MADISON -- Hunter Safety Administrator Jon King is urging Wisconsin hunters to wear body harnesses when using tree stands in light of new research documenting injuries and deaths from falls.
"The research shows falls from tree stands and similar elevated platforms are the largest source of injuries and deaths of hunters nationwide - and this includes Wisconsin," King said of the research from the 2016 Wildlife Society.
The research also showed "the most avid hunters" face a 1-in-20 chance of suffering an injury in a fall from a tree stand during a lifetime.
"Tree stand incidents are preventable," King said. "This is why we ask hunters to take some time to review tree stand safety rules."
King offers these safety tips and a website link with more tree stand safety tips:
Prefer a course instead? Consider this free online treestand safety course. A 15-minute investment of your time in taking an online safety course could save your life. The Treestand Manufacturers Association provides a free, interactive course that you can finish in minutes. TreeStand Safety Course [exit DNR]
More information is available by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords "tree stand."
MADISON -- Wisconsin's County Deer Advisory Councils are now accepting applications to fill vacant seats for the 2017 round of meetings - these councils provide local deer herd management recommendations to the Department of Natural Resources.
Both hunters and non-hunters alike are welcome to apply for council vacancies, but applicants must have experience or involvement with at least one of seven stakeholder groups represented on the council. While applications may be submitted at any time, interested individuals are encouraged to apply by Dec. 1 to be considered for membership ahead of the first set of meetings in January.
Councils play a key role in deer management through the development of recommendations based on annual harvest data and management issues specific to each county. These recommendations help the department determine annual antlerless quotas, antlerless tag levels and season options.
In 2017, councils will also play a role in the five-year review of the department's Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan. Feedback from each council will help improve public involvement and transparency in CWD discussions.
Several councils currently have at least one seat available for qualified applicants. To view open seats in your county and determine if you may be a good representative for one of the listed stakeholder groups, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword "CDAC," click "find" and select your county using the drop-down menu.
Potential members are asked to attend all meetings, represent the views of the appropriate stakeholder group and contribute feedback during discussions. Council members serve three-year terms, and are required to attend between two and four meetings annually, depending on tasks required each year.
MADISON - With the 2016 archery and crossbow deer hunting seasons well underway and the nine-day gun-deer season rapidly approaching, hunters are reminded to record deer and other wildlife observations for the annual Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey.
Hunters are encouraged to record all hunting activity, even if no wildlife sightings occur during a hunt -- observations provide department staff with an index to measure abundance and help track population trends for Wisconsin's deer herd and other wildlife.
During the first month of the 2016 survey, 111 hunting trips were recorded through the online survey. So far, deer hunters have reported 46 bucks, 111 does, 111 fawns, and 23 unknowns, for an average of 0.87 deer seen per hour hunted. The most frequently observed species other than deer have been turkeys and ruffed grouse.
At the end of each year, survey participants receive a personalized summary of all recorded wildlife. To access the survey, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords "deer hunter wildlife." Tally sheets can be filled out either electronically or printed directly from the site. The current survey period ends January 2016
MADISON - Now that cooler weather has finally reached Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources is reminding commercial and industrial businesses about the necessary steps to properly burn used oil in space heaters.
"These guidelines are in place to protect public health and the state's natural resources," said Ann Coakley, DNR Waste and Materials Management Program director. "If businesses burn used oil in a space heater, there are requirements and limitations they should know about."
Coakley said that, while many companies burn used oil to save money on purchasing new fuel, they must comply with state and federal regulations, especially when burning used oil from other companies.
Commercial or industrial businesses may accept used oil from other businesses only if laboratory testing has shown the used oil to be "on-spec," which means it meets the specifications outlined in the regulations.
"We limit the sources of used oil that go into space heaters because those units are not equipped with air pollution control devices," Coakley said. "Space heaters must also be well maintained for proper burning. Black smoke is a sign that the space heater is not burning the used oil sufficiently."
Used oil is banned from landfills in Wisconsin and must be collected for recycling or reuse. Used oil can contain such metals as arsenic, chromium and lead as a result of being used in engines or other machinery. Used oil that is mixed with solvents, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or other chemicals may be considered hazardous waste and is illegal to burn in a space heater.
The Weekly News is updated every Tuesday at noon.
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