Online tools show hunters bans on baiting, feeding

MADISON, WI - 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 page of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website for which counties currently prohibit wildlife baiting and feeding activities.
The following 15 counties previously subject to deer baiting and feeding prohibitions have reverted back to regulated deer baiting and feeding: Barron, Burnett, Calumet, Clark, Dodge, Jackson, Kenosha, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Polk, Racine, Sheboygan, Washburn, Washington and Waushara.
It is important to note that baiting and feeding restrictions remain in place for 28 chronic wasting disease affected areas/counties, none of which will be lifted in 2017.
This change affects counties in which an individual is restricted on the placement of bait/feed. The current regulations for placement of bait/feed in counties where this practice is allowed are still in place, including timing, location, quantity, and other requirements. Those interested in baiting/feeding should take time to be familiar with the associated regulations, found at dnr.wi.gov, keywords "baiting and feeding."
These outcomes apply equally to positive samples from free-roaming or captive animals. More information regarding current baiting and feeding rules in response to CWD detections can be found at keyword "CWD."
During the 2017 deer hunting season, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff will continue to sample deer within the Southern Farmland Zone and at select locations in the CWD-affected area. To learn more about the 2017 CWD surveillance plan, or for more information on CWD, search keyword "CWD."
Hunters are reminded that the surveillance plan identifies where the Wisconsin DNR will be attempting to collect samples from deer. However, if hunters anywhere in the state are interested in having their animal tested, they should contact their local wildlife biologist for the county they are located.
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.
Check out this factsheet to see a complete list of what's new in 2017.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Hunters reminded about importance of registering deer

Hunters are reminded to register deer before processing, before antlers are removed and within 48 hours after taking the animal, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
“Deer registration provides information that is essential to our ability to manage deer populations,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations manager. “Hunters are required to register deer and it’s a fairly simple process.”
Hunters register deer with a phone call, online or in person. Before registering a deer, hunters must validate their site tag. The validated tag must be attached to the deer when the deer is placed on a motor vehicle or an ATV, a vehicle or a trailer being towed by an ATV or brought into a camp, yard or other place of habitation.

Phone registration
Register deer via phone by calling 888-706-6367. Directions are printed on each deer hunting license. Have a pen or permanent marker ready. A confirmation number will be given; it must be written on the license and site tag.

Internet registration
Register deer via internet at mndnr.gov/gameregistration. Directions will be similar to phone registration, and a confirmation number must be written on the license and site tag.

In-person registration

When phone or internet registration is not possible, hunters must take their deer to a big-game registration station. The person whose name appears on the license must be present at the registration station with their deer. They will receive a big-game possession tag that must be attached to the hind leg, ear or antler where the site tag was attached. A list of all stations organized by city and county is available at any DNR wildlife office or at mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.
During registration, the hunter must use the permit area number where the deer was harvested; using the wrong deer permit area for registration is illegal. Registration instructions for all methods are available at mndnr.gov/gameregistrationhelp.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


Deer Donation Program helps families in need

MADISON, WI - Each year, hunters, meat processors and food pantries help families in need by working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and its partners donate thousands of pounds of venison to those in need.
"This is a great opportunity for hunters to enjoy the sport of deer hunting while helping those in need," said Noah Balgooyen, DNR wildlife biologist. "Food pantries are eager to receive venison, and individuals and families are truly appreciative of the venison they receive."
The Deer Donation Program was established in 2000. Since then, more than 90,000 deer have been donated and more than 3.6 million pounds of venison have been processed and distributed to food pantries across the state.
"This is a true collaborative effort," added Balgooyen.
Hunters, meat processors, food pantries and countless volunteers help the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, counties across the state, USDA-Wildlife Services, and community programs organize donations, coordinate processing and distribute venison.
Donated deer must be sampled for CWD prior to, or at the time of donation. The processed venison will be held until results are known.
For more information about the DNR's deer donation program, CWD sampling requirements, and more on how you can help, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "deer donation."

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Learn rules for portable stands

Hunters planning to use portable stands on wildlife management areas this season are reminded to check regulations to learn when they need to remove stands after hunting.
“In most of the state, leaving stands overnight on WMAs is not allowed and they must be removed at the end of the day,” said Bob Welsh, Department of Natural Resources wildlife operations manager. “Users of most WMAs will not see a change in stand regulations this year, but there is a change in an area of northwestern Minnesota.”  
In a specific portion of northwestern Minnesota, new legislation allows portable stands to be left out on WMAs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31.
Minnesota has 1.3 million acres of land in WMAs, and an estimated 500,000 hunters are expected to hit the woods and fields during firearms deer season in hopes of harvesting a deer.

New in northwestern Minnesota
The new regulation allows WMA users to leave up to two portable stands overnight in any WMA in the northwestern corner of the state roughly north of Thief River Falls and west of Warroad.
The area also is described as north of Highway 1 where it exits the Red Lake Indian Reservation to the western edge of the state, and west of a line from Highway 89 where it exits the Red Lake Indian Reservation to Fourtown, then north on the west side of Dick’s Parkway Forest Road, then north to Highway 5 to the northern edge of the state.
The DNR defines a portable stand as a stationary platform or blind designed and capable of being readily moved by hand by a single person in a single trip without the aid of a motorized vehicle, is secured in position and does no permanent damage to the natural environment.
Hunters leaving a stand overnight must label the stand with the hunter’s name and address; the hunter’s driver’s license number; or simply with the hunter’s MDNR number. The label must be readable from the ground.

WMAs elsewhere in Minnesota
In WMAs in the remainder of the state, stands cannot be left overnight.
“Every year we have people leaving stands overnight on WMAs, so it’s a common violation,” said Greg Salo, assistant director of the DNR Enforcement Division. “We have this regulation in place to prevent some users from pre-empting others from the opportunity to use WMAs on a first-come, first-served basis.”
Portable stands may be used on WMAs if they are removed each day at the close of shooting hours and do no permanent damage. Spikes or nails driven into trees are not allowed, but screwing or clamping devices are allowed if removed each day at the close of shooting hours.
“In addition to WMAs, there are a variety of other public land types and hunters should be aware that regulations governing the use of portable stands can differ depending on the type of public land they’re hunting,” Salo said.
Hunters should always wear a safety harness if using an elevated stand, added Salo.
“In addition to wearing a safety harness, check climbing sticks, steps or ladders for damage and always wait to load a firearm until safely in the stand,” Salo said.
Hunters need to be familiar with hunting regulations, which are available at any DNR license agent or online at mndnr.gov/regulations/hunting. Hunting questions should be directed 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. Saturdays.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


School's out, youth deer hunting season in

Youth, ages 10-15, can participate in a special deer season that runs from Thursday, Oct. 19, to Sunday, Oct. 22, in 28 permit areas of southeastern and northwestern Minnesota, including in the Twin Cities metro permit area 601, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
Deer permit areas open to the hunt are: 101, 105, 111, 114, 201, 203, 208, 209, 256, 257, 260, 263, 264, 267, 268, 338, 339, 341, 342, 343, 344 (including Whitewater Game Refuge), 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 601 and 603. Blaze orange or blaze pink requirements apply to all hunters, trappers and adult mentors in areas open for the youth deer season. Public land is open, and private land is open if the hunters have landowner permission.
Youth hunters in permit area 603 must have their deer tested for chronic wasting disease and cannot move the carcass out of the permit area until a negative test result is received; more information is available at mndnr.gov/cwd/603.
Regulations and more information about the youth season can be found on page 34 of the 2017 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook and online at mndnr.gov/regulations/hunting.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


Minnesota Gov. Dayton skunked in pheasant hunting opener

Hunters reported birds, but few good opportunities in the Marshall area during the seventh annual Governor’s Pheasant Hunt on Saturday.  
The Marshall area, known for its pheasant habitat and hunter and dog-friendly lodging, hosted Gov. Dayton, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and hundreds of guests.
A total of 153 hunters harvested 28 roosters during the morning hunt. Gov. Dayton’s hunting party did not take any pheasants. Lt. Gov. Tina Smith was part of the women’s hunt Saturday morning, and did not take any pheasants.
The weekend festivities included a youth clay target league competition as well as the dedication of the James Meger Memorial Wildlife Management Area, which had 220 people on hand.
The evening banquet had 384 people in attendance.
Next year’s Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener is scheduled in Luverne. Explore Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will assist local partners in planning the event.
Luverne has a population of 4,658 and is the county seat of Minnesota’s southwestern-most county, Rock County. Luverne is located at the junction of Interstate 90 and U.S. Highway 71.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


Deer hunts scheduled at several state parks this fall

Special hunts to prevent overpopulation of deer and protect resources will occur at several Minnesota state parks this fall.
Access to the parks will vary during these hunts.
Some parks will remain open to all visitors, some will have limited access and some will be open only to hunters with special permits (closed to the general public). The deadlines for youth and adults to apply for a special permit to participate in the hunts - which include firearms, muzzleloader and archery options - have passed.
“Too many of one animal or plant species in an area can start to throw off the balance of other species in that area,” said Tavis Westbrook, Natural Resource Program coordinator for the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “When there are too many deer in a park, they tend to feed too much on certain trees and native plant communities, so occasionally we allow deer hunts as a means of protecting natural resources.”
The DNR advises anyone planning to visit a state park between now and the end of December to go online or call ahead to check whether a hunt is planned and whether the park will be open. The DNR also advises wearing blaze orange when visiting parks where hunts are taking place. Visitors should check for hunt-related information at the park office when they arrive, look carefully for hunt-related signage and follow instructions.
“We do our best to minimize disruption to park visitors, but in some cases safety concerns require us to close - or partially close - the parks where these hunts take place,” Westbrook said.
For a list of parks that are open, partially open or closed during the 2017 hunting season, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/hunting.html or contact the DNR Information Center at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday). Details on which areas of each park will be affected by the special deer hunts can also be found in the “Visitor Alert” boxes on the individual park webpages at www.mndnr.gov

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR