Bonus spring turkey harvest authorization go on sale March 19

MADISON — Bonus turkey harvest authorizations (previously known as leftover permits) will go on sale the week of March 19 with each zone having a designated sales date. Bonus harvest authorizations can be purchased online through GoWild.Wi.Gov and at all license agents. Sales start at 10 a.m. and run until midnight each day.

The following zones have available bonus harvest authorizations, and scheduled sales dates are as follows:

  • Zone 1 – Monday, March 19;
  • Zone 2 – Tuesday, March 20;
  • Zone 3 – Wednesday, March 21;
  • Zone 4 – Thursday, March 22; and
  • Zones 5 and 7 (no harvest authorizations available in Zone 6) – Friday, March 23 (due to the low number of harvest authorizations available, sales for these zones have been combined into one day).

Bonus harvest authorizations cost $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents – each will have equal opportunity for purchase. All spring turkey hunters are required to purchase a spring turkey license and 2018 Wild Turkey Stamp, unless they are a 2018 Conservation Patron License holder. Bonus harvest authorization purchases will not affect preference point status for future spring drawings.

There are 106,078 turkey bonus harvest authorizations for sale for the spring season that opens April 18. - Photo credit: DNR
There are 106,078 turkey bonus harvest authorizations available for turkey hunters wanting to take to the woods for the spring season that opens April 18.Photo credit: DNR

During the sale of the spring bonus harvest authorizations, the system will use an online queue to assign random numbers at 10 a.m. to customers who enter the site between 9:45 and 10 a.m. There is no advantage to entering the site prior to 9:45 a.m. Customers who enter after 10 a.m. will be added to the line in order of arrival.

Once you log in to your personalized dashboard on GoWild.Wi.Gov, click the ‘Buy License’ button to open the catalog. From there, you will find “Spring Turkey Bonus Harvest Authorization” at the top of the list.

Bob Peterson of Marinette with a tom turkey harvested in Shawano County. - Photo credit: DNR
Bob Peterson of Marinette with a tom turkey harvested in Shawano County.Photo credit: Ed Culhane, DNR

Bonus turkey harvest authorizations can be purchased at a rate of one per day until the zone and time period is sold out, or the season closes. If the harvest authorizations for a zone sell out during the designated day, online users will be sent directly to the Go Wild home page for the remainder of that day.

DNR customer service staff recommends that turkey hunters who are interested in purchasing a Conservation Patron license do so prior to March 19 to make the bonus harvest authorization process as quick and easy as possible. In 2017, several enhancements have been made to the GoWild.Wi.Gov site to allow license purchases with fewer “clicks” and speed the rate at which customers will be able to transact business.

There are 106,078 spring turkey bonus harvest authorizations for sale in six of the seven turkey management zones. Hunters are encouraged to check the turkey zone map [PDF] and the department’s spring turkey bonus harvest authorization availability to see if harvest authorizations are available for the time period and turkey zone in which they want to hunt.

After zone-specific sales, all remaining turkey harvest authorizations will be made available for purchase Saturday, March 24 at 10 a.m.

Spring turkey periods run for seven days

The 2018 spring turkey season will run from April 18 through May 29, with six seven-day periods running Wednesday through the following Tuesday. A total of seven zones will be open for hunting. For more information regarding turkey hunting in Wisconsin, search the DNR website,, for keyword “turkey.”

“Turkey production was up last year and we are anticipating another great spring turkey season in Wisconsin” said Mark Witecha, DNR upland wildlife ecologist. “I encourage turkey hunters to look at the regulations ahead of the season, and I wish everyone a safe and happy hunt!”

Spring turkey hunting regulations can be found within the 2017 Small Game Hunting Regulations, 2017 Fall Turkey Regulations, and 2018 Spring Turkey Regulations. [PDF]

Public lands are the perfect place to pursue turkeys this spring.

Youth turkey hunt set for April 14-15

Youth hunters under the age of 16 may hunt during the youth turkey hunt on April 14 and 15. Hunters under the age of 12 and youth hunters without hunter safety can participate in the youth turkey hunt under Mentored Hunting Program. Youth hunters must be accompanied by qualified adult and follow the youth turkey hunting and mentored hunting program rules. Spring turkey 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.