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In the Outdoors: Wild turkeys offer chance to make memories

By Kevin Naze

If you forgot to apply for a spring wild turkey permit – or got yours but want another helping – there are still leftovers available.

About 53,000 tags remained last week week, including more than 20,000 in Zone 3 west of Green Bay and about 2,000 locally, in Zone 2.

Hunters under age 16 need a permit for the annual youth hunt weekend April 17-18.

Successful youths can’t reuse the tag.

However, unfilled authorizations can be used in the time period and zone for which it is issued.

Many hunters consider the pursuit of spring gobblers among the most exciting adventures afield.

But with only about one in five tags filled, you’ll need to go the extra mile to get the main course for supper.

Preseason scouting, readying gear and patterning a favorite gun will give you the confidence needed to wait out a bearded bird.

Many also take a trip or two to a favorite sporting goods store for a new blind, call, decoy or comfortable cushion for what can be long hours afield.

If you’re new to the sport, consider watching some wild turkey hunting videos, available online.

Heck, even a veteran gunner or skilled archer gets charged up watching birds strut, hearing the gobbling and anticipating the shot.

As always, think safety first, and respect other hunters afield.

Having a backup plan when hunting public land, especially, can save the day.

Spring hearings online

For the second straight year, the annual DNR spring fish and wildlife hearings and county Conservation Congress meetings will be online-only due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The public can submit citizen resolutions through April 5, and beginning April 12, can vote.

In addition to local resolutions, there are 23 proposed changes related to fisheries and five related to wildlife management, as well as advisory questions from the DNR, Natural Resources Board and Conservation Congress.

Online input begins at 7 p.m. April 12, and remains open for 72 hours.

Take a look at all the questions and find out how to craft and submit a resolution at dnr.wisconsin.gov/about/wcc/springhearing.

Licenses, tags and seasons

Fishing and hunting licenses for the 2021-22 season are on sale.

Last year’s licenses are valid through March 31 for any species that still has an open season.

Yellow perch season on Green Bay waters is closed for spring spawning through mid-May.

Any perch caught must be immediately released.

Many small streams and ditches – tributaries of the Bay of Green Bay and the Fox River – are also closed to fishing.

Large Green Bay rivers are open for most species.

Check the fishing regulations for specifics.

Comment on deer

By early April, you can check preliminary County Deer Advisory Council recommendations for antlerless harvest goals, tag availability and season options for Brown, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano and any other county of interest at dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Hunt/cdac.

A public comment period will be held April 12-25, and final objective-setting meetings will be held in early May.

Elk applications

Hunters interested in a once-in-a-lifetime shot at a wild Wisconsin bull elk need to apply by May 31.

Four winners will be drawn, and cost to apply is $10.

For each application sold, $7 goes to DNR elk management and research.

More than $600,000 was raised the previous three hunts.

There’s also an opportunity to purchase tickets at $10 each from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

One lucky winner will be drawn.

Back in class

The DNR is reopening its various safety education classes to in-person attendance starting April 1.

The agency will enforce COVID-19 safety protocols, including social distancing and masking.

Check out a list of what’s available at dnr.wisconsin.gov/Education/OutdoorSkills/safetyEducation.

To check out another article by Kevin Naze, CLICK HERE.

Editor’s note: In the Outdoors is a monthly column by Kevin Naze, an experienced hunter and angler based in the Greater Green Bay area.

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