- Contact information
- For information on the new deer hunting rules, contact:
- Melinda Nelson
Assistant deer biologist
Bureau of Wildlife Management
Frequently asked questions Deer hunting rule changes for 2014
- Deer Trustee Report implementation
What is the Deer Trustee Report?
Starting in 2011, an extensive review was conducted of Wisconsin’s deer management program. The result of this undertaking known as the Deer Trustee Report included over 60 recommendations designed to improve Wisconsin’s deer management programs and the hunting experience. After significant effort by the public, the DNR and other partners and stakeholder groups, rule changes have been made that will go into effect beginning with the 2014 deer hunting seasons.
Where can I access more information on these new changes?
Along with information found on the DNR deer hunting and Deer Trustee Report web pages, multiple communication tools have been and will continue to be used right up through the deer seasons. Examples include brochures, hunting regulations, on-line chats, paid advertising, social media, sport shows, seminars, posters and more.
Where can I voice my opinion on all of the new deer hunting rule changes?
Located on the Deer Hunter Forum web page on the DNR website, there is a "Feedback" box where you are encouraged to provide comments.
- Deer Management Zones and Units
What criteria were used to determined which Management Zone a county is located?
The basic outline of the zones has been used for decades as a way of identifying basic deer habitat types and herd productivity within Wisconsin. The predominant habitat type (forest or farmland) within a county determined which zone and season structure it would follow.
Why is there no December 4-day antlerless-only deer hunt in the Southern Farmland Zone?
The new season structure is a compromise with people who did not want the Holiday Hunt expanded to new areas of the state, but were used to the December 4-day antlerless-only deer hunt. The department received many comments from the public regarding reducing firearm hunting pressure in the Southern Farmland Zone; this rule was responsive to public requests.
Can hunters shoot bucks with a bow in Northern Forest and Southern Farmland Zone units during the December 4-day antlerless-only season?
Yes. The December 4-day antlerless-only deer hunt occurs only in Central Forest and Central Farmland Zone units. The regular archery season and crossbow season will occur in the Southern Farmland or Northern Forest Zones during those corresponding 4-days, during which bucks and antlerless deer can be harvested with bows and crossbows. In the Central Forest and Central Farmland Zones, bucks cannot be harvested during the December 4-day antlerless-only season, regardless of whether they hunt with gun, archery or crossbow.
What is the advantage of reforming the Deer Management Units based on county boundaries?
County-based Deer Management Units were created in-part to enable greater public input on herd management at a more localized level. Management Zones help enable management between habitat types including nine counties that are split between the Northern Forest Zone, the Central Farmland Zone and the Central Forest Zone.
How did research scientists combine previous year's data from the previous Deer Management Units to create data for new county units?
The department has historically collected deer harvest information by both county and Deer Management Unit and thus created retrospective county harvest histories. We have created county-based population estimates and estimated deer range by county. Using this data and input from the public, we set harvest quotas for the 2014 deer seasons.
Will the change to county-based Deer Management Units affect where deer can be registered?
Counties are now considered Deer Management Units in most cases so unit boundaries have changed. In 2014, as in the past, all deer must be registered in either the Deer Management Unit of kill or an adjacent unit before they may be transported out of the area. When electronic registration is in place, antlerless deer will need to be registered in the Deer Management Unit of kill before they may be transported out of that unit and antlered bucks may still need to be registered in the Deer Management Unit of kill or an adjacent unit before they may be transported out of the area.
If a hunter plans to harvest a deer in multiple Deer Management Units during the 2014 deer season will they need to buy separate tags?
At purchase, hunters will receive one buck tag that is valid in any Deer Management Unit and Deer Management Zone statewide and one antlerless tag that is valid in any Farmland Zone unit. If a hunter would like to harvest an antlerless deer in a Forest Zone this year they must purchase a bonus antlerless tag for that unit, if available. If a hunter wants more than one antlerless tag in a Farmland Zone, they can purchase additional tags for $12 (residents) or $20 (non-residents) each until sold out.
How was the number of land-type-specific tags (public or private) issued determined in each Deer Management Unit?
As they have in the past, the total number of tags issued in each unit was determined based on anticipated hunter success and the number of deer that local wildlife managers feel need to be removed from the area. The allocation to private and public lands was determined, in some cases, based on percentage of land area in public and private ownership in each county. We also applied, as best as we could, information about past harvest history on public and private land. However, this was difficult considering we had never applied success rates at a county level. Throughout the coming years, success rates and other important information will become more clear and we will adjust accordingly.
As state park units have now been eliminated, are there still limits to the number of hunters that may hunt in state parks?
No, these will be open-access properties now. However, this isn't as big of a change as it may seem. There were many other parks that were open to hunting like other public hunting lands and did not have a unique Deer Management Unit designation. Some state parks had, and still have weapon restrictions such as muzzleloader-only seasons, though. This type of special regulation is still likely to reduce hunting pressure in those parks.
- Permits and tags
Which tags will be issued with the purchase of a deer hunting license?
In 2014, hunters who purchase an archer, crossbow or gun deer hunting license will receive one buck tag valid in any unit statewide, plus one antlerless tag that can be filled in any Farmland Zone unit.
What if a hunter purchases both an archer and crossbow license?
Hunters who purchase both licenses will only receive one buck tag valid statewide, plus one Farmland Zone Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag; however, they may fill those tags with either weapon.
If a hunter first purchases an archer license and then upgrades to include a crossbow license (or vice versa) which back tag will they be required to wear?
Whichever license is purchased first will be the back tag they will be issued and wear. They will not be issued a second back tag. When they buy the upgrade they will be issued a separate license that denotes the upgrade and they must carry that that license while hunting.
What tags will be issued with the purchase of a conservation patron license?
Conservation patron license holders will receive one Gun Buck Deer Carcass Tag and one Bow Buck Deer Carcass Tag that can be filled with either a conventional bow or crossbow. They will also receive two antlerless tags valid for use in any Farmland Zone unit.
What tags will junior deer hunters receive?
They will receive one buck tag valid statewide and one antlerless tag valid statewide for each license.
If a 17 year old buys a junior hunting license, but turns 18 before or during the deer season, can they still use the statewide antlerless deer tags they received with their junior hunting license?
Yes, because the statewide antlerless tags were obtained while the person was under 18 years of age the tags are valid.
What tags will Class A and C disabled permit holders receive?
They will receive one buck tag valid statewide and the same Farmland Zone Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag as everyone else; however, this antlerless tag will be valid statewide and they must simply show their disabled permit at the time of registration, as before.
What tags will qualified resident U.S Armed Forces members receive?
A U.S. Armed Forces member who exhibits proof that they are a Wisconsin resident or was a resident when they entered active service will receive one buck tag valid statewide and the same Farmland Zone Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag outside of the Farmland Zones to tag an antlerless deer, including buck-only units, but only under the authority of a gun deer license and only during a season open to hunting deer with firearms.
Can class A and C disabled or qualified military personnel on leave tag a doe with their buck tag as before?
No. The law requires that we provide Class A and C disabled, and military personnel the opportunity to hunt either sex deer statewide during any firearm deer season under the authority of their gun deer license. By providing both a gun buck tag and an antlerless tag which are both valid statewide, we have fulfilled that requirement. Their buck tag is now valid only for bucks.
Will active duty military service members still be offered bonus antlerless tags for units that are sold out?
Yes, we will continue to handle this as we have in the past. Residents who are in active service with the U.S. Armed Forces outside this state and on furlough or leave will still be able to purchase a bonus antlerless deer tag for any unit and land-type (public or private) which has an antlerless quota, even if they are already all sold out.
Why is a statewide archery antlerless tag no longer included with the purchase of an archer license?
The decision was meant to keep tagging options consistent between archers and gun hunters, especially in the forested zones where deer herds are less productive or other Deer Management Units where the objective is to increase the herd.
Are antlerless tags weapon specific in 2014?
No. All antlerless tags may be filled with any weapon, during any season with the appropriate license.
Does weapon type matter while hunting during the Holiday Hunt in the Southern Farmland Zone?
The allowed weapon type depends on the type of license a hunter possesses. Since the gun, archery and crossbow deer seasons are all open during the 9-day period of the December Holiday Hunt, a person can hunt antlerless deer only with any of these weapon types if they have the appropriate license and an unfilled antlerless deer carcass tag.
Is regular hunting or hunting under an agricultural deer damage shooting permit allowed on the Friday prior to the November 9-day gun deer season?
Yes. The prohibition of possessing a loaded or uncased firearm on the Friday prior to the November 9-day gun deer season has been eliminated. This allows hunting with a firearm for any animal with an open season or under damage shooting permits.
- Antlerless quota and permit setting
How was quota setting be carried out in 2014?
Antlerless quotas were determined much like they were in the past. The process started at the local level as managers evaluated 2013 hunter success, winter severity and other factors, and ultimately ended with the approval of quotas by the Natural Resources Board in late May.
Will quota setting be the same in 2015?
Starting in 2015, local County Deer Advisory Councils will meet and provide quota and other deer hunting recommendations to the DNR and Natural Resources Board for consideration in the quota-setting process. This is designed to provide greater input to local stakeholders and groups regarding deer management in their counties. The final approval of antlerless quotas will end with the Natural Resources Board, as always.
- Bonus Buck regulations
Where is bonus buck allowed during the 2014 deer season?
Bonus buck is available to hunters only in the Southern Farmland Zone.
Can Bonus Buck Authorization stickers earned in 2013 be used in 2014?
Yes, all Bonus Buck Authorization stickers earned in 2013 can be used in 2014. Hunters can use Bonus Buck Authorization stickers in any Southern Farmland Zone unit and on any property type (public or private).
Can hunters earn new Bonus Buck Authorization stickers in 2014?
Yes, hunters can earn additional Bonus Buck Authorization stickers in 2014. However, they may only use one new Bonus Buck Authorization sticker during the 2014 season.
Can Bonus Buck Authorization stickers earned in 2014 be used in 2015?
Any unused 2014 Bonus Buck Authorization sticker may or may not be valid for use in 2015. We do not yet know what the final rule will be or if the bonus buck rule will still be in effect during 2015. Bonus buck will be addressed in the permanent Deer Trustee Report rule this fall.
Can hunters earn 2014 Bonus Buck Authorization stickers for harvesting antlerless deer in units outside the Southern Farmland Zone?
No, hunters can only earn Bonus Buck Authorization stickers by harvesting an antlerless deer in a Southern Farmland Zone unit.
What carcass tag will be used on a bonus buck?
A hunter can tag a bonus buck using any unfilled 2014 antlerless deer carcass tag (the free Farmland Zone Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag or any unit-specific Bonus Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag) regardless of the zone, unit and land-type specified on the tag, but must first attach a 2013 or 2014 Bonus Buck Authorization sticker to the back of the carcass tag. For example, a hunter may attach their 2013 or 2014 Bonus Buck Authorization sticker to a Portage County, private land-specific Bonus Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag and use it to legally hunt and tag a bonus buck in any Southern Farmland Zone unit on any land-type (public or private).
Can hunters still harvest and tag an antlerless deer in the Southern Farmland Zone and continue to stay in the field and hunt for a bonus buck?
No. Under the new rules, a hunter must now first register their antlerless deer harvested in the Southern Farmland Zone in-person at a DNR registration station and obtain a Bonus Buck Authorization sticker. They can then go back out hunting for their bonus buck with their Bonus Buck Authorization sticker and an unfilled antlerless deer carcass tag in their possession. The carcass tag is required (see previous question).
What should I do if I have a valid 2013 Bonus Buck Authorization sticker that I earned last year, but affixed it to a CWD Management Zone antlerless tag that isn't valid anymore?
Bring your 2013 Bonus Buck Authorization sticker with your DNR customer ID number written on it to any DNR customer service center and you will be issued a replacement 2013 sticker.
- Crossbow regulations
What tags will come with the purchase of a crossbow license?
A crossbow license comes with one Bow Buck Deer Carcass Tag valid in any unit statewide and one Farmland Zone Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag valid in any Farmland Zone unit in 2014. Hunters may purchase a $3 upgrade which authorizes the use of both crossbow and vertical bow to fill the tags, however, the purchase of an upgrade does not come with a second set of tags.
If someone wants to hunt with a crossbow, do they need to purchase both an archer license and a crossbow license?
No. To hunt with a crossbow during the crossbow deer season, a hunter must purchase a crossbow-specific license. However, if a hunter wishes to hunt with both a bow AND a crossbow they must purchase both an archer and a crossbow license. The first license will be sold at the regular price and the second will be just $3.
If someone wants to hunt with a crossbow during a season open to hunting deer with a firearm (including muzzleloaders), do they need to purchase a crossbow license?
No. Anyone who possesses a regular (gun) deer license, can use any legal firearm, bow or crossbow to hunt deer with that license during any season open to hunting deer with a firearm.
If someone purchases both an archer and a crossbow license, what tags will they receive?
With the purchase of both licenses, hunters will receive one Bow Buck Deer Carcass Tag valid in any unit statewide and one Farmland Zone Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag valid in any Farmland Zone unit. These tags may be filled using either weapon. The purchase of both archer and crossbow licenses only authorizes the use of both weapons and hunters will not receive a second set of tags.
Can junior deer hunters hunt with a crossbow?
Yes, but they must purchase a junior crossbow-specific license to use a crossbow during the archery and crossbow deer seasons. A crossbow license is not needed to hunt with a crossbow during a firearm deer season if the youth has a gun deer license, which also allows hunting with a bow or crossbow during a firearm deer season.
Do Conservation Patron licenses allow crossbow use?
Do disabled permits still authorize crossbow use?
No, all hunters wishing to hunt with a crossbow, including the disabled and those over 65 years of age, must purchase a crossbow-specific license. Disabled hunting permits issued in the past which formerly allowed the use of a crossbow to hunt deer under an archer license are no longer valid because the law which allowed them to do so has been repealed by the legislature. The DNR has sent post cards to all of these permit holders advising them of this change.
Can hunters over the age of 65 still hunt with a crossbow using a regular archer license?
No, all hunters wishing to hunt with a crossbow, including the disabled and those over 65 years of age, must purchase a crossbow-specific license. The law that formerly allowed them to do this has been repealed by the legislature.
Are there specific transportation requirements relative to crossbows.
Crossbows that are not cocked do not need to be cased during transportation, whether it is in or on a vehicle, ATV, UTV, Snowmobile or other motorized vehicle. A cocked crossbow can be placed in or on any of these vehicles and transported only if it is first unloaded (arrow/bolt removed) and the cocked crossbow is encased in a carrying case.
- Bonus antlerless tags
Why do bonus antlerless tags cost more than they have in the past?
One of the recommendations in the Deer Trustee Report was to sell antlerless permits at a consistent amount. Therefore, charging $12 per tag added value to the resource. The Deer Trustee Report authors thought free tags reduced the value of the experience of harvesting antlerless deer.
Can bonus antlerless tags still be purchased at one tag per day per customer?
Yes, where available antlerless tags were sold beginning on August 18 in the Northern Forest and Central Forest Zones, August 19 in the Central Farmland Zone and August 20 in the Southern Farmland Zone. Sales for all remaining bonus antlerless tags for all zones and units began on August 21. Remaining tags can be purchased at a rate of one tag per day per customer until the unit is sold out or the hunting season ends. At purchase, the hunter will specify the zone, unit and land-type (public or private) that they want their tag to be valid.
Are additional bonus antlerless tags weapon specific?
As in the past, can qualified farmers request one free bonus antlerless tag for each bonus antlerless tag they purchase?
Yes, but this request must occur at the time of purchase of the initial bonus antlerless tag and it must be for the same Deer Management Unit and land-type as their first tag.
When the bonus antlerless deer tags went on sale in August, did the prices differ between Management Zones?
No. Where available, bonus antlerless tags are the same price, regardless of the zone and unit - $12/tag for residents and $20/tag for non-residents. There no longer are Herd Control $2-antlerless tags or free CWD Management Zone antlerless tags.
- Public and private lands tags
Will the antlerless tags included with the purchase of a deer license need to be specified for use on public or private land?
Not in 2014. The Farmland Zone Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag which is issued with a deer hunting license will be valid for both public and private land in any Farmland Zone unit. Starting in 2015, hunters will be required to specify zone, unit and land-type (public or private) for all antlerless tags including those that are issued with the purchase of a deer hunting license.
Do bonus antlerless tags require the purchaser to indicate public or private land?
Yes. In 2014, only bonus antlerless tags will be specific to private or public land.
How do the antlerless tags that come with each deer hunting license look different from the bonus antlerless tags which are purchased and designated as public or private?
It will strictly be through the wording directly on the tag, so the tag will need to be read as always. The title at the top of the tag, as well as a description of where it is valid, will note the difference. The free antlerless deer tags are titled "Farmland Zone Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag." A bonus tag will say "Bonus Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag" at the top and will also include the zone, unit and land-type describing where the tag is valid.
What is the penalty for someone who harvests a deer in the correct zone and unit but does not have the correct land-type specified on their tag?
This has not changed with the new rules. The penalty would be $222.90 plus the cost of a bonus antlerless deer tag they should have purchased for that land-type ($12 or $20).
If a person buys a private lands antlerless tag, are they restricted to only shoot a deer that is actually on private land or are they able to shoot a deer that is on public land so long as the shot originates on private land?
If a hunter has a private lands tag, both the hunter and the deer must be located on private property and vice versa. A hunter with a private lands tag cannot shoot a deer standing on public lands even if they are standing on private land.
If a person plans to hunt on private land and public land, are they required to have two antlerless tags, one for private and one for public lands?
It will depend on what Deer Management Zone they are hunting. In a Forest Zone, when antlerless permits are available the answer is yes, but only if they wish to hunt for antlerless deer on both public and private land. In 2014, in a Farmland Zone unit, a person with an unfilled Farmland Zone Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag can hunt for an antlerless deer on both public and private lands. Buck tags are valid statewide, including both public and private lands.
If a hunter purchases a public lands tag, can they switch it to a private lands tag after the purchase?
No, they will need to purchase a private lands tag. All sales are final once the archery deer season opens.
If a hunter possesses a private lands bonus antlerless tag, can that customer hunt any private lands within the unit?
No. Trespassing laws exist and hunters still need landowner permission prior to hunting on private land. There are lands enrolled under open Managed Forest Law, Forest Crop Law and Voluntary Public Access programs that allow public hunting access, but these lands are considered public lands for purposes of where antlerless deer tags are valid. Hunters must possess a public lands antlerless tag to harvest antlerless deer on these open lands.
Are there more antlerless tags available for private land than public land?
This varies throughout the state and is based on antlerless harvest needs.
If a hunter with a valid private lands tag shoots a deer on private land and the deer runs onto public land but does not die, may the hunter shoot that deer when found and if so, what type of tag is required, public or private lands?
It is not legal to hunt and/or shoot a deer in a unit or on a land-type for which one does not have a valid tag, even if they first wounded that same deer in the unit or on the land-type their antlerless tag was valid. Doing so could be considered hunting deer without the appropriate approval. To allow this would be to allow anyone to hunt in the wrong area and simply claim that they wounded the deer earlier in the area their tag was actually valid. If the deer is still alive when they find it, and if gun deer hunting and no other member of the hunting party has a tag for the unit and land-type the deer is now located in, the hunter should contact the local warden for advice on what to do. If the deer is already dead when the hunter finds it in an adjacent unit or property type, it would be legal and the hunter must immediately validate and tag the deer with the tag that was valid for the areas where the deer was shot. This is no different than what could have happened in the past when someone was hunting near the boundary between two Deer Management Units.
If hunting on private land that is open to public hunting because of an agricultural damage deer shooting permit, which tag is needed, public or private?
Lands for which deer damage permits have been issued are still treated as private lands, unless they are also enrolled as open to public hunting under the Managed Forest Law or Forest Crop Law. A damage permit might require the land to be open for public deer hunting, but it is neither a lease agreement like lands enrolled in Voluntary Public Access nor a contract like those for open Managed Forest Law or Forest Crop Law lands. For hunters using the bonus antlerless carcass tags, the hunter would need the appropriate public or private lands antlerless tag for the property type they are hunting.
For people enrolled in open Managed Forest Law or Forest Crop Law programs, will they need a public or private lands antlerless tag to hunt on their own land?
It will depend on whether or not all of their land is enrolled in one of these programs or not. Opened Managed Forest Law, Forest Crop Law and Voluntary Public Access lands open to public hunting are considered public lands for hunting purposes. These landowners must have a tag valid for antlerless deer on public lands to hunt for antlerless deer on portions of their property enrolled in open Managed Forest Law or Forest Crop Law programs. If they also own Managed Forest Law or Forest Crop Law lands closed to public hunting, or part of their land is not enrolled in one of these programs, such as agricultural lands, they will need to have a tag valid for hunting on private lands to hunt for an antlerless deer on those portions of their property.
Can hunters "group hunt" using a public lands antlerless tag? For example, if someone in a group of three has a public land antlerless tag for the correct area, will everyone else be able to participate under group hunting rules?
Yes. The Deer Trustee rule did not change group hunting regulations. If the antlerless tag is valid for the area the group is hunting (correct unit, zone and land-type) and if all group members comply with all group deer hunting requirements, anyone in the group may participate in group hunting and fill an open antlerless tag. All members of the group must be using firearms and each must hold a regular gun deer license in addition to contact and tagging requirements. A person hunting with a bow or crossbow cannot shoot a deer for someone else to tag, or tag a deer shot by another.
- Registration and transportation of deer
How long will a hunter have after harvesting a deer before they are required to register it?
All deer must be registered by 5 p.m. the day after the animal is recovered and the carcass tag is validated, EXCEPT during the period that covers the November 9-day gun deer season, hunters have until 5 p.m. the day after the season closes to register ALL deer harvested during that period, including deer killed with bows or crossbows.
Does the requirement to register deer by 5 p.m. the day after the close of the November 9-day gun deer season apply to only those hunting under the authority of a gun deer license?
This requirement applies to all deer killed during the November 9-day gun deer season regardless of the weapon type or license type used.
With the implementation of electronic registration, will the registration requirements for harvested deer change?
In 2014, since all hunters will register harvested deer in-person as usual, they will still be able to register both antlered and antlerless deer either in the Deer Management Unit (county) of kill or an adjacent unit. With the full implementation of electronic registration, each antlerless deer killed during all deer hunting seasons must be registered before being transported from the unit of kill and each antlered buck killed during all deer hunting seasons must be registered before being transported from the unit of kill or an adjacent unit.
What is the requirement for transporting registered deer?
Beginning this year a person may not possess another hunter's deer while afield, even if the deer is tagged and registered, without the tag holder being present, except that anyone can possess and transport another person's registered deer on a public highway for purposes of transportation to, and possession at, a dwelling or a business without the tag holder being present. A dwelling includes both permanent and temporary residences, and would include hunting cabins and camp sites. This allows a person to leave their registered deer at a hunting camp, meat processor or someone else's residence when they are not there.
Does that mean it's okay if I leave my tagged deer hanging in my hunting camp and go home?
Yes, a cabin or a campsite is considered a dwelling for the purpose of this rule and as long as it is your dwelling (camp or residence) you can leave and store your deer there. The deer would not be considered possessed by another when you leave your deer at your own dwelling. This is true whether the deer is registered or not but don't forget to register your deer by the required season deadline.
What is the purpose behind the new restriction for transporting or possessing someone else's deer; what is still allowed?
A change was made to allow the department to continue to enforce the laws which prohibit killing and possessing a deer in violation of the state's group deer hunting laws. Under the modified rule, it is simply necessary for a person who tags a deer to register that deer before it is given to another person to have and be in control of. The rule still allows a person to have and control a registered deer tagged by someone else at a dwelling (residence, camp site or cabin), and to transport someone else's registered deer on a public roadway or area where it is not legal to hunt, even when the person who tagged the deer is not present. Beginning in 2015, being able to register deer electronically (phone or computer) will make registering deer even easier. What is not allowed is to be in control of, or to transport someone else's deer (registered or not) while still afield unless that person is also present.
The restriction against "possessing" someone else's deer while still afield only applies when another person has taken primary or exclusive control of that deer. Simply being present at the same location where someone else has left their deer, does not mean the person whose tag is on the deer has transferred possession and control of that deer to you, or that you are now automatically considered to be in "possession" of that deer. Standing near a tagged deer carcass, while the tagger walks back to their vehicle, home or camp to get a rope or help to drag out the deer, or sitting alone in a vehicle parked in the field while has someone else's deer loaded in that vehicle, is not illegal. This is a common occurrence and is still allowed.
- Chronic Wasting Disease management
Is the CWD Management Zone gone?
Yes, the area formerly known as the CWD Management Zone has been dissolved. Instead, counties where CWD has been found or a county within 10 miles of the location where CWD is found in either a captive or wild deer population are now referred to as CWD affected areas. Baiting and feeding of deer is prohibited in these counties as well.
Is there a separate map showing the CWD affected area?
Yes, a map identifying the counties designated as the CWD affected area can currently be found on the DNRs CWD web page. These are the same counties where Baiting and Feeding of deer is currently prohibited.
In the past the department has given someone a replacement buck tag if they shot a CWD-positive buck. Will they now do the same if they shoot a CWD-positive doe?
Yes, a replacement tag will be issued for all harvested deer that test positive for CWD, regardless of sex. Please see the 2014 Deer Hunting Regulations for further details.
Are we charging a fee for CWD tags?
CWD, Regular and Herd Control tags no longer exist. All that remains are Farmland Zone Antlerless Deer Carcass Tags issued with each deer hunting license purchased and additional bonus antlerless deer tags which may be purchased starting on August 18 in the Northern Forest and Central Forest Zones, August 19 in the Central Farmland Zone and August 20 in the Southern Farmland Zone. Sales for all remaining bonus antlerless tags for all zones and units will be sold starting at 10 a.m. on August 21. All purchased bonus antlerless tags, regardless of the unit for which they are valid, cost $12 for residents and $20 for non-residents.
Would an unused 2013-14 free CWD Management Zone deer carcass tag be valid during the 2014 deer season even though they are no longer being issued?
No, all previously issued CWD Management Zone deer carcass tags will not be valid in 2014. The expiration date on those tags was March 31, 2014.
Do you foresee continued testing for CWD considering the growing area in which it is found?
Yes, the department intends to continue testing for CWD. The major focus will likely continue to be in southern counties, but the department will also continue to do weighted surveillance in counties where CWD has not been detected. Hunter service testing will continue to be an option for adult deer and hunters/landowners are encouraged to report sick deer to DNR staff. Contact information for reporting can be found on the sick deer web page on the DNRs website.
Will deer harvested in CWD-affected areas still need to be registered in-person? Do they also need to be registered through electronic registration?
The department may require that any deer harvested in an area affected by CWD or other disease threats, or areas where samples are needed for department research purposes, to be exhibited and registered at registration stations designated by the department. In 2014, unless the hunter is notified to participate in electronic registration, all hunters must register their deer in person by 5 p.m. the day after the deer is located and tagged, except during the 9-day period of the November gun deer season when all harvested deer regardless of weapon type must be registered by 5 p.m. on the day after the close of this season.
How will CWD testing be handled going forward?
The department will continue CWD monitoring efforts as before. After the full implementation of electronic registration, some registration stations may be maintained throughout the state specifically for the purposes of collecting CWD samples as well as other biological data.
Are there any restrictions about crossing state lines or transporting a deer harvested in a CWD affected county out of a CWD-affected county?
The restrictions on moving deer from a CWD affected county are the same as the rules that had been in place the past few years regarding moving deer from the former CWD Management Zone. The head and spinal column cannot be moved any farther than an adjacent county outside the CWD affected area unless the carcass is taken to a licensed meat processor or licensed taxidermist within 72 hours. Anyone wanting to transport a deer from a CWD affected area out-of-state should contact the state the deer will be transported to as to determine what restrictions exist regarding the transport of deer in the other state.
- Electronic registration
Is electronic registration be available to hunters in 2014?
For most hunters, no. In 2014, in-person deer registration stations will be maintained. Unless notified by the department, all deer hunters during all seasons are required to register their deer in-person as they always have. As usual, over 600 registration stations will be open throughout the fall, including about 120 operated by DNR wildlife management staff during the first two days of the November 9-day gun deer season to collect aging data and for disease monitoring.
When is electronic registration expected to be fully implemented?
The current timeline calls for full implementation by 2015. This means the use of phone and internet registration is expected to be available to all hunters during the 2015 deer season.