Thanks for posting this, I had no idea it was going on.
ORIGINAL: charlie elk
In 2009 about 170,000 turkey hunters applied for a tag.
In 2010 149,000 turkey hunters applied for a tag.
In one year we lost 21,000 from our ranks. If this continues what affect will it have on the future of turkey hunting?
2009 was the year they made applying for a tag VERY easy with the new zone structure and new system. Guys were almost giddy about buying tags. I would think a comparison of applicants between 2008 and 2010 may be more relavent. I looked but could not find where you got the info Charlie (or is that Mr. Elk [;)] ).
I am a non-res public land hunter in Wis and I experienced a LOT of pressure last year in 5th and 6th seasons, were before it was a true quality hunt. I think the ease of getting a late season tag, the amount of leftover tags, and the new zone strucutre was the cause for that.
I also noticed a provision to check your bird online or by phone.
I don't know what this would do for turkey hunting really. The WDNR has to manage turkey hunters as well as turkeys and I am just clueless as how turkey hunters would react to this. My guess is that the late season, when I hunt, will have few turkey hunters. Its just not the most pleasant time to be in the woods due to bugs.
It may end up that you can only get 1 tag and that would eliminate hunters as they tag out. It may also keep some non-res hunters from coming as they can get 2 birds somewhere else for all the travel expense. Looks like they may have a draw for additional tags if available though, or perhaps just go to 2 tags.
At first I thought the 5-day season structure was goofy, but then I really liked it...until last season. I am a non-res though and as a non-res 5-day hunts are about what I do. I guess I think the old season structure had its day, but maybe it is time for a change.