The restoration of turkeys in Wisconsin ranks as one of the greatest wildlife management success stories in the state. Absent from Wisconsin as recently as the 1970s, turkeys are now so abundant that Wisconsin spring turkey harvests rank among the largest in the nation. They have also proven surprisingly tolerant of harsh winter weather, with populations established throughout the northern part of the state.
After 20 years of rapidly increasing turkey populations and turkey harvests, turkeys in Wisconsin now seem to be stabilizing at levels suitable to the available habitat on the landscape. Turkey numbers and, in turn, turkey harvests, will now likely ebb and flow in response to natural factors such as weather and food availability.
- 2023 Wisconsin wild turkey update
- Turkey surveys and reports
- Wildlife stamp funding and stamp design contest
Wisconsin Wild Turkey Management Plan
Wisconsin Wild Turkey Management Plan was completed in 2015 by the DNR Turkey Advisory Committee. The plan contains information on wild turkey ecology, the history of turkeys in Wisconsin and the future goals of turkey management throughout the state. The updated plan was created to help make the department's turkey management strategy transparent to citizens interested in turkey managed in Wisconsin.
We hope this document will serve both as a management tool for turkeys and an effective communication tool for the people of Wisconsin. Many thanks to all who provided input and helped to create the updated plan! The Wisconsin Wild Turkey Management Plan is also available in print from any DNR service center.
Wild Turkey Stamp
Turkey stamp funds have been providing opportunities for turkey management in Wisconsin since 1995. The sale of the turkey stamp currently brings in over $750,000 annually for developing, managing, conserving, restoring and maintaining the wild turkey population within the state. A few turkey stamp projects are highlighted below.
Turkey Advisory Committee
The Turkey Advisory Committee, a diverse group representing government agencies, non-governmental organizations, tribal interests and conservation groups, meets to discuss issues relating to turkey management and the Wild Turkey Stamp program. The Committee advises the Wildlife Policy Team on a variety of topics such as hunting regulations, surveys and research priorities.
The goal of Wisconsin's wild turkey management program is to maintain turkey populations in all suitable ranges and optimize quality turkey hunting opportunities in spring and fall.