DNR to issue fewer Northern Wisconsin deer hunting permitsThe Department of Natural Resources is backing off on the number of deer hunting permits it will issue this fall. The agency hopes the state's deer herd will grow.
By: By Rich Kremer, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
The Department of Natural Resources is backing off on the number of deer hunting permits it will issue this fall. The agency hopes the state's deer herd will grow.
Hunters in northern Wisconsin have long complained about a lack of deer. Now, the DNR is responding by reducing the number of herd control units from 64 to 44. The units are aimed at controlling population. Tom Hauge is the DNR's Bureau Director of Wildlife Management. He says the bulk of reduction is in the northern forest, comprising the top one-third of the state.
"Our buck harvest was lower than what we anticipated so we're backing off this year and that's where the bulk of that reduction in herd control units is coming from,” Hauge said.
Another big change for hunters in northern Wisconsin will be a four county deer baiting and feeding ban. Earlier this month, the DNR announced that a three and a half year old doe near Shell Lake tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease. Hauge says feeding and baiting will be banned in Barron, Burnett, Polk and Washburn Counties but he's not sure when.
‘"We've started the paperwork and I think the paperwork is in review,” he said. “So, it could be that the ban could go into effect as early as sometime in May but we're trying to move it along."
Also, Hauge says hunters are being asked to help the DNR study how widespread CWD is in the Shell Lake region. The DNR is hoping for a minimum of 500 tissue samples from hunters within a 10 mile radius around where the sick deer was found. Hauge says the DNR is still working on how the samples will be collected. One possibility is DNR staff taking tissue samples at registration stations or working with meat processors. But Hauge says there will be no cost to hunters for submitting samples.