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Wisconsin Spring Turkey season begins April 18

MADISON – The 2018 spring turkey hunt is almost here and hunters are reminded to check the regulations and other helpful information on the Department of Natural Resources website to make sure they are ready for another year in the woods.

Spring turkey hunting regulations can be found within the 2017 Small Game Hunting Regulations, 2017 Fall Turkey Regulations, and 2018 Spring Turkey Regulations [PDF]. For more general information regarding turkey hunting in Wisconsin, visit the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, and search keyword “turkey.”

Changes with tagging reminder

Turkey tags were updated in 2017 and are now called turkey harvest authorizations. Hunters are no longer required to:

validate their turkey tag;
attach a tag to their turkey; or
keep the tag with the meat.

Hunters are required to carry proof of their turkey license, stamp and harvest authorization while in the field. Valid forms of proof include a printed paper copy, a Go Wild conservation card, a Go Wild authenticated Wisconsin Driver’s License or an original Go Wild digital file on a mobile device.

Harvest registration remains a critical component of wildlife population management and turkey registration is mandatory. Hunters are reminded they must register their turkey by 5 p.m. the day after recovery at gamereg.wi.gov, or by phone at 1-844-426-3734. Hunters will need their harvest authorization number to register their turkey, located on a paper or digital copy of their harvest authorization.

Spring turkey periods run for seven days each

The 2018 spring turkey season will run from April 18 through May 29, with six seven-day periods running Wednesday through the following Tuesday. All seven turkey management zones will be open for hunting.
Youth turkey hunt set for April 14 & 15

Youth under the age of 16 may hunt during the spring turkey youth hunt on April 14 and 15. Hunters under the age of 12 and youth without hunter safety can participate in the youth turkey hunt under the Mentored Hunting Program. Youth must be accompanied by a qualified adult and follow the youth turkey hunting and mentored hunting program rules. Youth hunters must possess a valid spring turkey license, stamp and harvest authorization. A harvest authorization for any time period can be used during the youth hunt weekend, but youth hunters must hunt within the turkey management zone indicated on their harvest authorization.

Wisconsin’s public lands are the perfect place to pursue birds this spring

Each year, thousands of outdoor enthusiasts use Wisconsin’s public lands for a variety of activities, ranging from birdwatching to hunting. For those interested in exploring all Wisconsin has to offer, the department has a number of tools available to help users find a new favorite spot in the wild.

Hunters who would like to pursue turkeys in a state park must hold a harvest authorization for the turkey management zone in which the park is located. Spring turkey hunting is allowed in select state parks during the two-day youth hunt and the first two time periods of the regular season. For more information regarding hunting in state parks, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords “state park hunting.”

The Fort McCoy spring turkey hunting season is managed separately from the State of Wisconsin spring turkey hunt. Hunters who do not receive a harvest authorization through the Wisconsin spring turkey drawing 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.