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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published November 2, 2010

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DNR reminds hunters to consider venison donation

MADISON - The Wisconsin Venison Donation Program and its affiliates, Hunt for the Hungry and Target Hunger along with more than 140 participating meat processors, are ready to accept and distribute extra venison donated by hunters. A list of participating meat processors is available on the Department of Natural Resources website.

In this, the program's 11th year, there are participating meat processors in 65 of Wisconsin's 72 counties. In 10 years, hunters have donated more than 73,000 deer providing 3.3 million pounds of venison to food pantries across the state.

"Hunters have been generous providers in this program," said Laurie Fike, venison program coordinator, "but it has been the volunteers who have put a shoulder to the wheel and accomplished the huge job of distributing the product to the pantries, making it available to families needing some food assistance."

In the southern Wisconsin CWD management zone, Target Hunger has taken on the task of making the program work smoothly. It involves a partnership of community action groups including Southwest Community Action Program (Dodgeville), Community Action, Inc., Janesville, Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin, Madison, and Central Wisconsin Community Action Coalition, Wisconsin Dells. Hunt for the Hungry operates the program in the Green Bay area.

Additionally, U.S. Department of Agriculture - Wildlife Services staff help administer the program in 49 counties.

How to donate

For hunters, the process for donating a deer hasn't changed. There is no charge to the hunter except for transporting the deer. There only a few simple steps:

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Laurie Fike - (608) 267-7974

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Kaboom...then Kabob! Warden turns chef when it's time to grill the game

MADISON - When Conservation Warden Tim Lawhern is not working on hunter education programs, he is in the woods after his next main course. And he's ready to share one his favorite venison recipes sure to please a hungry crowd.

Lawhern says while there are many ways to prepare venison taken from the field, his sure-fire method of the venison kabob has proven to be a tasty success.

"First and foremost is how you've prepared the meat before you even cook it," Lawhern said. "Marinades are an excellent way to add flavor and tenderize the meat."

Lawhern's marinade favorites to tenderize the meat are vinegar or soda.

"The acid in the soda breaks down the fibers in the meat and the sugar in the soda adds a bit of sweetness," he said. "Of course a hint of the flavor of the soda transfers to the meat. So, use the flavor you prefer. Just remember that you need to use the sugar version of soda and not the diet."

Here is Lawhern's method:

Prepare the meat by cutting it into sizable chunks roughly an inch thick. Be sure to cut the meat across the grain of the muscle fibers and not with them. Marinade the for 4 hours to 24 hours. The longer you marinade the more flavor the meat grabs from the marinade. Next, start your grill and set to medium to medium-high heat. For a charcoal grill, just get the coals to a heat where you can only hold your hand above the coals for about 3 seconds.

"The meat is ready and now you add your favorite veggies or fruit," Lawhern said. "Some like the traditional bell pepper and onion wedgeswhile others will add tomato or apple or pineapple slices."

Place the meat and other items in an alternating fashion on the kabob skewers. When that is done, some chefs like to sprinkle the kabobs with their favorite seasonings. A good mix is simply salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Place the kabobs on the grill and wait 7 minutes. At the 7-minute mark, rotate the kabobs 180 degrees. Wait 7 more minutes and then remove from the grill.

"The meat should be somewhere between medium rare to medium well depending on the heat of your grill and the thickness of your meat," he said. "For venison, you don't want to over cook it."

Lawhern's last bit of advice: Be sure to prepare about twice as much as you think you need to feed your crowd.

"It's amazing how fast it goes," Lawhern said.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Lawhern, hunter education administrator - (608) 266-1317

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Public asked to weigh in on proposed rules to protect cave bats

MADISON - Three rule proposals to help protect Wisconsin cave bats from the fatal white-nose syndrome disease are available for public review and comment and will be the subject public hearings across the state later this month.

The proposed rules would list four cave bat species as threatened species, list the white-nose syndrome fungus as a prohibited invasive species, and allow monitoring of caves and mines and other preventive measures to limit the potential spread of white-nose syndrome.

Wisconsin has the largest concentration of bats in the upper Midwest. The most common Wisconsin bat - the little brown - is particularly susceptible to the disease and faces extinction.

White-nose syndrome is caused by a white fungus that grows on nose, ears, muzzles and wings of bats. The disease can be transmitted from bat to bat or to bats from a cave that has been infected, likely from a human introduction on shoes or equipment. It kills up to 90 to 100 percent of bats in infected caves or mines used as hibernacula.

In just three years, the disease has spread across the eastern U.S. and Canada. It is now about 200 to 300 miles from Wisconsin's borders, well within the 280-mile migrating range of bats.

"We need to act quickly to meet this threat. And we want everyone who is interested in the health of Wisconsin bats and the proposed rules to provide comments," said Laurie Osterndorf, Administrator for DNR's Land Division.

The public hearings will be on both emergency and permanent rule proposals to list the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus), northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), and eastern pipistrelle (Perimyotis subflavus) as threatened species under NR 27.03(3), Wis. Adm. Code and to list the white-nose syndrome fungus, (Geomyces destructans) as a prohibited invasive species in NR 40.04(2), Wis. Adm. Code. The third proposed rule adds provisions to NR 40.04 and 40.07 relating to early detection and prevention of the spread of the disease due to human activities, including the decontamination of clothes and equipment that have been used in mines or caves, and limited access of bats or people to caves or mines. Information on the decontamination protocols is available on the Saving Wisconsin Bats page of the DNR website.

The State Natural Resources Board at its On October 27 meeting adopted each of the three rules as the emergency orders, meaning that the provisions generally go into effect while the permanent rule is being developed. The board did amend the rule on decontamination requirements and the authority to restrict access to caves or mines to either humans or bats as applied to commercial caves or mines to begin 45 days after the effective date of the rule order.

The department will hold hearings on the bat rules via video conference on November 29 beginning at 11 a.m. with participation available at the locations listed below.

The proposed rules and fiscal estimates may be reviewed and comments electronically submitted through the Wisconsin Administrative Rules website (exit DNR). Written comments on the proposed rule may be submitted via U.S. mail through 4 p.m. on November 29. to Stacy Rowe, DNR Bureau of Endangered Resources, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707 or by email to stacy.rowe@wisconsin.gov.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin Crain - (608) 267-7479

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, November 02, 2010




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