Wisconsin Marks 40 Years Turkey Hunting
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages hunters to share their turkey hunting experience with friends and family by bringing someone new along during this 40th spring turkey hunting season.
Turkey hunting is a unique opportunity to experience the results of a truly successful conservation effort. Collaboration between states, organizations and individuals led to the successful reintroduction and conservation of wild turkey populations and habitat in Wisconsin. The result was Wisconsin’s first modern turkey hunting season in the spring of 1983.
Today, research shows turkeys are abundant in Wisconsin, and populations have stabilized statewide after decades of growth and expansion. Due to strong turkey populations, Wisconsin’s spring season now has six seven-day turkey hunting periods starting on April 19 and ending on May 30. While early-season harvest authorizations are awarded through a drawing, late-season authorizations are typically available for purchase over the counter in some zones until the end of the season.
Hunting in Wisconsin provides a meaningful connection to wildlife and the outdoors. Many hunters enjoy the fact that it connects them directly to a food source. Spending a day in the woods during the season provides an excellent opportunity to view Wisconsin’s wildlife and understand and appreciate the hunters’ passion for pursuing the wild turkey. Taking a friend or family member along on your hunt, even if just to watch the process, is a great way to help get a new hunter interested in the sport.
“You can hunt turkeys alone, but it’s fun to team up with a partner or small group of friends,” said Emily Iehl, DNR Hunting and Shooting Sports Program Specialist. “Hearing turkeys respond to your call and close the distance between you makes it very interactive. It’s common for a friend to call in a turkey for a hunter and share in the excitement.”
Knowing turkey hunting techniques, season dates, regulations and safety standards can help foster safe practices while enjoying Wisconsin’s wild places this spring.
The DNR offers a variety of pathways to help introduce people to turkey hunting. Prospective hunters can participate in a Learn to Hunt program led by a qualified mentor. Additionally, the DNR’s Mentored Hunting program allows novices of any age to hunt within arm’s reach of a licensed hunter over 18.
New hunters not participating as part of the DNR’s Mentored Hunting program will need to complete a Hunter Safety Education class before heading to the field alone.
Whether taking someone with you or giving it a try this season for the first time alone, the DNR has a variety of resources to help make it easier.
- Read about turkey hunting season dates, regulations and more at the DNR’s Turkey Hunting and Management webpage.
- Check out the Turkey Hunting Access program and other lands open to public hunting.
- See what licenses are required for turkey hunting.
- Find out what remaining turkey harvest authorizations may be available for the late 2023 spring turkey seasons.