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DNR Holds Public Hearings On Permanent Deer Management Changes

Michele Woodford
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

County deer advisory councils will have more flexibility this year, if a permanent rule for changes to the state’s deer management plan goes forward.

Changes thanks to the Deer Trustee Report took effect last season temporarily, and the state Natural Resources Board must act to make them permanent.  

DNR Wildlife Regulation Policy specialist Scott Loomans says continuation of the plan will expand options for County Deer Advisory Councils. 

“They would be able to recommend for instance antlerless-only for some seasons – if they wanted to focus harvest in some areas. And again this is likely not something you’d see implemented in the north, but in southern areas.”

Councils could also recommend an additional season like a holiday hunt, or a buck harvest restricted to certain antler sizes. 

Late last year, the councils made broad recommendations to either increase, decrease or maintain the current deer herd.   

Public hearings are taking place throughout the state, with one in Rhinelander on Tuesday January 27th at James Williams Middle School.  The state Natural Resources Board will take up the issue at its February meeting. 

DNR officials are holding a series of public hearings before changes to the deer management structure become permanent.

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