Turkey season

Spring turkey season will open April 15. Hunters should practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Gov. Evers' Safer at Home order recognizes outdoor activity as an essential activity. As such, the 2020 spring turkey season will proceed without changes to the season dates or management zones under the Safer at Home order.

Due to COVID-19, distance is critical. Social distancing — the practice of always staying six feet away from others outside of household members — is vital to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Turkey hunting in Wisconsin is designed to minimize hunter contact and is usually a solitary outdoor activity. The purpose of permitting by time period spreads people out in different by time and the purpose of zones spreads people out spatially, resulting in a high-quality hunt.

All current regulations for the season apply. Licensed hunters should hunt the zone and period stated on their harvest authorization.

"Hunting and fishing provides us an opportunity to interact with nature. Hunting and fishing traditions run deep in Wisconsin," said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Preston D. Cole. "It's these traditions that allow us to have a moment of normalcy during this extraordinary time. Remember to be more than safe."

There are still turkey hunting permits available at this time in five of the seven management zones covering most of the state. This provides opportunities for people to select new zones to reduce travel distances and stay closer to home. Permits are available online.

The remaining permits are generally for later in the season, which is an excellent opportunity to spend time in the woods during the spring season when the hunting can also be very good. All sales directly benefit critical conservation efforts including developing, managing, preserving, restoring, and maintaining the wild turkey population in Wisconsin.

Hunting with household family members is still allowed under the emergency order. Social distancing applies to mentored hunts. Because mentors must be within arm's reach of their mentee, the need for social distancing prohibits hunters from mentoring someone outside of their household.

The DNR encourages all spring turkey hunters to adhere to the Safer at Home order's guidelines regarding social distancing.

Spring turkey periods run for seven days each

The 2020 spring turkey season will run April 15-May 26, with six seven-day periods beginning Wednesday through the following Tuesday. All seven turkey management zones will be open for hunting.

Youth turkey hunt set for April 11-12

Youth under the age of 16 may hunt during the spring youth turkey hunt April 11-12. Hunters under the age of 12 and youth without hunter safety can participate in the youth turkey hunt under the mentored hunting program.

Youth must be accompanied by a qualified adult and follow the youth turkey hunting and mentored hunting program rules. Under the Safer at Home order, mentors and mentees should be from the same household. Youth hunters must possess a valid spring turkey license, stamp and harvest authorization.

A harvest authorization for any time period can be used during the youth hunt weekend, but youth hunters must hunt within the turkey management zone indicated on their harvest authorization.

Regulations, harvest registration information and other helpful turkey hunting information can be found online at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/turkey.html.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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