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Turkey Management

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.

Wisconsin Wild Turkey Management Plan

Wisconsin Wild Turkey Management Plan [PDF] 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,