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Electronic Deer Registration Could Hurt Tavern Business, Owners Argue

Ken Thomas

The state Natural Resources Board will consider new rules tomorrow for how the state handles deer registration.  But some tavern owners are complaining the rules will hurt business.       


The governor’s so-called deer czar James Kroll has recommended a switch to registering deer online or by phone, instead of in person like at a gas station or bar. 

Steve Moran owns Moran’s Landing in Nokomis.  He says registration brings in a sizable portion of business during deer season. 

“I mean we only make 35 cents for registering a deer, it’s not like we’re getting rich on that or nothing. But most people will stop and have a soda or a beer, or sandwich or soup - so yeah it’s definitely gonna be hurting our business.”

There are over 600 deer reporting places across the state. DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz in Rhinelander says the current method isn’t very efficient. 

“It’s personnel intensive. We have to have DNR employees that travel around to each and every station and drop off supplies. Then we have to periodically call folks and get it entered. Then at the end of the season we have to drive to all the stations and tabulate the information to determine how to pay our registration stations.”

And then all the registrations have to be hand-entered into a computer database. 

Holtz says though the new system may dissuade some people from registering their kill, others who may live far from a registration place will find it easier. 

Electronic registration is already in place for turkey, goose and bobcat hunting.  But the process for bear will remain the old-fashioned one for now.  Wolves require a combination of registration over the phone and in person with specified DNR personnel.  

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