Wild Turkeys. Wisconsin DNR photo.
Preliminary 2022 Spring Turkey Harvest Numbers Increase From 2021

On Friday June 10, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that preliminary totals indicate Wisconsin turkey hunters registered 39,007 birds during the 2022 spring turkey hunting season.

With past speculation that Wisconsin’s turkey population maybe on a decline, this year’s season netted a five percent increase in birds harvested compared to the 37,266 birds registered during the spring 2021 season.

The 2022 spring season started on April 16 with the 2-day youth hunt. The regular season was divided into six separate one week periods, from April 20 to May 31. Different periods maximize hunter opportunities while minimizing interference for a more sustainable harvest. During the 2022 youth season, 2,482 birds were registered, a decline of nearly 25 percent from 3,308 birds in 2021. This was likely due to the late onset of spring across much of the state, resulting in poor hunting conditions during the youth hunt.

The DNR closely monitors harvest, hunter interference rates and satisfaction, and other information to track turkey abundance and maintain a successful, enjoyable, sustainable spring turkey hunt. Spring turkey hunter participation spiked in 2020 when many people had time to pursue turkeys while other events were cancelled due to COVID restrictions.

A total of 220,026 harvest authorizations were issued for the 2022 spring turkey season, similar to 2021. In 2022, 142,091 harvest authorizations were awarded through the drawing process, and 77,935 were sold over the counter.

Though Wisconsin saw a fairly mild 2021-2022 winter, warmer spring temperatures and green-up came late state wide. Weather conditions were less than optimal for the 2022 season’s earlier periods but improved as the season progressed.

Zone 1 produced the highest overall harvest at 10,504 birds, followed by Zone 3 (9,918 birds)andZone2(9,186birds). Withoutcorrection for non-participation by hunters who bought a license but did not pursue birds this spring, the 2022 statewide success rate was 17.7 percent, compared to 16.9 percent in 2021.

June 22, 2022