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Schachtner defeats Jarchow in special election

Spring turkey permits go to 135,000 applicants

There were 135,155 successful applicants in the drawing for 2013 Wisconsin spring wild turkey permits through the spring turkey preference drawing.

A total of 234,765 permits will be available for the spring 2013 turkey season, and the remaining permits will be available through over-the-counter sales in March.

Postcard notifications to successful applicants should be arriving within the next few weeks. Hunters can also check on the status of their permit application online through the Department of Natural Resources Online Licensing Center or by calling the DNR Customer Call Center from 7 a.m. through 10 p.m., seven days a week, at 1-888-936-7463.

Due to high historic demand for permits in Zone 2, as well as a healthy turkey flock in this zone reflected in relatively high recent hunter success rates, an additional 1,200 permits were available for the zone compared to 2012 permit levels.

Hunters harvested 42,433 turkeys during the 2012 spring season. Final harvest numbers for the 2012 fall season will be available this spring.

Turkey periods

The spring 2013 turkey hunting season will run from April 10 through May 21, with six seven-day periods running Wednesday through the following Tuesday. This is a change from spring turkey seasons prior to 2012, during which the six time periods ran for five days. A total of seven zones and Fort McCoy will be open for hunting. In addition, hunters were able to apply for turkey permits within 17 designated state park units.

New this year is the opportunity to hunt turkeys within many additional state parks, during the first three time periods. Hunters interested in hunting on state park or state trail lands within the zone for which they received a permit should be sure to examine information pertaining to specific season dates and open areas for that property.

For any questions call Warden Paul Sickman at 715-684-2914, ext. 120.

Pruning trees

Winter is a good time for tree pruning according to tree health experts. Winter pruning greatly reduces the likelihood of spreading oak wilt and other tree diseases and minimizes pruning stress on trees. The best time to prune trees is during the winter when a tree is dormant because insects and diseases that could attack an open wound on a pruned tree aren't active in winter.

Timing is especially critical when pruning oak trees. DNR foresters recommend that people stop pruning, wounding or cutting oak trees from April through July in order to limit the spread of oak wilt. A more cautious approach limits pruning in urban areas until Oct. 1.

Oak wilt is a fungal disease of oaks that has been present in the state for at least 70 years. It spreads from tree to tree by either "hitchhiking" on sap-feeding beetles that are attracted to freshly pruned or injured trees or by growing through root grafts between neighboring trees. Red oaks, which include red, pin and black oak, are particularly vulnerable to oak wilt. Once wilting symptoms appear, these trees die very quickly, often within a month.


Before pruning, consider these guidelines that will support the tree's health. Trees should be pruned throughout their entire life, with more attention paid during the first 10 years (every other or every third year) to foster strong structural or "scaffold" limbs. Once proper structure is established, pruning can occur less often (about every five years) to maintain the structure and remove larger pieces of dead wood. Pruning should not take more than 25 percent of the live crown of a tree while the lower third of established trunks of deciduous trees should be free of limbs.

Here are tips for tree pruning:

• Remove limbs growing toward the ground.

• Remove limbs that are crossing, rubbing, or growing parallel to one another, competing for the same space in the tree crown.

• Remove limbs growing vertically or toward the interior of the tree.

• Remove broken, cracked, diseased, or dead limbs.

• Maintain one central trunk or "leader" for as long as possible.

• Never remove so many interior branches that leaves are only present at the outside edge of the tree.

• Never prune a branch flush to the trunk as the large wound reduces the tree's natural decay barrier. The cut should begin just outside the branch bark ridge and continue at a slight outward angle.

• Never "top" trees. This makes the tree vulnerable to decay, it sucks energy from the tree, and it could lead to an early tree death.

Fishing season

A downloadable fishing calendar and booklets with all of the season dates are now available online to help anglers plan their 2013 fishing trips, state fisheries officials say.

The season booklet lists the season dates for the different game and panfish species anglers most frequently target. The "Fish are photogenic calendar 2013," can help anglers learn about important fishing dates; moon phases; game fish identification and more.

The calendar and season date booklet are free and designed to be printed at home on standard size paper. For any questions call Warden Paul Sickman at 715-684-2914, ext. 120.