Emergency deer carcass transportation rule suspended

MADISON - The Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules voted to suspend portions of an emergency rule that would have restricted deer carcass transportation in CWD-affected counties at its Oct. 1 meeting.
As a result, carcass transport regulation changes included in the original emergency rule, approved by the Natural Resources Board at its Aug. 8 meeting, are not in effect as previously announced. The 2018 deer hunting regulations and deer carcass movement restrictions webpage has been updated to reflect this change and revert back to 2017 carcass transportation rules.
It is important to note that it remains illegal to transport whole wild deer carcasses and certain parts of those carcasses from CWD-affected counties to areas outside of CWD-affected counties, unless these deer carcasses or parts are being transported to an adjacent county or to a licensed taxidermist or licensed meat processor within 72 hours of the deer being registered. This restriction applies to all CWD-affected counties, including those where a baiting and feeding ban is no longer in effect.
Proper disposal of deer carcass waste is an effective preventative measure to reduce risk of disease transmission. While the emergency rule has been suspended, Department of Natural Resources staff continue to encourage hunters who harvest a deer in a CWD-affected county to voluntarily keep that deer carcass in the county of harvest or limit movement to an adjacent CWD-affected county, unless the hunter transports the carcass to a licensed taxidermist, meat processor, or landfill through regular waste disposal systems such as curbside pick-up.
Deer hunters play a key role in preventing the spread of CWD in Wisconsin, and DNR staff encourage hunters to have harvested deer tested for CWD and to adhere to baiting and feeding bans. For more regarding CWD in Wisconsin, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "CWD."

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

Deer hunting truly a part of Minnesota's culture

Deer hunting is more than good business. For many, it's a family tradition, part of Minnesota's heritage. It is a way to get out and be active together in the great outdoors.
Nearly one half-million, or 12 percent, of Minnesotans (residents age 16 and older) participate in deer hunting which is double the national average.
Since 1998, our state constitution has supported hunting. By a three to one margin voters agreed to amend our constitution to say, "Hunting and fishing and the taking of game and fish are a valued part of our heritage that shall be forever preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and regulation for the public good."
In 2008 Minnesota voters passed the Legacy Amendment, again amending the state constitution to support hunting. The Legacy Amendment, through a slight increase in the sales tax, provides some $80 million a year for habitat conservation through the Outdoor Heritage Fund. Habitat conservation and sustainable hunting go hand-in-hand.
The economic contribution of deer hunting alone supports 3,760 jobs throughout the state resulting in more than $234 million dollars of direct retail sales.
Outdoor recreation is one of the main draws for visitors to Minnesota. Minnesota is known for its lakes and woods, and the abundance of outdoor recreation related to its natural resources.
About 1.3 million Minnesotans have completed firearms safety training.
Join Gov. Mark Dayton to honor and promote Minnesota's deer hunting tradition on Thursday, Nov. 1, at Grand Casino Hinckley.
During the celebration, which runs from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., attendees will have a chance to take part in informational seminars and live demonstrations, browse deer hunting-related vendor displays, participate in raffles and auctions, hear live music, mingle with other deer hunting enthusiasts and professionals and celebrate camp camaraderie while enjoying gourmet hors d'oeuvres.
Tickets to the celebration are $50 and can be purchased locally at area Northview Bank locations or found online with additional event information at www.mngovernorsdeeropener.com. A very limited number of tickets may be available at the door.
As an added incentive, each ticket purchased will be entered into the door prize drawings for a lifetime deer hunting license or lifetime membership to the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association.
The Governor's Deer Hunting Opener promotes hunting and tourism and is being hosted by Governor Mark Dayton and is a partnership among the DNR, MDHA and its local chapters, Explore Minnesota and the Hinckley Convention & Visitors Bureau.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

Deer tests positive for CWD in disease management zone

A deer taken during the opening weekend of archery season in southeastern Minnesota’s disease management zone has tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
A hunter harvested the adult male deer about 1 mile east of Preston in the center of the CWD management zone. Mandatory surveillance is in effect for the area, which is designated as deer permit area 603.
Eighteen deer harvested in the disease management zone have tested positive for the disease since fall 2016.
“This discovery highlights the importance and necessity of our disease surveillance efforts, and we’re appreciative of hunters’ willingness to help us combat CWD by complying with mandatory sampling regulations and carcass movement restrictions,” said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the DNR.
Complete CWD test results from southeastern Minnesota are available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwdcheck. Any additional deer harvested during current and upcoming 2018 deer  seasons in the disease management zone that test positive for CWD will be reported on this CWD results webpage. The DNR will directly notify any hunter who harvests a deer that tests positive. Complete information for hunters about CWD for current and upcoming hunting seasons is online at mndnr.gov/cwd.
The DNR has prepared deer quartering and caping videos that can help hunters comply with export restrictions from the CWD management zone and carcass import restrictions from other states. They are available online at mndnr.gov/cwd/videos.html.
The DNR also has partnered with Bluffland Whitetails Association to provide a tent in Preston where hunters can quarter their deer and properly dispose of remains. Hunters who properly quarter deer can take whole quarters with the main leg bone in it or boned-out meat from a harvested deer out of the CWD management zone immediately, as long as the head or spinal column is not attached prior to receiving test results.
Complete information about mandatory sampling and carcass movement restrictions in the disease management zone is online at mndnr.gov/cwd/603.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

2017 small game hunter survey results released

Small game license sales were down about four percent in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources annual small game survey.
Results for 2017 include, by species:

Ducks – 63,426 hunters, representing a six percent decrease from 2016. Despite slightly fewer hunters, duck harvest increased 12 percent with 688,225 ducks harvested. Successful duck hunters averaged more ducks bagged for the season (12.5 ducks compared to 10.9 ducks in 2016).

Canada goose – 44,678 hunters, an eight percent increase from the previous year. Estimated Canada goose harvest was 267,192 geese, a 23 percent increase. The increase in harvest was due to the increase in goose hunters as successful hunters bagged an average of 7.4 geese each, which was similar to the previous season.

Ring-necked pheasant – 45,263 hunters, a 32 percent decrease compared to 2016. Pheasant harvest declined from 196,141 roosters to 171,883, a 14 percent decline. Successful hunters harvested an average of 5.5 roosters each, a slight increase from the five roosters per hunter average in the previous year.

Ruffed grouse – 80,654 hunters, similar to the previous year. Harvest was 285,180 compared to 308,955 grouse in 2016. Estimated take per successful ruffed grouse hunter dropped slightly from an average of 5.3 grouse per hunter to 4.8 grouse per hunter.

Small game license sales have been declining over time, and this year’s results continue that trend. However, the annual survey does not ask hunters the reasons why they did or did not hunt.
“Given the long-term trends for small game hunting, none of the results are surprising for us,” said James Burnham, hunting and angling recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) coordinator. “Declines in small game hunter numbers show the importance of introducing folks to hunting, and small game hunting offers a tremendous opportunity to show safe and fun hunting practices.”
The DNR aims to increase participation rates in small game hunting by working with conservation partners to show the appeal that small game hunting can have for young adults who already spend time in the outdoors. Efforts will center on serial events that connect new hunters to mentors and get folks out to enjoy the tremendous resources that Minnesota offers. Additionally, the DNR has recently formed a 21-member R3 citizen council to help grow hunting and angling participation and awareness.
More about the DNR’s efforts to increase the numbers of hunters can be found at mndnr.gov/R3.
The DNR annually surveys small game hunters to make estimates of both hunter numbers and harvest trends. For the 2017 season, 7,000 small game license buyers were surveyed of which 4,163 surveys were returned and usable. The complete report is on the DNR website at http://bit.ly/DNRWildlifeResearchReports.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

Early antlerless-only deer hunting season runs Oct. 18-21

Hunters in portions of southeastern Minnesota can once again harvest antlerless deer in an early antlerless-only season from Thursday, Oct. 18, to Sunday, Oct. 21, in deer permit areas 346, 348, 349 and 603 in Fillmore, Houston, Olmsted and Winona counties, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
“The goal of this hunt is to reduce the deer populations in these areas with higher deer densities because of damage to agricultural crops and increased risk of chronic wasting disease spreading,” said Erik Thorson, acting big game program leader. “Any antlerless deer harvested as part of this hunt do not count against an individual’s normal statewide or deer permit area bag limit, so they can be considered extra deer.”
Deer populations in permit areas 346, 348 and 349 have been over the population goals established in 2014 for multiple seasons. The antlerless-only season is intended to help move populations toward established goals, reduce damage to resources and provide additional hunting opportunity.

How to participate
Public land is limited in the early antlerless hunt areas and hunters need to ask permission to hunt private lands.
All deer must be tagged with an appropriate permit. There are a few permit and license options for those who want to participate.
With at least one valid early antlerless permit, and a valid archery, firearms or muzzleloader deer license for all four open permit areas.
With bonus permits and at least one valid early antlerless permit, as well as a valid archery, firearms or muzzleloader deer license for all four open permit areas.
In permit area 603 with disease management tags. Any hunter of legal age may purchase and use an unlimited number of disease management tags to harvest antlerless deer during the early antlerless-only hunt in permit area 603. They are available for $1.50 plus issuing fees wherever deer licenses are sold and are valid without any additional licenses. Disease management tags may not be used outside permit area 603.
In the early antlerless deer hunt, only antlerless deer may be taken, the bag limit is five, and hunters may use up to five early antlerless permits or other valid permits. Deer harvested during the special season do not count toward a hunter’s statewide limit during other deer seasons. Early antlerless deer permits cost $7.50 for residents, $40 for nonresidents, and may be purchased wherever hunting licenses are sold.
The early antlerless season coincides with the four-day special youth deer season. More information can be found at mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.

CWD testing in permit area 603
Hunters in permit area 603 must have their adult deer tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD) by providing the head of all adult deer in one of five head collection boxes (see page 64 of the 2018 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook for location details).  
After the head of these deer are provided for sampling, the hunter cannot move the carcass out of the permit area until a not detected test result is received. Properly cut-up deer and boned-out meat can be taken out of the area provided no brain matter or spinal column material is attached.
A tent and tripod to hang deer is provided by the Bluffland Whitetails Association at the Preston DNR Forestry office. This is available to hunters to allow them to quarter their deer, leave the carcass remains in a provided dumpster, and give them options so quarters or meat can leave the 603 zone before receiving a CWD test result. Information on proper steps to follow after harvesting a deer in permit area 603 or to check CWD test results is available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwd.
CWD testing during the early antlerless and youth season outside the CWD zone is not required. Mandatory testing will occur on Saturday, Nov. 3, and Sunday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 17, and Sunday, Nov. 18, during the first two days of the firearms A and B deer seasons in these areas.
Individuals can voluntarily have deer tested for CWD through the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at the University of Minnesota for a fee. More information is available online at vdl.umn.edu or by telephone at 612-625-8787.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

New Hunt Wild Wisconsin mobile application has everything

MADISON - New for Fall 2018, the Hunt Wild Wisconsin mobile application has everything hunters need to improve their time in the outdoors.
"Hunt Wild Wisconsin is going to help our hunters from day one - they can find new public lands, take a look at the regulations, and much more - all in one place," said DNR Secretary Dan Meyer. "This is something our staff have worked extremely hard to roll out for fall hunting seasons. I think people are going to love using this app."
Find new public lands to explore, brush up on the regulations, or listen to podcasts - users can do it all with Hunt Wild Wisconsin. With mobile mapping, up to the minute shooting hours, and much more, we've given you all the tools to focus on what's important - enjoying your time in the outdoors.
To download this free hunting app on your mobile phone, simply search "Hunt Wild Wisconsin" in the iTunes app store or Google Play store on your mobile device. Be sure to check out a helpful tutorial to help you navigate the app and learn its features.This free mobile app has tons of features that will help improve your time in the field:
* Build your experience based on what you hunt - Hunt Wild Wisconsin tailors mapping and regulations features based on which species you plan on pursuing - everything from zones to season dates.
* Access satellite and topographic maps, public land boundaries and regulations with (or without) a cell signal.
* Tailor the map to your hunt - save your favorite hunting location or feature of interest.
* Save your trails for those early morning walk-ins.
* Shooting hours are automatically determined by your location.
* Easy to read summary of regulations, all in one place - everything you need to know, right in the palm of your hand (with or without a cellular connection).
* Access to your Go Wild account allows you to purchase new hunting licenses, tags, and permits.
* Use GameReg in the field to register your harvest with the Hunt Wild Wisconsin app.
Listen to the Off the Record Podcast on your walk in or pass time in the stand.
For users with Android phones, it is important to note that this app is primarily intended for Android versions 8.0 and above. Android phones with version 7.0 may not have access to some mapping capabilities within the app and Android versions 6.0 and below will be unable to install the application - this is to help ensure a quality experience for our users.
For support regarding the Hunt Wild Wisconsin mobile application, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
You can find download information and a tutorial on the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, by searching keywords "hunt app."

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

Online tools show hunters where baiting, feeding is banned

MADISON - Before taking part in upcoming hunting seasons or placing feed for wildlife, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts should be sure to check the baiting and feeding webpage and verify which counties currently prohibit wildlife baiting and feeding activities.
For more information regarding baiting and feeding, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "bait."
Since the end of the 2017 deer season, Milwaukee, Lincoln, Washington, Marinette, Langlade, Florence, Chippewa, Dunn, Pepin, Buffalo, Trempealeau, Dodge, Fond du Lac and Sheboygan counties have been added to the ban. Wood County which was previously subject to deer baiting and feeding prohibitions has reverted back to regulated deer baiting and feeding. It is important to note that baiting and feeding restrictions are in place for 43 of Wisconsin's 55 chronic wasting disease affected areas/counties.
Baiting and feeding bans are enacted when CWD is detected in wild or captive deer for a period of 3 years (county of detection) or 2 years (counties adjacent to counties with CWD detection) and may be lifted if no new detections are found in CWD affected counties. All current baiting and feeding bans will remain in effect throughout the 2018 deer season with the exception of Marquette County, which will be lifted in December 2018 if no new additional detection renews the baiting and feeding ban.
Individuals may still feed birds and small mammals, provided feeding devices are within 50 yards of a human dwelling and at a sufficient height or design to prevent access by deer.
For more information regarding baiting and feeding, check out the baiting and feeding regulations.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR