2012 Wisconsin Spring Turkey, Black Bear Permit Application Deadline Dec. 10

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Wild turkey and black bear hunters have until close of business on Dec. 10 to apply for available permits for the 2012 Wisconsin spring turkey hunting season and the 2012 black bear hunting season.

Preliminary permit levels for the spring turkey season are set at 225,420 total permits (not including Fort McCoy or State Park & Disabled-only Hunting Zones). This is the same number of permits available to hunters during the 2011 spring season. Final permit levels are not set until after the close of the fall turkey season but will likely not differ significantly from preliminary permit levels.

Total permits available for the 2012 black bear hunt has not yet been determined. The Natural Resources Board will take up the proposed black bear quotas and harvest permit levels at its January 2012 meeting.

Applications for each of these two permit drawings cost $3 and may be purchased through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website, at all authorized license agents, at DNR Service Centers (Hours for service centers vary; check the DNR website for service center days and hours of operation; DNR Service Centers are not open on Saturdays), or by calling toll-free 1-877-LICENSE (1-877-945-4236). Applications postmarked after the December 10th deadline, or those which have been filled out incorrectly, will not be considered for the drawings.

Hunters interested in receiving email updates can sign up for the DNR’s GovDelivery service through the “Subscribe to DNR Updates” link on the DNR website. There, you can select your subscription preferences.

Spring 2012 turkey hunting periods extended to seven days

The 2012 spring turkey season officially begins with the April 7-8 Spring Turkey Youth Hunt. The regular turkey season begins on the following Wednesday, April 11. New in 2012, the spring season will consist of six 7-day time periods, ending on May 22. Previously the season was six 5-day periods. The drawing for permits will take place in late January or early February. Successful permit applicants can expect to receive a postcard by mid-February. All applicants may also check their drawing status online through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website starting in mid-February.

With the start of the 2012 license year on March 7, 2012, permit winners may then purchase their required 2012 Spring Turkey License ($15 for Wisconsin residents and $60 for non-residents) and 2012 Wild Turkey Stamp ($5.25). The permit (also known as a carcass tag) will be printed at the time of purchase. Conservation Patrons and Senior Citizen Recreation Card holders do not need to purchase a turkey license or stamp when they go to pick up their permit.

Permits remaining after the initial drawing for the 2012 spring turkey season will be available for purchase in late March, at a date to be specified later.

All turkey hunters are reminded that in-person turkey registration stations are no longer available in Wisconsin. Turkeys can be registered either via telephone at 1-888-HUNT-WIS or online through the Wild Turkey Hunting in Wisconsin page of the DNR website. These registration systems were in implemented with the Fall 2011 turkey season, and offer hunters a more convenient method of registering their turkey.

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

Applications for people who want to conduct or participate in a spring wild turkey hunt for people with disabilities on private land must also be submitted by Dec. 10 to the local DNR wildlife biologist or department office for the county within which the hunt will take place. Please note that 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 drawing.

Black bear

The 2012 black bear season begins Sept. 5, the first Wednesday after Labor Day, and runs through Oct. 9. The opening week of Wisconsin’s bear hunting season alternates – allowing those who hunt over bait to go first one year and those who hunt with the aid of dogs to go first the next year. In 2012, hunters who hunt over bait will go first in all management zones; the season for those hunting with the aid of dogs or using other methods will open Sept. 12 in zones that allow hunting with the aid of dogs (A,B, and D). In Zone C, where hunting with dogs is prohibited, hunters may hunt bear over bait or by other means not using dogs from September 5th through Oct. 9.

There were 27,793 hunters who submitted applications for the 9,005 Class A bear harvest permits available for the 2011 bear season. A total of 103,853 hunters applied for either a harvest permit or a preference point in 2011.

Applicants currently need to have collected between four and nine preference points in order to successfully draw a bear harvest permit. Hunters can check their preference point status in one of three ways: by visiting the Online Licensing Center, by calling Customer Service & Licensing toll-free at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463), or by contacting a local DNR Service Center.

The bear drawing is held each year in early February. Drawing winners will be notified via U.S. Mail shortly after the drawing. Drawing winners may purchase their 2012 Class A bear license beginning March 7, the start of the 2012 license year.

Total permit availability for the 2012 black bear season has not yet been determined. Proposed quota and permit levels will be taken up by the State Natural Resources Board at its January 2012 meeting.

More information on black bear hunting is available on the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: on spring turkey hunting contact Scott Walter, Upland Wildlife Ecologist - (608) 267-7861 or Sharon Fandel, Assistant Upland Wildlife Ecologist - (608) 261-8456; on black bear hunting contact: Linda Olver, Assistant Big Game Specialist - (608) 261-7588


Ca_Vermonster's picture

Sounds like a good chance for

Sounds like a good chance for hunters in Wisconsin to get in some spring time hunting.  There have been some whopper bears taken in Wisconsin over the last few years.  Lots of them up there, and as I said, a great chance to do some hunting in the spring, which is usually a down time for hunters.  That, along with the turkey, provides for some fun.

I have friends in the Madison area, and the last time I was up there, the turkeys seemed to be thick as fleas.  Lots and lots of them, all around the roads and fields out there.  Of course, I was there at the perfect time, in the spring, to see the birds out there moving around.  Saw some groups as large as 30 or so turkeys.

Have never seen any bears up there though.  But, not a surprise, since they seem to be more reclusive.  I have hunted all my life in Maine and Vermont, 2 very good bear states, and never seen a bear.  At any rate, should be a good season for Wisconsin hunters!  Hoping to see another 600+ pounder.

Retired2hunt's picture

  It appears another good


It appears another good opportunity for the Wisconsin turkey hunters with the same amount of permits offered this season compared to same season last year.  It is good to see that the first two days are earmarked for the youth hunters.  That definitely provides a first opportunity and a less pressured opportunity for them to succeed.  The additional two days for each of the hunting season weeks for turkey is also a great addition as it allows more hunters to participate on days that were not normally available.  Kudos to Wisconsin for that change - a very positive one.  As for bear hunting I have not heard or read a lot about the hunting within the state and the stats behind it... so I looked it up.  Wisconsin harvested more than 5000 bears in the 2010 season from 8900 permits so a pretty darn good success rate as well as total numbers harvested.  Compared to Pennsylvania where I thought was a better state - they harvested only a little over 3000 this year and their best year was a little over 4000.  So instead of PA it may be Wisconsin.  More research is needed.  Good article and wish all hunters success - especially the youth!


hunter25's picture

I'm glad to see this reminder

I'm glad to see this reminder printed up here as I have been planning to start the long process of gettting a tag in Wisconsin and possibly MIchigan or Minnesota as well. I know it could take nearly ten years to get one but the application fee is almost nothing so it will be easy to absorba s long as I remember to apply every year. All the applications do get tiring sometimes and I start to get them mixed up as far as what and when I need to do things. I was surprised that Wisconsin didn't have more tgas though from all the reports latel of how many bears they have up there.

Good luck with the draw whether it's your first time in or shoul actually get the tag this year.