Youth Waterfowl, regular season Canada goose hunts open

MADISON - Regular-season Canada goose hunting opens Sunday, Sept. 16, along with the Youth Waterfowl Hunt Sept. 15-16.

Youth Waterfowl Hunt
This year's Youth Waterfowl hunt will be held Sept. 15-16. This special hunt offers youth hunters ages 15 and under the opportunity to learn skills from an adult without the increased hunting pressure encountered during the regular season.
"These two days provide a great opportunity for nearly 3,500 kids annually - many of which get out due to the generosity of a friend or family member," said Taylor Finger, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources migratory game bird ecologist.
Normal season bag limits apply, but all license and stamp requirements are waived for the youth hunt. However, participants still need to be HIP registered (free of charge) and possess both an early and a regular season goose permit if they wish to hunt geese during both days. Licensed adults may also hunt geese since the early and Exterior seasons are open during these dates.
Individuals of all ages and skill levels are reminded to check out a Learn to Hunt waterfowl clinic in their area to learn more about hunting and its role within conservation.

Regular Goose season
With resident Canada goose breeding numbers similar to recent years and average production of the Ontario breeders, hunters should have ample opportunities this year, and will again enjoy a full 92 days of hunting in the Exterior zone with a 3-bird daily bag limit.
"When combined with the 15 days of the early season, this puts WI at 107 days of Canada goose hunting, and the maximum season length allowed by federal law," said Finger
Exterior Zone Canada goose season structure is as follows:
* Northern Zone - Sept. 16 to Dec. 16.
* Southern Zone - Sept. 16 to Oct. 7 and Oct. 13 to Dec. 2 and Dec. 16- Jan. 3, 2019.
* Mississippi River Subzone - Sept.29 - Oct 5 and Oct. 13 to Jan. 3, 2019.
Hunters should note that the goose season is closed during the duck season split in both the South Zone (closed Oct. 8-12) and Mississippi River Subzone (closed Oct. 6 -12). The southern zone for the first time will also have a second split when duck season ends (closed from Dec. 3-15) and opening back up and running through Jan 3, 2019.
As a reminder, the Horicon Canada goose Zone was eliminated and is now a part of the Southern Exterior goose zone.
For more information regarding waterfowl hunting in Wisconsin, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "waterfowl management."

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Surplus permits available for Camp Ripley archery hunts

Hunters who missed the lottery deadline for the Camp Ripley archery hunt can purchase surplus permits on a first-come first-served basis beginning noon on Friday, Sept. 14, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Hunters who already received a permit will not be allowed to purchase a surplus permit.
A total of 1,299 permits remain for the first hunt which runs Thursday, Oct. 18, and Friday, Oct. 19, while 75 permits remain for the second hunt which runs Saturday, Oct. 27, and Sunday, Oct. 28. A person may only purchase a permit for one of the hunts.
Hunters can purchase a surplus permit at any DNR license agent or online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense. Permits will remain on sale as long as they are available, or until Friday, Oct. 5. The cost of the permit is $14.
Hunters will need to use surplus permit code 677 and then choose from one of the two hunt dates: Oct. 18-19 (Thursday and Friday, code 668) or Oct. 27-28 (Saturday and Sunday, code 669). Successful applicants will receive a hunt packet in the mail, which includes a notice that is required to enter Camp Ripley.
The bag limit for this year’s hunt is two deer. Hunters may use their regular archery license, which is valid for either sex, or may use bonus permits to take antlerless deer. Additional rules and instructions are available on the DNR deer hunting webpage at mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.
The archery hunt at Camp Ripley is an annual event. The DNR coordinates the hunt in collaboration with Central Lakes College Natural Resources Department, and the Department of Military Affairs.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


It's time to plan this fall's Learn to Hunt event

MADISON - Hunting is right around the corner. If you have an interest and time, please consider sponsoring a Learn to Hunt event this fall. This is an opportunity to connect OR reconnect with a novice hunter (adult or youth) in our great outdoors.
A Learn to Hunt program can be a great introduction for those who might not come from a hunting family, or for adults who didn't get the chance to learn to hunt as a youth.
Emily Iehl, coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources R3 program, says it is up to current hunters to share your skills and passion with those who would like to learn, it is about passing on the great Wisconsin tradition of hunting. The R3 Team is a specialized team dedicated to recruitment, retention and reactivation of hunters, anglers and trappers
"You might find interest in unlikely places" Iehl said. "We've found that lots of young adults in the Madison area have interest in hunting for local, sustainable food. Other hunters I know have made connections with their neighbors, co-workers, and even doctors who have never had the chance to experience hunting."
Many people are open and interested in hunting, Iehl says, adding they need a friendly face to extend an invitation.
"When we focus on having a good time in good company, this reflects well on our hunting community and opens the door for others to join in," she said. " Let's start making memories."
Remember, if you're hosting a LTH pheasant, sponsors can get free pheasants from the DNR game farm for the event.
For more information on all your LTH needs, go to the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, and search keyword "LTH."

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Deer feeding ban continues in 11 Minnesota counties

A deer feeding ban is in place until at least 2019 for 11 central and north-central Minnesota counties surrounding two facilities where multiple captive deer were infected with chronic wasting disease.
“Feeding bans in central and north-central Minnesota are precautionary and part of our overall strategy to limit CWD, if it exists in wild populations,” said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Wild deer in these areas are not known to have CWD. These feeding bans are a proactive step to keep CWD at bay.”
In 2017, the DNR completed the first of three years of surveillance in these areas and no disease was found.
Central Minnesota counties affected by the ban are Kandiyohi; McCloud; Meeker; Stearns; Wright; and the portion of Renville County north of U.S. Highway 212.
North-central Minnesota counties affected are Aitkin; Crow Wing; Morrison; the portion of Cass County south of Minnesota highways 34 and 200; and the portion of Mille Lacs County north of County Road 11.
Attractants are not prohibited in the central and north-central counties.
In Fillmore, Houston, Olmsted, Mower, Wabasha and Winona counties, a ban on both deer feeding and use of attractants has been in place since 2017 and will continue for the foreseeable future. Wabasha County was added this year because CWD was detected in captive deer in Winona County.
“People should know that feed is not just a pile of corn or grain,” Cornicelli said. “It includes salt and mineral blocks that many hunters use as well as fruits, vegetables, nuts, hay and other food that is capable of attracting or enticing deer.”
One of the most probable mechanisms for CWD spread among deer is over a food or attractant source that concentrates animals. Feeding bans are intended to reduce the number of areas where deer can come into close contact, either directly or indirectly.
The feeding ban in southeastern Minnesota also includes attractants such as deer urine, blood, gland oil, feces or other bodily fluids. These products include such things as bottled estrus and mock scrape drips.
People who feed birds or small mammals must do so in a manner that prevents access by deer or place the food at least 6 feet above the ground.
Food placed as a result of normal agricultural practices is generally exempted from the feeding ban. Cattle operators should take steps that minimize contact between deer and cattle.
“Not feeding deer is a simple step that anyone can take to help prevent the spread of disease,” Cornicelli said. “Although well-intentioned, feeding wildlife often does more harm than good.”
Mandatory precautionary CWD testing will be done over opening weekend of the firearm season in portions of the feeding ban areas to determine whether the disease may have spread from captive to wild deer. This year, the DNR has narrowed the surveillance area and more information can be found on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwd.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


CWD tests mandatory for deer harvested in parts of Minnesota

Precautionary testing during the first two days of firearms deer season will determine whether chronic wasting disease may have spread from captive deer to wild deer in central and north-central Minnesota.
“Wild deer are not known to have CWD in these areas, and this is the second year of surveillance there,” said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Mandatory testing of wild deer that hunters harvest is a proactive and preventative measure to protect Minnesota’s wild deer populations.”
During opening weekend of the 2017 firearms season, 10,500 deer were tested and the disease was not detected. Because so many deer were sampled last year, the DNR is reducing the size of the surveillance area this year.
Central Minnesota deer permit areas with mandatory testing are 277 and 283 east of Highway 4; 219 south of Highway 55; and 285 north of Highway 7. Hunters who kill a deer in one of these permit areas, but outside the surveillance zone, do not need to submit the deer for testing.
North-central Minnesota deer permit areas with mandatory testing are 242 and 247.
All hunters in affected deer permit areas will be required to have their deer tested on Saturday, Nov. 3, or Sunday, Nov. 4. After field dressing their deer, hunters must take them to a sampling station. DNR staff will remove lymph nodes, which will be submitted for laboratory testing.
Hunters must register their deer by phone, internet or in person. Harvest registration will not be available at CWD sampling stations.
Testing in north-central and central Minnesota became necessary after CWD was found in multiple captive deer near Merrifield in Crow Wing County and Litchfield in Meeker County. Test results will determine whether CWD may have been passed from these captive deer to wild deer.
Deer harvested in southeastern Minnesota’s permit areas 255, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348 and 349 are subject to mandatory testing on Nov. 3-4 and Nov. 17-18 because of their proximity to CWD-infected wild deer in permit area 603, a captive deer facility in Winona County found positive, and additional positive deer in Wisconsin and Iowa. Deer permit area 603 has mandatory surveillance throughout all deer seasons. Hunters should consult the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwd for more complete information.
Proactive surveillance and precautionary testing for disease is a proven strategy that allows the DNR to manage CWD by finding it early and reacting quickly and aggressively to control it. These actions, which were taken in 2005 to successfully combat bovine tuberculosis in northwestern Minnesota deer and in 2010 to eliminate a CWD infection in wild deer near Pine Island, provide the best opportunity to eliminate disease spread.
“Without precautionary testing, early detection would not be possible,” Cornicelli said. “Without early detection, there’s nothing to stop CWD from becoming established at a relatively high prevalence and across a large geographic area. At that point, there is no known way to control it once established.”
Additional details on mandatory testing will be released throughout the fall as firearms deer season approaches. Complete information about mandatory CWD testing this fall, sampling station locations and a related precautionary feeding ban are available now on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwd.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


Hunters reminded about whole carcass importation ban

Hunters reminded about whole carcass importation ban
Hunters harvesting deer, elk, moose or caribou outside of Minnesota are reminded that whole carcasses cannot be brought into the state. The prohibition on importation of whole carcasses of these cervids from anywhere in North America was put into place in 2016 as a proactive measure to reduce the risk of chronic wasting disease in Minnesota and bring consistency to regulations.
“We imposed the importation ban because of the increasing prevalence and distribution of CWD in North America in both captive and wild cervids,” said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Minnesota is one of 12 states with this type of ban. In total, 40 states have implemented some form of carcass important restrictions.
“Several popular states for Minnesota hunters have recently modified their carcass regulations,” Cornicelli said.
In Wisconsin, carcass movement outside CWD-affected counties has been restricted. Michigan recently banned all whole carcass importation, regardless of CWD status. Cornicelli said hunters are encouraged to check the CWD Alliance website at cwd-info.org for the most current state-by-state regulations. Hunters are encouraged to consult the regulations in their destination state to ensure they are complying with their laws.
The restriction is part of efforts to minimize the opportunity for CWD 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.
“We appreciate the cooperation we’ve had from our hunting groups and individual hunters as we address this significant disease challenge,” Cornicelli said.  
Cornicelli said 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.  
“If you kill an animal you want to mount, you should make those arrangements in the destination state and have it caped before you leave,” Cornicelli said.
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 2018 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook starting on page 63 and the questions-and-answers section on the back cover.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


Applications open for antlerless-only deer hunt at Sandhill Wildlife Area

BABCOCK, WI – A one-day antlerless deer hunt will be offered Saturday, Nov. 10, at Sandhill Wildlife Area, a 9,150-acre experimental hunting area in central Wisconsin.  
This unique hunt is being conducted by the Department of Natural Resources to reduce the deer herd within the wildlife area.
“Following three consecutive mild winters, this special hunt opportunity is necessary to adjust population levels and sex ratios to achieve the deer management goals desired on Sandhill,” said Darren Ladwig, DNR wildlife biologist.
Participation will be limited to the first 100 completed applications received. Applications must be mailed or delivered in person, and must be received by Sunday, Sept. 9. No telephone, fax, or email registrations will be accepted.
Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis at Sandhill Wildlife Area, located at 1715 County HWY X, Babcock. The Sandhill office is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. All applicants must possess a valid Wisconsin deer hunting license.
Hunters must possess a valid Sandhill Wildlife Area hunting permit to enter the grounds for the Nov. 10 hunt. Each successful applicant will receive one bonus antlerless permit, valid only within Sandhill for the weekend indicated on the permit.
To enroll in the hunt, successful applicants must complete a 2018 Sandhill Antlerless Deer Permit Application, currently available at all Department of Natural Resources Service Centers, Sandhill Wildlife Area, and on the department’s website.
All selected participants are required to attend a one-hour clinic Sept. 29, at the Sandhill Outdoor Skills Center, located within Sandhill Wildlife Area, and will receive a confirmation letter or email along with clinic information and payment instructions – payment is due Sept. 21. Once clinics times are assigned, no further changes will be made.
Clinic fees are $20 for adults and $15 for youth hunters ages 15 and under. As a reminder, do not send fee payment with the initial application. Participants will be issued bonus permits following completion of the clinic. Please read theapplicationfor complete rules and restrictions.  

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR