Yep, that is what they call it. When you have so much opportunity to turkey hunt a title like that surely makes a dedicated turkey hunter nervous. But since change is one of life’s certainties we must make the best of it. So far, there are no changes proposed, some are being thought about and the public input survey is the first step. The next step is a draft plan that will be submitted this fall with the final plan being submitted for approval by the summer of 2013.
Lets all hope the public survey is not the driving force in the new plan because only 2,124 surveys were completed. Unfortunately, in my opinion, that too small of a sample and a random sample at that. Krista McGinley and Scott Walter traveled the state of Wisconsin last spring to share information about Wisconsin turkeys and to collect public input. Sadly for all the travel and time they spent only 77 folks showed up at the meetings, charlie being one of them. The meeting I attended had 1 newspaper reporter, 1 warden, 1 biology professor, and 3 turkey hunters. The meeting was very informative and with so few there we had a good wide ranging discussion with Scott Walter. Scott and Krista are good people with their hearts in the right place.
Anyone who has followed my comments on Wisconsin turkey hunting sites know I am very concerned with the sharp decline in the number of turkey hunters. Those hunters who dropped out of turkey hunting are not included in the yearly hunter satisfaction surveys nor are their opinions in this plan revision survey. The survey’s respondents averaged 13.3 years of turkey hunting, we might call those hunters dedicated.
Some highlights from the survey:
- 80.9% strongly support the current spring season structure and drawing schemes.
- 97.4% respondents stated they hunt spring turkeys
During the spring turkey season, which time period (A – F) do you most prefer to hunt?
35.6% responded “Period A”
- 30.7% responded “Period B”
- 17.4% responded “Period C”
- 7.9% responded “Period D”
- 2.9% responded “Period E”
- 1.5% responded “Period F”
No surprise most of us want to hunt the first 2 time periods.
If Wisconsin eliminated the spring permit drawing, what would you like the spring season bag limit (total turkeys allowed for the entire season) to be?
- 49.3% responded “1 gobbler”
- 41.2% responded “2 gobblers”
- 5.1% responded “3 gobblers”
- 3.8% responded “4 gobblers”
- 0.7% responded “unsure/not applicable”
OK this one surprises me. 90% want a limit of 1 or 2 gobblers however 80% said they don’t want the current system changed at all. But it allows 1 per permit and there are quite a few hunters who take more than 4 per spring now. If someone can explain this please do.