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Wisconsin turkey hunting season opens Wednesday

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Evers’ Safer at Home order recognizes outdoor activity as an essential activity. As such, the 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 6 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.

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.

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 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 under the age of 16 may hunt during the spring youth turkey hunt today and Sunday. 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. 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.

The spring turkey season in the Upper Peninsula begins Saturday, April 18, and continues through May 31.

Licensed individuals may hunt while following social distancing guidelines, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

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