Last call to apply for spring turkey tags
If you’re reading this in time — before midnight Saturday, Dec. 10 — this is a reminder to get those spring wild turkey permit applicants in today.
It’s also the deadline to apply for 2017 black bear harvest permits, or purchase a preference point for future years.
You can apply for either, or both, through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Go Wild site online or at any licensing agent.
The spring turkey hunt will get off to its latest start ever, with the youth hunt April 15-16 and the first of six seven-day time periods beginning April 19.
It’ll be the first year of the season opening on the third Wednesday in April, instead of the second. If it’s a cold spring, that’ll be appreciated.
However, if it’s a mild one, look for Learn To Hunt participants to get the most benefits the first two weeks of April, and count on a lot more mosquitoes come the mid- to late periods.
If you missed applying, you can still get a tag by purchasing a leftover permit when they go on sale in late March.
The muzzleloader deer season is done, and firearm hunters are now limited to antlerless deer through Sunday as the four-day doe season wraps up.
Hunters may fill any unused antlerless tag while hunting in the proper deer management zone, unit and land type specified on the tag.
As a reminder, the archery and crossbow season will remain open through Jan. 8 statewide and through Jan. 31 in metro sub-units such as in Brown County.
All hunters except waterfowl hunters are required to wear blaze orange (or blaze pink) clothing during any open firearm deer hunt.
Meanwhile, nearly 300,000 whitetails have been taken statewide, more than half of them bucks. About two-thirds of the total was taken during the nine-day gun deer season.
With two days to report, the muzzleloader count earlier this week was at 1,624 bucks and 2,520 antlerless statewide (4,144 total). Locally, Door was up to 64 (17 bucks) and Kewaunee County 43 (11 bucks).
Through Sunday, Door archers had tagged 236 bucks and 209 antlerless (445) compared to 209 and 171 (380) in Kewaunee County. The crossbow count was at 550 in Door (276 bucks) and 442 in Kewaunee (225 bucks).
The 117th National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count runs any time between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5.
Thousands of birders will participate, including dozens in Kewaunee and Door counties. Data collected helps ornithologists and conservation biologists track what conservation action is required to protect birds and the places they need.
The Christmas Bird Count is the longest-running wildlife census in the world. Each individual count takes place in a 15-mile-wide circle and is led by a compiler responsible for organizing volunteers and submitting observations to Audubon.
Within each circle, participants tally all birds seen or heard that day — not just the species but total numbers to provide a clear idea of the health of that particular population.
Last year, there were a record-setting 2,505 circles, with 1,902 counts in the United States, 471 in Canada and 132 in Latin America, the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Pacific Islands.
In total, 76,669 observers tallied up 58,878,071 birds representing 2,607 different species — about one-quarter of the world’s known species while surveying about five percent of the North American landmass.
There is no fee to participate and a quarterly report, American Birds, is available online. Counts are open to birders of all skill levels, and Audubon’s free Bird Guide app makes it easy to learn. For more information and to find a count near you, visit www.christmasbirdcount.org.
Kevin Naze is a freelance outdoors writer. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by calling 920-883-9792.
This article originally appeared on Wisconsin: Last call to apply for spring turkey tags