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WDNR is making itself available – multiple media and language service – FOR YOU!
photo c. WDNR ©2012

Attention Deer Hunters: DNR Customer Service is there for you

MADISON — Last minute questions from hunters at deer camp and from deer stands day or night is routine. It”s all in a day”s work for the Department of Natural Resources Call Center. The expanded hours call center – unique among state natural resources agencies – has handled more than 370,000 customer contacts in the last year, one quarter of them at night and on weekends. More than 21,000 customers have also taken advantage of their on-line chat feature so far this year.

The highly trained representatives respond to a wide variety of DNR issues, from clarifying regulations on hunting and fishing to restrictions on firewood transportation. The call center is on pace to receive more than 370,000 calls this year, with more than 20 percent of these coming during nights and weekends. The Call Center”s motto, “We”re here for you!” Give them a call 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days per week.

Read more here:

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

  • Toll-Free 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463)
  • eMail
  • Online chat is available by searching keyword [CONTACT] on the DNR website

Hunters may harvest deer with tags and collars

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The data retrieved from tracking collars and ear tags, on harvested/dead deer, will provide useful information in managing Wisconsin’s deer herd.
Do your part!

Call the DNR (608) 221-637
photo c. WDNR ©2012

Wisconsin wildlife researchers ask for basic, valuable information in return

MADISON – With the upcoming nine-day gun season approaching fast, wildlife researchers are looking for assistance from Wisconsin hunters who may harvest any of the more than 240 white-tailed deer marked with radio-collars and approximately 200 deer marked with ear tags.

The researchers say hunters” help may play a role in how Wisconsin”s white-tailed deer herd is managed for generations to come. That”s a big impact for help that may take each hunter who harvests a marked deer only a few minutes to provide. With the start of the early archery season a few weeks ago, we have now entered an important phase of the project that involves collecting harvest data from marked deer.

“These deer were marked in 2011 and 2012 as part of a study to better understand how long deer live and how they die,” said Michael Watt, Natural Resource Research Scientist. ”Hunters are free to harvest these marked deer. And if they do, we would like some basic information that shouldn”t take more than a minute to provide.”

The requested information about marked deer include:

  • ear tag or radio collar number;
  • how, when and where the animal died or as harvested
  • the hunter”s phone number, complete with area code

Hunters are being asked to call Watt at (608) 221-6376 to report this information.

Watt and his colleagues marked the deer in the northern counties of Rusk, Sawyer and Price, and the east central counties of Shawano, Waupaca and Outagamie as part of the buck mortality study and fawn predation study sponsored by:

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Wisconsin Conservation Congress
  • Safari Club International (SCI)
  • Wildlife Restoration Funding
  • Union Sportsmen”s Alliance
  • Whitetails Unlimited
  • Applied Population Laboratory
  • Menn Law Firm
  • and private donations from Wisconsin citizens

“I want to stress that hunters should treat these deer like any other deer you might see. These deer may be harvested, but the information that hunters provide is important to the research and the future of our deer herd,” said Watt.

While the DNR uses a deer population modeling system built upon sound science and data, Watt says challenges remain.

“The distribution and numbers of predators has changed in the last 20 years and we hope this study can shed some light on how these changes are affecting our deer herd,” Watt says. “Not only is this a wildlife issue, it is an economic issue – Wisconsin”s tourism relies upon its healthy and abundant natural resources. Deer hunting is part of that tourism industry. Our deer hunters have expressed concerns about the impact that predation may be having on deer population growth and recruitment rates across the state – the department is listening to their concerns and trying to better understand predation impacts with our ongoing collaborative research.”

And this is where the hunters come in, Watt says.

“The only way we will be successful in our deer herd management is through hunters” participation,” Watt says. “And the research partners who make it possible for us to increase our ability to gather this key information.”

Read more here:

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

  • Michael Watt – (608) 221-6376
  • Joanne Haas – (608) 267-0798
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Pockets of dead deer found in Columbia and Rock counties died from EHD

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EHD: What’s the story? Not as bad as believed, but diligence and ‘eyes-on-the-ground’ are needed.

photo c. WDNR ©2012

MADISON – State wildlife officials have confirmed that tissue samples submitted from deer found dead in Columbia and Rock counties have tested positive for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD. A number of citizens in southern Wisconsin contacted the Department of Natural Resources with recent observations of small groups of dead deer. Reports came primarily from the Town of Dekorra in Columbia County, but also from Rock, Waukesha and Walworth counties.

DNR wildlife health specialists submitted the tissue samples for testing to Michigan State University’s Diagnostic Center for Population & Animal Health, which confirmed they died of EHD. Additional tests of deer from Waukesha and Walworth counties are pending and expected within the next one to two weeks.

“Our neighbor states have been seeing EHD outbreaks for the last several weeks and now it has made its way into southern Wisconsin,” said Eric Lobner, DNR southern Wisconsin wildlife supervisor.

EHD is a fairly common disease carried by midges — commonly referred to as no-see-ums — but the virus that causes the disease does not infect humans, according to health specialists, so people are not at risk when handling infected deer, eating venison from infected deer or being bitten by infected midges.

“We are fortunate that the public is tuned into our deer and was quick to report these small pockets of problems,” Lobner said. “By sharing information about the outbreak, we are hoping to get help from the public by providing more eyes on the ground in order to continue to collect observations of sick or dead deer. These observations will help us more clearly understand the geographic distribution and number of deer affected by this disease. This will be valuable information to inform management decisions for future years and provide a better understanding of overall impact of the disease on our deer population.”

EHD is often fatal, typically killing an infected deer within seven days. The last EHD observation in Wisconsin was in 2002 in Iowa County where 14 deer died from the virus. EHD is common across southern states and occasionally shows up as far north as the upper Midwest. This year, outbreaks of EHD have been reported in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. The disease is typically short lived as the flies that transmit the disease die with the first hard frost.

Individuals that observe deer exhibiting the following signs are encouraged to report their observations to the DNR:

  • Excessive salivation or foaming around the nose and mouth.
  • Appearing weak and approachable by humans
  • In or near water sources. They will often lay in water to cool down or drink

Wildlife officials say there is no risk to people or pets from deer that have died of EHD and that deer carcasses can be left on the landscape to decompose. The DNR will not be collecting or removing deer that have died as a result of this outbreak.

As a result of this confirmation, the DNR is no longer collecting samples from dead deer found in Columbia and Rock counties; however, officials do want to take samples from dead deer reported in counties where EHD has not been confirmed. Also, in order to monitor the geographic distribution and the number of deer affected by this EHD event, the DNR does want people to continue to report sick or dead deer within Columbia and Rock counties.

“Often in cases of diseases like this, once we have confirmed the presence of the disease our goal is to have a better handle on the distribution and the number of deer that are affected by the disease,” Lobner said. “Keeping a close eye on the health of our deer is important. Though there is little we can do to prevent the disease, with the onset of cold weather and frost, this outbreak should be over soon. Any information we can get will help us better understand the impact of the disease on our herd. ”

To report a sick deer observation please call the DNR call center toll free at 1-888-WDNR- INFo (1-888-936-7463), email DNRInfo@Wisconsin.gov, or use the chat feature on the DNR website. Staff are available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Please be prepared to provide details about the condition of the deer and the exact location where the deer was observed. Individuals interested in finding more information on sick deer in Wisconsin can visit the Wisconsin DNR website: search keyword [ sick deer ].

Read more here:

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

  • Eric Lobner 608-235-0860
  • Bill Cosh, DNR spokesperson, 608-267-2773

Sept. 22 proclaimed Hunting and Fishing Day in Wisconsin

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National Hunting and Fishing Day, Govenor Walker’s Official Proclomation: WHEREAS …

September 22, 2012

photo c. Wonders of Wildlife ©2012

MADISON – The State of Wisconsin will officially be observing in National Hunting and Fishing Day on Sept. 22, under a proclamation issued by Gov. Scott Walker.

National Hunting and Fishing Day, formalized by Congress in 1971, was created by the National Shooting Sports Foundation to celebrate conservation successes of hunters and anglers and is celebrated the fourth Saturday of every September.

Governor Walker issued the following proclamation for Wisconsin:

Proclamation

National Hunting and Fishing Day

September 22, 2012

WHEREAS, conserving our state’s natural and wildlife resources for future generations is one of the most important responsibilities we have, and

WHEREAS, hunters, trappers and anglers contribute $2.9 billion annually to Wisconsin’s economy through their purchases, and

WHEREAS, Wisconsin has national prominence as a destination for hunters and anglers with more than 600,000 participants in the annual deer hunt and over 1.4 million anglers, and

WHEREAS, sportsmen and women, through their organizations, contribute thousands of volunteer hours to conservation projects, youth and adult outdoor education programs, and fundraising for conservation, and

WHEREAS, Saturday, September 22, 2012 is National Hunting and Fishing day,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Scott Walker, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, do hereby proclaim September 22, 2012 as Hunting and Fishing Day throughout the State of Wisconsin, and I commend this observance to all of our citizens.

Read more here:

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

  • Bill Cosh, DNR spokesperson, 608-267-2773

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More than 20,000 apply for Wisconsin wolf hunting license

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20,000 licenses applied for the first wolf hunt in WI in sixty years

photo c. WDNR ©2012

MADISON – A total of 20,272 people have submitted applications for the drawing for a gray wolf hunting or trapping license for Wisconsin’s first wolf season in more than 60 years. It is scheduled to begin Oct. 15. There were 19,788 applications from Wisconsin residents and 486 from non-residents.

The state Natural Resources Board approved a quota of up to 201wolves that could be harvested during the first season, 85 of which are reserved for Native American Indian tribes within the ceded territory of northern Wisconsin.

The Department of Natural Resources plans to issue 1,160 licenses for the 2012-13 season. Those permits will be awarded by random choice in a drawing that will be held this week. Successful applicants will be notified by letter and then be able to purchase a wolf harvest license for $100 for residents and $500 for nonresidents.

The DNR received nonresident applications from people in 38 other states from Maine to California and Alaska to Texas, with the largest numbers from Illinois (179) and Minnesota (102).

Applicants who are not successful in the drawing will be awarded a preference point toward future drawings.

Starting with the 2013-14 season, one half of available permits will be issued randomly among all permit applications and the second half will be issued through a cumulative preference point drawing.

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Peter Anderson last month temporarily blocked wolf hunters from using dogs or training dogs to hunt wolves while he considers the lawsuit. A DNR motion to dismiss the case is scheduled to be heard on Sept. 14.

As a result of this ruling, the Department of Natural Resources is advising people that the use of dogs for tracking and trailing of wolves is not authorized when hunting wolves under a wolf harvesting license. Also, the use of dogs for training to track or trail free ranging wolves is not authorized at this time. As this is a temporary injunction, the injunction on the use of dogs for wolf hunting and training could be lifted at a future date.

Read more here:

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

  • Kurt Thiede, DNR Land Division administrator, 608-266-5833
  • Bill Cosh, DNR spokesman, 608-267-2773

2012 deer hunter wildlife survey begins

DSORe S737 - WDNR readys for deer hunter suvery season
2012 Deer Hunter Survey time is here again. Trailcam photos are needed. See details below.

photo c. WDNR ©2012

MADISON — The opening of the archery deer season on Sept. 15 marks the beginning of the 2012 Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey. Hunters can find survey instructions, record sightings, and view survey results online at the Wisconsin Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey page by searching for “deer hunter wildlife” on the Department of Natural Resources website dnr.wi.gov. A tally sheet is also available for times when hunters do not have access to a computer.

“Deer hunters often ask if there is a way they can tell the DNR what they are or are not seeing from their deer stand, this survey provides them with the means to do that” said Jes Rees, DNR wildlife survey technician.

Wildlife officials ask that hunters record all of their hunting activity throughout the deer season, even if no wildlife sightings were made during a hunt. The survey period ends January 2013. These observations have provided the DNR with an index to abundance for many wildlife species.

“With the recently released Deer Trustee report recommending more input from the hunting public on herd status, this tool provides the hunter with an excellent way to communicate their sightings,” Rees said. “All they need to do is record the date, number of hours, county, deer management unit, weather conditions, and the type and number of animals observed each day of deer hunting. Hunters can also enter their email address along with their observations and I will send them an email summary of their hunting activity at the end of the survey period.”

Many other states in the Midwest and around the country use these types of surveys to gather hunter input into deer and other wildlife abundance.

This is the fourth year of the survey and deer hunters are asked to report their field observations of a variety of wildlife species, hunting conditions and hours spent pursuing game. Thousands of observations are reported each year.

The Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey overlaps another citizen-participation survey. Operation Deer Watch started Aug. 1 and runs through Sept. 30. The primary objective of Operation Deer Watch is to determine trends in deer reproductive success by reporting does and fawns seen together during the late summer and early fall.

Trail Camera Photos Wanted

The wildlife surveys program is also interested in photographs of rare or endangered species hunters may have captured on their trail cameras. Photos can be emailed to DNR Wildlife Management. This information will help document their existence and location within the state. Trail camera photos can be viewed in our online trail camera gallery on Shutterfly.com.

Questions about the Wisconsin Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey, accessing the tally sheet, reporting your observation, or the results of the survey, can be referred to Jes Rees at 608-221-6360.

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