Wisconsin’s spring 2016 wild turkey registration total is 11% higher than last year. Preliminary total harvest has 45,496 turkeys registered spring 2016.
- Unit 1 had the highest turkey harvest 13,862 for a 22% success rate.
- Unit 2 registered 11,083 turkeys 23% success rate.
- Unit 3 registered 10,348 birds 20% success rate.
- Unit 4 registered 6,698 birds, success rate 21%
- Unit 5 total 2,071
- Unit 6 total 813
- Unit 7 total 510
- Fort McCoy checked in with 111
Total 2016 turkey permits issued 213,672 compared to 2015 issued permits 208,250. About 26,000 applicants who were drawn did not buy their license.
Keep in mind the number of turkey hunters is less than the number of issued permits because each hunter is allowed to buy more than one tag. The total number of spring turkey hunting licenses sold each spring in Wisconsin ranges between 100,000 to 120,000.
How should hunter success rates be calculated?
Currently, WDNR calculates the state success rate using the total number of permits issued giving Wisconsin hunters a statewide success rate of 21.3%. If the success rate calculation is done using the number of hunting licenses sold, which would accurately represent the number of individual hunters, the success rate is 41.36% assuming 110,000 spring hunting licenses were sold.
If the average hunter in Wisconsin buys two permits; And that hunter shoots one turkey are they successful? Or do they need to fill both permits to be successful?
What about the obsessed turkey hunter who purchases at least one permit per weekly season, perhaps more than one permit in the later seasons, so they have 7 or more permits to hunt. How many of those permits do they need to fill to be considered successful?
Other hunters buy extra permits in other units and time periods so that they can spend time hunting friends or family in those areas. Perhaps they only hunt a day for two or don’t hunt at all due to personal scheduling conflicts.
Bottom line. Does the success rate percentage really matter?
Hunters can apply now for their 2017 spring turkey tags. Log into your account on www.GoWild.gov, “Buy permit application”, under application and points. Applications can be changed anytime and as many times as needed until the December 10th deadline.