January 25, 2011
MADISON - More than 145,500 permits were recently issued for the spring 2011 Wisconsin wild turkey season through the spring turkey preference drawing. Postcard notifications to successful applicants will be going out in the mail later in the week.
Hunters who do not receive a postcard by mid-February can check on the status of their permit application online through the Department of Natural Resources Online Licensing Center or by calling the DNR Customer Call Center from 7:00 a.m. through 10:00 p.m., seven days a week, at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463).
In total, 225,729 permits are available for the spring 2011 turkey season, the same number as during the 2010 spring season. Of those, 309 permits were available in State Park and Disabled Only Turkey Hunting Zones.
The spring 2011 turkey hunting season will run from April 13 through May 22. The season is divided into six 5-day time periods, each of which runs from Wednesday through Sunday. A total of 7 zones, 15 state parks, and Fort McCoy will be open for hunting. Hunters are reminded that Fort McCoy runs a separate spring turkey hunting season, different from the State of Wisconsin spring turkey hunt. Hunters that do not receive an approval to hunt turkeys through the state drawing in a Wisconsin turkey hunting zone for the 2011 spring season are eligible to apply for a spring permit at Fort McCoy. Applications can be obtained from Fort McCoy by calling (608) 388-3337 or by visiting their website at www.mccoy.army.mil (exit DNR).
Hunters harvested 47,722 turkeys during the 2010 spring season. Final harvest numbers for the 2010 fall season will be published in the 2010 Wisconsin Big Game Hunting Summary in the spring of 2011.
The Spring Turkey Youth Hunt was created in 2007 to provide youth under the age of 16 with an opportunity to hunt turkeys and gain valuable hunting experience by working closely with an experienced mentor before the regular season opens. Youth ages 12-15 who have already completed Hunter Education may hunt during the Youth Hunt while accompanied by an adult aged 18 or older. Thanks to the Mentored Hunting Program that took effect in the fall of 2009, youth hunters aged 10 and 11 may now also participate in the 2011 Youth Turkey Hunt without first having completed Hunter Education as long as they do so with a qualified adult mentor and follow the rules laid out under the laws of the program. Each youth must have a valid spring 2011 turkey harvest permit, license, and Wild Turkey Stamp.
Youth are allowed to hunt on April 9 and 10 in the Turkey Management Zone for which their permit is valid, regardless of the time period for which their permit is issued, and may harvest only one male or bearded turkey during the two-day hunt. Youths who do not successfully harvest a turkey during the two-day Youth Hunt may use their unfilled permit during the time period and in the zone for which the permit was issued. All other spring turkey hunting regulations apply. More information on the Spring Turkey Youth Hunt and the Mentored Hunting Program is available on the DNR website.
Free Turkey Hunter Education Clinics will again be offered this year around the state. These free clinics are presented by volunteer instructors and are sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
Clinics typically last two to three hours and are designed to cover wild turkey biology and behavior, hunting methods, regulations, safety precautions, and landowner / hunter ethics, as well as tips for scoring trophy birds and a few ideas for preparing turkeys at home. The Turkey Hunter Education Clinics are for all ages and experience levels from beginning turkey hunters interested in learning wild turkey hunting techniques to experienced wild turkey hunters looking to brush up on their skills and learn new techniques.
These clinics will be held from late February through late March. Information and a listing of the dates and locations for each clinic will be available soon on the wild turkey page of the DNR website or may be obtained by calling the DNR Customer Call Center from 7 a.m. through 10 p.m., seven days a week, at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463). For the latest additions or changes in the schedule, please refer to the DNR website.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Walter - (608) 267-7861, Krista McGinley - (608) 264-8963 or Sharon Fandel - (608) 261-8458