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Fewer turkey permits for hunters


UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)   Wisconsin wildlife officials have reduced the number of spring turkey hunting permits they'll sell next week, to preserve a population that was hit hard by the severe winter.

Just over 425 permits in far northern zones 6 and 7will not be sold. Permits in zones 4 and 5 will be reduced by 25-percent, meaning that 866 will go unused. Those permits were left over after a recent lottery for applicants.

D-N-R wildlife ecologist Scott Walter said a heavy snow cover in northern Wisconsin has hurt the ability of turkey flocks to find adequate food -- and weather-related deaths could be significant. He said hunters have called for a reduced harvest.

Each of the five zones will have a one-day permit sale next week. Any remaining permits will be available next Saturday. The D-N-R's Web site has more information. About 38,000 turkeys were shot in last year's spring harvest -- and that was down 11-percent from 2012, due to a stormy season.