Results available from survey on turkey management plan revision
MADISON –- Results from a recent survey on turkey management in Wisconsin show strong support of current practices, with 80 percent of respondents indicating they believe the current seven turkey management zones provide good hunting opportunity, and over three-quarters of respondents favoring the six separate time periods of the spring hunting season.
“While there’s a lot of information yet to comb through, our initial summary provides unique insight into how hunters view various aspects of Wisconsin’s turkey season framework,” said Krista McGinley, assistant upland wildlife ecologist for the Department of Natural Resources.
The survey showed strong approval of the current permit drawing process for the spring season, but also suggested that it might be time to make some changes to the fall permit drawing process.
“Over half of the survey takers indicated that they’d support the elimination of the fall permit drawing in favor of over-the-counter permit sales,” McGinley said. “We greatly appreciate the time folks took to participate in the public input process. Thanks to this input, we’ll be able to develop a plan that continues to reflect the desires and concerns of our state’s hunters.”
Following their successful reintroduction to Wisconsin in the 1970s, wild turkeys have expanded their range so that they now occupy all counties in the state, and spring and fall turkey hunting have become very popular outdoor activities.
DNR biologists believe the current Wisconsin Wild Turkey Management Plan, written in 1996, is in need of revision in order to remain pertinent to contemporary issues related to turkey management in the state. A critical part of the revision process includes soliciting, gathering, and analyzing input from the public regarding challenges and opportunities in turkey management and hunting in Wisconsin.
During late April and early May of 2012, 11 public input sessions were held around the state, during which attendees were presented with background information and asked to complete a survey that addressed important issues related to the future direction of turkey management. The survey was also available online through the end of May. Information from this survey will help all of the partners involved in managing our state’s turkey flock in developing a plan that protects the turkey resource, but also optimizes recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.
“There’s no question that the DNR and the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation have done a masterful job restoring wild turkeys back to Wisconsin,” says Cory Catlin, president of the federation’s Wisconsin chapter. “This was particularly evident a couple of years ago when our state led the nation in spring harvest. Now that we’ve seen those numbers level off a bit, it’s time to move forward with management changes that improve habitat, hunting opportunities, and the overall health of our sport.”
People can review the survey results by going to dnr.wi.gov and searching for turkey management.
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Friends of Poynette Game Farm to host Learn to Hunt Pheasant programs
POYNETTE, Wis. – The Friends of Poynette Game Farm are hosting Learn to Hunt Pheasant programs this fall as a way to involve youth and family groups in the long-standing tradition of pheasant hunting in Wisconsin.
The friends group will run four free programs at the MacKenzie Environmental Education Center in Poynette this September and December. The programs are focused on youth and novice hunters over 10 years of age.
“The two-day Lean to Hunt programs focus on the basics of pheasant hunting in a fun and relaxing atmosphere,” said Bob Nack, Poynette State Game Farm manager for the Department of Natural Resources.
Nack said adults and family groups are encouraged to attend. Free programs include classroom instruction, dog training demonstrations, trap shooting, tours of the Poynette game farm and a mentored pheasant hunt.
Dates and audiences for the pheasant programs include:
Applications are due August 24, and programs are limited to 20 participants. Overnight lodging is provided at the MacKenzie dormitories. Learn to Hunt application forms and other Friends of Poynette Game Farm information can be found on the Friends of Wisconsin Hunting website (exit DNR), or by calling 608-635-8120. Friends of the Poynette Game Farm can also be found on Facebook. Applications should be mailed to
The friends group supports the mission of the DNR State Game Farm and is dedicated to providing pheasant hunting opportunities and to promoting the strong tradition of upland bird hunting in Wisconsin. More than 50,000 pheasants from the Poynette facility are annually released on more than 70 public hunting grounds annually. These pheasants provide the only pheasant hunting opportunities for the average WI hunter. One of the friends group’s goals is to increase the number of pheasants released on public hunting grounds through public awareness and fund raising.
“We have many fond memories of hunting trips and want new hunters to make memories of their own,” said Vic Connors, FPGF president.
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