Hey Charlie, this is probably a dumb question but how can you get a turkey permit and not a liscense? That seems kinda of backwards way of doing things, to me but then again I've yet to understand all the zoning going on up there.
Not a dumb question I was confused when I moved here 13yrs ago too. WDNR spends more time micro managing hunters than they do managing turkeys.
Paying an application fee of $3 entitles anyone to apply for a permit or some call them tags. These are attached to the bird when it is killed.
After being drawn for your permit you then need to buy a turkey license $15 and stamp $5. There is a separate license for spring and fall the stamp is good for the year. The license includes the permit / tag you were drawn for. Apparently there are a lot of folks not following through on the license purchase whereby the permit / tag they drew is becomes unavailable for anyone else.
Left over tags from the drawing are sold OTC for $10 resident & $15 nonresident first come first serve one per day until gone.
The purpose of the fall turkey drawing escapes me- there are thousands more fall permits available each year than applicants who want them plus there are thousands of leftover permits by season's end 12/31 no one wanted or needed.
On the up side of this system and from my totally selfish interests in turkey hunting - As long as a hunter is willing to pay $10 turkey there is no limit. In WI you can shoot as many turkeys as you have permits.
Which means when you find turkeys and the flock charges in you can shoot as many as the permits in your pocket. This led me to develop a self imposed rule- I will only shoot one turkey per call in. So when a large flock is milling around in pandemonium in front of me I will not empty my gun, no matter how many tags rest in my pocket. I will only shoot one turkey and after they scatter call them back in for another try. This makes for some extremely exciting turkey hunting. In many respects I'm starting to prefer fall hunting to spring hunting. Don't misunderstand I love spring hunting but for pure excitement WI fall / winter turkey hunting can't be beat.
Bottom line WI has the best turkey hunting in the nation. So I'll endure jumping through the hoops for the tags because some day someone is going to get jealous even though they don't hunt turkeys and work to put a stop this mostly unlimited hunt. In the meantime I will continue to encourage others to turkey hunt, it is not healthy for our sport to have so few participants.