Contact(s): Mark Witecha, DNR upland wildlife ecologist, 608-267-7861
MADISON - The 2017 spring turkey permit drawing has ended and 135,307 successful applicants will receive spring wild turkey permits.
A total of 240,768 permits have been made available for the spring 2017 turkey season - remaining permits will be available through over-the-counter sales beginning March 20 with zone 1.
Postcard notifications to successful applicants have been mailed. Hunters can also monitor permit status online through GoWild.WI.gov or via the Department of Natural Resources Customer Call Center from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463). Turkey hunters will be able to purchase their turkey permits starting in mid-March once the new license year begins.
Starting in 2017, the spring turkey season will begin on the third Wednesday in April. The season will run from April 19 through May 30, with six seven-day periods running Wednesday through the following Tuesday. A total of seven zones and Fort McCoy will be open for hunting.
Hunters are reminded that spring turkey permits are no longer available in any of the previous state park hunting zones following a 2014 rule change. While these permits have been eliminated, state parks will remain open for spring turkey hunting during select periods, and have been absorbed into surrounding turkey management zones. For example, a hunter wishing to hunt within Governor Dodge State Park, previously Zone 1A, may still do so with a Zone 1 permit. For more information regarding hunting within state parks, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "state park hunting."
Hunters are reminded that the Fort McCoy spring turkey hunting season is managed separately from the State of Wisconsin spring turkey hunt. Hunters who do not receive approval to hunt turkeys through the state drawing in a Wisconsin turkey hunting zone for the 2017 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 visiting www.mccoy.army.mil [EXIT DNR].
Spring turkey hunting regulations can be found within the 2016 Small Game Hunting Regulations, 2016 Fall Turkey Regulations, and 2017 Spring Turkey Regulations [PDF].
The 105,464 leftover permits for the 2017 spring turkey hunting season will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Monday, March 20 at 10 a.m. Leftover permits will be first issued for sale by zone, one zone per day.
The following zones have leftover permits, and scheduled sales dates are as follows:
Hunters are encouraged to check the turkey zone map [PDF] to verify where they would like to hunt and use the department's turkey permit availability page to see if permits are available for the period and zone in which they wish to hunt.
After zone-specific sales, all remaining turkey tags will be made available for purchase Saturday, March 25. Extra turkey tags can be purchased at a rate of one per day until the zone and time period sells out or the season closes.
Leftover turkey permits cost $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents - each will have equal opportunity to purchase over-the-counter permits. All hunters are required to purchase a spring turkey license and 2017 Wild Turkey Stamp, unless they have previously purchased the license and stamp or are a 2017 Conservation Patron License holder. Leftover permit purchases will not affect preference point status for future spring or fall turkey permit drawings.
Hunters with any questions regarding permits should contact the DNR Customer Call Center, open 7 a.m. through 10 p.m., seven days a week, at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463).
Youth hunters ages 12-15 who have completed hunter education may hunt during the youth turkey hunt on April 15 and 16 while accompanied by an adult over the age of 18. In addition, thanks to the Mentored Hunting Program, turkey hunters ages 10 and 11 may also participate in the 2017 youth turkey hunt without first having completed hunter education, as long as they do so with a qualified adult mentor and follow program rules.
Each youth hunter must have a valid spring 2017 turkey harvest permit, license and Wild Turkey Stamp, and may hunt in the Turkey Management Zone for which their permit is valid, regardless of the time period for which their permit is issued. 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 permit during the time period and in the zone for which the permit was issued. All other spring turkey hunting regulations apply.
Each year, thousands of outdoor enthusiasts use Wisconsin's public lands for a variety of activities, ranging from bird watching to hunting. For those interested in exploring all Wisconsin has to offer, the department has a number of tools available to help users find a new favorite spot in the wild.
For more information regarding turkey hunting in Wisconsin, search keyword "turkey."