2014 Turkey permits are being reduced by 25% according to WDNR press release:
Although Department of Natural Resources biologists recognize that spring harvests do not play a significant role in wild turkey population dynamics, it is clear that prolonged periods of cold and deep snow have impacted turkeys throughout the northern part of the state.
MADISON -“The concerns we are hearing from turkey hunters are justified,” stated Scott Walter, DNR upland wildlife ecologist. “The deep and persistent snow cover across the northern counties this winter has limited turkey movements. Those flocks without access to adequate food sources are having a difficult time, and mortality could be significant locally.
Remaining over-the-counter permits in Turkey Management Zones 6 and 7 will not be issued and over-the-counter permits in zones 4 and 5 will be reduced by 25 percent in response to hunter feedback requesting a conservative approach to the number of permits issued for this spring’s hunt, due to concerns that increased winter mortality has depressed turkey numbers.
“Wild turkeys were successfully reintroduced to Wisconsin through a broad partnership that was based on exactly the kind of interest and commitment being expressed by our hunters, and their successful management will continue to incorporate input from the engaged hunters who care about our turkey resource,” Walter said .
The decision was made to hold back on issuing the remaining 426 over-the-counter permits in zones 6 and 7, as winter impacts were likely to be most severe in these far-northern zones given the relative lack of an agricultural food base and large tracts of unbroken forest.
The 25 percent reduction in zones 4 and 5 will result in 866 fewer permits being issued. These reductions were put into place to help address concerns that turkey flocks may have suffered significant local losses in areas where they did not have access to adequate food. Permit levels will be reduced by 25 percent in each of the time periods for which over-the-counter permits are available.
Did anyone else get mental whiplash reading this press release?