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

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