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Energy & Environment

Sec. Stepp Says Upcoming Deer Hunt Shows Public Input

Cathy-Stepp.jpg
Wisconsin DNR
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She says the coming gun deer hunt in Wisconsin reflects a change in DNR policy.
DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp gave a preview of the 2014 hunt, scheduled to begin November 22 through November 30....

".....for the very first time now the people who care about the resources are at the table advising us what they are seeing in their own backyards and communities and what would they like to see when it comes to deer management. A lot of the changes are the result of all the changes in the last year and a half since the Deer Trustee Report came out...."

In October of 2011, Governor Walker hired Texas professor Dr. James Kroll to look at Wisconsin's deer management program. In 2012 he issued a report that proposed several changes.

The Northwoods has had two harsh winters in a row, and Stepp says the public asked for a buck-only hunt to rebuild the herd....

"....we heard from lots of people after last season and we've gone through this winter now and we've seen what the impacts are. People want us to be conservative this time and work hard to rebuild the herd. Weather is one thing that impacts the deer, habitat is another thing that impacts the deer herd...."

She says good forest management improves deer habitat.

But management in the Northwoods is very different than the agricultural areas, where plentiful deer populations are needing to be trimmed.

Stepp says with the changes, she's hoping to hear from the public...

".....this is the first year we're rolling out these changes and there's so much more public involvement than ever before and I'm asking the public to walk through this with us. We're all in this together...."

 The DNR now has deer advisory councils in all 72 counties.

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