Hunters asked to report ear-tagged deer in Trempealeau County

ALMA, WI - The Department of Natural Resources is requesting the help of deer hunters in western Trempealeau County to be on the lookout for ear-tagged white-tailed deer that escaped from a local captive deer facility.
Two bucks are known to have escaped the captive deer facility in late October through an open gate. An unknown number of antlerless deer that were housed in the same facility may have escaped at the same time. One of the escaped bucks was shot by a hunter on private land several miles north of the captive deer facility on Nov. 1. The other buck known to have escaped is likely to have a blue ear tag.
The DNR is asking residents and landowners to check trail camera images for any ear-tagged deer and notify the DNR if they record any images of ear-tagged deer, or if they observe any in the wild. In addition, if a hunter bags a deer and subsequently discovers the deer is marked with an ear tag, the hunter should contact the DNR. While yellow plastic ear-tags are most common, please report any deer tagged with any size, shape or color of ear-tag.
Anyone who sees an ear-tagged deer or harvests a deer with an ear tag in the wild, should contact the DNR Call Center at 1-608-267-7691, select option 3, for additional instructions.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Onalaska Lions Club wants deer hides

ONALASKA, WI - The Onalaska Lions Club is once again offering its "Deer Hides for Lions Camp."
Money raised from the deer hide donations are funneled to the Wisconsin Lions Camp, which serves hundreds of children each year.
The Onalaska Lions are urging all hunters to donate their deer hides at two drop-off locations - La Crosse Archery in Onalaska or Island Outdoors on French Island.


7 deer test presumptive positive in southeast CWD zone

Preliminary tests show that seven deer harvested in southeastern Minnesota’s disease management zone during the first firearms deer season may be infected with chronic wasting disease.
Hunters harvested three of the seven suspect deer near Preston in deer permit area 603, where 11 other deer tested positive during last year’s CWD surveillance efforts. Three others were harvested in Forestville-Mystery Cave State Park, which is still within area 603, but west of the core disease area. The remaining deer was harvested east of Wykoff and north of the park.
Test results from deer permit areas surrounding 603 aren’t yet available and must be analyzed to assess the full extent of the disease and whether or not it has spread outside of the disease management zone.
Once all sampling is completed and test results received, the Department of Natural Resources will follow its CWD response plan and determine next steps, which may include boundary changes to area 603 and additional deer hunting opportunities for the public or landowners.
Lou Cornicelli, DNR wildlife research manager, said it isn’t clear whether the additional positives indicate a westward expansion of the disease or individual deer movements, given all the presumptive positive deer were adult males.

Testing continues on suspect deer and in 603
CWD testing is a two-step process.  
The initial tissue sample is analyzed to determine if the animal is presumptive positive.  
A final test is completed on all presumptive positive samples to confirm if the animal is infected with the disease.
The DNR expects final test results and disease confirmations for all seven deer soon. Those results and any future positives in area 603 will be posted on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwdcheck.
Since the archery deer season began in mid-September, 700 samples have been collected in area 603. Hunters brought in 499 of those samples during the first firearms deer season, which began Nov. 4, and concluded Nov. 12. Results are pending on 40 of those deer.
“The DNR wants to thank hunters who submitted samples over opening weekend,” said Jim Leach, DNR Fish and Wildlife Division director. “Compliance was very high, suggesting hunters view this as a very important issue.”
Hunters are reminded that mandatory testing of all adult deer harvested in area 603 continues throughout the 3B season (which starts Saturday, Nov. 18 and concludes Sunday, Nov. 26), as well during the remaining archery, muzzleloader and late seasons. Check stations are located in Preston and Chatfield.
The DNR also will open voluntary surveillance stations from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 18-19 in Rushford and Houston. The DNR encourages hunters who harvest deer around the disease management zone, in deer permit areas 343, 345, 346, 347, 348 and 349, to participate in voluntary sampling at these locations in order to collect as many samples as possible.
Check the DNR’s website, mndnr.gov/cwd, for specific information on check station locations, additional CWD information and DNR efforts to keep Minnesota deer healthy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, to date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in people. However, the CDC advises people not to eat meat from animals known to have CWD. Go to www.cdc.gov for more information.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


Minnesota gun-deer harvest up 10 percent

Minnesota firearms hunters registered 145,054 deer through the second weekend of deer season, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
Preliminary results through the second weekend show that the number of deer registered was up 10 percent from 2016. Of the deer harvested, 54 percent were bucks, compared to 63 percent during the same period in 2016.
In Zone 1, in northeastern Minnesota, total firearms harvest was up 25 percent. In Zone 2, which covers the majority of the state and runs from Canada to Iowa, harvest was up 6 percent and Zone 3, in southeastern Minnesota, was down 12 percent.
“It appears as though deer harvest improved substantially since the first weekend,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations manager. “Getting more corn out of the fields and a bit drier weather likely helped.”
Based upon the number of antlerless permits available and the number of permit areas that allow multiple deer to be taken, the DNR is projecting the 2017 total deer harvest to be around 200,000. The 2016 total harvest was 173,213.
In much of Minnesota, the firearms deer season ended Nov. 12. Additional deer will be harvested during the northern rifle zone season, which continues through Sunday, Nov. 19; the late southeast season, which runs Saturday, Nov. 18, through Sunday, Nov. 26; and the muzzleloader season, which begins Saturday, Nov. 25, and continues through Sunday, Dec. 10. More information on deer management can be found at mndnr.gov/deer.  

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


Hunters reminded of whole carcass importation ban

The Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters who harvest deer, elk, moose or caribou outside of Minnesota that whole carcasses cannot be brought into the state.
The restriction is part of efforts to minimize the opportunity for chronic wasting disease to become established in Minnesota.
Only the following cervid parts may be brought into Minnesota:
* Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.
* Meat that is boned-out or that is cut and wrapped (either commercially or privately).
* Hides and teeth.
* Antlers or clean (no brain tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached.
* Finished taxidermy mounts.
Meat and trophy handling already are part of the trip planning process so taking the additional steps to minimize CWD risk can be added to that process. Another item to consider is the mount itself, and hunters should make those arrangements in the destination state and have the animal caped before leaving.
Alternatively, hunters can view a video at http://bit.ly/capeyourdeer on how to cape a deer. The same technique can be used on elk or moose. The video also includes helpful information on the carcass importation ban.
Nonresidents transporting whole or partial carcasses on a direct route through Minnesota are exempt from this restriction.
Carcass import information is available at mndnr.gov/deerimports, in the 2017 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook on page 65 and the questions and answers section on the back cover.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


Warden Wire Chapter 2

Welcome to the second chapter of Warden Wire's feature FAQs: Special Edition - 2017 Gun-Deer Season.
These special edition FAQs were taken by the DNR Call Center, the Department of Natural Resources' conservation wardens and the Bureau of Wildlife Management. Today's topics include hunting on public and private lands. The Call Center is staffed daily, 7 a.m.-10 p.m., and offers bilingual service in Spanish and Hmong. The DNR Call Center staff is happy to help you with any and all of your questions. The number is 1-888-936-7463.

QUESTION 1: What is the penalty for someone who harvests a deer in the correct zone and DMU, but does not have the correct land-type specified on their tag?
ANSWER: This has not changed with the new rules. The penalty would be $222.90 plus the cost of a bonus antlerless deer tag they should have purchased for that land type ($12 for residents or $20 for non-residents).

QUESTION 2: If someone in a group has an antlerless tag valid for use only on public land, will everyone else be able to participate under group hunting rules?
ANSWER: Yes. If the antlerless tag is valid for the DMU that the group is hunting (correct zone, DMU and land-type) and if all group members comply with all group deer hunting requirements, anyone in the group may participate in group hunting and fill an open antlerless tag. All members of the group must be using firearms and each must hold a regular gun-deer license in addition to contact and tagging requirements. A person hunting with a bow or crossbow cannot shoot a deer for someone else to tag, or tag a deer shot by another.

QUESTION 3: Will the Farmland Zone antlerless tag(s) included at no cost with the purchase of a deer hunting license need to be specified for use on public or private land?
ANSWER: Yes. Hunters are required to specify zone, DMU and land type (public or private) for all antlerless tags, including those that are issued with the purchase of a deer hunting license.

QUESTION 4: Do bonus antlerless tags require the purchaser to indicate public or private land?
ANSWER: Yes.

QUESTION 5: If a person buys an antlerless tag valid for use on private land, is that person restricted to only shooting a deer that is actually on private land or is he/she able to shoot a deer that is on public land so long as the shot originates on private land?
ANSWER: Both the hunter and the deer must be located on private property. A hunter with a private landS tag cannot shoot a deer standing on public lands even if he/she is standing on private land.

QUESTION 6: If a person plans to hunt on private land AND public land, which antlerless tag is that person required to have?
ANSWER: Hunters must specify land type on all antlerless tags. If a hunter wants to hunt both public and private land within a given DMU for antlerless deer, this could be accomplished by selecting one land type (public or private) for the Farmland (Zone 2) antlerless tag that is included with a deer license, and selecting the other type (public or private) for a bonus antlerless tag (if bonus tags of that land type are available in that DMU). If the DMU offers more than one Farmland Zone tag with each licenses, those tags could be divided among public and private lands. Buck tags are valid statewide in any zone and unit, including on both public and private lands.

QUESTION 7: If a hunter possesses an antlerless tag for use on private lands, can that hunter access any private lands within the unit?
ANSWER: No. Trespassing laws exist and hunters need landowner permission prior to entering private land. There are lands enrolled under open Managed Forest Law, Forest Crop Law and Voluntary Public Access programs that allow public hunting access, but these lands are considered public lands for purposes of where antlerless deer tags are valid. Hunters must possess an antlerless tag for public lands to harvest antlerless deer on these “open” lands.

QUESTION 8: If a hunter purchases a bonus antlerless tag for hunting public lands, can that person switch it to a private lands tag after the purchase?
ANSWER: Yes. A hunter may switch land types as long as there are antlerless tags available for the desired zone, DMU, and land type, and does so before the deer season is open. That hunter would also have to pay a $2 processing fee if picking up the tag at a Go Wild license agent. Once the exchange has been approved and posted to their Go Wild account by the department, customers may print the tags themselves at home for no charge.

QUESTION 9: If a hunter with an antlerless tag valid for private lands shoots a deer on private land and the deer runs onto public land but does not die, may the hunter shoot that deer when found and if so, what type of tag is required, public or private lands?
ANSWER: If the deer is still alive when the hunter finds it, and if the hunter (or a member of the hunting party, if applicable) does not have a valid antlerless tag, the hunter should contact the local warden for advice on how to proceed. It is not legal to hunt and/or shoot a deer in a DMU or on a land-type for which one does not have a valid tag, even if they first wounded that same deer in the DMU or on the land type their antlerless tag was valid. To allow this would be to allow anyone to hunt in the wrong area and simply claim that he/she wounded the deer earlier in the area his/her tag was actually valid. If the deer is already dead when the hunter finds it in an adjacent DMU or property type, it would be legal and the hunter must immediately validate and tag the deer with a tag that is valid for the area where the deer was shot. This is no different than what could have happened in the past when someone was hunting near the boundary between two DMUs.

QUESTION 10: For people enrolled in open Managed Forest Law or Forest Crop Law programs and hunting their own land, should their antlerless tag be designated for use on public or private lands?
ANSWER: If all or part of the property is enrolled in Managed Forest Law, Forest Crop Law or Voluntary Public Access and open to public hunting, the landowner will need a public lands antlerless tag to hunt on land enrolled in one of these programs. If the property is enrolled in one of these programs but is closed to public hunting, or if the landowner plans to hunt on part of the property that is not enrolled in one of these programs, the landowner will need a private land designation on their antlerless tag.

QUESTION 11: What are some resources for finding land open to the public for hunting?
ANSWER: Hunters can consult several resources to help determine where to hunt, including the Public Access Lands Atlas, the listing of Voluntary Public Access lands and the Managed Forest Law lands map. For more on other deer hunting topics, visit dnr.wi.gov and search “hunting regulations” or “deer.”

If you have information regarding natural resource violations, you may confidentially report by calling or texting: VIOLATION HOTLINE: 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367. The hotline is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trained staff relay report information to conservation wardens.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


2017 nine-day gun deer season opens Nov. 18

MADISON, WI - Wisconsin's nine-day gun deer season opens Saturday, Nov. 18, and Department of Natural Resources staff are enthusiastic about the prospects for 2017.
"We are coming out of a third straight mild winter and a good summer growing season, so as expected we are seeing good to excellent deer numbers throughout most of the state," said DNR big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang. "The public and County Deer Advisory Councils are also recognizing the increase as is evident by increased antlerless tag availability, especially in some northern counties. So, in general, we are anticipating an overall increase in deer registration this fall."
In 2016, far northern portions of Wisconsin saw an overall gun season increase of approximately 30 percent, while the total deer harvest, including gun, crossbow, and archery, increased by roughly 22 percent.
"In the past, the majority of the annual deer harvest came during the nine-day gun season," Wallenfang said," but for decades there has been a growing percentage of the total fall harvest coming during the early archery seasons. That trend continues as more and more people are turned on by the early archery/crossbow seasons when they can hunt for many more days and in nicer weather, plus during the peak of the rut when the deer are very active."
Wallenfang also noted that hunters need to become familiar with the new deer tagging requirements, baiting restrictions, new tree stand rules and a reduction in the number of buck-only units.
This year marks the third year of electronic deer registration through GameReg. Many hunters who used it in the past are realizing the simplicity and convenience of registering by phone or on their computer or smartphone. Hunters are reminded that registering their deer after harvest is required by 5 p.m., the day following recovery. Those who have not yet used GameReg are encouraged to use a number of resources available to learn more about it and prepare for success. More GameReg information is available online.
Wisconsin's four Deer Management Zones and county-based Deer Management Units have not changed in 2017. DMUs follow county boundaries in most cases, and nine DMUs are split by zone boundaries. DMU and land type-specific antlerless permits are intended to help manage deer populations more closely on each land type with the hope of enhancing hunting experiences on public land.
With each deer hunting license (archery/crossbow and gun), hunters receive one Buck Deer Tag valid statewide. In addition, each license includes one or more Farmland (Zone 2) Antlerless Deer Tag(s) that must be designated for use in a specific zone, DMU and land type (public access or private) at the time of issuance.
Farmland (Zone 2) antlerless tags may not be used in the Northern Forest or Central Forest zones, but bonus antlerless tags may be available for specific DMUs within these zones.
All Bonus Antlerless Deer Tags are zone, DMU and land-type specific. Bonus tags cost $12 for residents, $20 for nonresidents and $5 for youth (ages 10 and 11).
In 2017, four county DMUs, in whole or in part, are designated as buck-only units and include Ashland, Eau Claire, Iron and Vilas counties within the Northern and Central Forest zones. Only the Buck Deer Tag issued with each deer license is valid in these DMUs, with some exceptions for youth, Class A and C disabled and military hunters.
Hunters are no longer required to validate paper carcass tags or attach them to harvested deer. It is also no longer required to keep the tag with the meat. However, hunters must carry one of the forms of proof of a deer tag. Hunters may show proof of having a valid, unfilled deer tag by providing a conservation warden with their Go Wild card, their authenticated driver's license, paper copies, or an electronic copy on their cell phone. Keep in mind that even with electronic forms of proof of deer tags available, hunters will need the unique tag number to begin the harvest registration process.
For more helpful information, including the following documents, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "deer":

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR