Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sponsor sign-up period open for Disabled Deer Hunts

MADISON – Landowners interested in sponsoring a deer hunt for disabled hunters are reminded of the June 1 deadline for applications. In 2011, the disabled hunt will take place October 1-9.

Sponsor applications are available on Disabled Deer Hunting page of the Department of Natural Resources website and must be submitted to your local wildlife manager by June 1. A list of approved sponsors will be posted on the DNR website by July 1. Disabled hunters interested in participating in one of these hunts should contact sponsors directly to make arrangements. Sponsors are required to submit a list of participating hunters to DNR by September 1.

Hunters must possess a valid Class A Permit, a Class B Permit for People with Disabilities issued for more than one year and that authorizes shooting from a vehicle, or a Class C Disabled Hunting Permit to be eligible to participate in the Disabled Deer Hunt.

The DNR’s gun deer hunt for hunters with disabilities was started in 1990 to give disabled hunters an opportunity to hunt deer at a time of year when temperatures are generally milder and mobility is less of a problem. The hunts are sponsored by private individuals or organizations and almost entirely take place on privately owned lands.

Interest in the program continues to grow. In 2010, there were over 100 participating sponsors enrolled and over 62,000 acres available for the hunt.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Linda Olver - (608) 261-7588
Source: Wisconsin DNR (

Friday, May 13, 2011

DNR rejects claim it is opposed to “Deer Regulation Bill”

MADISON – Earlier today a press release was issued by a state conservation organization, the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, stating that the Department of Natural Resources joined numerous other state conservation organizations in opposing Senate Bill 99 and Assembly Bill 75, commonly referred to as the “deer regulation bills.” In fact, that is not the case.

The Senate committee asked DNR to testify for information only,” said DNR Deputy Secretary, Matt Moroney. “The department does not take positions either for or against bills working their way through the legislative process.”

In testimony given on May 5 to the Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Committee, DNR Division of Lands Administrator, Kurt Thiede, said that the department has suspended use of earn-a-buck and October antlerless hunts outside of chronic wasting disease management areas for 2011. He noted, however, that the time may come when the department would like to have those options available again.

“We understand that laws could be written to bring these options back if they are absolutely needed,” said Thiede. “After all, that is how earn-a-buck came to be. However, a key to managing wildlife populations is the ability to assess current needs, make recommendations, and quickly have them in place through action of the Natural Resources Board and the legislative review process. We are concerned that if these herd control strategies are taken away and we need them back we will have to wait for a bill and we don’t foresee this being a popular bill to sponsor or pass in the future.”

“We respect the fact that the Wildlife Federation speaks for numerous conservation organizations, but the DNR is not among them,” said Moroney. “It is a mischaracterization to say we have joined these groups in opposing SB75 and AB 99. DNR’s role is to implement measures the legislature passes.”

News Release Published: May 10, 2011 by the Central Office
Contact(s): Kurt Thiede (608) 266-5833
 Source: Wisconsin DNR (

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Locating new fawns is next step in deer research project; volunteers needed

MADISON – Dozens of volunteers assisted state wildlife researchers in capturing and placing radio-collars on 204 deer in February and March. Now the call is going out again for volunteers to help locate fawns born to does that were fitted with implant radio transmitters designed to signal when fawns have been born in late May and early June.

“With the whitetail birthing season coming up fast, volunteers are again needed to sweep the woods looking for the newborns,” said Chris Jacques, Department of Natural Resources research scientist. “When located, fawns will be fitted with expandable radio collars so we can follow them through their first year of life to determine causes of death whether it be due to nutrition, environment, vehicle, hunters or predators. This is real hands-on field research.”

Some hunters have questioned assumptions about fawn recruitment used by wildlife biologists for estimating deer populations. Recruitment is the net addition of new individuals (fawns) to a population each year and is an important input in estimating deer population numbers. At the end of this three-year effort to monitor fawns, researchers hope to fine tune their inputs based on real-world data collected in this research effort.

Volunteers will be assigned to search teams working in the vicinity of Shiocton in Shawano County and Winter in Sawyer County. When transmitters have been expelled (presumably when a fawn has been born), a search team will form a line and comb the woods, somewhat similar to a deer drive, in search of bedded fawns. Newborns will be quickly fitted with a radio collar of their own and left for the doe to raise normally.
If the fawn dies, the collar will emit a unique signal that researchers will again use to locate the animal to determine cause of death. The collars are designed to expand as the deer grows and eventually drop off as the animal approaches its first birthday.

“Determining causes of death in fawns is vital to the accuracy of our deer population estimates,” said Jacques. “Of special interest is the impact of predators on fawn deaths. We have a suite of predators in Wisconsin that we suspect impact yearly fawn production, including black bear, bobcat, coyote and gray wolves. What we are less certain of are the relative roles that each of those predators plays on fawn recruitment over the course of an entire year.”

He stresses this work is possible only with the assistance of dozens of volunteers representing hunting groups such as the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, Safari Club International and Whitetails Unlimited, the University of Wisconsin- Madison and UW-Stevens Point, the AFL-CIO Union Sportsmans Alliance, and hundreds of Wisconsin citizens.

“Anyone who has looked for newborn fawns or been startled to discover a fawn lying motionless in the forest or field next to them knows what a challenge it is to find them,” says Jacques. “They have excellent natural camouflage and instinct to remain absolutely still when approached. The transmitters will give us a better idea of where they are but it will still take time on the ground to locate them.”

For more information and to sign up as a volunteer go to the Deer Research page of the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Chris Jacques – (608) 221-6358 or Bob Manwell - (608) 264-9248
Source: Wisconsin DNR (