Wild Things: Bonus Deer, Turkey Permits Go on Sale Soon

Hunters hoping for a bonus wild turkey tag or an antlerless deer permit for an up-north getaway had better stay vigilant during the coming days.

Only 2,000 bonus turkey permits are available for Zone 2, which includes Door and Kewaunee counties. They’ll go on sale Saturday at 10 am at a cost of $10 per resident and $15 per nonresident.

All fall turkey hunters receive one tag with their license. If you want an extra, you’ll also be required to purchase your license if you haven’t already done so. 

A bearded hen turkey and some of her poults targeted insects in a hay field near Algoma recently. Wild turkey hunting bonus permits will go on sale this weekend. Photo by Kevin Naze.

Bonus antlerless deer harvest authorizations will go on sale next. First come the northern and central forest zones Monday, 10 am, followed by the central farmland zone Tuesday and the southern farmland zone Wednesday. The cost is $5 for those younger than 12; all others pay $12 (residents) or $20 (nonresidents).

You can see a list of available bonus antlerless permits by county, deer-management unit and land type (public or private) on the DNR website. 

Bow, crossbow and gun deer hunters already receive five free antlerless tags per license in Door County, and four free with each license in Kewaunee County. You can print them out yourself from your GoWild account, and you’ll need to specify the county and whether they’re for public or private land. 

The first hunts – early teal, early Canada goose and mourning dove – will open Sept. 1. Black bear hunting for those with harvest permits will begin Sept. 9, and fall turkey and bow and crossbow deer are among the Sept. 12 openers. If you drew a Class A Bear Hunting License and would like to transfer the tag to a youth, you must do so by Aug. 25.

This year’s youth waterfowl duck hunt for ages 10-15 will be Sept. 19-20. The regular Canada goose hunt will open Sept. 16, and duck hunting here (southern zone) will begin Oct. 3. The youth gun deer hunt weekend will be Oct. 10-11; the pheasant season opener will be Oct. 17, 9 am; and Nov. 21 will mark this year’s gun deer opener.

Healthy Forests Offer Peace

Heavy rains and plenty of heat this summer has the peninsula’s forests bursting with new growth. From state parks and DNR wildlife areas to Nature Conservancy and land trust properties, thousands of acres of forested lands are open to the public here.

Trees are masters at offering a break from stress and anxiety. The forest canopy keeps things cooler than open areas on hot, sunny days, and a walk in the woods offers fresh air and exercise. 

Using repellents such as DEET and permethrin will help to prevent mosquitoes and ticks from ruining your outing. Get information about fighting the bite at

Top 10 Boat Names Listed

Every year since 1992, the Boat Owners Association of the United States has tallied the most popular boat names in the nation based on requests for designs from its boat-graphics department. 

This year’s top five? Serenity, Island Time, Scout, Pura Vida and Seas the Day. Next up were Shenanigans, Black Pearl, Cool Change, Liberty, and Not on Call

There were no exact repeats from 2019’s list, which were Aquaholic, Pearl, Forever Young, Second Chance, Squid Pro Quo, More Cowbell, Pegasus, Feelin’ Nauti, Why Knot? and High Maintenance.

Take a closer look at the annual top-name lists and possible meanings on the website.  

Commercial Fishing Update

A Great Lakes commercial fishing update was among the agenda items for this week’s state Natural Resources Board meeting. Charlie Henriksen, chair of the Lake Michigan Commercial Fishing Board, was among the speakers. Another agenda item discussed streamlining and simplifying the 2020 hunting regulations pamphlet. Check out an archived webcast at

Water-Levels Update

As of Aug. 7, Lake Michigan was 34 inches above its 100-year monthly average, three inches higher than last year, and two inches above the previous record, set in 1986. 

Lakes Michigan-Huron are considered one waterbody. At 582.15 feet, Lake Michigan was about two inches shy of its highest-ever recorded level of 582.35 feet (in October 1986). The all-time low came early in 2013, at 576.02 feet.