Fall Turkey hunting leftover permits go on sale Aug. 26

MADISON, WI - Hunters who were successful in the fall turkey permit drawing will begin receiving notification in the mail early next week. Please note, it is possible that the notifications may arrive after the leftover permit sales begin.
Hunters can check to see if they were successful in drawing a fall turkey permit by logging into their accounts at GoWild.WI.Gov. A fall turkey license needs to be purchased, along with the turkey stamp, unless the stamp was purchased for the spring turkey hunt. Conservation Patron license holders already have their fall turkey license and stamp privileges and they will receive their fall turkey permits in the mail, if they were successful in the drawing.
Those not successful in the drawing will have the chance to purchase a leftover permit. All remaining fall turkey permits will go on sale Saturday, Aug. 26, at 10 a.m. Leftover permits can be purchased at a rate of one per day until the zone sells out or the season ends. The fall turkey hunting season for zones 1-5 runs Sept. 16 to Dec. 31 (season may be extended to Jan. 7, 2018, consult online regulations for updates), while the season for zones 6 and 7 runs Sept. 16 to Nov. 17.
Leftover permit availability in each Wild Turkey Management Zone is as follows - total permits made available prior to the drawing are in parentheses:
* Zone 1: 15,486 (27,500).
* Zone 2: 5,073 (22,000).
* Zone 3: 18,531 (30,000).
* Zone 4: 7,936 (15,000).
* Zone 5: 180 (4,200).
* Zone 6: 0 (1,900).
* Zone 7: 0 (1,500).
Remaining fall turkey permits may be purchased using the online license center or through any license agent. Leftover fall turkey permits cost $5 for 10 and 11 year olds, $10 for residents, and $15 for nonresidents. This is in addition to the cost of the fall turkey license and turkey stamp (if not already purchased).
The 2017 Fall Turkey regulations are included in the 2017 Wisconsin Small Game Hunting Regulations pamphlet, available now on the hunting regulations page of the DNR website and at DNR Service Centers.
For more information regarding turkey hunting in Wisconsin, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword "turkey."

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

Question of the week

Q: I hunt in a deer zone in Minnesota that has a lottery for antlerless permits. If I get an antlerless permit through the lottery, can I shoot a doe in any lottery zone or only in one specific zone?
A: If you receive an either-sex permit through the lottery, it is only valid for that specific permit area. You can move around from one permit area to another, but you would be restricted to antlered deer only in other lottery areas.
Keep in mind, if you shoot a deer in any area with a one-deer limit (bucks only, youth only antlerless, lottery or hunter’s choice), you may not shoot another deer in any other area with a one-deer limit. You can continue to hunt elsewhere in managed or intensive designated areas, as well as the metro area, with the appropriate combination of season license/bonus permits. You may also continue to party hunt (cross-tag) in the same area or other areas with a one deer limit, provided your party has valid licenses and/or tags.  

SOURCE: Adam Murkowsi, Minnesota DNR big game program leader

More lands available to hunt through Walk-In Access program

Beginning Friday, Sept. 1, hunters can access 26,700 acres of private land across 46 counties in western and south-central Minnesota through the Walk-In Access program.“Finding land for hunting can be a challenge,” said Scott Roemhildt, Walk-In Access coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Walk-In Access allows hunters to access high-quality private land and makes it easier for landowners to allow that access.”
The Walk-In Access program pays landowners to allow hunter access. Hunters with a $3 Walk-In Access validation may hunt during legal hunting hours, during open hunting seasons from Sept. 1 to May 31. No additional landowner contact is necessary. More than 230 sites across 46 counties are available through the program. Bright yellow-green signs have been placed on Walk-In Access boundaries.
Hunting seasons open Sept. 1 for mourning doves, crows, snipe, sora and Virginia rails. Hunting seasons open Saturday, Sept. 16, for several small game species including squirrels and rabbits. The Minnesota pheasant hunting season opens Saturday, Oct. 14.
Maps of all Walk-In Access sites are available electronically at mndnr.gov/walkin. Printed atlases can be found across the 46-county area at DNR license agents, DNR wildlife offices and county soil and water conservation district offices. Atlases are also available by calling the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367.
“Walk-In Access works because hunters respect the land and that respect encourages landowners to enroll their land,” Roemhildt said. “We are glad to talk with landowners who are considering the program,” Roemhildt said. “We hope to grow the program to 30,000 acres by 2018.”
Parcels enrolled in the Walk-In Access program must be at least 40 acres in size with high quality cover. Most land is also enrolled in private land conservation programs. The next enrollment period will begin in January 2018.
The Walk-In Access program began in 2011 and is currently funded through 2018 with a three-year grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Other funding sources come through a surcharge on nonresident hunting licenses, a one-time appropriation from the Minnesota Legislature in 2012, and donations from hunters.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

Mandatory deer testing set in southeastern Minnesota

When archery deer season opens Saturday, Sept. 16, mandatory testing for chronic wasting disease and restrictions on moving deer carcasses begins again in southeastern Minnesota’s CWD management zone, deer permit area 603.“With archery deer season approaching, hunters are encouraged to plan ahead and be aware of the testing that will be required and the specifics about when they can and can’t move carcasses out of the CWD zone,” said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.Archery hunters in deer permit area (DPA) 603 will be required to submit the head from all adult deer 1 year old or older so lymph nodes can be tested for CWD. Hunters cannot remove the carcass or carcass remains from the CWD zone until a negative test result is reported.Carcass movement restrictions do allow hunters to immediately transport out of the zone quarters or other deer pieces without spinal column parts; boned-out meat; and antlers with a skull plate that is free of brain matter. Hunters should check page 65 of the 2017 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook for additional information.“Archery deer hunters also should check the DNR website for the DPA boundary map,” Cornicelli said. “As a reminder, the CWD management zone was created from DPAs 347 and 348, so hunters need to be mindful of what area they’re hunting.”  Hunters are required to register their deer. DNR will allow phone and Internet registration during the archery season in the CWD zone. The system will be monitored for compliance and may be turned off if needed.Mandatory testing and carcass movement restrictions will remain in effect for area 603 throughout deer seasons for archery, firearm, muzzleloader and any late season hunts.
Head collection boxes will be located in:

* Chatfield: Magnum Sports, 1 1st St., 507-867-4399.
* Preston: DNR area forestry office, 912 Houston St., 507-765-2740.
* Lanesboro: DNR area fisheries office, 23789 Grosbeak Rd., 507-467-2442.
* Wykoff: Goodies and Gas, 104 E Front St., 507-352-2421.
* Harmony: Oak Meadow Meats, 50 9th St., 507-886-6328
Archery hunters should do the following:
1. Field dress (gut) deer as normal.
2. Register deer via phone, internet or walk-in big game registration station. If harvest occurs late in the day, sample (head) submission and registration do not have to occur on the same day.
3. If the deer will be mounted, a video showing how to properly cape your deer is available at bitly.com/capeadeer.
4. Remove the head, leaving at least 4 inches of neck attached.
5. Hunters can take meat out of the zone immediately but the carcass (head with brain and spinal column) cannot be moved outside deer permit area 603 until a negative test result is received so hunters must:
* Make arrangements to refrigerate the carcass before the deer is processed;
* Cut deer into quarters or other pieces; or
* Bone-out the meat.
6. Ensure no spinal column or brain matter is included with the meat or on the antlers.
7. Properly dispose of carcass remains. There will be a dumpster at the DNR forestry office in Preston for hunters who don't have a way to dispose of remains.
8. The Preston dumpster is being provided as a courtesy for deer carcass disposal only. It will be removed if people attempt to process deer there or use the dumpster for trash disposal.
9. Bring the entire head of deer to one of five head box collection sites. Each collection box has specific instructions on how to properly submit the head for sampling.
10. Put heads in the plastic bags provided. Use the maps provided at each box to mark an "X" where the deer was harvested. Submit this map with sample.
11. Samples during the archery season will be submitted for testing on Mondays and Thursdays. It may take up to four business days for test results to be available.  CWD test results can be searched using a nine-digit MDNR number online at www.mndnr.gov/cwdcheck.
Deer hunters should regularly check the DNR’s CWD website at mndnr.gov/cwd for the most recent information.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

Minnesota deer lottery application deadline set Sept. 7

Minnesota firearms and muzzleloader hunters who want to harvest antlerless deer in a deer permit area designated as lottery this hunting season are reminded they must purchase their license by Thursday, Sept. 7.
Hunters who purchase their license before this date are automatically entered into the lottery for the deer permit area or special hunt area they declare.
This season, antlerless deer permits are issued by lottery in 48 of Minnesota’s 130 deer permit areas. No application is needed to take antlerless deer in permit areas with hunters choice, managed or intensive designations.
Hunters who want to participate in special firearm deer hunts also need to apply for permits that are issued through a lottery, and the application deadline is Sept. 7.
More information about deer permit areas, how their designations are set and special hunts is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/deer and in the 2017 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

Public input sought on proposed late-season deer hunt

People can give input on a proposed late-season antlerless only deer hunt in southeastern Minnesota.The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will host two public input meetings about the proposed hunt, potential dates, bag limits and other restrictions.
The first meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23, in the Houston Elementary School gymnasium, 310 S. Sherman St. in Houston. The second meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, in the DNR Central Office lobby, 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul. Online input will be taken from Monday, Aug. 28, through Monday, Sept. 11.
“We want to discuss why this hunt is proposed, at both meetings. And DNR staff will explain the purpose of the proposed dates and bag limits,” said Adam Murkowski, Big Game Program leader.
The late-season antlerless only hunt is being currently proposed for Saturday, Jan. 6, to Sunday, Jan. 14, concurrent with the late chronic wasting disease hunt in deer permit area 603. The deer permit areas that are proposed to be included are 346, 348 and 349 in the far southeastern corner of the state.
Populations in the three permit areas have been over the population goals established in 2014 for multiple seasons. This proposed additional late antlerless only season hunt would facilitate moving populations toward established goals and provide additional hunting opportunity. The DNR is interested in hearing from hunters, landowners and other citizens who are affected by deer in these areas.  
“We are particularly interested in knowing how people feel about some of the specifics of the proposed hunt,” Murkowski said. “For instance, if the proposed hunt occurs what dates should the hunt be held to be most effective, should the hunt be limited to private land only, is a bag limit of five deer appropriate and should the hunt occur at all.”
More information about deer is available at mndnr.gov/deer.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

Applications open for prairie chicken hunt lottery

Hunters can apply through Friday, Aug. 18, to be chosen for one of 125 permits for the 2017 Minnesota prairie chicken hunting season.
The nine-day prairie chicken season begins Saturday, Sept. 30, and is open only to Minnesota residents.
“Prairie chicken populations are tied to habitat, and their numbers rise and fall depending on the amount of grasslands and prairie on the ground,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations manager with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Hunters will be charged a $4 application fee and may apply individually or in groups up to four. Prairie chicken licenses cost $23. Apply at any DNR license agent; the DNR License Center, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul; online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by telephone at 888-665-4236. An additional fee is charged for orders placed online or by phone.
The hunt is in 11 prairie chicken quota areas in west-central Minnesota between St. Hilaire in the north and Breckenridge in the south. Up to 20 percent of the permits in each area will be issued to landowners or tenants of 40 acres or more of prairie or grassland property within the permit area for which they applied. The season bag limit is two prairie chickens per hunter. According to spring surveys, prairie chicken numbers this year are similar to the last several year. Last year, 111 hunters harvested 102 prairie chickens.
Licensed prairie chicken hunters will be allowed to take sharp-tailed grouse while legally hunting prairie chickens, but prairie chicken hunters who want to take sharptails must meet all regulations and licensing requirements for taking sharp-tailed grouse. Sharptails and prairie chickens look similar and sharp-tailed grouse hunting is normally closed in this area of the state to protect prairie chickens that might be taken accidentally.
Applications are available wherever Minnesota hunting and fishing licenses are sold and application procedures and a permit area map are available at mndnr.gov/hunting/prairiechicken.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR