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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published August 9, 2011

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Bonus antlerless deer tags and state park deer hunting permits available August 20

MADISON - Bonus antlerless deer carcass tags for regular deer management units, and hunting access permits for all state park deer management units go on sale beginning at noon Saturday, August 20. Tags and permits will be sold at the rate of one per person per day, and will continue until sold out or until the hunting season ends.

A list of units and number of tags available is on the DNR website.

The structure of the sale of bonus tags is new for 2011. All units with bonus tags available will go on sale Saturday. In previous years sales have been staggered over the weekend based on whether a deer management unit had an even or odd number.

Tags and permits will be available for purchase through the DNR Online Licensing Center, at DNR licensing sales locations, or by phone toll free at 1 (877) 945-4236.

Deer hunters are encouraged to check the 2011 deer management unit designations map or in the 2011 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations booklet for the units they plan to hunt in this fall.

In 2011, 30 regular deer management units (DMU) will have bonus antlerless carcass tags available. To shoot an antlerless deer in these 30 units hunters must purchase a unit-specific $12 adult resident antlerless deer carcass tag ($5 for 10-11 year olds and $20 for adult nonresident).

Eight regular DMUs are designated as buck only to encourage herd growth. In these eight units some exceptions may apply to qualified members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are home on furlough or leave, Class A and C disabled permit hunters and youth ages 10 through 17 who have an unused statewide antlerless deer carcass tag. For more details, see the 2011 Deer Hunting Regulations booklet.

Every gun and archery deer hunting license will include an antlerless carcass tag valid for units designated as Herd Control or Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD units have unlimited earn-a-buck (EAB) rules.

If hunters are planning to hunt in any of the 12 state parks that require access permits for deer hunting, they should plan accordingly, as many units will sell out quickly. Those interested in hunting these properties should first check the 2011 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations or the Hunting Opportunities web page to learn about weapon restrictions and season dates. Some state parks that allow deer hunting may not require access permits, but may have different season dates.

Purchasing a deer hunting license before August 20 can speed up the permit purchasing process, since hunters must obtain a deer hunting license before they can purchase a bonus antlerless tag or state park access permit. Hunters can check for tag or access permit availability on the DNR website. Tag and permit availability are updated regularly. Units with relatively low numbers of available tags can be expected to sell out quickly. Units with a high number of tags available generally last longer or may not sell out.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Dan Hirchert, DNR Wildlife Biologist, (608) 264-6023



Blue green algae a threat to hunting dogs

MADISON -- The estimated 50,000 or more Wisconsin waterfowl hunters whose favorite hunting partner has four legs, a tail, and doesn't mind swimming in cold water may want to take some precautions against their friend coming down with serious illness from ingesting water containing potentially toxic blue-green algae.

"Working together with dogs is part of a long and rich tradition for many waterfowl hunters," said Kent Van Horn, DNR Migratory Game Bird Ecologist. "Sometimes, care of these furry hunting companions requires extra awareness. While not widespread, potential toxicity from blue-green algae is still a concern for waterfowl hunting dogs."

Recent cases included three Wisconsin dog deaths from blue-green algae poisoning reported in 2008, two in 2009, and thankfully none in 2010.

With about 80,000 waterfowl hunters, Wisconsin has the third highest number of waterfowl hunters in the country. About 60 percent of Wisconsin waterfowl hunters use dogs to retrieve their harvested ducks and geese.

What is commonly referred to as blue-green algae are actually cyanobacteria, microscopic organisms that are true bacteria. They are present in all lakes, marshes, ponds and ditches across Wisconsin but live unrecognized except for when the right conditions develop and the cyanobacteria grow quickly, creating "blooms" across the water surface that look like paint, thick scum, or "pea soup." When blooms occur, cyanobacteria can release toxins that can cause illness and even death in many animals ingesting them, including dogs and humans. While blooms of blue-green algae occur most frequently in summer, blooms have been observed in Wisconsin in fall and winter. During the fall waterfowl hunting season, toxic bloom conditions can develop on warm fall days or on lakes that are in fall turn over.

Cyanobacteria "bloom densities" can develop in surface waters with high concentrations of nutrients, particularly phosphorus. Blooms tend to grow when there is a lot of sunlight, the temperature is warm, the water is shallow and there is little wind. Sometimes when the wind kicks up, blue-green algae will pile up on the windward side of the lake.

Hunters should be on the lookout for the following conditions in the field: a green "pea soup" appearance, surface water blooms that are green, blue, red, or brown in color, or foamy scum layers, mats or blobs.

Hunters should adhere to the following advice of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association to help protect their dog's health:

After potential exposure, watch your dog for signs of lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea or even seizures. If your animal shows any of these symptoms contact your veterinarian immediately. More information on blue-green algae in Wisconsin can be found on the Blue-Green Algae In Wisconsin Waters page of the DNR website and [blue-green algae page of the Department of Health website (exit DNR).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kent Van Horn, DNR Migratory Game Bird ecologist (608) 266-8841: Gina LaLiberte DNR research scientist (608) 221-5377



Time is running out to register for hunter education courses

MADISON - Time is running out for hunters planning to hunt this fall who are required to have but have not yet completed a hunter education course. Most hunter education courses are run from June through September, with only a smattering of courses offered later in the year.

"Nearly all of the volunteer hunter education instructors are hunters themselves and enjoy hunting in the fall," says Tim Lawhern, Department of Natural Resources enforcement and science division administrator, who previously served as the state's hunting education administrator. "The hunter education program offers about 1,200 courses every year, but very few of them are offered after September."

Every year DNR offices receive calls two weeks before the gun-deer season with hunter-hopefuls looking to fulfill the mandatory hunter education course. "More than 99 percent of our courses have already been offered by that time," he says.

Anyone born on or after Jan.1, 1973, must have completed a hunter education course and show the certificate to purchase any hunting license in Wisconsin. Also, recreational safety students are required to obtain a Wisconsin DNR Customer ID Number before the completion of any recreational safety class and must provide that Customer ID Number to the instructor. Information on obtaining a DNR customer ID number is available on the DNR website.

To find a course, visit the Safety Education Courses page of the DNR website. Click the Upcoming Classes button and search by TYPE or by COUNTY. Check this site often as classes are added and removed daily.

Hunter education courses will not be altered by conceal carry law

Although the hunter education course is one of the options designed to meet the training requirement of the conceal carry law, this fall's hunter safety courses will continue their tradition of focusing on teaching the fundamentals of hunter safety. There are many other options to obtain firearms training to qualify for a concealed carry license.

The concealed carry law also does not change shining regulations. A person with a license to carry a concealed weapon is not allowed to possess any firearm, including a handgun, while shining wild animals.

The law will have some affect on rules over possession of firearms on DNR lands in certain counties, state forests and recreational areas.

On DNR lands within state parks, state fish hatcheries or wildlife refuge areas, individuals with a concealed carry license as well as qualified former law enforcement officers possessing proper ID and firearm certificate can possess loaded and uncased handguns.

Effective Nov. 1, 2011, a person with a concealed carry license may also possess a loaded uncased handgun (concealed or unconcealed) on certain other state properties such as some state wildlife areas and dog training areas, even if not engaged in hunting, dog training or a dog trial. More details on concealed carry on DNR properties is available on the DNR website.

Wisconsin Department of Justice to issue conceal carry licenses

Applications for a license to carry a concealed weapon must be obtain from and submit to the Wisconsin Department of Justice and will not be available until Nov. 1, 2011 when the new laws and license take effect. To qualify for a concealed carry license a person must be at least age 21, a Wisconsin resident and not prohibited from possessing a firearm. More information about laws related to carrying a concealed weapon, or about getting and submitting an application for a license is available on the DOJ website (exit DNR). DOJ has also developed an extensive "Frequently Asked Questions" (pdf; exit DNR) publication on concealed carry that is also available on their website.

More information on how the new concealed carry law changes affect hunters, trappers, recreational vehicle operators is available on the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Lawhern (608) 266-1317



Golden shiner record falls for second time in one month

MADISON -- Anglers learn early that records are made to be broken.

Nine days after Maxfield JonasKrueger of Madison reeled in a new state record golden shiner, his record has been eclipsed by a younger angler.

golden shiner
Branden Kluge with is record-breaking 5.2 ounce golden shinter.
Contributed Photo

Branden Kluge, 13, of Juneau, has been officially confirmed as the state's newest record holder. Kluge caught a 5.2-ounce, 9.25-inch long golden shiner from Fox Lake in Dodge County on July 16. He had celebrated his birthday 10 days earlier.

Kluge's record-setting fish bested the 4.8 ounces golden shiner that JonasKrueger caught July 7, 2011, at Fowler Lake in Waukesha. Both fish swam away from the 3.4 ounce fish caught in 2009 from Dexter Lake in Wood County by John Kubisiak of Rhinelander, 40 years old at the time and a state fish biologist.

Laura Stremick-Thompson, the Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist in Dodge County who confirmed the catch as a golden shiner, knew that the record JonasKrueger set was bound to change hands.

"I knew that was a nice fish, but I looked at the weight and said, "This is not going to last long and it's going to come from Dodge County," Stremick-Thompson says.

"We joke, 'you want big minnows...this is your county,'" she says.

Branden Kluge was jigging for panfish that day with wax worm with a friend and his friend's dad when he pulled in the shiner.

"I was just thinking it was a small fish, a smaller size of a carp," says Kluge, who will be in eighth grade this fall at St. John's Lutheran School in Juneau. Tim Weisensel, the father of his friend, was aware that another 13-year-old angler had recently caught a state record gold shiner. He thought it might be worth it to have the rotund little fish weighed.

"Once my dad's friend told me it might be a state record, I got pretty pumped," Branden says.

The group continued fishing and caught two bass and two walleyes while jigging.

He was introduced to fishing by his dad, and tries to go fishing almost every weekend, primarily for panfish. I just like to reel them in and see how tough they are to land," he says. I also like to see what kind of fish it is and how big it is."

This time out, it was big enough for a new state record.

What to do if you think you've caught a record fish

Anglers who think they or someone they know has caught a fish that might be a state record should take these steps:

An official record fish application must accompany all prospective record fish entries.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Karl Scheidegger (608) 267-9426



Star gazing evening offered at Sandhill

BABCOCK, Wis. - People interested in learning more about how to explore the night sky can attend an evening lecture followed by a night of star-gazing - weather permitting - next month at the Sandhill Outdoor Skills Center.

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point lecturer Art Stevenson will present a brief classroom slideshow introduction to this season's constellations, bright starts and planets, on Saturday, Sept. 24. Participants will learn how to find the Milky Way, star cluster, galaxies, nebulae and other astronomical objects easily seen in the night sky without a telescope, using just binoculars and the naked eye.

Participants should arrive by 7:30 p.m. and expect the session to last until around 9:30 p.m. Dress for the weather, and bring your binoculars, or use ours. The lecture and slideshow will be held rain or shine, with night viewing depending upon conditions.

Registration is limited to 25 people on a first-come, first-served basis and is confirmed by mailing in a registration fee of $10 per person by Sept. 16. Checks should be made out to DNR-Skills Center. Include the name of each participant, and the address and daytime phone number of one person in each party. Send your registration fee to: Sandhill Outdoor Skills Center, PO Box 156, Babcock, WI 54413.

The Sandhill Outdoor Skills Center is located 20 miles west of Wisconsin Rapids on County Highway X, 1 mile north of Highway 80 near Babcock, Wisconsin on the 9,000-acre Department of Natural Resources Sandhill Wildlife Area.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Sandhill Skills Center at: (715) 884-6335


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, August 09, 2011

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