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Time to weigh in on Wisconsin's fall deer hunt

Public input now open on proposals from County Deer Advisory Councils, incldung how many antlerless permits will be issued.

Wisconsin deer
The public comment period is open through April 25 on Wisconsin County Deer Advisory Counicl proposals for the 2021 deer season, including how many antleress permits will be issued. (Photo couresty of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)

Wisconsin's county deer advisory councils will soon be setting parameters for this fall’s deer hunting season. The public has from April 12-25 to submit comments on each county’s proposals.

Comments must be made on the Department of Natural Resources website at dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Hunt/cdac .

Each county in Wisconsin has a deer advisory council to provide input and recommendations to the DNR on deer management in their county. Each council is made up of representatives from different interest groups that provide recommendations to the DNR on deer management.

Councils work with local DNR staff to schedule meetings; provide community outreach and an opportunity for public input; review population data and deer impacts on forests and agriculture; develop recommendations on county population objectives; and create annual antlerless harvest quotas.

The Douglas County Deer Advisory Council, for example, met virtually in March and, after some negotiations, agreed that 1,000 antlerless deer authorizations should be issued for 2021. Figuring the usual 50% success rate for those doe permits, and figuring another 650 antlerless deer will be taken by youth and hunters and during other special hunts, that would mean an antlerless harvest of about 1,150 deer this fall, said Al Horvath, chairman of the Douglas County council.

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To view each county’s recommendations, go to dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Hunt/cdac .

After the public comment period closes April 25, each county council will reconvene between May 3 and 7 to consider the feedback and determine their final recommendations for the 2021 deer hunting season. Douglas County’s online meeting is May 3.

All county deer advisory council meetings are open to the public and will be held via Zoom. The DNR and the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board will give final approval to the county-level recommendations in June.

Douglas County’s council also is seeking Natural Resources Board approval to split the county into two deer management units to better manage for varied habitat types.

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