|Three northern legislators urge DNR to cancel four-day antlerless hunt|
By Gary Ridderbusch
Three North Woods legislators are calling on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to use its emergency authority to cancel the four-day antlerless deer hunt north of Highway 64 scheduled to take place Dec. 12-15.
State Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst), Rep. Mary Czaja (R-Irma) and Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) released a statement regarding the antlerless deer hunt Friday.
“Last season, the DNR acknowledged that a late winter negatively impacted the deer herd throughout the state,” they wrote in their statement. “This season, the early onset of severe winter conditions, combined with the high number of predators, has already had a significant effect on the deer herd.”
Early reports from Wisconsin’s 2013 gun deer season show a statewide 7% decline in harvest numbers compared to last year and a 38% decline in Florence County with similar numbers in other northern counties.
Every year on the second Thursday following Thanksgiving, Wisconsin has an antlerless deer season lasting four days, which includes does as well as bucks with antlers less than three inches in length. Permits purchased for this season allow for the harvest of one antlerless deer in all the deer management units with the exception of 7, 29B, 34, and 39.
The legislators noted that in August, DNR officials issued too many antlerless deer permits in two deer management units in northern Wisconsin resulting in permits having to be returned. They said it is still unknown what effect this will have on the herd populations in these areas.
“The high number of predators combined with the early onset of icy conditions in northern Wisconsin has almost certainly taken its toll on the deer herd,” the legislators wrote. “Deer hunting is an important part of our economy in northern Wisconsin, but continuing to drive herd numbers lower will result in fewer tourism dollars for future seasons. Our districts depend on responsible herd management and the DNR should take the first steps by cancelling the four day antlerless hunt.”
|Friday, December 06, 2013 10:56 AM|
|Last Updated on Monday, December 09, 2013 9:32 AM|