Dress for success this turkey season

MADISON, Wis. – We’re halfway through regular spring turkey season, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources  reminds hunters to adhere to best practices while out in the field, especially when it comes to camouflage safety.
Hunter camouflage is an important part of hunting turkeys, but it may present a problem. The better you are camouflaged and concealed, the less likely another hunter will be able to see you, and the more likely you could be mistaken for a turkey.
Last spring, the DNR received two reports of hunting incidents, including one person who was imitating a turkey and was shot by another hunter from a different group. No incidents have been reported so far this spring.
To dress for success and safety, follow these tips from the National Wild Turkey Federation:
* Never wear pieces of clothing that contain the colors of red, white or blue because they can be mistaken for colors found on wild turkeys.
* Be sure that accessories you carry that are red, white, or blue (decoys, diaphragm calls, box call chalk, candy wrappers, apples, cigarette packs, etc.) are not visible to other hunters.
* Camouflage your gun. Cover white diamonds or other red or white markings.
* Always keep your hands and head camouflaged when calling.
* If you see another hunter, call out to him or her to make them aware you are there. It is better to briefly disrupt a hunt than risk an incident.
* Wear dark-colored socks and pants that are long enough to keep your bare skin from being exposed.
* Do not “over-camouflage” by sitting in vegetation so thick that it obscures your vision.
* If you use a human-made blind or camouflage netting, maintain a clear field of view.
Other safety measures you may wish to consider include placing a blaze orange band around the tree you sit next to, placing a blaze orange sign “Camouflaged Hunter in Area - Be Careful” in your vehicle window and wearing blaze orange while moving from one spot to another.
In addition to watching your wardrobe, hunters are reminded to practice the four rules of Firearm Safety (TAB-K) while afield:
T - Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
A - Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
B - Be certain of your target; what's before and what's beyond it.
K - Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.
The regular turkey hunting season ends June 1. More information on the 2021 spring turkey season is available on the DNR’s website at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/hunt/turkey.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Deadline nears for input on 2021 deer season

Public comment on county’s deer season structure in Wisconsin closes Sunday, April 25.
There is still time to provide feedback on preliminary recommendations for the 2021 deer hunting season antlerless harvest levels and season structure. To share your thoughts, use the online input tool at https://dnrwi.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6u2vseCbWjo6dEO.
Your county’s deer advisory council has made its preliminary recommendations for the 2021 deer season in your area. To view each county's recommendations, agendas, and members, visit the DNR's County Deer Advisory Council webpage at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Hunt/cdac.
After the public comment period closes, County Deer Advisory Councils (CDACs) will convene between May 3-7, to consider public feedback and determine their final recommendations for the 2021 deer hunting season.
Each county in Wisconsin has a County Deer Advisory Council to provide input and recommendations to the DNR on deer management within their county. Each CDAC is made up of representatives from different interest groups that provide recommendations to the DNR on deer management within their county.
Councils work with local DNR staff to schedule meetings, provide community outreach and an opportunity for public input, review population data and deer impacts on forests and agriculture, develop recommendations on county population objectives and create annual antlerless harvest quotas.
Members review county-level population data and deer impacts on forests and agriculture, develop three-year recommendations on county population objectives and create annual antlerless harvest goals.
The CDAC recommendations and DNR recommendations will be presented to the Natural Resources Board for approval in June.
More information about CDAC population objective recommendations, agendas and membership is available at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Hunt/cdac. Additional questions can also be sent via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Due to technical difficulties, the public was not able to attend the latter part of the preliminary CDAC meetings for Fond du Lac and Juneau counties. Recordings of the Fond du Lac and Juneau meetings are now available on the DNR website.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Safety top priority when turkey hunting

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters to practice safe hunting as they prepare for the upcoming spring turkey season.
While turkey hunters are skilled in the art of concealment, wearing the wrong color could put hunters more at risk this upcoming turkey season. It’s especially important to avoid wearing red, white or blue. If a fellow hunter sees a flash of those colors through brush, you could be mistaken for a turkey.
Think safety first when out hunting. Last spring, the DNR received two reports of hunting incidents, including one person who was imitating a turkey and was accidentally shot by another hunter from a different group.
In addition to watching your wardrobe, hunters are reminded to practice the four rules of Firearm Safety (TAB-K) while afield:
T - Treat every firearm as if it is loaded
A - Always point the muzzle in a safe direction
B - Be certain of your target and what's beyond it
K - Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot
“The most common rule that we find to be broken is people not being certain of their target and what’s before and beyond it,” said Ashley Van Egtern, DNR Hunter Education and R3 Program Specialist. “When people are afield, they need to make sure they are taking the time to properly identify their target. They should also know what is before their target and what is beyond it, as the trajectory of any projectile isn’t guaranteed to stop with the target.”
The regular season takes place April 21-June 1. For more information on the 2021 spring turkey season, click onto https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/hunt/turkey.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Minnesota bear hunt applications due May 7

Prospective Minnesota bear hunters have through Friday, May 7, to apply for a bear hunting license.
Applications for the 2021 season should be submitted online or via telephone at 888-665-4236.
A total of 3,575 licenses are available in 13 permit areas. The fee to apply is $5. Bear licenses cost $44 for residents and $230 for nonresidents. The season is open from Wednesday, Sept. 1, through Sunday, Oct. 17.
Lottery winners will be notified by June 1. The deadline to purchase licenses awarded by lottery will be Sunday, Aug. 1. Any remaining un-purchased licenses will be available starting at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 4.
The no-quota area that includes east-central and far northwestern Minnesota is not part of the lottery drawing and will have an unlimited number of licenses available.
Overall, bear permit numbers for quota areas have remained unchanged since last year to allow bear population numbers to gradually increase and support a robust bear population. Bear hunting information is available on the DNR website at https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/bear/index.html.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


Natural Resources Board approves waterfowl hunting season

MADISON, Wis. – Thanks to input from hunters and new scientific research, changes are coming to the 2021 Wisconsin migratory bird hunting season.
The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board (NRB) voted unanimously for the Department of Natural Resources to move forward with proposed rules for the 2021 migratory bird season framework and regulations.
Highlights from the approved season structure include:
* A new duck zone structure for the 2021 season. A new Open Water Zone has been created in the waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan, and the former Mississippi River Zone has been absorbed into the South Zone.
* The South Canada Goose Zone has a daily bag limit of three Canada geese during the first portion of the season, and a daily bag limit of five Canada geese during the Holiday Hunt.
* Based on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s season framework, there will be a scaup bag limit of one scaup for 15 days and two scaup for 45 days.
“The 2021 season frameworks are based on the most current scientific data, as well as on input from the public, conservation and hunting groups and results from a waterfowl hunter survey,” said Taylor Finger, DNR migratory bird ecologist. “We used all the tools in our toolbox to collect public input while adhering to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Virtual meetings and expanded online outreach increased our engagement with our customers. In total, we received more than 1,500 comments regarding the 2021 waterfowl season proposals.”
The public plays a crucial role in setting the waterfowl season structure. View the 2021 public input results and comments at https://widnr.widen.net/s/trltqzq29q/2021-waterfowl-season-public-input-summary. Learn more about waterfowl hunting at https://widnr.widen.net/s/mwknpb7mgx/2021-migratory-bird-season-final-framework.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


NWTF now accepting wild turkey record submissions online

EDGEFIELD, S.C. - The National Wild Turkey Federation’s Wild Turkey Records Program began in the fall of 1982 and has since been the authority of wild turkey records for anywhere wild turkeys are legally harvested, accumulating over 27,000 registered birds. And with recent upgrades to the NWTF’s website, the program will now allow harvests to be submitted digitally.
“The NWTF Wild Turkey Records Program houses some of the greatest birds ever harvested,” NWTF Chief Information Officer Jason Burckhalter said. “As more folks are getting outdoors and just in time for this spring season, we are excited to streamline the submission process. We also recognize some folks prefer the traditional submission process, and we will continue to accommodate them.”
NWTF members will be able to record their bird’s beard length, weight and spur size on the online form. Once approved, a score will be awarded, and the turkey will be accounted for on NWTF’s interactive map at https://your.nwtf.org/maps/, allowing individuals to see how their wild turkey ranks among others in their county, state and throughout the country. It also allows users to search for the highest-scoring turkeys ever registered.
“We encourage everyone to register their wild turkeys,” Burckhalter said. “This is a fun way to engage after the hunt, see where other birds are harvested throughout the country and how yours compares.”
For those seeking to complete any of the Wild Turkey Slams, birds must be registered through NWTF’s Wild Turkey Records Program.
For more information on registering your bird online or the Wild Turkey Records Program, visit www.nwtf.org/hunt/records.

SOURCE: National Wild Turkey Federation


Wisconsin wolf management comment period opens April 15

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources  is seeking public input on the next 10 years of wolf management in Wisconsin beginning Thursday, April 15.
The public comment period is open April 15-May 15 during which the online input tool will available on the DNR Wolf management plan webpage at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/wolfmanagementplan.
The DNR simultaneously requests public comment on the fall 2021 wolf harvest season through the same online input tool.
As part of the management plan revision process, the DNR will convene a Wolf Management Plan Committee (WMPC). Ahead of the summer WMPC meetings, the DNR encourages the public to provide input on the next 10 years of wolf management in Wisconsin.
Following the public comment period on wolf management's future in Wisconsin, the WMPC will provide input to the DNR for developing an updated wolf management plan. The committee will comprise stakeholder groups, including hunting/trapping organizations, wolf advocacy/education organizations and agricultural/ranching organizations. The DNR also reserves additional seats on the WMPC for invited tribal and governmental agencies, the Wisconsin Conservation Congress and DNR technical staff support.
The DNR will write an initial draft of the wolf plan, guided by science and input from the WMPC and the public. The draft plan will be made available for public review and comment. The DNR will then submit a final draft to the Natural Resources Board (NRB) for approval in mid-2022.
The DNR is also simultaneously working to prepare for a fall 2021 wolf harvest season through a transparent and science-based process. The DNR has convened a 2021 Wolf Harvest Advisory Committee to provide input on the fall season's management objectives and harvest quota. The committee will consider the current management plan, state statute and the February 2021 season report at https://widnr.widen.net/s/k8vtcgjwkf/wolf-season-report-february-2021 in providing input to the department.
Throughout the process, the DNR will also coordinate with tribal partners and seek further public input on harvest objectives.
Visit the DNR's website for more information on the wolf management plan and the Fall 2021 wolf harvest season.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR