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Weekly News Published - November 18, 2014 by the Central Office

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Less than a week to go! Learn new rule changes before Wisconsin's nine-day gun deer hunt

MADISON -- Opening weekend of the gun deer season, a special time of year for hunters throughout Wisconsin, is less than a week away.

This year, hunters will see some important rule changes implemented as a result of Deer Trustee Report recommendations and extensive input from the hunting public.

While many of your favorite hunting traditions will endure, hunters are encouraged to take some time this week to make sure they are ready for any rule changes that will affect their hunt.

"Many of the most common questions that we have received about these rules involve tagging deer and what tag they can use," said Kevin Wallenfang, big game ecologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "To answer their questions, we first tell them to focus only on the area where they hunt. If they know their county and other basic information, they will have no problem learning this season's new rules."

The department has provided a number of useful resources to help hunters learn the new rules. All hunters are encouraged to review the 2014 deer hunting regulations [PDF] and FAQs, available at dnr.wi.gov, keyword "deer." The deer page also features regulations brochures, tag information and availability, and maps showing new management units and zones.

To ask specific questions before or during the hunt, hunters can also contact the DNR Call Center toll-free at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463). Call center staff are on hand seven days per week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Spanish- and Hmong-speaking representatives are also available.

Hunters will also have multiple opportunities to interact directly with DNR wildlife, law enforcement and customer service specialists during a series of online chats leading up to opening weekend of the gun deer season. These chats are an excellent way to get questions answered and become better informed on topics of concern to Wisconsin's hunters.

Upcoming chat topics include:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 18 - Deer hunt forecast
  • Wednesday, Nov.19 - Where to hunt;
  • Thursday, Nov. 20 - Safety and regulations; and
  • Friday, Nov.21 - Women/ youth in hunting and favorite traditions.

Each chat will begin at noon. To view a chat schedule and check out previous chats, search the DNR website dnr.wi.gov keyword "ask the experts."

Hunters interested in receiving email updates regarding new regulations can sign up to receive occasional email reminders about season dates, license and tag types, and other important information. Visit dnr.wi.gov and click on the email icon near the bottom of the page for "subscribe for updates for DNR topics," then follow the prompts and select a list of your choice.

Wallenfang encourages all hunters to take some extra time to review the new rules before heading into the field this weekend.

"It will help prevent confusion and frustration so hunters can focus on enjoying this exciting week with family and friends, and hopefully bringing home your deer," he said.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game ecologist, 608-261-7589; Matt O'Brien, DNR conservation warden, 608-264-9230; Sawyer Briel, DNR Communications, 608-261-0751

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DNR Ecologist recognized for efforts to protect, preserve wetlands

MADISON - The Wisconsin Wetlands Association honored long time aquatic ecologist Bob DuBois on November 6 for his outstanding efforts to promote the protection, restoration and enjoyment of wetlands in Wisconsin through dragonfly research and citizen science outreach.

DuBois, who started with the Department of Natural Resources in 1983, was originally hired on as a trout researcher. Following the encouragement of his fellow colleagues, he decided to change directions and pursue his passion for aquatic insects.

Bob DuBois
Bob DuBois
Christina DuBois Photo

In 1994, DuBois saw the opportunity to popularize an insect that people were fascinated with but had little information about. At the time, there were no field guides for dragonfly species. Since then, he's written and published two field guides to help scientists and citizens alike in identifying the creatures.

In addition, DuBois coordinates citizen monitoring efforts through the Wisconsin Odonata Survey, which gathers information and observations on dragonfly distributions and habitats statewide to fill previous gaps in knowledge. Since 2002, the survey has noted over 10,000 dragonfly records including the discovery of a number of new state-record species.

In 2012, DuBois founded the Wisconsin Dragonfly Society, which created a structured environment for interested citizens to connect and share their findings as well as engage in the outdoors. This summer, the Wisconsin Society along with the National Dragonfly Society of the Americas co-hosted nearly 100 participants from 25 states and Canada in the Northwoods for their annual meetings.

Executive Director for Wisconsin Wetlands Association Tracy Hames said a big part of their motivation to recognize DuBois was in part due to the fact that dragonflies are largely a wetland specific group but also because in his work DuBois has engaged citizens, encouraged them to get outdoors and made them excited about dragonflies and protecting their habitat.

Wis. Wetlands Award
DuBois accepted his award on November 6 in Madison. From left to right: Tracy Hames, Executive Director of Wisconsin Wetlands Association, Bob DuBois, Mary Linton, wetland scientist and one of Bob's nominators.
Monika Blazs Photo

"Through Bob's work with the survey and the dragonfly society, he is making Wisconsin one of the leaders in the Odonata by furthering the science and excitement around the species," said Hames.

DuBois continues to be motivated to serve this mission and centers his work on involving and engaging people in nature, especially youth. His early experiences with youth inspired him to shepherd citizen engagement as a major initiative for gathering dragonfly information.

"I remember one time when I brought in a live dragonfly to show a class of sixth graders. They were so excited about it and their reaction was so striking, it left a lasting impression." said DuBois. "That's when I realized the huge opportunity for citizen science; it was a door just waiting to be walked through. It's all about getting people engaged. People won't protect what they don't love, and they can't love what they don't know."

For more information on monitoring dragonflies or to join the Wisconsin Dragonfly Society, visit http://wiatri.net/inventory/Odonata/. People who know of someone deserving of recognition for their work to protect wetlands can nominate them for next year's Wisconsin Wetlands Association Awards in February.

The Wisconsin Wetlands Association was established in 1969 and works to protect the state's wetlands resources through education, training, advocacy and research. The organization is one of the first statewide groups to focus exclusively on wetlands protection and has close to 1500 members, including scientists, educators, conservationists, hunters and citizens.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob DuBois, research scientist, 715-392-6976; Erin Gordon, DNR Communications, 608-264-8528

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The Weekly News is updated every Tuesday at noon.
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Last Revised: Tuesday, November 18, 2014