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MADISON – Though summer has just begun, a key deadline of August 1 is approaching for those interested in getting permits for many hunting and trapping seasons this fall.
Those planning to participate in the fall turkey, Canada geese (Horicon Zone), bobcat, fisher, otter or wolf seasons must have their permit applications in by midnight, Aug. 1. Permit applications can be purchased from authorized license agents, over the Internet through the Department of Natural Resources Online Licensing Center or by phone toll free at 1-877-945-4236.
The costs to apply vary by permit type and can be found at the DNR’s resident hunting, fishing and recreational license web page, or by visiting dnr.wi.gov and searching keyword “license.”
There will be 96,700 wild turkey permits available to hunters for the fall 2013 turkey hunting season, the same number of permits as offered in 2012. Any fall turkey permits remaining after the initial drawing will go on sale beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24. Leftover fall turkey permits will be sold by zone until sold out or the season ends. Hunters who receive a fall turkey permit in Zones 1-5 will be able to fill their unused permits during the extended season in the zone for which they were issued. Season dates are:
• Sept. 14 through Nov. 21 for all seven of Wisconsin’s turkey management zones. In addition, an extended fall turkey season for Zones 1 through 5 will run from Dec. 2 to Dec. 31.
Canada geese, Horicon Zone
The Natural Resources Board will set waterfowl season dates at its Aug. 14 meeting. They are tentatively set to run Sept 1 through Oct. 27 for Period 1, and Oct. 28 through Dec. 16 for Period 2. Hunters are expected to receive 6 carcass tags.
• Season dates for waterfowl vary annually and will not be available until the Natural Resources Board acts in August.
Bobcat, fisher and otter
The approved quotas for bobcat, fisher and otter will be the same or slightly increase from last year, depending on the species and zone. Final permit numbers will be known in August and the drawings for all three species will take place in late August or early September. Season dates are:
• Bobcat hunting and trapping (north of Hwy 64 only): Period 1 Oct. 19 through Dec. 25; Period 2 Dec. 26, 2013 through Jan. 31, 2014;
• Fisher (trapping only): Oct. 19 through Dec. 31; and
• Otter (trapping only): North Zone Nov. 2, 2013 through April 30, 2014; Central & South zones Nov. 2, 2013 through March 31, 2014.
The season quota is set at 275, though the amount of wolves harvestable by state trappers and hunters may be adjusted, depending on state response to tribal declarations. The department will maintain the 10-to-1 license-to-quota ratio from the 2013 season. One half of available permits will be issued randomly among all permit applications and the second half will be issued through a cumulative preference point drawing. Successful applicants will be notified by letter, likely in mid to late September. Applicants who are not successful in the drawing will be awarded a preference point toward future drawings.
• Season starts Oct. 15 and will run in each of six zones until the zone is closed by the DNR or the last day of February, whichever occurs first. The department has the authority to close hunting zones when quotas are met or earlier if deemed biologically necessary.
Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing season
Sturgeon spearers have until Aug. 1 to apply for a 2014 Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing lottery tag. Participation in the Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing season on Lakes Butte des Morts, Winneconne and Poygan, is controlled through a lottery. Those people selected in the lottery will be notified by Oct. 1 that they are authorized to buy a license to participate in the Upriver season and must buy that tag by Oct. 31, 2013. Spearers who apply for but are not authorized to purchase an Upriver Lakes license receive a preference point toward the following lottery, and they can still purchase a license to participate in the Lake Winnebago spearing season that runs at the same time.