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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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More than 20,000 apply for Wisconsin wolf hunting license

DSORe S737 - News Pic 1 - 20K licenses for the first wolf hunt in WI in 60 years!
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.

Read more here:

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:


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Fall wild turkey and ruffed grouse seasons open Sept. 15

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2012 fall wild turkey and ruffed grouse seasons are set to open, hunter prospects look good.illustration c. OOAK Digital Gallery ©2012

MADISON – The 2012 fall wild turkey and ruffed grouse seasons are set to open, and state wildlife officials say that hunter prospects are good for both seasons. The turkey season will open statewide at the start of shooting hours on Sept. 15, as will the grouse season in Zone A. Grouse hunters interested in pursuing grouse in southeastern Wisconsin should be aware that the grouse season does not open until Oct. 20 in Zone B.

Overall, Wisconsin’s statewide wild turkey population remains strong, and wildlife officials have set the number of fall turkey permits available at 96,700, a 1,000-permit increase over the number of permits offered during last year’s fall turkey season. Permits were increased by 600 in Zone 2 and by 400 in Zone 7 in order to better accommodate demand by hunters.

Ruffed grouse populations in Wisconsin appear to be entering a downswing, according to this spring’s drumming survey results. Ruffed grouse populations are known to boom and bust over an 8-11 year period, and the index that the state uses to track ruffed grouse numbers decreased statewide by 25 percent between 2011 and 2012. This decrease isn’t a surprise, as Wisconsin was overdue for the expected downturn, but weather conditions in the spring were excellent for nesting and brood-rearing, and should mean a good year for reproduction. First-year birds may therefore help offset the cyclic downturn in numbers, and hunters can expect good hunting again during the 2012 season.

Fall wild turkey and ruffed grouse season dates and reminders

2012 Fall Wild Turkey Season Dates (all zones):

  • Sept. 15 through Nov. 15

2012 Fall Wild Turkey Extended Season Dates for Zones 1-5 ONLY:

  • Nov. 26 through Dec. 31

2012 Ruffed Grouse Season Dates:

  • Zone A: Sept. 15, 2012 through Jan. 31, 2013
  • Zone B: Oct. 20 through Dec. 8

2012 Woodcock Season
Sept. 22 through Nov. 5

For more information, see the Wisconsin wild turkey, ruffed grouse, and Harvest Information Program pages on the DNR website.

Read more here:

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

  • Scott Walter, upland wildlife ecologist: (608) 267-7861
  • Krista McGinley, assistant upland wildlife ecologist: (608) 261-8458

Turkey and grouse hunting have special safety concerns

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“Wear blaze orange clothing and stay in visual contact with your hunting partners at all times.”Part of the mindset necessary for a safe hunting season.photo c. Dan Small Outdoors, LLC. ©2012

MADISON — Hunters need to keep safety in mind when hunting turkey and grouse.

“There’s something very special about turkey and grouse hunting,” says Jon King Department of Natural Resources hunter education program administrator. “And with the enthusiasm that goes along with this type of hunting, we should all be mindful of making sure we return home safe and sound at the end of each hunt.”

Here are some things King says hunters need to keep in mind when going afield after ruffed grouse and fall turkey:

Follow the four basic rules of firearm safety: TAB+K.

  • Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
  • Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
  • Plan your hunt and hunt your plan.
  • Know your safe zone of fire, know where your hunting partners are and always advance forward in unison and don’t get ahead of or behind your hunting partner.
  • Be certain of your target and what’s beyond it.
  • Shooting into thick cover or heavy brush without positive identification can lead to a tragedy.
  • Wear blaze orange clothing and stay in visual contact with your hunting partners at all times. If you lose sight of each other, stop hunting, call, and listen until you locate each other.
  • Other hunters and non-hunters will be afield so take the time needed to ensure you have a safe shot.
  • Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until you’re ready to shoot.
  • 34 percent of hunting incidents are self-inflicted and preventable.

King suggests that you advise someone else of where you will be hunting and when they should expect you back. If something should go wrong, at least someone will know where to start looking.

“Famed conservationist Aldo Leopold once wrote, ‘There are two kinds of hunting: ordinary hunting, and ruffed grouse hunting,’” King says. “Don’t let careless hunting practices spoil this special tradition.”

Read more here:

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

  • Jon King, hunter education program administrator: 608-575-2294

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