Contact(s): Mark Witecha, DNR upland wildlife ecologist, 608-267-7861
January 8, 2019
MADISON - There were 135,202 successful applicants who received 2019 spring wild turkey harvest authorizations following completion of the application drawing.
A total of 244,968 authorizations were available for the spring 2019 turkey season. Bonus harvest authorizations that were not issued in the drawing will be available for purchase beginning March 18.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has mailed postcard notifications to successful applicants. Hunters can also monitor their harvest authorization status in their online account at GoWild.WI.gov.
Along with a spring turkey harvest authorization, a valid 2019 spring turkey license and Wild Turkey Stamp are required to hunt turkeys in Wisconsin. Licenses and stamp privileges may be purchased online at GoWild.WI.gov or at any license agent beginning in March at the start of the license year. Collector turkey stamps may only be purchased at DNR service centers.
Spring turkey periods run for seven days
The regular spring turkey season begins on the third Wednesday in April. In 2019, the season will run from April 17 through May 28, with six seven-day periods running Wednesday through the following Tuesday.
Hunters are reminded that the state park hunting zones have been eliminated following a 2014 rule change. Instead, state parks are included in the current turkey management zones and will remain open for spring turkey hunting during select periods. For more information, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "hunting state parks."
The Fort McCoy spring turkey hunting season is managed separately from the Wisconsin spring turkey hunt. Hunters may apply for a 2019 spring turkey harvest authorization at Fort McCoy only if they have not received one through the regular spring turkey drawing. Applications can be obtained from Fort McCoy by calling 608-388-3337 or visiting www.mccoy.army.mil [exit DNR].
Spring turkey hunting regulations can be found within the 2018 Small Game Hunting Regulations, 2018 Fall Turkey Regulations and 2019 Spring Turkey Regulations [PDF].
Bonus spring turkey harvest authorizations go on sale March 18
All harvest authorizations remaining after the drawing will be sold as bonus harvest authorizations starting at 10 a.m. Monday, March 18. Bonus harvest authorizations will be first issued for sale by zone, one zone per day. Bonus harvest authorizations may be purchased at a rate of one per day until the zone and time-period sells out or the season closes.
Hunters are encouraged to check the turkey management zone map [PDF] and the bonus harvest authorization availability page to see if harvest authorizations are available for the period and zone in which they wish to hunt.
The scheduled sales dates for the 2019 spring turkey harvest authorizations are:
Bonus turkey harvest authorizations cost $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents. Residents and non-residents will have equal opportunity to purchase bonus harvest authorizations. Purchasing a bonus harvest authorization will not affect preference point status for future turkey drawings. Hunters may purchase bonus harvest authorizations online at GoWild.WI.gov or in person at any license agent.
Youth turkey hunt set for April 13-14
Youth hunters under the age of 16 may hunt during the youth turkey hunt on April 13-14. Youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18. During the youth hunt weekend, hunters under the age of 12 and youth hunters who have not completed a hunter education course may hunt under the Mentored Hunting Program. Special rules and regulations apply.
Each youth hunter must have a valid spring 2019 turkey harvest authorization, license and Wild Turkey Stamp. A current, valid harvest authorization issued for any time period may be used during the youth hunt, but the youth hunter must hunt within the turkey management zone indicated on their harvest authorization. Youth hunters may harvest only one male or bearded turkey during the two-day hunt.
Youth who do not successfully harvest a turkey during the youth hunt may use their unfilled harvest authorization for the time-period and zone for which their authorization was issued. All other spring turkey hunting regulations [PDF] apply.
For more information and the rules and regulations on the spring turkey youth hunt, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "youth hunt."
For more information regarding turkey hunting in Wisconsin, search keyword "turkey."