Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Natural Resources Board raises deer population goals

EDITOR'S ADVISORY: This news release has been revised to correct information on the percentage increase of the deer herd under the revised goas. The new goals would result in an 8 percent increase the in population over current goals.

MADISON – The state Natural Resources Board has approved revisions to proposed overwinter population goals for white-tailed deer, raising this management benchmark to a statewide target of nearly 800,000, which is a Correction -- 8 percent increase over current levels.
The board, meeting in Madison March 16, approved increases in population targets in 43 of Wisconsin’s 131 deer management units. The new goals were developed at the request of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee after the committee heard testimony on hunter dissatisfaction with the number of deer seen and harvested during the 2009 gun deer season. The legislative committee did not accept a previous proposal to raise population targets in 13 deer management units.
The modified rule will now be returned to the legislature for review by the Senate and Assembly natural resources committees.
“Population goals serve as the foundation for managing the deer herd and determining deer hunting season structures,” said Keith Warnke, big game ecologist for the Department of Natural Resources. “Goals are reviewed every three years and are developed with input from the public. This current review process had the added input of a select advisory group representing hunting and conservation organizations, woodland owners, forest managers and agriculture.”
The department works to maintain healthy, sustainable wildlife populations for now and for future generations by balancing social, economic and ecosystem objectives.
State law directs the department to maintain a herd in balance with its habitat and at a population compatible with a variety of factors including a management unit’s capacity to support deer, browsing impacts, animal disease risks, vehicle-deer collisions, hunter access to land in the unit, tribal agreements, ability to keep populations at goal, crop damage and hunter satisfaction
Members of the Natural Resources Board heard that the proposed modifications are shifting the balance prescribed in state law in favor of hunter success in harvesting and seeing deer.

“We understand there is hunter frustration out there,” said Warnke. “We also acknowledge that these increases have the potential for impacts on agriculture, forestry and road safety.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Warnke – (608) 264-6023
Source: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/DNRNews_Lookup.asp?id=214#art1
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wisconsin Hunters register 329,103 deer in 2009

MADISON – Hunters registered 329,103 deer for the 2009 deer hunting seasons. This includes a total antlerless harvest of 191,715 and antlered (buck) harvest of 134,156. The grand total includes 3,232 deer recorded as unknown.

Archery buck harvest up 19 percent
The closely watched total buck harvest for all archery and gun seasons was down 3 percent compared to 2008.

The 2009 archery buck harvest was up 19 percent over 2008 at 41,402 making it the fourth best archery buck harvest in history. Archers accounted for 31 percent of the total buck harvest in 2009. This was up from the 2008 archery buck harvest which accounted for 25 percent of the total buck kill. Gun buck harvest declined by 11 percent last year from 103,845 in 2008 to 92,754, the 29th highest gun buck total on record.

Antlerless harvest was carefully regulated on a unit-by-unit basis through the bonus permit process. In 2009, 13 deer management units had no antlerless permits available to gun deer hunters in an effort to promote strong deer population growth in those units. Gun bonus permits were limited in many other units that were near established population goals.

In 2008 gun hunters registered 246,607 antlerless deer. In 2009 the number was146,917, a decrease of 99,690 or approximately 40 percent. The greatest changes in antlerless deer harvest occurred in the northern forest where hunters registered 30,431 antlerless deer compared to 56,607 in 2008. This 46 percent reduction in antlerless harvest was due to a reduction in antlerless deer tags available in the northern forest. The eastern farmland also saw a greatly reduced antlerless harvest with more than 31,000 fewer antlerless deer registered, a 47 percent decrease from 2008. The decrease in the eastern farmland region is largely due to the suspension of Earn-a-Buck hunting requirements.

The statewide post hunt population estimate is 990,000, down slightly from 2009. Regional populations vary widely in Wisconsin and in northeastern Wisconsin deer populations are generally below desired goals. Populations are higher in the rest of the northern and central forest regions and above goals in the eastern, western and southern farmland regions. Hunters interested in learning more about local populations are encouraged to attend a deer management unit information meeting in their area. Meeting locations and dates are available online or by calling the DNR Info line at (888) 936-7463.

Winter severity recording stations will continue to report through April and this fall’s antlerless harvest quotas will be finalized after all winter severity data are collected. March is a critical month for northern deer herds. Harsh weather in March can result in greater mortality and lower fawn production as deer can be in a weakened condition at the end of winter.

2009 Season Highlights

Gun and bow harvest by ecological deer management regions

Regional Bow Totals

Region -   Antlered - Antlerless - Unknown Total

Central Forest - 2,491 -  3,284 - 37 - 5,812

Eastern Farmland - 10,950 - 9,961 - 80 - 20,991

Northern Forest - 8,866 - 10,093 - 103 - 19,062

Southern Farmland - 10,403 -13,103 -674 -24,180

Western Farmland - 8,691 - 8,354 - 147 - 17,192

Unknown - 1 - 3 - 0 - 4

Total - 41,402 - 44,798 - 1,041 - 87,241

Regional Gun Totals

Region - Antlered - Antlerless - Unknown Totala

Central Forest - 5,725 - 11,769 -101 - 17,595

Eastern Farmland - 20,829 - 27,337 -256 -48,422

Northern Forest - 22,540 - 20,338 -175 - 43,053

Southern Farmland - 23,828 - 51,700 - 1,350-  76,878

Western Farmland - 19,830 - 35,772 - 309 - 55,911

Unknown - 2 - 1 - 0 - 3

Total - 92,754 -146,917 -2,191- 241,862

Tribal Totals

Antlered - Antlerless -Unknown Total

540 -842 - 0 - 1,382

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Warnke, DNR big game ecologist, (608) 264-6023 or Bob Manwell, DNR communications, (608) 264-9248

Source: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource
Site: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/DNRNews_Lookup.asp?id=213#art1

Friday, March 5, 2010

2010 Wisconsin Deer Management Information Meetings

The 2010 Wisconsin Deer Management Unit information meetings will be held around the state from March 8-18. All meetings will open with a 15-minute video hosted by Scott Craven of the University of Wisconsin who will lead an informal round table discussion on emerging harvest patterns, unit-specific management, hunter surveys and a CWD update. Attendees will also learn about preliminary deer population estimates, possible deer hunting season structures for 2010, and unit level CWD status and historical perspectives of deer management. Some new DNR communications tools will be announced and attendees will learn more about how they can be involved in the research initiatives. For information about an individual meeting, contact the DNR wildlife staff listed for each meeting.

Tuesday, March 9

DMUs: 2, 3, 6, and 9
Iron River Community Center, US Highway 2, Iron River 6:30 p.m.
Greg Kessler: 715-372-8539, ext. 115

DMUs:39, 40, and 44
7 p.m. Big 4+ Sportsmen's Club, Zepp Rd, Long Lake, WI
Jeremy Holtz: 715-528-4400 x119

DMUs:32, 42, and 52
6 p.m. Wisconsin National Guard Armory, 106 Memorial Dr., Merrill
Rick Weide: 715–536-4763

Wednesday, March 10

DMUs: 1, 1M, 2, 4, 8, and 9
6-8 p.m. Superior Public Library, 1530 Tower Ave., Superior
Greg Kessler: 715-372-8539, ext. 115

Thursday, March 11

DMUs: 40 and 50
6 p.m. Florence Natural Resource Center, Lower Level Large Conference Room, Hwy 101, Florence
Jeremy Holtz: 715-528-4400 x119

DMUs: 28, 29A, and 34
6 p.m. Mercer Community Center, 2648W Margaret Street, Mercer
Bruce Bacon: 715-476-7843

DMUs: 42, 43, and 52
Clover Rm., Multi-purpose Bldg., Langlade Co. 6 p.m. Fairgrounds, Antigo
Rick Weide: 715–536-4763

DMUs: 29B, 31, 35, 36, 37, and 38
6 p.m. James Williams Middle School Auditorium, 915 Acacia Lane, Rhinelander
Ron Eckstein: 715-365-8999
Linda Winn: 715-358-9207

DMU 13, 18, and 19
6-8 p.m. Hayward high School Auditorium, 10320 Greenwood Lane, Hayward, WI 54843
Laine Stowell: 715-634-9659 Ext. 3527

Monday, March 15

DMUs: 10, 15, 16, 21, 22, 22A, and 23
7 p.m.Turtle Lake High School Library, 205 Oak Street,Turtle Lake
Kevin Morgan: 715-637-6867
Michelle Carlisle: 715-485-3518

DMUs: 25, 26, 27, and 32
6 p.m. Medford Area Senior High School Cafeteria, 1015 W. Broadway Ave., Medford

DMUs 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, and 17
6:30 p.m. Wisconsin Agricultural Research Station, Hwy 70 East, Spooner
Nancy Christel: 715- 635-4091

Tuesday March 16

DMUs:10 and 16
6 p.m. Crex Meadows Wildlife Education and Visitors Center, 102 East Crex Avenue, Grantsburg
Pete Engman: 715-463-2896

DMUs 14, 20, 25, 29A, and 30
6 p.m. Price Co. Courthouse, Co. Board Rm., 126 Cherry Street, Phillips
Pat Beringer: 715-762-1340

DMUs: 18, 19, 23, and 24
6 p.m. Ladysmith High School Cafeteria, 1700 E. Edgewood Avenue, Ladysmith
Mark E. Schmidt: 715-532-4369

DMUs: 3, 6, 7, 28, and 78
6:30 p.m. Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, County Hwy G, Ashland
Todd Naas: 715-685-2914

Wednesday, March 10

DMUs: 64, 64M, 80B, 80A, and 81
6:30-9 p.m. Denmark High School Cafetorium, 450 N Wall Street, Denmark
Aaron Buchholz: 920-755-4983
Dick Nikolai: 920-832-1804

Thursday, March 11

6:30-9 p.m.  DMUs: 47, 62B, 63A, 63B, and 51B
Clintonville High School Auditorium, 64 W. Green Tree Rd. Clintonville
Kay Brockman-Mederas: 715-526-4226

Monday, March 15

DMUs: 41, 44, 45, 49A, 49B, 50, 51A and 51B
6-8 p.m. Crivitz Village Hall, 800 Henriette St, Crivitz
John Huff: 715-582-5047
Dave Halfmann: 715-856-9160

Tuesday, March 16

DMUs: 65A, 65B, 67A, and 67B
Wautoma High School Performing Arts Center, 514 S. Cambridge St. (Hwy 21/22), Wautoma
5:30-7:30 p.m. Video Presentation, a question and answer period and then DMU discussions
Jim Holzwart: 920-361-3149
Paul Samerdyke: 920-787-4686 ext. 3012

DMUs: 66 and 68A
6-9 p.m. J.P. Coughlin Building, UW Extension Meeting Rooms 'A' & 'B', 625 E. Co. Rd. 'Y', Oshkosh
Mark Randall: 920-424-7896


Wednesday, March 10

DMUs: 27, 55, 57B and 58
4-8 p.m. (with presentation at 6 p.m.) Greenwood High School, Greenwood
Michele Windsor: 715-284-1403

DMUs 59D, 59M, 72, 74A, and 74B
4-8 p.m. (with presentations at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.) Community Room, Bekkum Memorial Library, 206 N. Main, Westby
Dave Matheys: 608-637-3938
Ron Lichtie: 608-785-9992
Tim Babros: 715-284-1423

DMUs: 57, 57A, 33, 46, 62A
5-7 p.m. John Muir Middle School, Large Group Room, 1400 West Stewart Ave., Wausau
Cortney Schaefer: 715-359-6405

DMUs: 57C, 62A, and 65A
6-8 p.m. Portage County courthouse Annex, Conference room #1, 1462 Strongs Ave., Stevens Point
Greg Dahl: 715-421-7818

DMU: 61
7 p.m. Alma School Gym, State Hwy 35 north, Alma
Kris Johansen: 608-685-6222

Thursday, March 11

DMUs: 53, 54A, 54B, 54C, and 56
3-7 p.m. (with presentations at 4, 5 and 6 p.m.) Necedah Village Hall, 101 Center St., Necedah
Wayne Hall: 715-884-2437
Jon Robaidek: 608-339-4819

DMUs: 55 and 59C
7 p.m. American Legion, 124 N. Hoffman St., Hixton
Michele Windsor: 715-284-1403
Kris Johansen: 608-685-6222

Monday, March 15

DMUs: 22A, 59A, and 59B
3-7 p.m., with presentations at 3 4, 5 and 6 p.m. Dunn County Fish and Game Clubhouse, 1600 Pine Ave., Menomonie
Jess Carstens: 715-232-1519

Tuesday, March 16

DMUs: 60A, 60B, and 60M
7-9 p.m. DNR Service Center, 890 Spruce St., Baldwin
Harvey Halvorsen: 715-684-2914 ext.113


Monday, March 15

DMUs: 68B, 69, 69C, 77C, 77D, 77E, and 77M
6:30-9:30 p.m. Henry S. Reuss Ice Age Visitor Center, N2875 Hwy. 67, Campbellsport Just west of Dundee off of state highway 67
Dale Katsma: 920-892-8756 ext. 3013

Tuesday, March 16

DMUs: 77M, 77C, 77B CWD, and 77C CWD
6-8:30 p.m. Big Bend/Vernon Fire Station #3, W233S7475 Woodland Lane, Big Bend,
Tim Lizotte 262-574-2120


Monday, March 8

DMUs: 73A, 73B, 73D, 73B-CWD, and 75D-CWD
5-8:30 p.m. Grant County Youth and Ag Building - 916 East Elm St., Lancaster
Dan Goltz: 608-375-4123
Bill Ishmael: 608-935-1918

Wednesday, March 10

CWD DMUs: 54B, 70, 70B, 70E, 70F, 70G, 71
5-8:30 p.m. UW Baraboo – Sauk County Campus cafeteria, 1001 Connie Rd., Baraboo
Becky Roth: 608-3432
Sara Kehrli: 608-635-8123
Bill Ishmael: 608-935-1918

Monday, March 15

5-8:30 p.m.
CWD DMUs: 70A, 70C, 70D, 73B, 73E, 75B,
75C, and 75D
Dodger Bowl, 318 King St., Dodgeville
Bruce Folley: 608-575-9288
Dan Goltz: 608-375-4123
Don Bates: 608-935-1947

DMU: 68B
5:30 p.m. Horicon Marsh Internation Education Center – Auditorium, N7725 Highway 28, Horicon
Brenda Kelly: 920-387-7882

Tuesday, March 16

CWD DMUs: 75A, 76, and 76M
5:30-7:30 p.m. Fitchburg Community Center, 5520 Lacy Road, Fitchburg
Jake Fries: 608-275-3250
Don Bates: 608-935-1947

Thursday, March 18

DMUs: 76A CWD and 77A CWD 6-8:30 p.m. Ft. Atkinson High School Library, 925 Lexington Blvd, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538 (located off the south side of Hwy 12, approximately ½ mile southeast of Hwy 26)
Doug Fendry: 608-275-3230
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Source: http://dnr.wi.gov/org/caer/ce/news/2010_DMU_meetings.pdf

Wisconsin DNR and the $2 Million Project on Tracking Whitetail Deer

MADISON — State wildlife officials reeling from hunter frustration and distrust announced a $2 million project to better track Wisconsin's deer population Wednesday.

Department of Natural Resources officials hope the effort will give them their best idea yet of how many deer roam the state and the threats they face — and generate confidence from hunters who lost faith in agency strategies after an anemic fall hunt.

"We have heard their concerns and we believe this is a significant action to ensure ... we have the best system possible," agency Secretary Matt Frank said.

Hunters have constantly complained about the DNR's regulations, but their anger boiled over in the fall after two years of poor hunts.

They insist the DNR overestimated the herd and imposed draconian reduction strategies, including multiple hunting seasons, more antlerless deer tags and earn-a-buck regulations, which require hunters to kill an antlerless deer before they can take a buck. They say those moves have devastated the deer population, putting their beloved sport's future in jeopardy.

Things got so heated, Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, D-Weston, called for the DNR to fire every employee involved in deer management.

The DNR's new project, dubbed "Investing in Wisconsin's Whitetails," calls for a host of initiatives, including:

EWorking with the University of Wisconsin System to research buck and fawn mortality, including evaluations of how weather, habitat, hunting and predators such as wolves and bears affect the population.

ETagging deer with radio collars.

EWorking with UW-Madison and UW-Stevens Point to study hunter participation and develop retention strategies.

EContinuing chronic wasting disease research.

EHiring a postdoctoral researcher to evaluate the usefulness of car-deer collision data in population estimates.

EExpanding a database of hunter observations.

EImproving communications with stakeholders, including appointing a team to relay information to hunters, revamping the agency's Web page and looking at online social networking sites.

EContinual online progress reports, likely as often as quarterly.

"This is the largest investment in deer management in our history," DNR big game ecologist Keith Warnke said.

The money for the project comes from a surge in Wisconsin's share of federal taxes on firearms and ammunition.

Warnke said some of the initiatives could take up to five years or longer to complete. Hunter participation will be crucial, he said.

Ed Harvey, president of the Conservation Congress, an influential group of sportsmen who advise the DNR, said the research project is just what the agency needs to rekindle confidence.

"We've been pushing for it for months," Harvey said. "We've been pushing for something a little less extensive than what they're proposing. They're one-upping us and that's a great thing. It's exactly what's needed."

Source: theNorthwestern.com
Site: http://www.thenorthwestern.com/article/20100228/OSH0101/2280348/1987/OSHbusiness/DNR-starts-2-million-project-to-track-deer

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hunting and fishing licenses go on sale March 10

Licenses for current year expire on March 31

MADISON – 2010-11 Wisconsin hunting, fishing, trapping and other licenses and harvest permits for fish and wildlife activities in Wisconsin go on sale Wednesday, March 10. Annual licenses are valid from April 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011. Hunting and fishing licenses for the 2009-10 license year expire on March 31, 2010.

“We’re here to answer questions regarding licenses as folks plan their hunting and fishing trips, purchase a recreational vehicle, or pursue other activities. Just contact our call center,” said Kevin Huggins, chief of licensing and information for the Department of Natural Resources.

DNR customer service staff is 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.

Information on renewing a Conservation Patrons License, which offers many different privileges, including licenses, stamps, applications, park admission and more, was included in the February issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine, along with a bonus pamphlet showing how fish and wildlife license and permit fees are spent to bolster outdoor recreation.

Hunting and fishing licenses can be purchased over the Internet through the DNR Web page (click on Hunting & Fishing Licenses and Permits under Online Services); by calling toll-free 1-877-WI LICENSE (1-877-945-4236); at license sales locations; or DNR service centers during their regular business hours (check service center link for hours of operation, which vary by service center).

Source: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Site: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/weekly.asp#art3
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bureau of Customer Service and Licensing, (608) 266-2621

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

DNR Secretary Matt Frank announces successful inaugural hunting heritage conference

ROTHSCHILD – Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank congratulated and thanked the participants of the first Hunting Heritage Conference who met over the weekend to share ideas about broadening participation in the state’s hunting heritage.

The conference was funded by a grant from the National Shooting Sports Foundation and The Hunting Heritage Partnership. The grant provided funding to cover the complete cost of those attending the two-day conference.

The Department of Natural Resources invited representatives of local and statewide hunting and conservation organizations to the first ever event. About 115 hunting enthusiasts from mentors to safety instructors gathered at the Stoney Creek Inn for the two-day conference devoted to exploring ideas about building the state’s hunting future for generations to come.

“Wisconsin is a great hunting state with a wide range of hunting opportunities for both novice and experienced hunters,” Frank said. “But we cannot take our hunting tradition for granted. We are looking to build on our past efforts to work with young people as well as adults who have never had an opportunity to hunt. If we want our next generation not only to enjoy our natural resources but to become future conservationists, we need to think creatively and build upon our past efforts.”

The Feb. 19-20 conference focused on educating and training experienced mentors in passing on their knowledge to the next generation of Wisconsin hunters through the DNR’s popular Learn to Hunt program. DNR records show that in 2009, the Learn to Hunt Program had more than 1,500 participants in the turkey, pheasant, deer and waterfowl programs.

“We are very proud of our Learn to Hunt program, which has had the strong support of local conservation groups and volunteer instructors who work with our staff,” Frank said. “We are looking for ways to build mentor participation in this program – and expand it to more youth – boys and girls – from all ethnic backgrounds.”

The conference also featured researchers from the University of Wisconsin-System who shared their research designs on recruiting hunters and testing the effects of social networking and new media technologies to promote hunting.

“The main goals of the conference were to build community around the issue of hunter recruitment and retention; to facilitate networking between organizations; and, to share best practices for hosting successful Learn to Hunt Programs,” DNR Deputy Conservation Warden Benjamin Mott said of the event he helped coordinate. “And another main goal was to make sure clubs understand how they can receive reimbursement for conducting Learn to Hunt Programs.”

The Learn to Hunt Program is designed to help inexperienced hunters, both youth and adults, have a high quality, safe, and rewarding first-time hunt under the guidance of qualified Hunter Education instructors and hunting mentors. Participants receive both classroom and field instruction prior to an actual hunt.

Frank said the DNR hopes to make the conference an annual event.

Article Source: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Site: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/weekly.asp#art3
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Benjamin Mott, Deputy Conservation Warden, Madison: (608) 444-1244; Todd Schaller, Conservation Warden, Madison: (608) 267-2774

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Deer management unit information meetings set

MADISON – Anyone interested in deer in Wisconsin will have a chance to get the most up to date deer management unit information in a series of deer management unit public information meetings across the state in March. Topics will include: the importance of a healthy, sustainable deer herd; increasing hunter participation; and new deer research initiatives. Local wildlife biologists will be on hand at each meeting to provide information and answer questions.

“These meetings are intended to inform hunters and others about Wisconsin deer management, and how it is applied in the local management units where they hunt, live or recreate,” said Keith Warnke, big game ecologist for the Department of Natural Resources. “These meetings will have formal presentations by local DNR wildlife biologists, followed by a question and answer period. Some meetings may also have an open house format, allowing folks to stop in anytime over a two hour period before the presentation.”

All meetings will open with a 15-minute video hosted by Scott Craven of the University of Wisconsin who leads an informal round table discussion on emerging harvest patterns, unit-specific management, hunter surveys and a CWD update. Attendees will also learn about preliminary deer population estimates, possible deer hunting season structures for 2010, and unit level CWD status and historical perspectives of deer management. Some new DNR communications tools will be announced and attendees will learn more about how they can be involved in deer management projects.

Hunters and non-hunters interested in these meetings are encouraged to attend the meetings that cover the deer management units they are interested in (see list below), but are welcome to attend any of the meetings.
Additional information about white-tailed deer management in Wisconsin is available on the Department of Natural Resources Web site.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Warnke, Madison (608) 264-6023, Bob Manwell, or area wildlife biologists listed for the meeting locations in the meeting calendar

Monday, March 1, 2010

Investing in Wisconsin’s Whitetails

MADISON – Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank announced a major new initiative to improve the DNR’s population estimates for white-tailed deer. The information was presented today by wildlife management staff at a meeting of the Natural Resources Board.

“We have heard from hunters who are frustrated and skeptical about the DNR’s deer population estimates. In response to hunter and legislative concerns, we are taking action to improve the model for the deer population estimate, perform additional research, involve hunters more extensively in our efforts, and improve communication with the public on survey results and research findings. Many of these actions have been advocated by hunting organizations,” Frank said.

Frank announced actions, both short-term and long-term, that will include:

1.Fully implementing the recommendations of the 2006 Sex-Age-Kill model audit, including initiating a buck recovery rate study this year.

2.Partnering with the University of Wisconsin to do research and data analysis on buck mortality as well research on fawn mortality, including the roles of predators, habitat and weather, beginning with a study in 2011 in northwest Wisconsin.

3.Beginning this month, the DNR has begun an evaluation of an alternative deer population estimation technique called “distance sampling method” using aircraft. This study is being conducted in areas not previously surveyed with aircraft in both western and eastern Wisconsin. Helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft population surveys will continue in the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone in southern Wisconsin.

4.Working with the Minnesota and Michigan Department of Natural Resources to share insights from data and research projects in all three states regarding deer population trends and dynamics.

5.Hiring a researcher to review deer-vehicle collision data from salvage operators, Department of Transportation summaries of officer-investigated accidents, and insurance company data to assess usefulness and make recommendations as part of the population estimating process.

6.Invite hunting organizations to provide input and participate in DNR deer research and studies, and expand efforts to build a data base from hunters’ field observations from deer registration and observations reported on the DNR Web site.

Frank said that “the department will continue to work with the legislature regarding other suggestions, including bringing in an outside, independent third party to verify the accuracy of the data and math used in the preparation of deer population estimates.”

Frank added that the initiative to improve the DNR’s deer population estimate would not have been possible without a significant new investment of federal funds, over $2 million, through additional federal Pittman-Robertson funds allocated to the Wisconsin this year.

“While this is a significant sum, we believe that this is a worthwhile investment to improve the long-term management of a sustainable and healthy deer herd for generations to come,” Frank said.

The presentation to the NRB was made at the board’s Feb. 24 meeting in Madison. The presentation was video recorded and is available online, along with a document received by the board, “Investing in Wisconsin’s Whitetails,” detailing past, present and future deer research and outreach efforts.

The department will be putting out a steady stream of information and updates for hunters and observers of deer and has a new Internet-based delivery system that allows citizens to receive the latest information at home in their email in the form of an alert that something of interest has been posted. Called GovDelivery, users can subscribe and unsubscribe as they wish at anytime and select from a list of subjects that they wish to monitor.
Hunters and others interested in deer can also attend a series of deer management unit information meetings scheduled around the state March 10-25. Meeting locations and times are also available on the DNR Web site.

Natural Resources Board hears update on deer research

News Release Published: February 24, 2010 by the Central Office
Contact(s): Robert Manwell (608) 264-9248
Article Source: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/BreakingNews_Lookup.asp?id=1603