2009 Bear and Spring Turkey Application Deadline Dec. 10

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2009 Bear and Spring Turkey Application Deadline Dec. 10MADISON — Hunters are reminded they have until Dec. 10 to apply for a permit for the 2009 Wisconsin spring turkey hunting season or for the 2009 Wisconsin black bear hunting season.

Applications and the required $3 permit application fee may be can be purchased: over the Internet through the Online Licensing Center; by calling toll-free 1-877-WI LICENSE (1-877-945-4236); at license sales locations; or DNR service centers during their regular business hours (check service center link for hours of operation, which vary by service center; service centers are closed Saturdays).

221,034 permits available for 2009 spring turkey season

Preliminary permit levels for the spring turkey season are set at 221,034 permits, an increase from 211,425 total permits available for the 2008 spring season.

Wisconsin Wild Turkey Hunting Zones Map - Click Map To View Large MapHunters are reminded that as of the fall 2008 season, turkey management zones (pdf; 452kb) in Wisconsin were consolidated into seven large zones instead of the previous 46 zones. There is still the same amount of total turkey hunting area. Each of the new zones combine a number of the smaller zones to give hunters more flexibility to move about in search of wild turkeys. Zone maps are available on the Department of Natural Resources Web site and at DNR Service Centers.

The 2009 spring turkey season begins April 15 and consists of six, 5-day periods (Wednesday through Sunday) that end on May 24. Applications postmarked after the Dec. 10 deadline or filled out incorrectly will not be considered for the drawing.

Successful spring permit winners can expect to receive a postcard by early February notifying them of the zone and time period they have drawn. Permit winners must then obtain their permit from any license vendor beginning March 4, 2009. A tie-on carcass tag will be printed at this time. Except for Conservation Patron or Senior Citizen Recreation Card holders, all applicants successful in drawing a permit must also purchase 2009 Spring Turkey License and 2009 Turkey Stamp approval. Permits remaining after the initial drawing will be issued for sale one zone per day on a fist-come first-served basis. Leftover permit sales will begin after March 4, 2009 at a date to be announced later.

Youth turkey hunt April 11-12

The third annual spring turkey youth hunt will be held April 11-12, the weekend prior to the opening Wednesday of the first regular season. The hunt is open to youths 12 through 15 years of age (residents and nonresidents) who possess a hunter education certificate of accomplishment and a spring turkey license, stamp, and a valid permit (carcass tag) for the 2009 spring turkey hunting season. Permits used during the youth hunt can be for any hunting period of the spring 2009 season, but youth hunters are restricted to the turkey management zone for which the permit was issued.

For example, a youth hunter with a valid permit for Zone 1, Time Period B may use that tag during the special two day youth turkey hunt only in Zone 1. If unsuccessful during the two day youth hunt, the youth may use the unfilled permit during the time period and in the zone for which it was issued (e.g., Zone 1, period B). A permit that was used to tag a turkey during the two day youth hunt may not be reused to harvest an additional turkey during the time period for which the permit is valid. Youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older during the two-day youth hunt. The bag limit for the two-day youth hunt is one male or bearded turkey. For additional details, please refer to the Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Regulations.

Applications for special turkey hunts for hunters with disabilities also due Dec. 10

As a reminder to those hunters with disabilities who wish to turkey hunt next spring on private lands, there is an alternate opportunity available using a separate application and authorization form. Applications to conduct a Spring Wild Turkey Hunt for People with Disabilities on private land need to be submitted on DNR Form 2300-271 and 2300-271A. Forms need to be submitted by Dec. 10 to the local DNR wildlife biologist or department office for the county within which the hunt will take place. Any hunter applicant who applies for a disabled turkey hunt on private lands using the above forms may NOT also apply for a permit through the regular spring turkey hunting drawing. For additional information, please visit the DNR’s Wild Turkey Web site.

Free turkey hunter education clinics begin in February

Free turkey hunter education clinics will again be offered statewide, occurring February through April. Clinics cover turkey biology and behavior, turkey hunting methods, regulations, safety precautions, and hunter/landowner ethics. Clinic sites and dates are still being finalized. Information on where clinics will be held will be available on the DNR’s Wild Turkey Web site in early January, at DNR service centers , or by calling (608) 261-8458. Additional clinics may be added after the initial listing. Hunters that initially do not find a clinic in their area should periodically check the Internet or at a DNR Service Center for updates.

Black bear permits to increase 50 percent for 2009 season

Wisconsin Black Bear HuntingBased on the results of a two-year cooperative study of the black bear population in Wisconsin that found the population is likely more than two times larger than previously thought, the DNR bear committee has decided to substantially increase the number of permits available for the 2009 season.

The DNR-funded mark-recapture study, conducted by the University of Wisconsin – Madison Department of Wildlife Ecology, estimates the black bear population in Wisconsin is actually closer to 26,000 animals, nearly double previous estimates that were based on observations.

Based on this information the bear committee has recommended a total of 6,950 permits for the 2009 season, an increase of 50 percent over the number available in 2008. Permit levels proposed, by the committee include: Zone A: 2,585, Zone B: 1,100, Zone C: 2,040, and Zone D:1,230.

The 2009 bear hunting season begins Sept. 9, the first Wednesday after Labor Day, and runs through Oct. 13. Hunters who hunt with the aid of dogs will go first next year in those management zones open to hunting bear with dogs. The opening week of Wisconsin’s bear hunting season alternates to allow those who hunt over bait to go first one year and those who hunt with aid of dogs to go first the next year.

Preliminary harvest figures indicate hunters harvested just over 2,900 black bears in Wisconsin during the 2008 bear hunting season. There were 34,529 hunters who submitted applications for 4,660 available Class A Bear Harvest permits in 2008. A total of 81,453 hunters applied for either a harvest permit or a preference point. Hunters who apply for but do not receive a Class A harvest permit will receive a preference point for the next year’s drawing.

Depending on the zone applied for, currently takes 4 to 10 preference points in order to draw a harvest permit.

Information on bear hunting, hunting seasons, and links to online application information can be accessed on the bear hunting page of the DNR Web site, at any DNR Service Center or license vendor, or by calling 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463).

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT TURKEY PERMITS CONTACT: Sharon Fandel – (608) 261-8458 or Scott Hull (608) 267-7861