From the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
-- Wisconsin hunters registered 47,539 turkeys during the 2010 spring turkey season, a 9.6 percent decrease from the 2009 harvest of 52,581 birds.
Zone 1 produced the highest overall turkey harvest at 15,120 birds, followed by Zone 3 with 10,953 turkeys. The best hunter success rate appears to be in Zone 2 with a preliminary success rate of 28.5 percent, followed by Zone 4 at 22.4 percent success.
A total of 217,444 permits were issued for the spring hunt, according to licensing officials. This was a decrease of 689 permits compared to the 2009 spring hunt.
“Despite a slight decline in harvest totals from 2008 and 2009, Wisconsin’s statewide turkey population remains stable and resilient. The wet spring in 2008 and the cool summer in 2009 meant below-average brood production for turkeys during the past two years. When combined with more normal winter conditions, the slight decrease in the number of turkeys harvested was expected,” said Sharon Fandel, acting upland wildlife ecologist for the state Department of Natural Resources.
Hunter success rates also fell slightly to 22 percent in 2010 versus 24 percent in 2009, but were still quite good. As in past years, success rates were generally highest during the early and middle hunting periods.
“Hunters recorded a 31 percent success rate during the first period,” says Krista McGinley, DNR assistant upland wildlife ecologist. “Success was 23 percent and 21 percent for the second and third periods, respectively. A decrease over the periods is expected but is still telling of good hunting conditions.”
The preliminary results show that adult toms comprised 80.7 percent of the total harvest, which is higher than the long-term average of 74 percent but less than the 86 percent recorded last year. An increased proportion of adults in the harvest can be a sign of lower brood success from the previous year, although hunter selection can also play a role.
2010 Fall and 2011 spring seasons
The 2010 Fall Turkey and 2011 Spring Turkey Regulations are included in the 2010 Small Game Regulations pamphlet available on the hunting regulation page of the DNR website and in hard copy at license vendors. More information is available on the wild turkey page of the DNR website at http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/wildlife/hunt/turkey/
The Fall 2010 Wild Turkey Season will run from Sept. 18 through Nov. 18, with an extended season running from Nov. 29 through Dec. 31 for Zones 1-5 only. Hunters should check the DNR Wild Turkey webpage for updates.
The deadline for applying for a fall permit through the lottery process is August 2. Applications cost $3 and can be purchased over the internet through the Online Licensing Center, at license sales locations or by calling toll free (877) 945-4263).
For more information about Wisconsin’s turkey seasons contact Sharon Fandel, acting upland wildlife Ecologist at (608) 261-8458,or Krista McGinley, assistant upland wildlife ecologist at (608) 264-8963.