The 2016 spring turkey permit drawing has ended, and 131,402 successful applicants will receive spring wild turkey permits. A total of 240,768 permits have been made available for the spring 2016 turkey season.
Postcard notifications have been mailed to successful applicants — hunters can also monitor permit status online through the Department of Natural Resources Online Licensing Center or via the DNR Customer Call Center from 7 a.m.-10 p.m., seven days a week, at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463).
Leftover spring turkey permits go on sale starting March 21 with Zone 1.
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.
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 - Thursday, March 24; and
· Zones 5, 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. 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.'
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 2016 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.
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.
A limited number of Turkey Hunter Education Clinics are being offered this spring in southeastern Wisconsin. For more information, search keywords 'turkey clinics.'