Turkey Hunting in Wisconsin



Not available

Wild Turkey Population


Turkey Subspecies


Number of Licenses Sold Annually

Varies (check regulations)

Cost of Resident License and Permit

Varies (check regulations)

Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

Wisconsin had long been a sleeper state for turkey hunting, but folks are finding out about it.

Originally, 334 Missouri birds were brought to Wisconsin in 1976. As these flocks flourished and expanded their range, they were trapped and transplanted elsewhere across the state. The rest is turkey restoration history.

During Spring 2022, state hunters took 38,926 turkeys. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said turkey populations seem to be stabilizing at levels suitable to the landscape habitat. Turkey numbers and harvests will now likely ebb and flow in response to natural factors, such as weather and food availability.

Wisconsin is divided into seven turkey management zones. An almost ideal mix of habitat across the state's southern two-thirds — hardwood forest, farm fields, pasture land, river and creek bottoms, grassland and wetlands — finds Wisconsin turkeys thriving. The southwestern quarter of the state is the turkey's original stronghold. The western turkey country (hilly and wooded, with farmed ridges and valley bottoms) is prime, too. So is the east-central farm region (flatter, but still plenty of woods and fields). The southeastern suburban landscape has birds, too. The area is a tricky proposition for hunters, but it's possible to get landowner permission in some areas. There are even birds way up in the north woods.

One downside to Wisconsin is limited public-land opportunities. Most are in the north, where turkeys are admittedly more spread out. 

Of course, early-season hunts — the first two or three week-long time periods — are in demand, but late-season slots are also popular. And the hunting and weather are sometimes better, anyway.

Several reliable contacts say some landowners will let you hunt turkeys — just don't ask about deer.

Turkey Hunting in Wisconsin (c) Tes Randle Jolly photo

Go here for more Realtree turkey hunting.