Purchasing leftover turkey permits through online system confusing, frustrating

(Photo by Tim Eisele)

Some turkey hunters again ran into confusion when purchasing leftover spring turkey hunting permits.

March 19 was the first day that hunters could begin to purchase leftover permits. Along with other turkey enthusiasts, I went online about 10 minutes before sales started at 10 a.m. to line up in the queue.

As soon as sales began, I proceeded through the prompts to get to my customer account. The first thing I noticed was that there was no specialized icon or button for leftover spring permits.

The icon to click on was evidently “buy licenses,” but I purchased my Conservation Patron license a week earlier knowing I needed it to buy an extra permit. With hundreds of hunters waiting to buy a leftover permit, I assumed that the DNR would have tailored the site to include extra turkey permits.

Then when I came to the section where I would purchase my permit, the dates were wrong for the various hunting periods. For instance, the date for Period D, which I wanted, should have been May 9-15, but instead the date for Period D showed as May 10 to 16. The season always begins on a Wednesday and ends on a Tuesday.

This caused confusion, and when I attempted to go back in to try and see if this was correct, I was put in an endless circle.

The DNR confirmed that it had incorrect dates on the leftover turkey permit sales chart, and they corrected it early in the morning. The receipt people received had the correct dates, but the chart on the web site showing the number of permits available was wrong.

In checking with another turkey hunter I knew, also going online at 10 a.m., he responded:  “As I was allowed into the online process to pick my next period the stupid online website would not let me in! I kept entering my patron and date of birth and then afterwards all it would do is bring me back to the license area where I had to re-enter again my patron number and my information.”

In the end, I purchased a leftover permit, and this hunter also purchased his leftover permit, but not after plenty of confusion and frustration.

The DNR should proof read what it posts on its web site well in advance of sales, and use an icon easily identifying leftover turkey permit sales since thousands of hunters purchase the permits each year.

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