With temperatures rising and excitement for spring building, Wisconsin turkey hunters are reminded that leftover spring turkey permits go on sale beginning March 21.
The 109,367 leftover permits for the 2016 spring turkey hunting season will be first issued for sale by zone, one zone per day. Each zone will have a designated sales date and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. 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.
“With the early spring weather Wisconsin is experiencing, hunters can expect good turkey numbers heading into the spring season,” said Krista Pham, DNR assistant upland wildlife ecologist. “I encourage hunters to take advantage of the leftover permits to spend some extra quality time out in the woods, and to enjoy a safe and responsible hunt.”
Scheduled sales dates for zones have leftover permits, and are as follows:
Zone 1 -Monday, March 21;
Zone 2 -Tuesday, March 22;
Zone 3 -Wednesday, March 23;
Zone 4 (Lincoln County west of the Wisconsin River) -Thursday, March 24; and
Zones 5 (Lincoln County east of the Wisconsin River),6 and 7 – Friday, March 25 (due to the low number of permits left in these units, sales have been combined into one day).
After zone-only sales days, all remaining turkey tags will be made available for purchase Saturday, March 26.
Hunters are encouraged to check the turkey zone map 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.
Leftover turkey permits will cost $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents – each will have equal opportunity to purchase over-the-counter permits. All hunters will be required to purchase a spring turkey license and 2016 Wild Turkey Stamp, unless they have previously purchased the license and stamp or are a 2016 Conservation Patron License holder. Leftover permit purchases will not affect preference point status for future spring or fall turkey permit drawings.
This year’s over-the-counter spring turkey permit sales will be one of the first opportunities for hunters to “Go Wild.” This new system allows customers to purchase licenses and renew recreational vehicles all in one stop.
Leftover spring turkey permits can be purchased through the Online Licensing Center, license agents and DNR Service Centers. Please note that telephone sales are no longer available.
Hunters with any questions regarding permits can 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). For more information regarding Go Wild, visit gowild.wi.gov.
Spring turkey periods run for seven days
In 2016, the spring turkey season will run from April 13 through May 24, 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 the first three time periods only, 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.”
Youth turkey hunt set for April 9-10
Youth ages 12-15 who have completed hunter education may hunt during the youth hunt on April 9 and 10 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 2016 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 2016 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.