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Weekly News Published - November 21, 2017 by the Central Office

 

With the opening weekend of the 166th gun deer season concluded, hunters can look forward to more opportunities through the second weekend

MADISON - By the time the sun set on opening weekend of Wisconsin's 166th gun deer season, more than 582,800 hunters had purchased their license and headed into the outdoors of the annual nine-day gun deer hunt in Wisconsin.

Although 587,440 licenses were sold last year, the total number of hunters that took to the field is very close to the number that purchased a license last year, the state saw approximately 6,200 additional non-residents choose to travel to Wisconsin to pursue one of their favorite activities.

Preliminary Registration Totals and Future Outlook

In total, 102,903 deer were registered through opening weekend of the gun deer hunt in 2017 compared to 116,615 in 2016 with 59,142 bucks registered, compared to 64,828 in 2016, according to figures compiled by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Hunters shared their photos from the field on the Department of Natural Resources Facebook page, and a number of great stories show why hunting is so special to Wisconsin - Photo credit: Contributed through DNR Facebook page
Hunters shared their photos from the field on the Department of Natural Resources Facebook page, and a number of great stories show why hunting is so special to WisconsinPhoto credit: Contributed through DNR Facebook page

Preliminary harvest numbers seem to correlate with weather reports that have been shared on the Wisconsin DNR's Facebook page as well as the reports hunters provided during the registration process with the northern part of the state experiencing much better hunting conditions corresponding with kill numbers generally consistent with last year. By comparison, the southern part of the state experienced localized rain and higher winds and overall, the kill numbers are lower than last year. With the weather reports for the remainder of the gun deer hunt looking positive throughout most of Wisconsin, hunters can expect improved opportunities and are encouraged to head out to enjoy the remainder of the nine-day season hunting with family and friends.

These preliminary registration numbers provide a good indication that the local decision-making efforts of the County Deer Advisory Councils (CDAC) are paying off and having a positive impact on deer hunting opportunities.

For specific county and regional registration data, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "weekly totals."

Registration of Deer Required using GameReg

With the weather reports for the remainder of the gun deer hunt looking positive throughout most of Wisconsin, hunters can expect improved opportunities and are encouraged to head out to enjoy the remainder of the nine-day season hunting with family and friends. - Photo credit: Contributed through DNR Facebook page
With the weather reports for the remainder of the gun deer hunt looking positive throughout most of Wisconsin, hunters can expect improved opportunities and are encouraged to head out to enjoy the remainder of the nine-day season hunting with family and friends.Photo Credit: Contributed through DNR Facebook page

Hunters have embraced the change to the GameReg registration system with more than 62 percent of the registrations occurring via the internet with the remaining hunters utilizing the call-in phone option which also worked well for most hunters. "Since the registration process is so critical to the management of Wisconsin's deer herd," Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game ecologist, reminds "hunters who forgot to register their deer to complete this process, even if beyond the 5 p.m. deadline."

Hunters must register their deer by 5 p.m. the day after harvest. For more information, search keywords "gamereg."

Opening Weekend Hunting Accidents

DNR investigated three non-fatal hunting incidents (one each in Brown, Shawano and Forest counties) during opening weekend. Through the continued efforts of hunters and hunter education volunteers, Wisconsin remains a safe place to hunt, and hunters are reminded to follow the Four Rules of Firearm Safety (TAB-K):

To learn more about safe hunting in Wisconsin, search keywords "safety tips."

Wisconsin's hunters share their weekend with DNR staff

Pictures and stories from all over Wisconsin have continued to flood in as hunters share their experiences. Be sure to follow DNR on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates, photos and stories throughout gun deer season.

For more information regarding deer hunting in Wisconsin, search keyword "deer."

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December public meetings will gather feedback regarding outdoor recreation in Wisconsin

MADISON - The public will have an opportunity to provide input on outdoor-based recreation in Wisconsin as part of a Department of Natural Resources Recreation Opportunities Analysis, which is examining existing opportunities and future recreation opportunities in eight regions throughout Wisconsin. The final regions to be studied are the Southern Gateways and Lower Lake Michigan Coastal regions. The counties included in these regions are as follows:

The public is invited to participate in this analysis by providing information through an online input form by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword "ROA." The public can provide feedback online or print out the questionnaire and send completed forms to the department. Public input opportunities for these two regions are open through Jan. 2, 2018.

The next two areas to be studied for recreational opportunities include popular properties like the Kettle Morain State Forest-Southern Unit, where mountain biking has become extremely poplular. - Photo credit: Wis. Dept. of Tourism
The next two areas to be studied for recreational opportunities include popular properties like the Kettle Moraine State Forest-Southern Unit, where mountain biking has become extremely popular.Photo credit: Wis. Dept. of Tourism

In December, the department will host public open house meetings to gather additional input to the Southern Gateways and Lower Lake Michigan Coastal regions. The open houses will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

The ROA process has been underway in other regions of the state. Each of the regions studied will have chapters describing the findings of the analysis. Drafts of these chapters will be compiled providing additional detail. The goal of the analysis is to generally describe recreation opportunities for each region.

For more information regarding the recreational opportunities analysis, search keyword "ROA." To receive email updates regarding the ROA process, click on the email icon near the bottom of the page titled "subscribe for updates for DNR topics," then follow the prompts and select "Recreation opportunities analysis," found within the list titled "outdoor recreation."

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4 bighead carp caught on Lower Wisconsin River during fall surveys

Anglers reminded to report catching the invasive Asian carp

PRAIRIE DU SAC - With state fisheries crews recently catching four Asian carp on the Lower Wisconsin River and finding another dead along the shore, anglers who catch one of the invasive carp species are reminded to keep the fish and contact their local fish biologist.

David Rowe, DNR fisheries supervisor, on the left, and Alex Bentz, DNR fisheries technician, on the right, display a bighead carp captured during DNR fall sturgeon surveys on the Lower Wisconsin River.  - Photo credit: DNR
David Rowe, DNR fisheries supervisor, on the left, and Alex Bentz, DNR fisheries technician, on the right, display a bighead carp captured during DNR fall sturgeon surveys on the Lower Wisconsin River. Photo credit: DNR

"Anyone who catches a fish they believe to be an Asian carp species -- bighead, silver, black or grass -- should keep the fish, make sure it's dead before they leave the riverway, and contact their local fisheries biologist to verify the species," says David Rowe, a fisheries supervisor based in Fitchburg.

"Asian carp can be very prolific and outcompete native species and we want to keep them out of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway."

It is illegal to transport a live Asian carp, so anglers will want to make sure the fish is dead before taking it away, Rowe says. He reminded anglers to avoid moving bait fish to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species or fish diseases.

Asian carp have been occasionally captured in Wisconsin waters of the Mississippi River and Lower Wisconsin River since 1996. They have not been found in inland waters above the lower dams on the Mississippi tributaries.

DNR fisheries crews captured four adult bighead carp this fall while doing routine surveys to monitor the lake sturgeon population below the Prairie du Sac Dam. They also recovered another bighead carp that was freshly dead on the shore, according to Nate Nye, the DNR fisheries biologist for Columbia and Sauk counties.

DNR believes the Asian carp are individual fish that strayed and do not represent an established population; no other Asian carp were found by DNR on the river over the summer despite multiple other fish surveys that likely would have turned up Asian carp if they were there. Nor did DNR hear any reports from anglers that they caught Asian carp.

"These fish were the only ones we saw," Nye says. "They were all very large adults that likely migrated up into the lower Wisconsin River from the Mississippi River this spring or summer when we had high river flows, which can be an environmental trigger for the Asian carp species."

Bighead and silver carp are filter feeders and directly compete with native species like paddlefish and buffalo, but also because they are large bodied fish that eat very low on the food chain they can harm the entire fish community, Nye says. More information about Asian carp, including a map of Asian carp found in Wisconsin waters and photos to help identify Asian carp species, is available on DNR's web site, dnr.wi.gov by searching "Asian carp control."

Anglers and boaters can avoid spreading invasive fish and other aquatic invasive species by taking steps including inspecting boats and trailers after leaving a waterbody; removing all attached aquatic plants and animals; draining all water from boats and equipment; and never moving plants or live fish away from a waterbody.

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Contact information

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