Public meetings planned to discuss deer season changesA proposal is being considered by the Natural Resources Board that would extend Wisconsin's regular firearm season to 16 days, beginning two Saturday’s before the Thanksgiving holiday.
In Minnesota, many hunters often remain upbeat if they fail to bag a deer during the regular firearm season. When asked why they aren’t disappointed, the answer is always the same:
“We have a cabin in Wisconsin.”
With a proposed change to Wisconsin’s deer season, that reassurance of a second hunt may soon hold less meaning.
In Minnesota, the fall hunt begins on the first Saturday of November and runs for nine to 16 days. Northeastern Minnesota is the only of the three regions with a 16-day hunt. Under its current structure, Wisconsin begins its November firearm hunt the Saturday before the Thanksgiving weekend, and the hunt runs for nine days.
However a new proposal is being considered by the Natural Resources Board in Wisconsin. Under the proposal, the state’s regular firearm season would begin two Saturday’s before the Thanksgiving holiday and run for 16 days.
The change will result in more cross-over between deer seasons in northeastern Minnesota and Wisconsin. Currently, a two-day overlap exists between the seasons. Under the proposed Wisconsin season structure, residents would see an overlap of more than a week.
Along with the new season, the Natural Resources Board is suggesting about eight other changes meant to serve as an alternative to Wisconsin’s Earn-a-buck program, which has been highly unpopular with hunters.
Locally, public meetings will be held in Ashland Oct. 21 and Spooner Oct. 28 to discuss the proposed changes. All meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. Comments can also be submitted online through the DNR Web site or mailed to Keith Warnke, Bureau of Wildlife Management, PO box 7921, Madison, WI 53707. Comments will be accepted until Nov. 3.
What do you need to know?
If the proposed changes to Wisconsin’s deer hunting season are approved, they won’t go into effect until the 2010 season. Opinions on the season changes can be voiced at public hearings throughout the state during October.
l Extend the current nine-day regular season hunt to 16 days, beginning on the Saturday two weeks before the Thanksgiving weekend. The season structure would be the normal bucks plus variable quota.
l Do not halt the archery season during the regular gun hunt in November. Firearm and archery hunters will hunt at the same time.
l Add an early muzzleloader season in October but still retain the late muzzleloader season in December.
l Increase youth hunt in October from two days to five. Hunters can be as young as 10 if accompanied by an adult.
Public hearings on the proposed changes will be held in numerous cities beginning Oct. 14. The schedule is as follows:
Oct. 14, Crivitz – Crivitz Village Hall, 800 Henriette Ave.
Oct. 15, Onalaska – Onalaska High School Fieldhouse, 700 Hilltopper Place.
Oct. 21, Madison – Lussier Family Heritage Center, Main Level, 3101 Lake Farm Road.
Oct. 21, Rhinelander – James Williams Middle School, 915 Acacia Lane.
Oct. 21, Ashland – Ashland AmericInn Conference Center, 3009 Lakeshore Drive E.
Oct. 26, Appleton – Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton Campus, Room C190, 1825 North Bluemound Drive.
Oct. 27, Sturtevant – Natural Resources office building, 9531 Rayne Road, Suite 4.
Oct. 28, Pewaukee – Waukesha County Technical College, Room C051/C057, 800 Main St.
Oct. 28, Spooner – Spooner High School Auditorium, 801 County A.
Nov. 3, Stevens Point – Portage County Courthouse Annex, Conference Room 1, 1462 Strongs Ave.