August 1 application deadline approaches for many Wisconsin hunting seasons

August 1 is an important harvest permit application deadline for
Wisconsin hunters and trappers. Applications are due for the
following seasons: fall wild turkey, Canada geese in the Horicon
Zone, sharp-tailed grouse, bobcat, fisher and otter. Any fall
turkey permits remaining after the initial drawing will go on sale
beginning at noon on Saturday, August 27, and will be sold by zone
until sold out or the season ends.

2011 Fall Season Dates:

Fall Turkey: statewide Sept. 17 to Nov. 17; Nov. 28 to Dec. 31 in
zones 1-5 ONLY

Canada Geese, Horicon Zone: season dates are tentative and will not
be set by the Natural Resources Board until August 10. Horicon Zone
is proposed for Sept. 16 to Dec. 16 (first time period Sept. 16
through Oct. 30; second time period Oct. 31 through Dec. 16).
Horicon Zone hunters are expected to receive six harvest tags for
their time period.

Canada Geese, Collins Zone: The Collins Zone has been eliminated
and is now part of the Exterior Zone.

Sharp-tailed Grouse: Oct. 15 through Nov. 6.

Bobcat hunting and trapping (north of Hwy 64 only): Period 1: Oct.
15 through Dec. 25; Period 2: Dec. 26 through Jan. 31, 2012

Fisher: trapping only: Oct. 15 through Dec. 31

Otter: trapping only: North Zone: Nov. 5 through April 30, 2012;
central & south zones: Nov. 5 through March 31, 2012

Permits can be applied for through the Online Licensing Center on
the Department of Natural Resources website, at all license sales
agents, and 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). A bobcat permit
application costs $6; all other permit applications cost $3.

“Our DNR Call Center staff can also help answer any questions
folks may have about the permit application process,” said Dave
Argall, DNR permit sales coordinator.” The DNR Call Center is
staffed by live operators from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a
week, and can be reached at (888) WDNR-INFo (1-888-936-7463).

Fall Turkey

There will be 95,700 wild turkey permits available to hunters for
the fall 2011 turkey hunting season, the same number that was
available during the 2010 fall season. While the 16 percent decline
in harvest during the spring 2011 season has elicited some concern
among some hunters, turkey numbers rise and fall largely in
response to weather conditions that influence winter survival and
poult production. As well, the reduced harvest was partly the
result of poor weather conditions during portions of the spring
season, which reduced hunter effort and success, and altered turkey
behavior. The limited hen harvest that has characterized recent
fall turkey seasons does not have a large impact on turkey
populations in the state. Turkey numbers will recover given mild
winters and warm, dry conditions during the critical June
brood-rearing period. Turkey hunters can therefore still expect
excellent opportunities to pursue turkeys during the fall 2011
season.

The 2011 fall season will run from Sept. 17 through Nov. 17 for
all seven of Wisconsin’s turkey management zones. Pending
legislative approval of a proposed rule change, an extended fall
turkey season for Zones 1-5 ONLY will run from Nov. 28 through Dec.
31,. If the extended season is approved, hunters who receive a fall
turkey permit in Zones 1-5 would be able to fill their unused
permits during the extended season in the zone for which they were
issued. Hunters may use dogs to hunt wild turkeys during the fall
season throughout the state of Wisconsin. The bag limit is one
turkey of any age or sex per fall turkey hunting permit (also known
as a carcass tag).

New turkey harvest registration procedures

Starting with the fall 2011 turkey season, hunters will be able
to register their turkey by telephone or online. No in-person
registration stations will be available. All harvested turkeys must
be registered by telephone by calling the DNR’s Harvest
Registration System at 1-888-HUNT-WIS (1-888-486-8947) or on-line
via the DNR website. The phone-in system will accept either touch
tone entry or voice commands (e.g., press or say 1). Hunters will
be asked to record a harvest registration confirmation number on
their hunting permit at the end of the call or on-line session.
Hunters will still have until 5 p.m. on the day after harvest to
register their turkey. The wild turkey page of the DNR website will
have updates regarding specific registration procedures.

Sharp-tailed Grouse

For 2011, 250 sharp-tailed grouse hunting permits will be
available. This is a decrease from 2010 when 330 permits were
available. The reduction in permits is the result of a combination
of a variety of factors, including a decline in survey numbers
throughout the sharp-tailed grouse range, continued habitat loss or
conversion, increasingly isolated populations, and cyclical grouse
population dynamics, according to wildlife biologists.

“A couple properties experienced either no change or a slight
increase in observations of sharp-tailed grouse; however, survey
numbers as a whole were down from 2010,” said Sharon Fandel, DNR
assistant upland wildlife ecologist.

Sharp-tailed grouse management units use the same boundaries and
designations as deer management units (DMUs). In 2011, only one
unit will have permits available. DMU 2 will have 250 permits. DMU
8, which was open in 2010, will be closed in 2011 due to low survey
numbers observed at Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area, one of the
focal sharp-tailed grouse properties in the unit.

“Although there were a few more birds observed this spring in a
couple areas, some of our traditional sharp-tailed grouse dancing
grounds and managed properties continue to decline, warranting a
cautious and conservative approach in our harvest framework,” said
Fandel.

“Because sharp-tailed grouse occur at low densities across the
landscape, it is often a challenge to locate these birds,” she
added. “Anticipating and allowing yourself to enjoy the experience
of the hunt is encouraged and likely more realistic than the
prospect of finding and harvesting a sharp-tail.”

Hunters are reminded to carefully review the zone map and apply
only for units that are open. Applying for closed units will result
in an invalid application.

 

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