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Hunters called to protect state’s hunting heritage

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Survey: hunter numbers dropping

photo courtesy WDNR ©2012

We had 11 hunters, including five kids, at our deer camp last year. Sleeping arrangements were a bit complex, but we made it work. In the moments before dawn, all 11 were up and dressed ready to venture out to their posts to play an assigned role in the group hunt.

That’s hunting in Wisconsin — steeped in tradition and family values. There are hunting families and camps that have persisted for generations. Others, like ours, can only claim a decade or two of fun stories. If you only talk with hunting friends – in person or electronically – it’s easy to get the feeling there will always be as many hunters as there are today.

A look at statistics gives a different picture, however. The total number of hunters the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reported to the federal government has declined from 770,000 in 2000 to about 704,000 in 2010. A recent demographic analysis published in Population and Environment predicts the number of resident male deer hunters will decline by more than 25 percent in the next 18 years. The figures predict an average decline of 1.6 percent per year with the drop off accelerating in the later years.

Moreover, DNR surveys reveal the number of small game hunters has declined by an average 2 percent per year for the past eleven years and attendance at Hunter Education courses has dropped by an average of 2 percent per year since 2000.

The evidence indicates we are at the beginning of a long, steady decline in number of hunters in Wisconsin. With more than 700,000 still hunting in the Badger State, should we respond now? Yes.

Yes, because we still have a lot of hunters. And, hunters are the only ones who will be able to ensure our future by mentoring new hunters. Further, there’s no successful model to follow for recruiting new hunters and hunter numbers are declining around the nation. We need time to learn what works for hunter recruitment in the 21st century.

Read more here:

For more information:

  • Keith Warnke – (608) 576-5243

Get specific advice for specific waters online and with one search

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New search feature debuts with updated 2012 fish consumption advice

photo courtesy WDNR ©2012

MADISON – It’s now easier than ever for anglers fishing Wisconsin waters to make sure their catch is safe to eat: Wisconsin’s updated fish consumption advice for 2012 is available online and features a new search tool that delivers anglers simplified consumption advice for fish from specific waters to limit exposure to environmental contaminants that may be in the fish.

“Fish are a part of a healthy diet and fun to catch. Fishing gets us outdoors. We wanted to make it easier for anglers to get the right advice quickly and without having to look at different charts in our booklet,” says Candy Schrank, the Department of Natural Resources toxicologist who coordinates fish consumption advice. “We hope people will use the query tool frequently to check advice for eating fish from their favorite fishing spot.”

The new query tool can be found by going to the DNR website dnr.wi.gov and searching for “Eat Your Catch.” Development of this tool was supported by the Department of Health Services’ Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grant. The grant also supported creation of Hmong and Spanish versions of a two-minute video about Wisconsin’s fish consumption advice.

Read more here:

For more information:

  • Candy Schrank -(608) 267-7614
  • Dr. Henry Anderson – (608) 266-1253
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