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May 25, 2019

Jacob Friede/Lakeland TimesThe 2019 spring turkey season opened Wednesday as Period A began. Five additional time periods will run each week through May 28.
Jacob Friede/Lakeland Times

The 2019 spring turkey season opened Wednesday as Period A began. Five additional time periods will run each week through May 28.
4/20/2019 7:29:00 AM
Turkey season begins
Period A opened on Wednesday
Jacob Friede
of the Lakeland Times

For turkey hunters whose minds have been gobbled up with visions of bagging a long beard, the wait is over. The 2019 spring turkey season got underway Wednesday as Period A opened up on April 17 and will run through April 23. Periods B through F will take place in the five weeks following Period A.

Hunters must possess the proper tags, stamps, and licenses, and may only hunt in the zone and time period for which their harvest authorizations were issued.

Vilas and most of Oneida County are in turkey management zone seven. The southeast corner of Oneida County is in zone five.

In 2018, a total of 38,885 bearded turkeys were harvested in Wisconsin with 494 of those taken in zone seven. Period B was the most successful time in zone seven with 116 birds taken. That was 19 percent of the zone's total harvest. Period A was the next successful time with 106 birds taken, followed by Period C which saw 100 birds harvested. The overall hunter success rate in zone seven was 13.7 percent in 2018.

Harvested turkeys must be registered. That can take place online at or by phone at 1-844-426-3734. Hunters will need to provide a harvest authorization number to begin the registration process. They will also need to provide harvest date and time, location, and the age of the turkey (adult or juvenile). Only bearded turkeys can be harvested during the spring.

Hunters now also have the option to donate their turkey to families in need of food. To do so they must field-dress their legally harvested turkey and keep the meat in a cool location until it can be dropped off at a participating processor. The entire turkey must be donated to be processed and the meat is distributed to food pantries in the local area where they are donated. Feet, beard, and feathers may be removed prior to donating. A list of participating processors can be found at keyword search "turkey donation."

Turkey hunters are reminded to be safe and assume every movement and sound is another hunter until the source is identified. If another hunter is approaching, hunters should call out to get their attention rather than wave their hand which could be mistaken for a turkey fan. Hunting in heavy brush is not recommended as it prevents a hunter's vision and prohibits them from being seen by other hunters.

For more information on turkey hunting in Wisconsin, including a copy of the regulations, visit and keyword search "turkey hunting."

Jacob Friede may be reached at or

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