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DNR Board Approves Deer Harvest Quotas
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 06/07/2018

The Natural Resources Board approved the 2018 antlerless deer quotas, harvest authorization levels and deer hunting season framework at its May monthly meeting. The 2018 deer season framework represents the efforts of the County Deer Advisory Councils to move the deer herd in each county toward a three-year population objective of increasing, maintaining or decreasing the herd.

This is the councils' fourth year developing deer management recommendations that consider both scientific herd metrics and public feedback. This year, the public submitted over 7,000 comment forms online during the April 2-12 public comment period in addition to input provided directly at council meetings.

"Department staff would like to thank the CDACs for their continued involvement and commitment to playing an important role in deer management--that said, the main influencer on quota levels, particularly in the north, were late April storms," said Kevin Wallenfang, a DNR deer and elk ecologist. "We've seen an increase in population estimates and harvest figures for the past few years, which we expected to continue this year; however, all of the northern counties reduced antlerless quotas to take into account the impacts of the late winter."

Wallenfang says that in the farmland regions of the state, councils continue to use a variety of tagging and season options to address higher deer number. Hunters will again have the opportunity to harvest multiple deer and enjoy extended hunting opportunities.

Iron County is the only deer management unit that will be restricted to buck harvest only in 2018. The antlerless quota for the rest of Wisconsin will be 233,690 antlerless deer. That's compared to 276,515 in 2017.

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