MADISON, Wis . - February is an ideal time to plan your spring turkey Learn to Hunt program, with classes typically taking place in mid to late March.
Hunter Nikolai, assistant hunter recruitment specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources R3 program, says the turkey Learn to Hunt is more popular than other species covered in this longstanding education program dedicated to carrying on the state's hunting heritage. R3 stands for recruitment, retention and reactivation of hunters, anglers, trappers and shooting sports participants.
"Since 1996 conservation groups, outdoor clubs and dedicated individuals have helped carry on Wisconsin's hunting heritage by hosting Learn to Hunts in their communities," Nikolai said. "It's a great way for these groups to recruit new members to their organizations while passing on their hunting expertise to the next generations-both youth and adults."
Participants are not required to have hunter safety certification, and the DNR may waive season dates, license fees and stamp fees for novice participants upon approval by the local wildlife biologist.
"We're always looking for new, motivated groups to start-up a Learn to Hunt program. Whether your group has never hosted a Learn to Hunt or hasn't in recent years, we're here to help you get your feet on the ground," Nikolai said.
Nikolai says spring turkey season offers an excellent opportunity for novice hunters of all ages to harvest their first animal. A conservation success story, wild turkeys abound in the state and their population continues to grow, in part because of well-managed hunting seasons. "And, they're excellent table fare," he said. The spring season begins April 15 and runs in six periods through May 26.
Groups may request up to $25 for each novice participant through the Learn to Hunt Reimbursement program to help cover the costs of materials, rentals, meals and overnight accommodations.
For step-by-step instruction on how to host a Learn to Hunt or to find an upcoming Learn to Hunt near you, visit the DNR website .