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April 22, 2014

Hunters have many options for locating, accessing public hunting lands

MADISON - Though the 2014 spring turkey season is officially underway in Wisconsin, there are still tags available and a number of public hunting lands to enable you to give the season a try.

"With such a large number of public hunting lands available and almost 38,000 leftover turkey tags left for the spring season, 2014 is an excellent year for first-timers and seasoned veterans alike to head out and turkey hunt," said Scott Walter, Department of Natural Resources upland wildlife ecologist. Hunters can find more information about leftover turkey tags on the leftover permit availability page of the DNR website.

There are a few great resources available for those looking for public hunting lands during the turkey season. Through DNR's "explore outdoors" feature, interested hunters can search for state hunting lands in their area.

The Public Access Lands atlas is another great tool available to help find public hunting grounds and public access lands in Wisconsin. The atlas highlights the public access to state lands made possible through the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. The atlas contains 441 maps, two indexes, a glossary, and extensive contact information to help you connect with land managers to learn more about each property.

For those interested in making their land available for public access, the Voluntary Public Access program and Turkey Hunting Access Program provide opportunities to increase our state's already robust number of public hunting lands.

The Voluntary Public Access program provides financial incentives to private landowners who open their property to public hunting, fishing, trapping, and wildlife observation. Annual VAP lease rates are determined by land type and agreements are up to six years in length.

The Turkey Hunting Access Program is a pilot program that provides financial incentives to private landowners who allow access on their property to turkey hunters. Spring turkey hunting and scouting are the only activities allowed on THAP properties - lands are open from March 1 - May 29.

More information about turkey hunting and turkey tag availability in Wisconsin is available by searching the DNR website for keywords "turkey." For information regarding public access lands, search keywords "VPA" or "THAP." To purchase the Public Access Lands atlas or view its online version, search keyword "PAL."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Walter, DNR upland wildlife ecologist, 608-267-7861; Justin Blindert, VPA & THAP coordinator, 262-224-9884

Last Revised: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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