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August 1 deadline approaches for fall hunting and trapping seasons

Published by Central Office July 18, 2017

Contact(s): Mark Witecha, upland wildlife ecologist, 608-267-7861; Jaqi Christopher, assistant upland wildlife ecologist, 608-261-8458; Shawn Rossler, furbearer ecologist, 608-267-9428; Curtis Twellmann, assistant furbearer ecologist, 608-261-6452

MADISON - Aug. 1 is an important deadline for hunters and trappers who wish to pursue wild turkey, sharp-tailed grouse, bobcat, fisher and otter this fall.

Permit applications for fall hunting can be purchased for $3 ($6 for bobcat applications) online at, at Department of Natural Resources service centers, and at all license agents.

License sales are not available by phone, but live operators at the DNR Call Center are available to answer any questions hunters may have about the permit application process. The call center is available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, at 888-WDNR-INFo (1-888-936-7463).

2017 fall season dates are as follows:

*Fall turkey (Zone 1-5) and fisher seasons may extend to Jan 7, 2018 - visit, keywords "hunting regulations" for updates.

Wild Turkey

For fall 2017, 102,100 wild turkey permits are available to hunters, an 800-permit increase from the 2016 levels. Permit availability was increased by 200 in Zone 5 and by 300 in zones 6 and 7 in order to better meet hunter demand and maintain sustainable levels of harvest. Any fall turkey permits remaining after the initial drawing will be available for purchase beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26. Leftover fall turkey permits will be sold by zone until sold out or the season ends.

The 2017 fall season will run from Sept. 16 through Dec. 31 in zones 1-5, with the possibility of an extension through Jan. 7, 2018, pending legislation. For important updates, be sure to search keywords "hunting regulations."

The fall season in zones 6 and 7 will run from Sept. 16 to Nov. 17. Turkey hunting is allowed on the Friday before the opening of the nine day gun deer season in all zones, and throughout the gun deer season in zones 1-5 only. Hunters may use dogs to hunt wild turkeys throughout Wisconsin during the fall hunting season. The bag limit is one turkey of any age or sex per fall turkey hunting permit (also known as a carcass tag)

Sharp-tailed Grouse

No sharp-tailed grouse permits or applications will be made available for the 2017 season based on current population data. For more information, search keywords "sharp-tail."

Bobcat, Fisher and River Otter

The statewide harvest quota for bobcat has been approved and set at 750 for the 2017-18 season, which mark the fourth year of statewide bobcat harvest. Hunters and trappers successful in receiving a harvest permit for the 2017-18 season will be notified by mid-September.

The statewide fisher quota for 2017 is 985 (the same level as last season), and a combined 3,535 fisher permits are available within the six Fisher Management Zones. A statewide river otter quota has been set at 2,000, with 9,800 permits available for trappers this season.

Quotas and specific permit levels for each bobcat, fisher and river otter zone are available at keyword "trap."

All permit levels for bobcat, fisher, and otter are based on success rates from previous years. Drawings will take place in August, with permits issued in September. Applicants can check their online account in mid-September to see if they've been awarded a permit by visiting

Last Revised: Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Contact information

For more information about news and media, contact:
James Dick
Director of Communications