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November 16, 2010

MADISON - Wild turkey and black bear hunters have until close of business on Dec. 10 to apply for available permits for the 2011 Wisconsin spring turkey hunting season and the 2011 black bear hunting season.

Preliminary permit levels for the spring turkey season are set at 225,420 total permits (not including Ft. McCoy or State Park & Disabled Only Hunting Zones). This is the same number of permits that were available for the 2010 spring season.

Total permits available for the 2011 Black Bear Hunt has not yet been determined. The Natural Resources Board will take up the proposed black bear quotas and harvest permit levels at its January meeting. The preliminary harvest for 2010 is 4,969 black bears, but that number will likely go up once all registration stubs are collected and entered. Hunters registered 4,009 bears in 2009.

Applications for each of these two permit drawings cost $3 and may be purchased at all authorized license agents, through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website, at Wisconsin DNR Service Centers, or by calling toll-free 1-877-LICENSE (1-877-945-4236). Applications postmarked after the December 10th deadline, or filled out incorrectly, will not be considered for the drawings.

Hunters interested in receiving email updates can sign up for the DNR's GovDelivery service. Just go to the DNR's website at and click on the "Subscribe to DNR Updates" link under the Online Services heading. There, you can select your subscription preferences.

Spring 2011 Turkey Season

The 2011 Spring Turkey Season officially begins with the April 9-10 Spring Turkey Youth Hunt. The regular turkey season begins on April 13 and consists of six, 5-day time periods that end on May 22. The drawing for permits will take place in late January or early February. Successful permit applicants can expect to receive a postcard by mid-February. All applicants may also check their drawing status through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website starting in mid-February.

Permit winners may then purchase their required 2011 Spring Turkey License ($15 for Wisconsin residents and $60 for non-residents) and 2011 Wild Turkey Stamp ($5.25). Conservation Patrons and Senior Citizen Recreation Card holders do not need to purchase a turkey license or turkey stamp. The permit (carcass tag) will be printed at the time of purchase.

Permits remaining after the initial drawing for the 2011 spring turkey season will be issued for sale one zone per day on a first-come, first-served basis in late March, at a date to be specified later.

More information is available on the wild turkey page of the DNR website.

Youth Turkey Hunt, April 9-10

The fifth annual spring turkey youth hunt will be held April 9-10, the weekend prior to the opening Wednesday of the first time period of the regular spring turkey season.

Thanks to the new mentored hunting law, the spring turkey youth hunt will be open to youth 10-15 years of age, both residents and non-residents, with or without a Hunter Education Certificate of Accomplishment. There are special rules and regulations for those participating in the Mentored Hunting Program, and interested hunters should carefully review those rules prior to heading out to the field. You can follow the links above to find out more.

A spring turkey license, stamp, and a valid permit (carcass tag) are required to hunt during the Spring Turkey Youth Hunt weekend. All other existing rules and regulations in regard to turkey hunting zones, hours of hunting, bag limits and more apply. See the 2010 Wisconsin Small Game Hunting Regulations pamphlet, which includes the 2011 Spring Turkey Hunting Regulations, for details. Interested participants in the Spring Turkey Youth Hunt should apply for a spring turkey permit by the December 10th deadline. Applications cost $3 and may be purchased at all authorized license agents, through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website, at Wisconsin DNR Service Centers, or by calling toll-free 1-877-LICENSE (1-877-945-4236). Applications postmarked after the December 10th deadline, or filled out incorrectly, will not be considered for the drawing.

Applications for Special Turkey Hunts for Hunters with Disabilities also due Dec. 10

As a reminder to those hunters with disabilities who wish to hunt turkey next spring on private lands, there is an alternate opportunity available using a separate application and authorization form.

Applications to conduct a Spring Wild Turkey Hunt for People with Disabilities on private land must be submitted using DNR Forms 2300-271 and 2300-271A. Forms need to be submitted by Dec. 10 to the local DNR Wildlife Biologist or Department office for the county within which the hunt will take place. Please note that any hunter applicant who applies for a disabled turkey hunt on private lands using the above forms may NOT also apply for a permit through the regular spring turkey hunting drawing. For additional information, please visit the Wild Turkey page on the DNR website.

Free Turkey Hunter Education Clinics Begin in February

Free Turkey Hunter Education Clinics will again be offered throughout the state, occurring February through April. Clinics cover turkey biology and behavior, turkey hunting methods, regulations, safety precautions, and hunter / landowner ethics. Each clinic is taught by a dedicated volunteer instructor or a DNR employee working on his or her own time, eager to share years of turkey hunting knowledge and experience with students. Clinic sites and dates are still being finalized. Information on where clinics will be held will be available on the DNR's wild turkey page of the DNR website in early January, at DNR Service Centers, or by calling (608) 264-8963. Additional clinics may be added after the initial listing. Hunters that do not find a clinic in their area at first should periodically check the webpage or a local DNR Service Center for updates.

Black bear

The 2011 Black Bear Season begins Sept. 7, the first Wednesday after Labor Day, and runs through Oct. 11. The opening week of Wisconsin's bear hunting season alternates -- allowing those who hunt over bait to go first one year and those who hunt with the aid of dogs to go first the next year. In 2011, hunters who use the aid of dogs will go first in those management zones open to hunting bear with dogs; the season for those hunting over bait and or using other methods will open Sept. 14. In Zone C, where hunting with dogs is prohibited, hunters may hunt bear over bait or by other means not using dogs from Sept. 7 through Oct. 11.

Preliminary harvest figures indicate bear hunters harvested 4,969 black bears in Wisconsin during the 2010 bear season. There were 33,930 hunters who submitted applications for the 8,910 Class A bear harvest permits available for the 2010 bear season. A total of 97,467 hunters applied for either a harvest permit or a preference point in 2010.

Applicants currently need to have collected between four and ten preference points in order to successfully draw a bear harvest permit. Hunters can check their preference point status in one of three ways: by visiting the online licensing center, by calling Customer Service & Licensing toll-free at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463), or by contacting a local DNR Service Center.

The bear drawing is held each year in early February. Drawing winners will be notified via U.S. Mail shortly after the drawing. Drawing winners may purchase their 2011 Class A bear license beginning March 9, the start of the 2011 license year.

Total permit availability for the 2011 black bear season has not yet been determined. Proposed quota and permit levels will be taken up by the state Natural Resources Board at its January meeting.

More information is available on the bear hunting page of the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: on spring turkey contact: Krista McGinley, (608) 264-8963; on Bear contact: Linda Olver, (608) 261-7588

Last Revised: Tuesday, November 16, 2010

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