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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published March 8, 2016

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Novice hunters! Apply today to Learn To Hunt Bear this summer

Contact(s): Keith Warnke, DNR Hunting and Shooting Sports Coordinator, 608-576-5243.

MADISON - People who want to experience a real Wisconsin black bear hunt with skilled mentors have until May 27 to apply to participate in a Learn to Hunt Bear program featuring classroom and field instruction and capped with a genuine hunt.

Keith Warnke, Department of Natural Resources hunting and shooting sports coordinator, says the Learn to Hunt Bear program represents an opportunity of a lifetime for novice hunters of any age.

"Working in partnership with many dedicated bear hunters and local conservation organizations, wardens and wildlife managers, successful Learn to Hunt Bear events have been held across northern Wisconsin during the last several years," Warnke said. "The long-term success rate of harvesting a bear through the LTH program is around 50 percent."

Participation in the DNR Learn to Hunt Bear program is limited. Applications will be evaluated and the winners will be notified in mid-June. Documents and applications for the Learn to Hunt Bear program can be found by searching the DNR website for "LTH."

The program is intended for people who would not have any opportunity to experience bear hunting without it. Who can apply?

However, Warnke says, applicants with a connection to bear hunting through family and friends will be given lower priority in the selection process. Applications can be found on the DNR website,, by searching for "learn to hunt bear" and must be postmarked by May 27.

In 2005, the DNR began the Learn to Hunt Bear program as another outreach program for novice hunters. Other opportunities featured in the Learn to Hunt program include turkey, deer, pheasant, upland game and waterfowl. For more information search the DNR website for "LTH."



Wisconsin's "Circus City" latest recipient of state brownfields award

Contact(s): Christine Haag, Brownfields Section chief, 608-266-0244; Andrew Savagian, communications, 608-261-6422

MADISON - Baraboo could reap much needed benefits from a Department of Natural Resources brownfields award that will help the city gain a better understanding of possible contamination at an abandoned property on the city's north side.

The award to the city is for environmental professionals to determine if any soil or groundwater contamination exists at Ringling Manor. The one-acre property has been vacant for almost 20 years, after serving the community as a hospital, nursing home and convent since the 1920s.

The DNR Wisconsin Assessment Monies award to Baraboo, valued up to $5,000, comes in the form of contractor services for assessing conditions at the site.

"Ringling Manor once stood as a testament to the philanthropy of one of Baraboo's great families, but has now fallen into disrepair and has become a potential health hazard after years of vacancy," said Christine Haag, chief of the DNR Brownfields Section. "This award could help pave the way for Baraboo to eventually repurpose the property to suit today's needs."

Administered by the DNR Remediation and Redevelopment Program, WAM awards provide communities with professional environmental assessments of contaminated, or potentially contaminated, properties, helping them to redevelop sites for a new use.

WAM applications require minimal effort by local governments because there is no financial match or project administration involved, making it an attractive opportunity for small communities. In many instances, WAM awards are also leveraged against other sources of funding to kick-start repurposing efforts on sites that may have been community eyesores for many years.

Applications can be submitted for a WAM award at any time, although funds are limited. Eligible sites for funding include closed or closing manufacturing plants, or vacant land with a history of manufacturing. Gas stations, dry cleaners, salvage yards and agricultural co-ops are not eligible.

For more information, search the DNR website,, for WAM , or search keyword "brownfield." 



Transcript of coyote chat available to learn more about coyotes in Wisconsin

Contact(s): Dianne Robinson, DNR wildlife biologist, 262-424-9827; Jenna Kosnicki, DNR assistant furbearer ecologist, 608-261-6452

MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources hosted a coyote chat Feb. 23, and DNR staff and key partners were on hand to answer nearly 200 questions from more than 1,200 participants (a new record). Those who missed the chat are encouraged to check out the chat transcript.

Visit and search keyword "chat" to view submitted questions and responses from the February chat.

One group of chat participants in particular, Nate Schultz' sixth grade class from Lake Bluff Elementary in Shorewood, Wis., used the chat to learn more about a coyote's role within the environment.

"My students are learning about the interconnectedness of different populations within an ecosystem and the role humans play in the local environment," said Schultz. "The DNR chat was a great way to connect with experts in the field and learn more about urban coyotes. The chat not only answered our questions, but also taught us new things we had not discussed."

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Schultz and his sixth grade class at Lake Bluff Elementary joined DNR experts Feb. 23 to learn more about coyotes
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In addition to the chat transcript, other resources are available to help discover which animals may be living in your backyard. The department's guide to mammal tracks in Wisconsin is a great introduction to learning more about wildlife.

For more information regarding coyotes in Wisconsin, search keyword "furbearers." To learn more about urban coyotes, search keywords "urban wildlife."


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, March 08, 2016

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