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MADISON – There were 135,155 successful applicants in the drawing for 2013 Wisconsin spring wild turkey permits through the spring turkey preference drawing. A total of 234,765 permits will be available for the spring 2013 turkey season, and the remaining permits will be available through over-the-counter sales in March.
Postcard notifications to successful applicants should be arriving within the next few weeks. Hunters can also 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 a.m. through 10 p.m., seven days a week, at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463).
Of the permits available for 2013, 345 permits are allocated to State Park and Disabled-only Turkey Hunting Zones.
Due to high historic demand for permits in Zone 2, as well as a healthy turkey flock in this zone reflected in relatively high recent hunter success rates, an additional 1,200 permits were available for the zone compared to 2012 permit levels.
“These additional permits will go a long way toward meeting hunter demand in these zones, and will allow hunters greater access to permits for their desired time period,” said Scott Walter, DNR upland wildlife ecologist.
Hunters harvested 42,433 turkeys during the 2012 spring season. Final harvest numbers for the 2012 fall season will be available this spring.
Spring turkey periods run for seven days
The spring 2013 turkey hunting season will run from April 10 through May 21, with six seven-day periods running Wednesday through the following Tuesday. This is a change from spring turkey seasons prior to 2012, during which the six time periods ran for five days. A total of seven zones and Fort McCoy will be open for hunting. In addition, hunters were able to apply for turkey permits within 17 designated state park units.
New this year is the opportunity to hunt turkeys within many additional state parks, during the first three time periods. Hunters interested in hunting on state park or state trail lands within the zone for which they received a permit should be sure to examine information pertaining to specific season dates and open areas for that property.
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 an approval to hunt turkeys through the state drawing in a Wisconsin turkey hunting zone for the 2013 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.
Leftover spring turkey permits go on sale March 18
The 99,612 remaining permits for the 2013 spring turkey hunting season will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis starting Monday, March 18 at 10 a.m. Leftover permits will be first issued for sale by zone, one zone per day, with each zone having a designated sales date.
Hunters should check the turkey zone map (PDF) to verify where they want to hunt and then check the turkey permit availability page to see if permits are available for the period and zone in which they wish to hunt.
The following zones have leftover permits, and the scheduled sales dates are as follows:
• Zone 1 – Monday, March 18
• Zone 2 – Tuesday, March 19
• Zone 3 – Wednesday, March 20
• Zone 4 – Thursday, March 21
• Zones 5, 6 & 7 – Friday, March 22 (due to the low number of permits left in these units, sales have been combined into one day)
There are no leftover permits for time periods A or B in the regular turkey management zones listed above. After the zone-only sales days, all remaining turkey tags will then be available for purchase Saturday, March 23. Extra turkey tags can be purchased at a rate of one per day until the zone and time period sells out, or the season ends.
A limited number of disabled-only turkey permits for state park areas is available among the leftover permits. Disabled hunters who have been issued either a Class A or Class C Disabled Hunter Permit should visit a DNR Service Center or call the DNR Customer Call Center at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463) beginning on March 18 after 10 a.m. to purchase one of these permits.
The fee for leftover turkey permits is $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents. All hunters will also be required to purchase a spring turkey license and 2013 Wild Turkey Stamp, unless they have previously purchased the license and stamp or are a 2013 Conservation Patron License holder. Residents and non-residents will have equal opportunity to purchase over-the-counter permits. Purchasing these permits will not affect preference point status for future spring or fall turkey permit drawings.
Leftover permits can be purchased through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website, at all authorized license agents, at DNR Service Centers (Hours for service centers vary; check the DNR website for service center days and hours of operation; DNR Service Centers are not open on Saturdays), or by calling toll-free 1-877-LICENSE (1-877-945-4236). Hunters should have their DNR customer ID number ready. Hunters with any questions about when or how to buy permits may call 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).
Youth turkey hunt set for April 6 and 7
Youth ages 12-15 who have already completed hunter education may hunt during the youth hunt on April 6 and 7 while accompanied by an adult aged 18 or older. In addition, 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 2013 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 2013 turkey harvest permit, license, and Wild Turkey Stamp. They may hunt 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.
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.