Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Changes proposed for the use of antlerless deer permits by archery hunters

MADISON – Archery deer hunters would be restricted to using the antlerless deer carcass tag that is issued with each archery hunting license to only those deer management units with an established antlerless deer harvest quota, under a proposal that is the topic of upcoming public hearings around the state.

“Under current rules, the antlerless tag that comes with every archery deer license can be used in any deer management unit in the state, including regular units where gun harvest of antlerless deer is carefully controlled through a separate permit system,” said Scott Loomans, wildlife rules coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources.

Gun deer hunters can shoot an antlerless deer in regular units only if they have purchased a unit-specific antlerless deer carcass tag, if they are available for the unit. Gun hunters may use the antlerless permit that comes with their license only in units that are designated as either herd control or chronic wasting disease management.

Each of the state’s 134 deer management units (DMU) has an established deer population goal. Wildlife biologists set antlerless deer harvest quotas for DMUs that are intended to keep populations at the established goals. In 2010, 18 DMUs will have no antlerless permits available to gun hunters in an effort to increase deer populations in the fastest possible way. Under this proposed rule (pdf), archery deer hunters also would not be able to kill an antlerless deer in these units.

“The number of antlerless deer killed by archers is relatively low, compared to the gun harvest,” said Keith Warnke, DNR big game ecologist. “However eliminating the archery hunter’s ability to harvest antlerless deer in zero quota units will make regulations more consistent between the firearm and archery seasons and will contribute to herd growth.”

Bow hunting groups and other hunting stakeholders have indicated support for the rule according to DNR wildlife managers.

“If this rule is adopted, the earliest it could be in effect would be the 2011 hunting season due the time necessary for the rule making process,” Loomans said. “However, if the rule proposal is generally acceptable to the public the department may ask the Natural Resources Board to adopt a similar emergency rule which could be in effect in time for the 2010 season.”

The public hearings will begin at 7 p.m. at the locations listed below. Following a brief informational presentation, public comments and statements will be accepted.

•May 17, Rhinelander - James Williams Middle School, 915 Acacia Lane
•May 18, Fitchburg - DNR South Central Region Headquarters, 3911 Fish Hatchery Rd.
•May 24, Green Bay - DNR Northeast Region Headquarters, 2984 Shawano Ave.

Text of the rule is available for review on the Department of Natural Resources website or by contacting Scott Loomans, DNR wildlife rules coordinator, 101 S. Webster St. Madison, WI 53707 (608) 267-2452 scottloomans@wisconsin.gov. Written or email comments may be sent to Loomans. The proposed rule, fiscal estimate and hearing notice are also available and comments may also be submitted electronically through the Wisconsin Administrative Rules website.
Source: Wisconsin DNR
Site: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/DNRNews_Lookup.asp?id=223#art3
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Loomans - (608) 267-2452

Friday, May 14, 2010

Return of forgotten hunting gear earns La Crosse area man hunting ethics award

LA CROSSE - After an afternoon of bow hunting for deer in the Coulee Experimental State Forest, Peter Smith returned to the parking area at dusk to find his truck was the only one left.

As Smith put away his gear, he noticed someone had left bow, arrows, backpack, sweatshirt and sunglasses in the lot. He waited for a full hour to see if the owner would return.

The actions Smith took that night and the next day had an unexpected result, and he was invited to attend the late April meeting of the Natural Resources Board where he was presented with the 2009 La Crosse Tribune/Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Hunter Ethics Award.

In presenting the award, warden supervisor Steven Dewald noted that Smith made five different efforts to locate the owner and return the equipment before succeeding. The owner of the gear, Darren Russell of La Crosse, had shot a large buck that day and was so excited he’d left his gear behind.

“Russell had recently moved to Wisconsin from Michigan,” Dewald said. “He said he was happy to find out hunters in Wisconsin were so honest.”

When the hunter didn’t return that night, Smith put the gear in his vehicle to safeguard it. He found Russell’s back tag in the backpack with his name and address on it. He drove to the nearest registration station but no one had reported missing gear. He called the La Crosse area DNR office but it was closed. He spent more than an hour trying to find the hunter’s home on La Crosse’s south side without luck. Finally, he took the gear to Dewald’s home and asked the warden for help. Dewald located the hunter and returned the gear, worth several hundred dollars.

Smith, 66, is a La Crosse County Town of Medary resident and 1961 graduate of Logan High School. Chosen for the 13th annual Hunter Ethics Award, he reacted with humility.

“I’m a little embarrassed by it,” he said. “I just represent a lot of hunters who would have done the same thing.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Dewald, DNR warden supervisor, (608) 785-9970

Source: Wisconsin DNR

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Changes proposed to rules governing the use of state properties

Hearing set to receive public comment

MADISON – Proposed changes related to visitor activities and fees on state lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources are available for public review and comment either online or at two scheduled public hearings.

“Every two years we review our operating policies for department managed properties in light of public health and safety, protection of natural resources and consistency,” said Steve Miller, director of the DNR Bureau of Facilities and Lands. “Changing recreational demands, new or growing technologies, changing environmental conditions and increased costs of doing business all contribute to necessary changes in the way we operate.”
The changes would be to Chapter NR 45, Wis. Adm. Code, which is the principle rule governing the conduct of visitors to the properties and facilities owned, acquired by easement, or leased by the Department of Natural Resources. Some of the change proposals affect all properties while others impact only single properties or groups of properties or specific parts of a water body.
The proposed rule and supporting documents (exit DNR), including the fiscal estimate, may be viewed and downloaded from and comments submitted electronically through the Wisconsin Administrative Rules website or by contacting Kathryn Fitzgerald (608) 267-2764 kathryn.fitzgerald@wisconsin.gov.

The State Natural Resources Board authorized public hearings on the proposed rule changes (pdf; 762kb) at its March meeting. The public hearings on the proposed changes will be held at 5 p.m., with the record held open until at least 6 p.m.:

• May 17, Madison – Room G09 of the State Natural Resources Building (GEF 2), 101 S. Webster St.

• May 18, Woodruff – Woodruff Town Hall, 1418 First Ave.

People may also submit written comments by mail or on line to Kathryn Fitzgerald, DNR-FL/6, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, [kathryn.fitzgerald@wisconsin.gov].

Proposed changes being considered include:

• Allowing removal of invasive plant species from state property without a permit, making it easier to control spread of invasives and promote greater biological diversity.

• New language clarifying the collection of fruits and other edible plants for personal non-commercial use to prevent over collection.

• Prohibiting collection of driftwood and other downed wood from below the ordinary high water mark for campfire fuel on northern flowages to preserve aesthetic values and to provide habitat and help prevent shoreline erosion once flowages recover from a current long-term drought and water levels rise.

• Permanently installing a slow-no-wake zone in the narrows of the Dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area to protect shoreline habitat. An emergency slow-no-wake zone adopted by the Natural Resources Board on April 28, 2010 will sunset after 150 days.

• Allowing the department to designate roads within northern state forest properties as ATV routes if ATV use is authorized in the property master plan.

• Prohibiting the launching and removal of motorized watercraft at certain designated boat access sites on department lands when the property master plan has determined that motorized watercraft are not consistent with the uses of the property or would have an adverse impact on aquatic resources.

Changes to state park and forest camping fees are proposed and include:

• Reclassifying and equalizing camping fees in state forest campgrounds to match state park campgrounds when amenities are similar.

• Increasing in commercial use fees.

• Designating the Rock Island State Park campground and several campgrounds on the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest and Black River State Forest as “high demand” campsites with slightly higher per night fees.

• Establishing marina and special event permit fees at Lakeshore State Park.

“Our first priority is always visitor safety followed by high quality experiences and natural resource protection on public lands,” said Dan Schuller, Director, Bureau of Parks and Recreation. “Periodically we find it necessary to propose changes of this kind to maintain those standards. Public comment is welcome and all comments will be summarized and presented to the Natural Resources Board for its review prior to considering these changes.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathryn Fitzgerald (608) 267-2764

Source: Wisconsin DNR
Site: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/DNRNews_Lookup.asp?id=222#art1

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wisconsin Youth Gun Deer Hunt

Youth ages 10-15 with or without a hunter safety certificate will be able to participate in the Oct. 9-10 Youth Deer Hunt in 2010. Youth hunters 10-15 years of age who do not have a hunter safety certificate can hunt with a mentor under the mentored hunting program created in 2009. Youth 12-15 years of age who do have hunter safety certificate must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older during this youth hunt. Youth participating in this hunt will be able to shoot one antlered buck with their gun buck deer carcass tag and additional antlerless deer per antlerless deer carcass tag valid in the DMU where the youth is hunting.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jason Fleener - (608) 261-7589 or Bob Manwell - (608) 264-9248

Source: Wisconsin DNR
Site: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/DNRNews_Lookup.asp?id=222#art1

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2010 Wisconsin deer hunting season framework map available

MADISON – The 2010 deer hunting seasons structure map is now available on the Department of Natural Resources website. The map identifies Deer Management Units (DMU) as regular, herd control or chronic wasting disease management earn-a-buck. The complete 2010 Deer Hunting Regulations will be available later this summer.

For 2010, a total of 66 DMUs are designated as regular units meaning they will have traditional nine-day gun hunts with buck plus antlerless quota rules. This is an increase from 62 regular units in 2009 and from 22 units in 2008.

Antlerless deer harvest is carefully managed by permits in regular units and 18 regular units will have no antlerless deer harvest permits available to deer hunters in 2010. This is up from 13 units with no antlerless permits available in 2009 and is the fastest possible way to increase herd populations in units where the herd is below established goals. In remaining regular units antlerless deer harvest permits are limited and unit-specific and may be purchased by residents for $12 each and by nonresidents for $20 each. Unit specific antlerless permits will go on sale in August.

At the suggestion of hunters and hunter groups, the department is proposing eliminating harvest of antlerless deer by bow hunters in gun quota units that do not have antlerless permits available. Public hearings on this proposal are scheduled for May 17 in Rhinelander, May 18 in Fitchburg and May 24 in Green Bay. For more information on the proposal and hearing times and locations contact Jason Fleener (608) 261-7589 jason.fleener@wisconsin.gov or review the proposal online.

For 2010, 46 DMUs are designated as herd control. Located mainly in the agricultural regions of the state, deer populations in herd control units are estimated to be more than 20 percent above established goals. There is an unlimited supply of antlerless deer harvest permits available for HC units at $2 each. The permits are not unit specific. Hunters can also use the antlerless permit that comes with each archery and gun deer license in any herd control unit. Herd control units will also have an Oct. 14-17 antlerless deer only gun hunt.

There are 22 DMUs designated as Chronic Wasting Disease Management Units in 2010. These units will have unlimited earn-a-buck rules as they have in past seasons and will also be included in the Oct. 14-17 antlerless deer only gun hunt. Earn-a-buck requires hunters to first harvest an antlerless deer before a buck. Unused buck authorizations from the 2009 season can be used to harvest a buck in the 2010 season. Hunters may shoot as many antlerless deer as they wish and will receive a buck authorization for each antlerless deer registered.

Source: Wisconsin DNR
Source Site: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/DNRNews_Lookup.asp?id=222#art1

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Make your voice heard - Request Veto of Assembly Bill 371

From the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation

Dear Conservationist:
In this session of the legislature there have been a flurry of bills where legislators have tried to set hunting regulations for turkey hunting, archery deer hunting and bear hunting. This was done intentionally to bypass the input of the thousands of sportsmen and women who normally would have a chance to vote on hunting regulations at the Conservation Congress Spring hearings.

Due to the effort of sportsmen and women several of these bills were stopped before they reached the Governor's desk for signature. However one of them, AB 371, is now before the Governor for his decision to either sign it or veto it.

AB 371 makes several changes to the fall bear hunting season which will be disruptive to archery deer hunters, small game hunters and the majority  of bear hunters. The proposed changes to bear hunting in AB 371 were on the Conservation Congress Spring hearings on April 12, 2010 and were voted down by as much as an 82% to 18% ratio, with 71 out of 72 counties voting against and one county tied.

As a sportsman or woman, it is important for you to take action and contact the Governor and ask for him to veto AB 371. This time the changes affect bear hunting, next time it may be your favorite form of hunting, fishing or trapping. Don't let the regulations affecting your sport be changed without having the opportunity to vote on them at the Conservation Congress hearings.

The Governor can be contacted by calling 608-266-1212 or writing him at:
Governor James Doyle
115 East, State Capitol
Madison WI 53702

He can also be contacted through the email contact form on the  Governor's Office Website: http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/
It is important to make this contact in the next week! If you have any questions, please contact me by email: georgemeyer@tds.net or phone--608-516-5545.

George Meyer
Executive Director
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation
NOTE: Do not use your email program to forward this message to others as it has been personalized with your account information.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

DNR launches tip411 anonymous text program to report violations

MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has added a text messaging option to ways the public can report hunting, fishing, trapping, recreational vehicle and environmental violations. DNR is launching tip411, an internet based tool that enables the public to text message an anonymous tip to DNR. Hotline operators respond back creating a two way anonymous “chat.”

According to Chief Conservation Warden Randy Stark, “People in Wisconsin have a deeply ingrained conservation ethic. The public plays a critical role in our efforts to protect our natural resources. This new capability creates an additional way for the public to quickly, easily, and anonymously report violations.”

Anyone with a cell phone with texting service can now send an anonymous tip to Wisconsin DNR from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. by texting the word TIPWDNR and the tip information to 847-411 (tip411).

“The ability to text violations will be in addition to the 24 hours a day/7 days per week confidential telephone tip line we operate to report suspected or observed illegal activity. The number is easy to remember, 1-800-TIP-WDNR (1-800-847-9367 or cell#367),” Stark says. “Whenever you need to report an emergency, however, please telephone us so we can respond right away.”

Powered by Citizen Observer, a St. Paul, Minn., company, tip411 puts a powerful new law enforcement tool into the hands of the public for reporting violations.

“We’re proud to be part of a national program being used by agencies in more than 27 states. This new capability will provide another way for our citizens play an active role in protecting our natural resources, specifically younger generations who regularly use texting technology,” Stark said.

DNR customer service staff is also available to assist the public by phone and online from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Spanish and Hmong bilingual customer service representatives are also available.

Customers may reach Customer Service at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463) or by e-mail at csweb@wisconsin.gov. An online chat link is also available at dnr.wi.gov/contact. CONTACT: FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Sisbach (608) 266-7317 or Laurel Steffes, Office of Communications (608) 266-8109

Source: Wisconsin DNR
Site: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/DNRNews_Lookup.asp?id=220#art1