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Wisconsin DNR’s FAQ: Spring Turkey Hunting and Zones

Wisconsin DNR

Here is an answer to a recent most frequently asked law enforcement question about spring turkey hunting taken by the DNR Call Center.

The Call Center is staffed daily, 7 a.m. – 10 p.m., and offers bilingual service in Spanish and Hmong. The number is 1-888-936-7463.

Question 1: I have heard that starting this spring (2013), more state parks are supposed to be open to turkey hunting as a result of Act 168 passed by the Legislature and decisions made by the DNR’s Natural Resources Board. In the past, the few parks that were open to turkey hunting had their own special turkey zone number, and a hunter had to apply for and have a permit for that zone to be able to hunt in that park.

In addition, these selected parks were only open for the first 3 of the 6 spring turkey hunting time periods. Will all the newly opened state parks have their own unique zone number? And if so, will a hunter need a unit specific permit to hunt turkeys at any of the state parks open for hunting? Lastly, will the state parks be open for all 6 of the spring turkey hunting time periods?

Answer: The 16 state parks that were open to spring turkey hunting prior to 2013 are still designated as special turkey hunting zones. To hunt in those state parks, a person must have a turkey hunting permit that is issued specifically for that state park zone. All new state parks that will be open beginning in the spring of 2013 for turkey hunting will not have their own special zone number assigned. These parks will be open to hunting by any person who holds a turkey hunting permit for the general turkey hunting zone (zones 1-7) which that particular state park is located within.

Examples: To hunt turkeys in Governor Dodge State Park, as in the past, a person will need a Zone 1A turkey hunting permit which will only be valid for hunting on lands open to hunting within that state park. To hunt turkeys in Pattison State Park in Douglas County, a person will need a Zone 6 turkey hunting permit. With a Zone 6 permit, a person can hunt turkey anywhere in Zone 6 that is open to hunting and where the person has permission to hunt, including areas within Pattison State Park which are designated open to hunting. Maps of open areas within each state park are available on line at:

http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/hunt/index.html

All state parks that will be open to spring turkey hunting will only be open for the first 3 spring turkey season time periods. Permits issued for zone specific state park units, like Governor Dodge, will only be issued for these first 3 time periods, and each permit issued is only valid for the time period specified on the permit. Permits issued for one of the larger general zones (1-7), like a Zone 6 Permit, can only be used in a state park open to hunting with that zone during one of the first 3 time periods and only during the time period specified on the permit. A general Zone 1 permit is not valid for hunting in any state park located in Zone 1 which is identified by its own special turkey zone number, such as Governor Dodge State Park zone 1A. A list of the state parks which have their own special zone designation, as well as a map of the general 7 state turkey management zones can be found in the Small Game and Turkey Hunting regulations pamphlet:

http://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/wm/WM0430.pdf

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