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July 20, 2010

MADISON - August 2 is an important harvest permit application deadline for hunters, trappers and sturgeon spearers. Applications are due for the fall turkey, Horicon and Collins zones Canada goose, sharp tailed grouse, bobcat, fisher, otter and Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing seasons. After Aug 2, any remaining fall turkey permits will go on sale beginning at noon Aug 28. Leftover fall turkey permits can be purchased at a rate of one per day until zones are sold out.

Season dates:

"It's easy to apply for these permits through any license vendor or through the DNR Online Licensing Center," said Dave Argall, DNR permit sales coordinator. "Our DNR Information line staff can also help answer any questions folks may have about the permit application process."

The line is staffed by live operators 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week at 888-936-7463 (888-WDNR-INFo).

Sharptailed Grouse

For 2010, 330 sharp-tailed grouse hunting permits are available. This is a decrease from 2009 when 635 permits were available. The reduction in permits is the result of a combination of continued habitat loss or conversion, increasingly isolated populations, and cyclical grouse population dynamics, according to wildlife biologists.

"While on some properties there was either no change or a slight increase in observations of sharp-tailed grouse, survey numbers as a whole were down from 2009," said Sharon Fandel, DNR's acting upland wildlife ecologist.

Sharp-tailed grouse management units use the same boundaries and designations as deer management units (DMUs). In 2010, only two units will have permits available. DMU 2 will have 295 permits DMU 8 will have 35.

"Although there were a few more birds observed this spring in some areas, some of our traditional sharp-tailed grouse dancing grounds have become less stable in comparison to recent years, warranting a conservative approach in our harvest framework," said Krista McGinley, assistant upland wildlife ecologist.

"Because sharp-tailed grouse numbers are generally low, it's a challenge to locate these birds," said McGinley. "Anticipating and allowing yourself to enjoy the experience of the hunt is encouraged and likely more realistic than the prospect of finding and harvesting a sharp-tail."

Hunters are reminded to carefully review the zone map and apply only for units that are open. Applying for closed units will result in an invalid application.

Fall Turkey

There will be 95,700 wild turkey permits available to hunters for the Fall 2010 turkey hunting season, the same number that was available during the 2009 fall season.

The 2010 fall season runs from September 18th through Nov. 18 for all seven of Wisconsin's turkey management zones (pdf; 243 kb). The extended season for Zones 1-5 ONLY will run from Nov. 29 through Dec. 31. Hunters who receive a fall turkey permit in Zones 1-5 can use those permits during the extended season in the zone for which they were issued. The bag limit is one turkey of any age or sex per fall turkey hunting permit (also known as a carcass tag). Hunters must bring their tagged turkey to a designated registration station no later than 5 p.m. the day after it is harvested.

What's new for Fall 2010?

Upriver sturgeon season

An annual lottery for permits to spear sturgeon on the Upriver Lakes began in 2007. Spearers need to apply for an Upriver Lakes sturgeon lottery tag by August 2 and are notified no later than October 1 if they were successful in receiving authorization to purchase an Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing license.

Group lottery applications of up to four persons are also accepted. Group applications must be submitted through the DNR Online Licensing Center. Spearers who applied for but not authorized to purchase an Upriver Lakes license receive a preference point, and can still purchase a license for Lake Winnebago, but must do so by the Oct. 31 license sales deadline (spearers can only buy one tag or the other, not both). Sales for both Lake Winnebago and Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing licenses end Oct. 31. The Upriver Lakes sturgeon lottery fishery limits participation to 500 tags in 2011 and will have a small sub-allocation of the overall sturgeon harvest cap.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Dave Argall - license sales (608) 267-7699; Krista McGinley - grouse and turkey (608) 264-8963

Last Revised: Tuesday, July 20, 2010

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