When earlier this summer I reported that Wisconsin hunters tagged 1,079 turkeys this past spring, I can't believe my Cheesehead buddy at Winchester Ammo (and a Strut Zone regular, yes, you know who you are) didn't call me out on it. That number was for one county, Dunn to be exact, and not for the entire state. I remember thinking it sounded odd at the time, but failed in my haste to go back and check it. Lesson learned!
The number I should have posted for the season harvest was 46,662. That sounds more like it. In fact, Wisconsin Ag Connection reports that the harvest was "a one percent increase from the 2005 spring harvest of 46,183 birds. The statewide hunter success rate for all hunting periods decreased to 23 percent compared to 24 percent last spring.
"The slight increase in harvest despite a slight decrease in the success rate is a result of a higher number of permits issued, say biologists. A total of 201,207 permits were available in 2006 with 160,952 issued through the lottery drawing and 39,917 sold as over the counter permits .
"As in past years, success rates were highest during the early and middle hunting periods."
Speaking of Wisconsin, I'll make my first foray to the state later next month when I head up to Buffalo County with my bow for a chance at one of their record-book bucks. The county has reportedly produced the most B&C bucks ever, which likely means I won't even see one! But we'll see. I'm carrying a lot of optimism into the coming year.
And while my attention obviously won't be focused on our feathered friends, I'm interested to see what bird numbers are looking like in that part of the country. I'll keep you posted...on the hunt and on the periphial observations.
(Photo courtesy of NWTF)