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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published November 15, 2016

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Tools available online will help hunters learn all they need to know about the 2016 gun deer hunt

Contact(s): Sawyer Briel, DNR communications, 608-282-5334

MADISON - A number of tools and helpful documents found online make it easier than ever to prepare for the 2016 gun deer hunt.

Looking for all of this year's key changes in one place?

There are a few notable changes for this year's deer hunting season, and you can find them in a helpful "Deer Hunt 2016 - What do you need to know [PDF]?" document, found at, keyword "deer."

Interactive deer map will outline which tags and seasons are offered where you hunt

New for 2016, an interactive deer map allows hunters to select the exact location of their hunt to learn which tags and seasons are offered. Check out the map at, keyword "DMU."

If you leave it, tag it! Know your tagging rules before you head into the woods

Hunters are required to carry the appropriate carcass tag when hunting species requiring a tag; deer, bear, turkey and geese. The carcass tagging FAQ (search "tag it"), will help hunters make sure they are ready for another year in the field, while the frequently asked questions offers additional information regarding changes for 2016.

Please note that when registering a harvested deer, the registration process will ask for the carcass tag number on the tag (not the customer ID).  Please contact the DNR Call Center with any questions at 888-936-7463. Please have this carcass tag number handy when registering a deer. The carcass tag number is located near the top of the carcass tag.

Be sure to use the carcass tag number when registering a deer this fall.
Be sure to use the carcass tag number when registering a deer this fall.
Photo Credit: DNR

Be sure to use the carcass tag number when registering a deer this fall.

Go Wild offers several options for displaying a hunting license, including an authorized Wisconsin Driver License, Conservation Card or electronic PDF image.

GameReg tutorial places registration information at your fingertips

To help ensure every hunter is aware of registration options in 2016, a helpful GameReg tutorial is now available online. This video can be viewed in the field or at home, and provides a step by step look at what to expect in 2016.

A link to the GameReg system is available through the Pocket Ranger app for mobile devices. For more information regarding electronic registration, search "GameReg." 

Wisconsin's deer need your help - submit a harvested deer for CWD sampling

CWD sampling is offered at various locations throughout southern, central and northern Wisconsin. For information regarding where to take your deer for sampling, search keywords "CWD sampling" or contact the DNR call center at 888-936-7463. Hunters are reminded to contact sampling stations in advance to verify hours of operation.

2016 Wisconsin Fall Hunting and Trapping Forecast available online

Many fall hunting and trapping seasons in Wisconsin are just around the corner, and the 2016 Fall Hunting and Trapping Forecast [PDF] is now available.

To view this year's hunting and trapping forecast, visit and search keywords "forecast [PDF]" or "hunt."

People who missed three August live chats regarding deer hunting can review chat records online - search keyword "expert" and choose the chat of your choice. Hunters looking to brush up on their rules are encouraged to join DNR staff Nov. 10 at noon for a final deer season chat.

To receive email updates regarding deer hunting in Wisconsin, visit and click on the email icon near the bottom of the page titled "subscribe for updates for DNR topics," then follow the prompts and select the "white-tailed deer" distribution list (found within the "hunting" list).

Deer Show 2016 webpage features helpful video segments

Segments from Deer Hunt Wisconsin 2016 with Dan Small will help hunters prepare for another fall deer hunt - these videos will help viewers get ready for deer season on-the-go. To watch these segments, search keywords "deer show" or visit the department's Youtube page, select "playlists" and select "Deer Hunt Wisconsin 2016 with Dan Small."

2016 Deer Show Intro
Video Credit: DNR
Find us on Facebook and get your news in real-time

The department uses a number of outlets to reach Wisconsin's citizens, and these channels are also a great way to share your stories. DNR staff look forward to seeing photos from hunting trips and other outdoor activities - seeing their work enjoyed by others is truly special for staff.

Throughout fall hunting seasons, department staff will share helpful tips and answer questions on social media - this easy to use resource is an extremely valuable tool in learning more about everything from rules and regulations to wildlife biology.

Be sure to visit DNR's Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and LinkedIn pages to learn more and share your love for Wisconsin's wild outdoors with others.

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



Know your zones! Use the new interactive map to determine which rules apply where you hunt

Contact(s): Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game ecologist, 608-261-7589

MADISON - Before heading into the woods this deer season, hunters should be sure to check out the online deer zone and management unit map to see which counties are classified as split Deer Management Units (DMU) in 2016.

"It's very important that hunters properly register their deer if hunting in one of the split counties," said Kevin Wallenfang, big game ecologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "We saw some problems with this last year, so we added a number to the naming this year in hopes that it would help hunters understand that we are looking for information about a specific zone where they shot the deer, rather than in a habitat type."

A split DMU is one of nine counties that are divided between two separate Deer Management Zones.  Wisconsin is broken into four Deer Management Zones, two of which are forest zones and two being farmland zones. When registering a deer harvested in a split DMU, hunters will need to indicate whether the deer was harvested in the Forest (Zone 1) or Farmland (Zone 2) portion of the county.

"It seems that for some hunters, if they were standing in the woods when they shot a deer, they thought we were asking about the habitat type," Wallenfang said.  "We need them to look at the regulations map and know exactly where they were when the question comes up.  It has long-term implications about deer management in their county."

The following counties are split between two different zones in 2016:

Hunters are encouraged to visit the frequently asked questions page for more information. The FAQ feature provides brief responses to a wide variety of deer hunting questions, ranging from deer management unit boundaries to antlerless permits.

DNR Call center staff is available seven days a week (7 a.m. to 10 p.m.) to answer any questions. Call toll free 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463). Bilingual operators and publications are also available.

For more information regarding Deer Management Units, visit the DNR website,, and search keyword "deer."



Nomination sought for Hunter Ethics Award

Contact(s): Chief Conservation Warden Todd Schaller,, 608-266-1115

MADISON - If you know a Wisconsin hunter who uses a moral compass to ensure every hunt is marked by safety, respect, responsibility and ethics, consider honoring the person with a nomination for the annual Wisconsin Hunter Ethics Award.

The award will be presented to one individual, of any legal hunting age, at a formal public gathering of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff and conservation-minded individuals.

Chief Conservation Warden Todd Schaller says the annual honor, now in its 20th year, was created to acknowledge hunters who participate in this outdoor tradition with a strong sense of ethics and respect going well beyond taking possession of wildlife. Schaller says the award is about recognizing sportsmen and sportswomen.

Going above and beyond can mean many things.  The Hunter Ethics Award committee is looking for those special individual events or incidents when a hunter goes above and beyond to positively impact another hunter or hunters or the resources we cherish.  Past awards include returning lost gear or equipment, assisting in the recovery of lost game, taking action to protect the resource and doing something special for a hunter who faces a challenge.

Schaller says if you know of a hunter who thinks and acts with this undeniable foundation in safety, ethics, respect and responsibility, nominate the person for the 2016 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Hunter Ethics Award.

Nominations for this statewide award will be accepted through February 1.  The annual honor was established by Bob Lamb, retired outdoors editor of the La Crosse Tribune, retired DNR conservation warden supervisor Steve Dewald and retired University of Wisconsin-La Crosse biology professor and outdoors writer, Jerry Davis.

"It is important to formally recognize some examples showing that most Wisconsin hunters participate in an ethical, moral and legal manner when encountering Wisconsin's resources," Davis said.

Hunters look forward to the annual hunting seasons because traditions remain important. "If you are a hunter in Wisconsin, you must strive to hunt in an ethical manner and to pass on those ethical traditions to others with the same passion for Wisconsin's resources," Schaller said.

To become eligible for the 2016 award:



DNR recognizes recycling awards winners as part of America Recycles Day celebration

Contact(s): Angela Carey, 608-266-6965,; Andrew Savagian, communications, 608-261-642,

MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recently recognized nine communities, organizations and businesses throughout the state for their outstanding recycling and waste minimization accomplishments in 2015.

Recipients of the DNR's annual Recycling Excellence Awards are selected based on their achievements in one of four categories: projects and initiatives; overall program; special events; and innovation.  This is the award program's fourth year.

"These awards document the hard work, creativity and resourcefulness of Wisconsin's communities and continue to demonstrate the high value our residents place on responsible waste management," said Ann Coakley, Waste and Materials Management Program director.  "It seems fitting the awards are announced as communities all over the state and country recognize the importance of recycling on America Recycles Day."

The Sparta High School Earth Club earned the Projects and Initiatives award for successfully establishing a food waste diversion program within their school district and greater community, including the collection, processing and marketing of the final product.

The village of West Salem and the town of Rome, in association with the Choose to Reuse Program, received the Overall Program award.  This award recognizes their ongoing commitment to provide expanded recycling and waste minimization services coupled with strong education and outreach efforts.  The village of Union Grove received an Honorable Mention in this category for their continuing efforts to expand their waste diversion services through collaboration with regional programs and education.

Eau Claire County, the Incourage organization and Wisconsin State Fair received the award for Special Events.  These programs increased opportunities for away-from-home recycling and waste diversion through education, long term planning and policy change.

The Innovation award was presented to the town of Auburn in Fond du Lac County and Earthbound Environmental Solutions in Eau Claire County for their efforts to expand recycling services and divert materials from landfills while providing cost savings to their communities.

More information on the awards program can be found by searching for "Recycling Excellence Awards" on the DNR website,



Permits available to cut Christmas trees from some state forests

Contact(s): Teague Prichard, 608-264-8883,

MADISON -- People interested in cutting their own Christmas trees can obtain Department of Natural Resources permits to cut trees from northern state forests.  This service is only available on the Black River, Brule River, Flambeau River, Peshtigo River, Governor Knowles and Northern Highland-American Legion State Forests.

Permits can be obtained from the property headquarters for a nominal fee, said Teague Prichard, DNR forest management specialist. Fresh evergreen boughs also may be harvested with the non-commercial forest products permit.

"We typically issue about 400 to 500 Christmas tree permits per year," Prichard said. "We know people enjoy our forests throughout the year and the opportunity to find that special tree or bring home some fresh-scented evergreen boughs provides another great reason to visit our northern state forests."

Balsam firs -- known for their beautiful fragrance and dark green needles -- are among the most sought after species in the northern state forests. Various types of pines also find their way home with visitors, Prichard said.

Before heading into the woods with a freshly sharpened saw and permit in hand, DNR encourages visitors to know a few basics. For example, harvesting is prohibited within 100 feet or visual distance of roads, trails and water and there is no harvesting from campgrounds or day use areas.

Trees must be cut at ground level with a maximum height of 30 feet and the trees taken from state forests cannot be resold. Trees cannot be moved outside of the gypsy moth quarantine area (moved from eastern Wisconsin into western Wisconsin).

Find contact information for the northern state forests and their locations on the DNR website,, keyword "state forests." Use the keyword "Christmas tree" to learn more about the non-commercial harvesting process and download the "forest products permit [PDF]."  Some of the forests allow customers to send in the permit request with payment and an approval note will be sent with permit guidelines.

Not all forests issue Christmas tree cutting permits, so people should be sure to contact the state forest in advance to ensure there are no special harvesting restrictions. Many county forests also allow non-commercial harvest of Christmas trees with information available through (exit DNR); before venturing out it's a good idea to contact the county forest as well.


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, November 15, 2016

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