NRB Modifies June 24 Antlerless Deer Harvest Rule

Jul 31, 2020

Natural Resources Board meeting Thursday via Zoom.
Credit Wisconsin DNR

The state Natural Resources Board got a collective earful from the public during a special meeting Thursday morning after they adopted deer season quotas last month.

The plan reduced antlerless quotas in 11 northern forested counties including Oneida, Vilas, Lincoln, Langlade, Florence, Marinette and other counties.

Reports indicate former board member Dave Clausen filed a complaint, saying the June 24 action was allegedly done by walking quorum, or a decision discussed outside public review.

More than an hour of public testimony challenged the June 24 decision, most saying the board ignored the recommendations of local deer advisory groups or CDACS.

A Marathon County CDAC member Paul Daigle..

"This action was unprecedented, not transparent, not supported by the CDACs and not supported by the metrics and had not received public input. We're deeply disappointed by this unexpected action by the NRB..."

Other CDAC members expressed similar complaints, saying the June 24 action undermined the work done by the local advisory groups

. While keeping most of the June 24 action, the board voted 6-1 to change the antlerless quotas in four northern counties, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas and Sawyer, to earlier DNR recommendations.

Some counties have two needs. In Oconto and Marinette counties, the southern agricultural lands see an abundance of deer, while the northern forested areas find far fewer deer.

The board action last month was meant to address the forested counties dropping deer numbers, but CDAC members said they too were following the metrics.