for an individual parcel of land in the turkey drawing. This means that if there are several people jointly owning a parcel of land, or the landowner preference status was transferred to an eligible recipient, only one person may apply using the landowner preference per parcel.
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 group leader. Each member, including the leader, must write the group leader's DNR customer ID on their application in the designated section. If group members have different preference levels, the lowest preference will be used for the group in the drawing. 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 harvest authorization (formerly known as a carcass tag/permit) in the turkey drawing?
The harvest authorization drawing takes place in late January for the spring season and late August for the fall season. Postcard notifications are sent out to harvest authorization recipients. 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).
How do I get a copy of the wild turkey stamp?
When you purchase a stamp through go wild, you are purchasing an electronic stamp authorization. You can pick up a physical copy of your turkey stamp at any DNR service center, or request that it be mailed. Visit the collector stamp webpage for more information on how to obtain a copy of your stamp or purchase additional stamps.
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 opportunities are there for disabled turkey hunting?
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 harvest authorization (formerly known as a carcass tag/permit). The fall season bag limit is one turkey of any age or sex per fall turkey harvest authorization.
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?
No.
Can I hunt turkey with the aid of dogs or bait?
  • Bait may not be used to hunt wild turkey.
  • Hunters with a fall turkey harvest authorization (formerly known as a carcass tag/permit), stamp and license may use dogs to hunt wild turkey throughout the state of Wisconsin during the fall season. It is not legal to hunt turkey with the aid of dogs during the spring season.
How do I register my turkey?
It is required by law to register your turkey by 5pm the day after harvest. The harvest authorization number (formerly known as a tag number) is required to successfully register your harvest. Register 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 November 17 2017