Wisconsin hunters harvest more turkeys in 2020, see 21% increase


MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Close to 1,000 more registered birds were reported during the fall 2020 season, compared to the 2019 fall season.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), hunters registered 4,600 birds in 2020 compared to the 3,792 turkeys in 2019.

The DNR reports, 81,710 total harvest authorizations were issued for the 2020 fall season, an increase of 6,935 from 2019. Of the 81,710 harvest authorizations issued, 76,748 were awarded a fall turkey license, and 4,962 were sold over-the-counter as bonus harvest authorizations.

The harvest success rate in 2020 was 5.6%, a slight increase to the 2019 harvest success rate of 5.1%. The success rate is calculated based on the number of harvest authorizations sold and is not corrected for non-participation.

“In 2020 we saw a large increase in hunting license sales likely due to COVID-19 and an increased public interest in outdoor recreation,” says Alaina Gerrits, DNR Assistant Upland Wildlife Ecologist.

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