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137,000 permits issued in Wisconsin spring turkey drawing

From Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

-- Turkey permits issued through the spring turkey preference drawing number totals 137,598 for Wisconsin’s spring wild turkey season.

Postcard notifications to successful applicants have been mailed. Hunters who do not receive a postcard by mid-February can check the status of their permit application by calling the Customer Call Center at (888)936-7436 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, or check online.

A total of 234,568 permits are available for the spring season, including left-over permits to be made available through over the counter sales beginning March 19. This is an increase from the 226,249 permits available during the 2011 spring season.

Additional hunting opportunities will be available to turkey hunters this spring, expanding each time period to seven full days; the season runs April 11 through May 22. It is divided into six, 7-day time periods, each running from Wednesday through the following Tuesday.

A total of seven zones, 17 state parks and Fort McCoy will be open for hunting. Hunters are reminded that the Fort McCoy spring turkey hunting season is managed separately from the 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 2012 spring season are eligible to apply for a spring permit at Fort McCoy. Applications can be obtained calling (608)388-3337 or by visiting the Fort McCoy website.

Hunters harvested 40,133 turkeys during the 2011 spring season. Final harvest numbers for the 2011 fall season will be published in the Big Game Hunting Summary in the spring of 2012.

The youth turkey hunt April 7 and 8 expands the mentored hunting program created in 2007 to provide youth under the age of 16 with an opportunity to hunt turkeys by working closely with an experienced mentor before the regular season opens.

Youth are allowed to hunt in the turkey management zone for which their permit is valid, regardless of the time period for which their permit is issued Youth ages 12 to 15 who have already completed hunter education may hunt during the Youth Hunt while accompanied by an adult aged 18 or older.

Youth hunters aged 10 and 11 may now also participate in the 2012 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 2012 turkey harvest permit, license and Wild Turkey Stamp.

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