Spring 2017 is going to be good turkey hunting. After all, this is Wisconsin, home of 500,000+wild turkeys the only thing that keeps Wisconsin turkey hunters from harvesting more turkeys than any other state is the licensing scheme. The licensing process here is exclusionary by design it prevents a large number of its hunters from taking part in the spring hunt during the first 3 weeks of the season when the toms are most actively gobbling. In any case, for those with tags in their pocket hunting will good and the harvest will be in the Wisconsin average range.
During my pre-spring wanderings, I have found turkeys in some really unlikely areas such as this-
There are a lot of wild turkeys in Wisconsin, it’s all good, bring on the spring hunt.
The first 2017 spring hunt season is starting about a week later than usual so late start could hamper the harvest of hunters who must hear gobbling in order to be successful. If the later start causes hunter effort to drop off then the harvest will be lower perhaps in the low 40 thousand range.
This forecast is not, in any way related to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources rather it is based on charlie elk’s experience, observations and fellow turkey spies across the great turkey state of Wisconsin. The first charlie turkey forecast was done in 2014 and was the opposite of WDNR dire forecast, they had forecast bad spring turkey hunting with low harvest due to the worst winter severity index ever. WDNR even cut permits by 25% at the last minute. In spite of the spring permit reductions, charlie took an opposing view and predicted a higher than average harvest. This was based on the incredible number of turkeys across the landscape during the fall of 2012 and even considering the tough 2013 winter there were very few dead turkeys reported. Turkeys are not deer so you can not apply deer management theory to turkeys. The winter severity index was developed for deer managers, not turkey managers. Turkeys have wings and when local conditions get bad they fly out of the locale for better areas.