Wisconsin Turkey and Bear Application Deadline

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Turkey and bear hunters have until Dec. 10 to apply for a permit for the 2008 Wisconsin spring turkey hunting season and for a kill permit for the 2008 bear hunting season.

2008 spring turkey season

Preliminary permit levels for the spring season are set at 211,425 total permits. This is an increase from 206,130 total permits available for the 2007 spring season. This spring, hunters will continue to enjoy extended spring turkey hunting hours, being allowed to hunt until sunset each day.

The spring turkey season begins April 16 and consists of six, 5-day time periods that end on May 25. Applications postmarked after the Dec. 10 deadline or filled out incorrectly will not be considered for the drawing. There is a $3 permit application fee.

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 10, 2008. 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 2008 Spring Turkey License and 2008 Turkey Stamp approval. Permits remaining after the initial drawing will be for issued for sale over-the-counter. Over-the-counter sales will begin after March 10, 2008 at a date to be specified later.

2008 spring turkey youth hunt April 12-13

The second annual spring turkey youth hunt will be held the weekend prior to the opening Wednesday of the first regular season. The youth hunt will be held on April 12-13. It is open to youth ages 12 through 15 (residents and nonresidents) who possess a hunter education certificate of accomplishment and a spring turkey license, stamp, and a valid permit (carcass tag) for spring 2008. Permits used during the youth hunt can be for any hunting period of the spring 2008 season, but youth hunters are limited to the turkey management zone in which their permit was issued. The bag limit for the two day youth hunt is one male or bearded turkey.

A youth who does not successfully harvest a turkey during the two day youth hunt may use their unfilled permit during the time period and in the zone for which the permit was issued. 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.

Turkey hunter education clinics

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 turkey hunting Web pages 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.

2008 bear harvest applications

The 2008 bear hunting season will run Sept. 3 through Oct. 7. Hunters are reminded that for the 2008 bear season, Subzone A1 has been renamed to Zone D. With this change, Zone A permit holders will no longer be able to cross over into Subzone A1, now Zone D. 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, it currently takes five to nine preference points in order to draw a harvest permit.

The opening week of Wisconsin’s bear hunting season alternates between those hunting bear over bait and those hunting with trailing hounds. Hunting over bait will go first in 2008 in all management zones. Hunters using trailing hounds will have the first week of the season again in 2009.

Information on bear hunting, hunting seasons, and links to online application information can be accessed at bear hunting page of the DNR Web site or at any DNR Service Center or license vendor.

Permits available at license outlets, DNR service centers, on-line or by phone

Hunters can apply for either the 2008 spring turkey permits and 2008 bear harvest permits: over the Internet through the Online Licensing Center; at 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); at all license sales locations; or by calling toll-free 1-877-WI LICENSE (1-877-945-4236).

FOR MORE INFORMATION: on turkey season Sharon Fandel - (608) 261-8458 or Scott Hull (608) 267-7861; on the bear season contact Keith Warnke - (608) 264-6023 or Linda Olver (608) 261-7588