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By Dan Baumann, Secretary’s Director of West Central Wisconsin
The wait is nearly over. The 2014 gun deer season is on the November horizon and for the many of us who embrace this Wisconsin tradition, I’d like to share some information and clarify the new rules changes to ensure you have a stress-free hunt as you head out into the woods.
Wisconsin’s annual gun deer hunt is an opportunity to come together and have fun with family and friends. Although there are some regulatory changes this year to season dates, management zones and licenses, they won’t hinder your hunt.
To make sure, we want to share information about the changes well in advance of the hunt, and be available to our hunters to answer questions you may have.
The department has developed a short two-page summary of the 2014 rule changes that you can get by going to the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov and search “deer.” You will find the summary there under the tools for your season header.
For hunters who don’t have easy access to a computer, please call the toll free DNR help line at 1-888-WDNRINFO (1-888-936-7463) and request a copy be sent to you.
You can also call that number anytime during the hunt if you have a question in the field. That number is staffed seven days a week from 7a.m. to 10 p.m.
Starting in 2011, an extensive review was conducted of Wisconsin’s deer management program. The result of this undertaking, known as the Deer Trustee Report, included over 60 recommendations designed to improve Wisconsin’s deer management programs and the hunting experience.
The department is asking for your flexibility and understanding as we move through this first year of the new rule changes.
This is our first year with the changes as well. The changes were the result of the hunting community sharing their voice on changes they would like to see.Deer in Wisconsin are a public resource. Deer, like birds or any other wildlife don’t know land ownership boundaries, or who has the right to hunt on which side of the fence. I encourage you to be thoughtful of your neighboring landowners’ rights, and be respectful when you interact with other hunting parties in the field. We do best for the resource and the sport, when we do best by each other. Through lawful and ethical participation, we all can benefit for seasons to come.
Please consider encouraging someone new to the sport to join you, and continue to be the example of ethics in the field.
Good luck on a safe and successful hunt.