Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Venison donation program enters 10th year

Venison donation program enters 10th year

MADISON – This year marks the 10th anniversary of Wisconsin’s Venison Donation Program. In 10 years the program distributed over 3.1 million pounds of ground venison from nearly 70,000 deer donated by hunters, processed by participating meat processors and distributed by volunteers to state food pantries.

“Wisconsin's venison donation program is an important effort that provides high quality food to Wisconsin families in need,” Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank said. “This program has been very popular. I encourage hunters to continue this charitable effort by bagging a deer for food pantries.”

Wisconsin’s Venison Donation Program is a partnership between local charitable organizations, counties, the Department of Natural Resources, meat processors and hunters. This effort has provided high quality protein to thousands of families over the years. In addition to donating deer to the program, since 2002 hunters have chipped in an additional $123,000 to the pantry program on top of the fee they pay for deer harvest permits.

A list of participating meat processors, available on the DNR Web site and searchable by county, is growing daily.

Rules of the program are simple. Hunters harvest, tag, field dress and register a deer same as they always have. After registration the hunter can drop off the carcass at a participating processor. There is no cost to the hunter other than transporting the carcass. Hunters are advised to call ahead to a processor to check on business hours and if the processor currently has space to accept the carcass.

Hunting Down Hunger

New this year is a program run by the Green Bay Packers called “Hunting Down Hunger.” Anyone who has been to a Packer game or watched the Pack on TV is familiar with the “sea of orange” and camouflage in the stands. Now hunters can wear their favorite team’s logo and their favorite fall colors by purchasing a baseball cap in orange or orange camo or a stocking hat in orange, all with the Packer logo. Five dollars from every hat purchase will be donated to hunger relief in Wisconsin. [ [exit DNR] ].

“Through the combination of two traditional Wisconsin pastimes, the Packers and hunting, we’re hopeful fans will take aim at hunger in this very unique way,” said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Laurie Fike (608) 267-7974 or Bob Manwell (608) 264-9248

Monday, September 28, 2009

Natural Resources Board sets hearing dates for Earn-a-buck alternatives proposal

Natural Resources Board sets hearing dates for Earn-a-buck alternatives proposal
News Release Published: September 23, 2009 by the Central Office
Contact(s): Jason Fleener (608) 261-7589Bob Manwell (608) 264-9248

EDITOR'S ADVISORY: This news release has been updated with an additional public hearing that will be held Oct. 27 in Sturtevant.

MADISON – The state Natural Resources Board today approved hearing dates and locations for proposed changes to Wisconsin’s 2010 and 2011 deer hunting season structures. The changes are based on recommendations developed by a public panel created by the Natural Resources Board and charged with finding effective and hunter-supported alternatives to earn-a-buck. The proposed changes can be found in the Natural Resources Board meeting agenda available on the DNR Web site.

The public panel included representatives of hunting and conservation groups, agriculture, county forests, university, and woodland owners. The panel’s complete report is available on the advisory committee Web site at [ [exit DNR]].
The public hearings will begin at 6:30 p.m. with an informational presentation and overview of the proposed rule. Public comments and statements will be accepted beginning at 7 p.m. The following hearing locations and dates are scheduled:
  • October 14, Crivitz - Crivitz Village Hall, 800 Henriette Ave.
  • October 15, Onalaska - Onalaska High School Field house, 700 Hilltopper Place.
  • October 21, Madison - Lussier Family Heritage Center - Main Level, 3101 Lake Farm Road.
  • October 21, Rhinelander - James Williams Middle School, 915 Acacia Lane.
  • October 21, Ashland - Ashland AmericInn Conference Center, 3009 Lakeshore Drive E.
  • October 26, Appleton - Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton Campus, Room C190, 1825 North Bluemound Drive.
  • October 26, Eau Claire - Chippewa Valley Technical College auditorium, Room M103, 620 W. Clairemont Ave.
  • October 27, Sturtevant - Suite 4, State Natural Resources office building, 9531 Rayne Road.
  • October 28, Pewaukee - Waukesha County Technical College, Room C051/C057, 800 Main St.
  • October 28, Spooner - Spooner High School Auditorium, 801 County A.
    November 3, Stevens Point - Portage County Courthouse Annex, Conference Room 1, 1462 Strongs Ave.

The board requested an additional hearing location in the Milwaukee/Racine/Kenosha area. That hearing has been set for Oct. 27 in Sturtevant.

The public will also be able to comment online. The department will publish details for submitting online comments shortly.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Youth Deer Hunt October 10th & 11th, 2009

Youth Deer Hunt
This year's hunt: October 10 & 11, 2009

The youth deer hunt was made possible through the Deer 2000 and Beyond Project. The hunt is designed to give youth hunters ages 10-15 an opportunity to hunt deer and gain valuable hunting experience at a time when other hunters are not authorized to hunt deer with a firearm. Starting in 2009, hunters 10-15 years of age, with or without hunter education certification, are eligible to participate in the youth gun deer hunt with a mentor (see below for details).

On the first morning of the 2008 Youth Hunt, 12 year old Nelson Kreciak of Butternut, WI, shot this 7 point buck on his family's property in rural Price County. His step-father, John Kelto, commented: "the deer dropped where it stood with one shot of his .308 at 70 yards. I'm not sure which one of us was more excited! With a great first experience like this, I'm sure that Nelson will be a hooked on deer hunting for a long time." Congratulations Nelson!

Youth Hunt Rules and Regulations:

  • Youth hunters may hunt deer with a gun on October 10 & 11, 2009 in all deer management units, except state park units and deer management unit 48.
  • The bag limit is one buck with their Gun Buck Deer Carcass Tag plus additional antlerless deer per Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag valid for the DMU the youth is hunting.
  • In Deer Management Units (DMU's) designated as CWD, youth hunters are exempt from the earn-a-buck requirements, but are only allowed to tag one buck and must use their one "Gun Buck Deer Carcass Tag" during the October 10 & 11, 2009 youth gun deer hunt if a buck is tagged. This exemption only applies to the two day youth gun deer hunt. During all other deer hunting seasons, youth hunters are required to follow earn-a-buck requirements in DMUs designated as CWD.
  • Allowable types of guns are those authorized on the first day of the regular 9-day, November gun deer season.
  • One adult may not accompany more than 2 youth hunters. If one youth is under the “mentored hunter” rules, the adult may “accompany” no more than one other youth at the same time and only if the 2nd youth is at least 12-15 years of age and has completed hunter education (see rules below for details).
  • All other hunting regulations apply. See the 2009 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations for more information.
For youth hunters 12 - 15 years of age (resident and non-resident) who possess a hunter education certificate of accomplishment and a gun deer hunting license:

  • Hunters must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older. To “accompany” means the adult is within both visual and voice contact of the youth. The adult does not have to be a licensed hunter or a hunter education graduate to accompany 1 or 2 youth who are at least 12 years of age and have completed a hunter education course.
  • Adults accompanying youth hunters may not “gun hunt” for deer during the youth hunt, but may possess a bow or gun and hunt for a game species that is open for them to hunt at that time.
    An adult may not accompany more than two youth hunters during the youth gun deer hunt at any given time.

For all youth hunters 10-11 years of age, or youth hunters 12-15 years of age who do not possess a hunter education certificate, but possess a gun deer hunting license:

  • Hunters must be “mentored” by an adult who is within arm’s reach at all times during the hunt.
  • Qualified adult mentors must be at least 18 years of age and have the youth’s parent or guardian’s permission to mentor the youth hunter.
  • Mentors must possess a valid hunting license for the current year (any type of game).
  • If the mentor was born on or after 01/01/73, they must be a graduate of a hunter education course or have completed basic training with the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Qualified adult mentors may only mentor one youth hunter who is age 10 or 11, or who has not completed hunter education at any given time.
  • Only one firearm may be possessed between the mentor and youth who is age 10 or 11, or who has not completed hunter education, if participating in the youth gun deer hunt.

Mentors are encouraged to go over the four basic rules of firearm safety with the youth prior to hunting:

  • Treat every gun as if it were loaded;
  • Always point the muzzle in a safe direction;
  • Be sure of your target and beyond; and
  • Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
  • Both resident and non-resident youth hunters are eligible to participate with a mentor.
Additional information on Wisconsin’s Mentored Hunting Program web page.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Deer Hunting By the Numbers

Deer Hunting By the Numbers
Wisconsin DNR 2009 Fall Hunting Forecast

642,419 – number of gun deer licenses sold in 2008
203,675 – number of archery deer licenses sold in 2008
94.3% - percent of deer hunters who are Wisconsin residents
73,400 – number of deer hunters under age 18
453,480 – total number of deer harvested during 2008-09 seasons

Back to Basics Deer Tactics

Back to Basics Deer Tactics
By Scott Loomans
Wisconsin DNR 2009 Fall Hunting Forecast

Though once an important part of the deer hunter’s craft, still hunting has given way to waiting from a stationary position, or stand hunting, as the most popular way to hunt deer. Consider giving still hunting a try. If you’re successful, and even if you aren’t, you could be amazed at just how exciting is.

Still hunting is not just the punch line to an old joke about what a deer hunting widow’s spouse has been doing for the last nine days. Still hunting is the active pursuit of a deer with the goal of seeing it and having a shooting opportunity before the deer sees the hunter. The hunter and the quarry are on the ground together pitting their skills against each other.

As described by the late Wisconsinite George Mattis in his famous 1969 book, Whitetails, Fundamentals and Fine Points, the hunter’s movements are slow and measured, requiring even more patience than stand hunting. In getting started you can use an old logging road or deer trail, frozen waterway, or grassy field edge to cover ground silently. You’d be surprised by how often you can move quietly through freshly fallen leaves by waiting until just that hour when morning frost softens and dampens the ground cover. In the ridge-and-river country of Western Wisconsin, a still hunt can almost become more of a spot and- stalk type of pursuit.

Always be looking ahead and looking for more than just the deer. Parts of the deer like an ear, antler, the horizontal line of their back, or the white belly of a bedded animal are more often seen first.

Sometimes people miss out on the opportunity to still hunt because they are afraid to scare deer off of a property. If you are worried about that, consider doing your still hunting during the week or during the middle of the day while others are at lunch.

Post a stander along known escape routes. Consider just not worrying about it so that you can enjoy this style of hunting.

Sneaking up on a deer that doesn’t know you are after it is challenging but it is also one of the most exciting ways to hunt – and it may not be as difficult as you think. When I was younger I marveled at Mattis’ success stories but didn’t quite believe it was still possible to do in Wisconsin. Since then I have proven myself wrong a number of times hunting on both private and public land.

If you are looking for a hunt that will totally engross your senses, engage all of your hunting skills, and that will quite possibly be the most exciting hunt you can have, give still hunting a shot.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Researchers to evaluate additional deer population estimation methods

Researchers to evaluate additional deer population estimation methods
By Chris Jacques, DNR Research Scientist
Wisconsin DNR 2009 Fall Hunting Forecast

The Department of Natural Resources currently uses two main methods of estimating deer populations; the Sex- Age-Kill (SAK) model and an accounting-style model.

Mathematical models used to estimate game populations rely on certain assumptions. In the case of the department’s SAK population model, one of the key assumptions is that buck harvest rates are relatively stable over time. Because buck harvest rates are impacted by season structure – such as earn-a-buck, and hunter practices – such as Quality Deer Management (QDM), accounting style models are used in large areas of eastern and western farmland management regions.

Accounting style models are sensitive to and assume that the starting number or the “balance” in the checkbook analogy can be estimated with reasonable accuracy. Researchers at DNR’s Bureau of Science Services want to evaluate techniques to use in “calibrating” the accounting model to assure the greatest possible accuracy in that starting number over time. During the 2010-2012 timeframe researchers will evaluate the usefulness in Wisconsin of a method of aerial population sampling known as “aerial distance sampling.” They’ll do this using still other population estimating techniques for calibrating the important starting point for the accounting model of population estimation.

“It’s a little like sighting in a rifle,” says Jacques. “You bring home a new gun and sight it in at say, 200 yards. That first year it drives a tack at 200 and still kills deer for a couple more seasons. But then one day you sight on a deer’s vitals at 200, squeeze the trigger and in the scope see hair clipped at the top of the back…a pure miss. The gun’s accuracy has drifted over time.

The visual you witnessed in the scope was evidence of needing to resight or in the case of our model, using additional information or data to recalibrate deer population estimates for increased accuracy.”

For more information on this research effort contact Chris Jacques (608) 221-6358.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wisconsin Nature Conservancy Hunting Guidelines

Wisconsin Nature Conservancy Hunting Guidelines

To hunt on Nature Conservancy lands hunters must agree to the following rules and statements:
Hunting opportunities differ from preserve to preserve. Contact the Madison Field Office at (608) 251-8140 for more information on species that may be hunted on each Conservancy property.

Deer baiting and deer drives are not allowed.

No fires, camping, littering (including the use of plastic flagging), or dumping of waste on Conservancy property.

Only temporary, non-damaging deer stands may be used. You should place your name and contact info on your stand. You may not put up a stand more than seven days before the start of the season in which you are hunting, and the stand must be removed within seven days after the close of that season. No stands shall be placed within 50 yards of a property boundary or another stand. The Conservancy assumes no responsibility for lost or damaged stands left unattended.

No cutting, breaking or clearing of vegetation. Planting of food plots or other vegetation is not allowed.

No off-road vehicle use.

No hunting is allowed within a 200-yard radius of any inhabited dwelling.

Hunters on preserves that require a Conservancy permit must carry a fully signed permit and wear an assigned I.D. badge at all times while on Conservancy property.

Alcohol is not allowed on Conservancy preserves or in the parking lot.

Unnecessary shooting or shooting at targets is prohibited.

A hunter may be accompanied by one or more of his/her own children to hunt on Conservancy lands. The minor must be at least 12 years of age and have all licenses or permits required to hunt under Wisconsin law. The adult hunter agrees to take full responsibility for the minor. A) If the minor is 12-13 years of age no additional permit or fee is required; the adult hunter agrees to keep the minor within sight and voice contact and to directly supervise the minor at all times. B) Minors 14-17 years of age may hunt without supervision if they have first taken a required hunter safety course. You must obtain a separate permit and pay an additional hunting fee for a minor hunter who is 14-17 years old. C) If the minor is not the child of the adult hunter they will be hunting with, then the Conservancy must receive a Parental Consent and Release of Liability form (available from the Conservancy at signed by the minor's parent and the accompanying hunter, prior to the minor entering Conservancy property. prior to the minor entering Conservancy property.

A hunter may be accompanied by no more than one non-hunting guest while hunting on Conservancy preserves.

By hunting on Nature Conservancy lands you acknowledge that hunting is inherently dangerous and that you are aware of the risks and dangers involved. By engaging is hunting as an activity you hereby assume all responsibility for any injury to persons or damages to property which occur in connection with your use of the Conservancy's property. As a hunter, for yourself, your heirs, successors and assigns, you hereby agree to release, indemnify, and hold the Conservancy harmless from any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, costs and expenses incurred in connection with your and any accompanying minor child’s activities or presence on the Conservancy's property, whether or not due to any negligent acts or omissions of the Conservancy.

In addition to the above rules, hunters must comply with all local, state, and federal laws and ordinances governing hunting activities, including obtaining all required government licenses or permits.

The Nature Conservancy does allow hunting of wild turkey and pheasant on our properties in the Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area during the regular DNR posted seasons, with no prior permission from the Conservancy required. Dogs are allowed off-leash for pheasant hunting during pheasant season. Dogs must be on-leash the rest of the year, especially during the breeding bird season.

Permit Application ProcessShould you agree to the above terms and conditions and need to apply for a permit at a preserve where it is still required, follow this link to the Deer Hunting Application Process page.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Natural Resources Board to hear deer season proposal based on public panel’s recommendations

Natural Resources Board to hear deer season proposal based on public panel’s recommendations

MADISON – The state Natural Resources Board will review proposed changes to deer hunting seasons based on recommendations of a public panel and consider a request by the Department of Natural Resources to hold public hearings on the proposed changes in October.

The earliest any proposed changes would take effect would be the 2010 hunting season. The proposal is based on recommendations of a public panel charged by the Natural Resources Board with developing effective and hunter-supported alternatives to the earn-a-buck program.

“My thanks go out to the members of the public panel who accomplished a great amount of work on a very tight timeline,” said DNR Secretary Matt Frank. “The next step is Board approval for public hearings, an important step to continue the public’s role in shaping deer management. Participation in shaping natural resource management decisions is the right of every Wisconsin citizen and a cornerstone of our conservation legacy.”

The proposal is available on the September 2009 Natural Resources Board agenda page of the DNR Web site later Tuesday, Sept. 8. In addition to hearings around the state, citizens will be able to submit comments online. DNR staff will outline the season structure proposal to the NRB and present proposed hearing locations for board approval. After a round of public hearings, the proposal will come back to the board, likely in December. Citizens may also testify before the board on the proposal at that time.

The proposal includes the public panel’s recommendation for a 16-day gun deer season starting two Saturdays before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The proposal also includes concurrent 5-day youth, early muzzleloader and herd control hunts beginning the second Saturday in October.

“Deer viewing and deer hunting represent a long standing tradition in Wisconsin,” said Frank. “Wise management is necessary to keep the herd and its habitat healthy, ensuring the future of the tradition. The public’s opinions are important and we want to continue hearing from them.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob Manwell (608) 264-9248; Keith Warnke (608) 264-6023

Rifle use for deer hunting expanded in two areas

Rifle use for deer hunting expanded in two areas
Weekly News Article Published: September 1, 2009 by the Central Office

MADISON - Areas in which rifles are allowed for deer hunting have been expanded this year to include all of Dunn County and that portion of Shawano County south of State Hwy. 29 and west of County Hwy. J, state wildlife officials said.

The change was approved by the Natural Resources Board and now has passed legislative review. The extended areas do not appear in the printed hunting regulations because they were approved after publication deadlines. There is a note near the map, however, that indicates the possibility.

The change was initially proposed to begin with the 2010 season so map adjustments could be included in the regulations pamphlet. Implementation was pushed forward after hunters petitioned the state Department of Natural Resources to make the change in time for this year’s deer season.

Rifles are allowed for deer hunting throughout much of Wisconsin. In all or part of 25 of more populous counties, deer hunters are restricted to shotguns, which have a shorter range. New research into ballistics has shown that rifles – which are more accurate and fire a smaller projectile that is less likely to ricochet – are as safe as shotguns in hunting situations.

The change will take effect Oct. 1 and will be in place for October antlerless gun deer hunts.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Van Haren - (608) 266-3244

View all articles in this issue or check our previous Weekly News Issues.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Trail Camera pictures posted by other hunters

Trail Camera pictures posted by other hunters
Ben Halverson

I recently requested whitetail trail cam photos from my twitter followers and I was graciously sent these great pics from Check them out, follow him on Twitter and enjoy.

More Trail Camera Videos

More Trail Camera Videos
Ben Halverson

Here is another video I recently pulled off the trail cam. So its not a whitetail deer, but these turkeys are still a fun game to look at. Remember to send me your videos or pictures with a short description of where you filmed it and when.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Carcass Movement Restrictions

Carcass Movement Restrictions
The most significant CWD-related change for 2009 is that, beginning September 1:

• Importation of whole cervid carcasses (deer,elk, and moose) and certain parts of those
carcasses into Wisconsin from areas within states or provinces where CWD has been
found will be restricted.

• Movement of whole deer carcasses and certain parts of those carcasses from the CWD
Management Zone (CWD-MZ) to elsewhere in the state will also be restricted.

• Hunters will be allowed to move the whole, registered carcasses of deer harvested within
the CWD-MZ into deer management units adjacent to the CWD-MZ.

The purpose of these restrictions on carcass movement is to prevent the importation and movement of the tissues that are most likely to contain CWD into areas of the state where CWD does not yet occur and potentially introducing the disease into those areas. There is more information on these restrictions in the 2009 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations pamphlet including a map of the areas of Wisconsin affected by these restrictions, a list of the restricted parts, and a list of the permitted portions of deer carcasses that can be freely moved into and across the state.

Hunters within the CWD-MZ are encouraged to dispose of deer bones and other carcass waste in ways that will reduce the potential for disease transmission from these potentially infectious parts. Research has shown that engineered landfills are a safe and economical way to dispose of this waste and this is generally the method most readily available to those hunting within the CWD-MZ. However, not all landfills accept this kind of waste and this option may not be available in some situations or areas. To address this, recommendations are being developed for other safe and practical ways to dispose of carcass waste.

Restrictions on the use of rifles that were lifted during the 2008 season continue to apply in 2009. Rifles may be used throughout the CWD-MZ without restriction except in unit 76M, the metro area surrounding Madison. Baiting and feeding deer remain prohibited in all counties that are completely or partially within the CWD-MZ, out of concerns for disease transmission. For more information on deer baiting and feeding restrictions in Wisconsin, see the Deer Baiting section of the Deer Season Forecast.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Getting The Whitetail Itch: Looking for Trail Cam Pictures and Videos

Getting the Whitetail Itch
Ben Halverson

I put out the camera the last few weeks and have been seeing a lot of fawns and does. I decided, its time to start posting these videos and hope that if you have any videos of your trail cams to send them in with a little story of where the video was taken. I dont know about you, but even the small bucks are giving me the itch to get out there and start bowhunting.

This video isnt the greatest video, nor is it the biggest buck, but its a start. Enjoy

Wisconsin fall hunting seasons forecast available

Wisconsin fall hunting seasons forecast available

MADISON – Flocking blackbirds, browning grasses, shorter days and cooler nights all are signs of fall’s arrival and so is the publishing of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Fall Seasons Forecast. Published for the first time in an electronic magazine format, the department hopes the new presentation will be useful to hunters and wildlife watchers searching for the latest information from DNR biologists, foresters, conservation wardens and scientists on what to expect in the fields and forests this fall.

The new all-electronic version includes clickable links to greater in-depth background and information on dozens of topics as well as tips for hunting upland game and waterfowl.
In addition to statewide and regional outlooks for such popular game as deer, black bear, and waterfowl, the forecast also offers analysis and recommendations for a variety of upland game and furbearers. Season dates, bag limits and new regulations are also highlighted.

A newer feature to the Fall Seasons Forecast will give readers a look at some examples of the research wildlife and social scientists with the department’s Bureau of Science Services are conducting to better understand both the biology and the human dimensions of hunting and land management.

Reminders familiar to past readers include hunter safety, the importance of preseason scouting, and renewing your hunting access contacts with landowners.

Deer hunters urged to check deer management units for antlerless permit status.

Deer hunters viewing the deer season structure maps will notice many more deer management units identified as “regular” units in 2009, especially in the northern third of the state and in the central forest deer management region. Regular units are either close to deer population goals or in some cases below goals. In both cases, antlerless deer tags are limited by a quota and numbers of bonus tags may be low or unavailable for some units. Hunters should check their unit’s status early since it may have changed after several years of herd control status.
And no Fall Seasons Forecast would be complete without a reminder to take someone new out hunting. With the recent signing of Wisconsin’s new Mentored Hunting Law, any licensed hunter can take anyone age 10 and older out hunting under certain conditions without the new hunter having to fulfill hunter safety education requirements. The new law applies to any hunting season and is a great way to do for someone else what someone once took time to do for you.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Manwell (608) 264-9248