Mild, windy and wet weather greeted archers at this year’s Camp Ripley bow hunts near Little Falls, and hunters took 237 deer during the four-day event from Oct. 18-19, and Oct. 27-28. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources issued 2,883 permits, and the 2,365 participating hunters had above average success of 9.7 percent. The Central Lakes College Natural Resources Program coordinated morning check-in and provided deer registration services at the hunts. “We have a strong partnership with Central Lakes College,” said Beau Liddell, DNR wildlife manager at Little Falls. “They did a great job managing traffic and registering deer. The event is a worthwhile opportunity to train students pursuing careers in wildlife management.” The archery hunt at Camp Ripley is an annual event. The DNR coordinates the hunts in collaboration with Central Lakes College Natural Resources Department, and the Department of Military Affairs, which manages the 53,000-acre military reservation.
SOURCE: Minnesota DNR
Ruffed grouse hunting season shortened in Zone A
MADISON - An emergency rule is now in effect to move the season closing date for ruffed grouse hunting in Zone A from Jan. 31, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2018. The ruffed grouse season opened Sept. 15, in Zone A. The change does not impact season dates for Zone B, which runs from Oct. 20, to Dec. 8, 2018. Bag limits remain at five birds in Zone A and three birds in Zone B. Emergency rules are effective for 150 days, so the early closure only applies to the 2018-19 season. Department of Natural Resources staff have begun working with partners on a statewide ruffed grouse management plan that will outline the future of ruffed grouse management in Wisconsin. This plan is expected to be completed in early 2020. The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board approved this emergency rule at its Sept. 26 meeting. For more information regarding ruffed grouse hunting in Wisconsin, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for "ruffed grouse."
SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR
Wild Wisconsin web series gives hunters access to helpful information
MADISON - The world of hunting is changing, and Department of Natural Resources staff are hard at work to make sure Wisconsin's hunters have the resources they need for a safe and successful deer season. Wild Wisconsin is your ticket to enjoy the outdoors this fall. Web series segments, podcasts and more - all at your fingertips. With help from Vortex Optics, Mayville Engineering Company Shooting Sports and The Hunting Public, Wild Wisconsin is back for year two. Whether hunters prefer to watch all segments at once, catch one or two before their hunt, or listen to podcasts, Wild Wisconsin has it all. Topics range from public land hunting tips to chronic wasting disease and what it means for Wisconsin's deer herd. Wild Wisconsin main series segments - these segments provide a quick overview of helpful hunting-related topics: Ep. 1 - What Does It Mean to Be a Wisconsin Deer Hunter? Ep. 2 - 2018 Deer Hunting Forecast Ep. 3 - How Can Reading the Landscape Improve Your Hunt? Ep. 4 - Wisconsin's Public Lands Ep. 5 - Field Dressing Ep. 6 - Wild Game Cooking Wild Wisconsin bonus segments - a more in-depth look at CWD, public land hunting and more: Public Land Hunting 101 Managing Your Land for Wildlife What DNR Deer Research Means for You What Does Chronic Wasting Disease Mean for Wisconsin's Hunters? Firearm and Treestand Safety For even more hunting content, be sure to check out the Wild Wisconsin: Off the Record podcast - topics covered include a deer hunting forecast, public land hunting guide and much more. The podcast series is available on iTunes (search "Wild Wisconsin), Stitcher (search "Wild Wisconsin) and YouTube. All web series segments and podcasts, along with wild game recipes and much more, can be found at dnr.wi.gov, keywords "Wild Wisconsin." Be sure to follow DNR's Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter pages for more Wild Wisconsin throughout Fall hunting seasons.
SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR
Hunt Wild Wisconsin mobile app has everything hunters need
SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR
Preliminary 2018 Wisconsin black bear harvest numbers available
MADISON - Preliminary registration numbers show hunters harvested 3,685 black bears during the 2018 Wisconsin bear hunting seasons. This represents a decrease of 11 percent from the 4,136 black bears harvested in 2017. "Wisconsin's bear population remains healthy, and the 2018 season again provided hunters excellent opportunities to share time in the woods with family and friends," said Scott Walter, large carnivore specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "The slight decline in harvest this year was to some extent expected, as we reduced the harvest quota in 3 of our 4 bear management zones to achieve population management goals." While reports from hunters during the season were varied, hunter success was very similar to previous years across most of the state, with over half of hunters in most areas harvesting a bear. Zone C, which includes central and southern Wisconsin saw just over half the quota harvested, with 9 percent of hunters registering bears. "Data provided by hunters through registration really serves as the backbone of our bear population management process, and we appreciate their commitment to sound, science-based management," said Walter. Interest in black bear hunting continues to increase in Wisconsin, with over 124,000 hunters applying for either a harvest permit or preference point for the 2018 season. "With participation in many forms of hunting on the decline, the passion Wisconsin bear hunters have for our bear resource, the hunting experience, and for introducing new hunters to the outdoors is wonderful to see," said Walter. "Now is definitely an exciting time for Wisconsin's bear program. We've got new population monitoring tools in development, an extremely engaged community of bear hunters, and a healthy and expanding bear population." For more information regarding black bears and bear hunting in Wisconsin, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "bear."
SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR
Minnesota deer season opens this weekend
Minnesota’s firearms deer season begins a half-hour before sunrise on Saturday, Nov. 3, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources expects half a million hunters to participate. There are some points to remember. Hunters will have additional deer hunting opportunities because deer numbers continue to rebound across the state. Many areas now have populations at or above goal levels.
Hunters should follow the three tenets of safe firearms handling: * Treat each firearm as if it is loaded by keeping finger off the trigger. * Always control the muzzle of the firearm. * Be sure of target and what is beyond.
Tree stand accidents are the leading cause of injury to hunters, so it’s always important they wear a safety harness and follow other safety guidelines. The DNR requires hunters in central, north-central and southeast Minnesota (including deer permit area 255) to have their harvested deer tested for chronic wasting disease during opening weekend of the season on Saturday, Nov. 3 and Sunday, Nov. 4. Mandatory CWD testing also will occur in much of southeast Minnesota during the opening weekend of the 3B season, Saturday, Nov. 17, and Sunday, Nov. 18. During both periods, stations will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Hunters can find information about CWD testing locations and procedures at mndnr.gov/cwd and in the 2018 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet. Hunters can find deer hunting information at mndnr.gov/hunting/deer and join in on social media using #DeerCampMN. They can direct hunting questions to the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
SOURCE: Minnesota DNR
Minnesota white-tailed deer facts
The animal * Adult female white-tailed deer weigh about 145 pounds, and males weigh about 170 pounds. * The biggest white-tailed deer recorded in Minnesota was a 500-pound buck. * A whitetail’s home range is about 1 square mile.
Deer hunting * There are nearly 500,000 firearms deer hunters in Minnesota. * Last year, 35 percent of Minnesota firearm hunters successfully harvested a deer. About 53 percent were antlered bucks. * 70 percent of Minnesota’s firearms deer harvest typically occurs during the first three or four days of the season. * The average hunter spends five days afield during Minnesota’s firearms deer season. * The highest deer harvests occurred during the early to mid-1990s and from 2000 to 2008. From 2000 to 2008 the harvest topped 200,000 deer each year. The high harvests in the early 2000s occurred at a time when the overriding philosophy was to reduce the deer population so it wouldn’t grow out of control and to address certain environmental, economic and social concerns. Harvests in the 1970s never topped 100,000, while harvests in the 1980s were under 150,000. In 2017, the harvest was just over 197,500.
Deer licenses and seasons * In total, about 666,000 deer hunting licenses and permits (all types) were sold in 2017. * The three primary types of deer hunting seasons are firearms, muzzleloader and archery. Firearms season opens on Saturday, Nov. 3; muzzleloader on Saturday, Nov. 24; and archery season opened on Sept. 15. * The DNR Information Center received over 4,600 inquires via phone and email the week leading up to last year’s firearms deer opener. The majority of the questions were related to the upcoming deer season.
Firearms hunter safety * The three most common factors in hunting-related firearms incidents are careless handling, not knowing the safe zone of fire and not being sure of what’s beyond the target. * The three tenets of safe firearms handling are: Treat each firearm as if it is loaded by keeping your finger off the trigger; always control the muzzle of your firearm; and be sure of your target and what is beyond. * Since 2011, the DNR’s 4,000 certified instructors have provided firearms safety training to 177,453 students.
Deer management in Minnesota * The DNR is entrusted to manage the deer herd on behalf of, and for, the benefit of all Minnesotans. * The DNR recently completed a strategic statewide deer plan to guide efforts related to deer over the next 10 years. * Hunters help manage deer populations, and hunting also is a tool used to control deer diseases, including chronic wasting disease. * Opinions on how deer should be managed are diverse, and the DNR values all opinions. Deer population management affects many other natural resources.
More information on deer hunting can be found at mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.