Those interested in hunting wild turkeys in Wisconsin will need to act quickly to enter the annual lottery for permits. The deadline is Dec. 10 to submit your choices. Fortunately, you can do it online by visiting the website of the Wisconsin DNR.
I have been participating in the Wisconsin spring turkey season for the last four years, and have been fortunate enough to get a bird three times (my sons also have taken three birds in that time span). Last year was the exception. Conditions were tough and I didn’t have a lot of time to spend in the woods, as I was getting ready for my oldest son’s graduation from high school.
I’ll be facing a similar time crunch this spring, with my No. 2 son graduating. But, when conditions are right, I can get it done in a day or two. It helps that the properties I hunt have good bird populations, and that I have learned some good techniques for late-season turkey hunting (more on that later).
Actually, I have had to learn how to hunt late season because that’s the only time I can get a license in Wisconsin. The state’s lottery gives top priority to residents, which means nonresidents only get picked after all of the residents have been awarded permits. So, with the earlier seasons being the most popular, that leaves only late seasons for us out-of-staters.
It can be frustrating, but I have chosen to adapt. Yes, it’s tough trying for birds that have been hunted for several weeks before I get a crack at them. And, yes, there are fewer birds available because some have been shot by then. Still, I have experienced good hunting in May, and look forward to it again this year. I have no complaints at all about the Wisconsin system. In fact, I applaud the state for keeping its nonresident license fees reasonsable — $80.
This is unlike states like Iowa and Missouri, both of which charge $175 or more for a turkey license. That’s too much for me. So, I’ll stick to Minnesota and Wisconsin. The good news in Wisconsin is, if you are open to hunting later in the spring, you are guaranteed to get picked.
And, that’s good news for hunters like me!