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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published May 16, 2017

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Fawn season! Admire from afar, mom is near

Contact(s): Dianne Robinson, DNR Wildlife Biologist,, 262-424-9827

MADISON - Outdoor enthusiasts fortunate to see one of Wisconsin's whitetail deer fawns, born between late April and July, are reminded by state wildlife officials to enjoy the wildlife view from afar for the fawn's safety.

Fawns have already started to be born this year.  If you see a fawn in the wild, leave it alone and its mother will return to care for it.
Fawns have already started to be born this year. If you see a fawn in the wild, leave it alone and its mother will return to care for it.
Photo Credit: DNR

DNR Wildlife Biologist Dianne Robinson says the fawn's mother is nearby, but out of sight of observers.

"Spring is when well-meaning people discover fawns alone, mistakenly believe they are in trouble and take unneeded action that may harm the animal," Robinson said. "A fawn's best chance for survival is with its mother."

Robinson also serves as chair of the multi-agency Keep Wildlife Wild committee.

"Deer moms care for and protect their young differently than human mothers," Robinson said of the state's official wild animal. "It is normal for deer mothers to leave their fawns unattended because keeping fawns hidden and alone is actually an adaptation to protect them from predators. As long as the mother does not detect nearby threats she will return occasionally to feed her fawns or move them to new hiding places. "

Robinson says her best advice to spring callers concerned about fawns is simple: "Leave the fawn where it is. Do not touch the fawn as its lack of scent is one of its natural protectors."

Is it hard to know if a deer fawn is truly in need of help?

"Absolutely," Robinson said. "We do understand people want to help and that's a wonderful sentiment. However, to really help, remember that a healthy fawn's best chance for survival is with its mother. Do not touch or feed the fawn. Call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator right away to help you decide if a particular fawn needs help."

For more information, visit the DNR's Keep Wildlife Wild webpage on the DNR's website,, by searching keyword Keep Wildlife Wild, or visit this document specific to fawns [PDF].

If a fawn is injured or known to be orphaned, contact your local wildlife rehabilitator immediately by visiting the DNR's website,, and searching keyword rehab. If you need help, contact the DNR Call Center at 1-888-936-7463.



Mighty musky await anglers in northern Wisconsin

Contact(s): Mike Vogelsang, 715-356-5211 ext. 239

WOODRUFF, Wis. -- Plenty of big fish--including a 55-inch monster in Sawyer County--await anglers planning to fish the northern musky opener May 27, based on spring netting surveys in 2017 and angler reports from recent years.

"We've had three crews measure fish over 50 inches and one that measured 55 inches," says Jeff Kampa, fisheries supervisor for Bayfield, Barron and Sawyer counties, where the 50-inchers were captured and released this spring during surveys.

Adds Mike Vogelsang, northern region fisheries supervisor stationed in Woodruff, "We've been seeing some really nice fish in our surveys and the average length of musky captured keeps trending upward."

View Slideshow SLIDE SHOW | 10 photos

DNR fish surveys in 2016 and this spring continued to show good numbers of 40-plus inches and trophy musky in many of the premier northern waters, as well as plenty of action in other state waters. Read the musky fishing forecasts [PDF] DNR biologists filed for many popular musky waters for 2017.

Unseasonably cooler weather in northern Wisconsin in the past month means anglers fishing the opener and early weeks of the season may need to seek out warmer water and fish smaller baits to get monster musky to bite, Vogelsang says.

"Unless things warm up in a big hurry, anglers are going to want to throw smaller, slower moving baits and find the shallowest, warmest bays you can," Vogelsang says.

In Wisconsin, the musky season is divided into northern and southern zones in recognition of differences in water temperatures and spawning dates. In the northern zone, north of U.S. Highway 10 excluding Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters, the season runs from May 27 to Nov. 30. In waters south of Highway 10, musky season opened May 6 and runs until Dec. 31. Musky fishing on the Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters opened May 15 and runs to Nov. 30.

Statewide, the minimum length to keep a fish remains at 40 inches. Anglers will want to check the 2017-18 regulations booklet for special regulations on the waters they want to fish.

Musky is the state's official fish and Wisconsin is home to the current world record musky, a 69 pound, 11 ounce fish taken from the Chippewa Flowage in 1949.

Trends in the average lengths of musky captured in DNR spring netting surveys in recent decades indicate that the size-structure of musky populations continues to improve. The average length of all muskies captured by DNR during surveys as well as the top 10 percent of those captured has increased steadily since at least 1985. As well, the percentage of 45-inch and larger muskies caught by anglers on Wisconsin waters has continued to increase through time.

For more information about musky and where to fish for them, search for musky on the DNR website.



Submit turtle crossing reports to the DNR

Contact(s): Andrew Badje, 608-785-9472

MADISON -- With the spring breeding season beginning for many Wisconsin turtle species, Department of Natural Resources conservation biologists are once again asking citizens to submit their observations of where turtles and other wildlife are found crossing roads.

A spiny softshell turtle seen near a roadside.
A spiny softshell turtle seen near a roadside.
Photo Credit: David Grey

"In a little over four years, more than 1,000 citizens have reported 1,021 turtle road crossings throughout Wisconsin," says Andrew Badje, a DNR conservation biologist who coordinates the Wisconsin Turtle Conservation Program. "These reports have helped us identify problem areas throughout the state so we can work with road agencies to take steps to make these sites safer for motorists and less deadly for turtles."

Citizen reports help DNR staff identify problem areas throughout Wisconsin. In addition, site history data helps the department collaborate on relevant projects with road agencies across the state.

 Road mortality of turtles is considered one of the leading causes of declining turtle numbers in Wisconsin.
Road mortality of turtles is considered one of the leading causes of declining turtle numbers in Wisconsin.
Photo Credit: DNR

Wisconsin has 11 turtle species and all of them lay eggs in upland nests consisting of gravel and sand. The loss of even one adult female turtle can have a large effect on future population numbers, especially in isolated populations or in species like the wood turtle that can take from 12 to 20 years to reach reproductive age, Badje says.

To report turtle crossings and other turtle sightings and learn more about Wisconsin turtles, visit the Wisconsin Turtle Conservation Program website (exit DNR).



Natural Resources Board to meet May 23-24 in Madison

Contact(s): Laurie Ross, board liaison, 608-267-7420; Jim Dick, DNR spokesperson, 608-267-2773

MADISON -- A request to approve antlerless deer harvest quotas, antlerless permit levels and a deer hunting season framework for 2017 and a request to approve the 2017 waterfowl hunting seasons are among the items the state Natural Resources Board will address when it meets May 24 in Madison.

The regular business meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 24, in Room G09 of the State Natural Resources Building (GEF 2), 101 South Webster St., Madison. On Tuesday, May 23, the board will have an informal meeting with the Wisconsin Conservation Congress District Leadership Council (previously known as the Executive Council) at approximately 6:30 p.m., with social hour at 5:30 p.m., at Great Dane Pub, 123 E. Doty Street, Madison.

This is the third year that County Deer Advisory Councils have played an integral role in setting antlerless harvest recommendations and other deer season details. In general, CDACs are recognizing an increase in deer numbers throughout the state after a third consecutive mild winter. As a result, the department will advance the majority of CDAC recommendations that include an antlerless harvest quota of over 276,000, are proposing buck-only hunting in just four counties (down from as high as 19 in 2014), and the special Holiday Hunt for antlerless deer only in 17 counties.

The proposal for the 2017 waterfowl season structure would be similar to the 2016 season with a 60-day duck season and a 93-day goose season with a continuous season in the northern zone and split seasons in the southern and Mississippi zones. It will also eliminate the two periods for the Horicon zone and establish one Canada goose hunting season allowing hunters to hunt on any day of the continuous 92-day season.

The agenda also includes: requests for adoption of the rules related to fishing regulations on inland, outlying, and boundary waters, that were approved during the 2017 statewide fisheries management spring rules hearings; request for approval of the Menominee River State Recreation Area Master Plan and master plans for 12 state natural areas; a request for approval of the department's recommendation to conduct regional master planning for department properties statewide; and other actions.

The complete May board agenda is available by searching the DNR website, for keyword "NRB" and clicking on the button for "view agendas."

The public must pre-register with Laurie Ross, board liaison, to testify at the board meeting. The deadline to register to testify or submit written comments for this business meeting is 11 a.m. on Friday, May 19, 2017. Registration information is available on the agenda on the DNR website.

Board meetings are webcast live. People can watch the meeting over the internet by going to the NRB agenda page of the DNR website and clicking on webcasts in the Related Links column on the right. Then click on this month's meeting. After each meeting, the webcast will be permanently available on demand.



Chart Energy & Chemicals pursues Tier 2 of Wisconsin's Green Tier

Contact(s): Tom Nowakowski, 608-266-8226

MADISON - A La Crosse company that designs and manufactures equipment used in the liquid gas supply chain has applied for participation in Tier 2 of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Green Tier program.

Chart Energy & Chemicals, a subsidiary of Chart Industries, designs and manufactures cryogenic equipment used in the separation of oxygen, nitrogen and noble gases in the processing of natural gas. In addition, their distribution and storage products are fundamental to the delivery and end-use of liquid gases in many industrial and energy applications.

The company is seeking to participate in Tier 2 of Green Tier, a voluntary program that is intended to promote and recognize superior environmental performance by companies operating in Wisconsin. Tier 2 is designed for companies with a fully functional environmental management system and with a history of superior environmental performance. Chart Energy & Chemicals has incorporated an environmental management system that received ISO 14001 certification in 2016. The EMS is a "plan-do-check-act" tool that helps a company understand its environmental impacts and set benchmarks to measure future environmental performance. These contracts seek to enable environmental improvements and may allow participants to negotiate customized contracts for certain types of regulatory flexibility. Chart Energy & Chemicals is not currently seeking regulatory flexibility.

Chart Energy & Chemical's recent environmental accomplishments include:

The public has an opportunity to comment on the proposed Tier 2 contract by contacting DNR with comments, or requests for a public informational meeting through June 16, 2017. Comments may be directed to Tom Nowakowski, Wisconsin DNR, OB/7, PO BOX 7921, Madison, WI 53707, by email to or at (608) 266-8226.

More information is available by searching the DNR website for "Green Tier" and click on the button for "See Green Tier participants, applicants and charters" and then clicking the link for Chart Energy & Chemicals under the "applicants" tab. 



New Field Notes newsletter gives readers unique look into Wisconsin DNR wildlife research

Contact(s): Caitlin Henning, DNR Office of Applied Science, 608-221-6346; Dan Storm, DNR ungulate research ecologist, 715-365-4712; Mike Watt, DNR deer research scientist, 608-333-1839

MADISON -- Anyone interested in learning more about wildlife research in Wisconsin, especially the Southwest Wisconsin Chronic Wasting Disease, Deer and Predator study, is encouraged to check out the brand new "Field Notes" newsletter.

Deer are captured and collared as part of deer research.
Deer are captured and collared as part of the Southwest Wisconsin Chronic Wasting Disease, Deer and Predator study.
Photo Credit: DNR

Whether readers prefer to learn through text or graphics and video footage, this monthly newsletter provides a unique look at Department of Natural Resources staff, volunteers and the wildlife who help researchers learn more about Wisconsin's outdoors.

To learn more about this newsletter and other research projects, visit and search keywords "field notes."

If you would like to automatically receive the Field Notes newsletter each month, select the GovDelivery icon on the department's homepage and subscribe to the list titled "Wisconsin deer research."

Click on the email icon to subscribe.
Click on the email icon to subscribe.

Southwest Wisconsin, CWD, Deer and Predator Study

Fall 2016 kicked off the early stages of this groundbreaking research, which stems from Gov. Scott Walker's commitment to reevaluate chronic wasting disease in Wisconsin. This study will evaluate factors like predation, habitat conditions, hunter harvest, and chronic wasting disease to measure impacts on deer survival and deer populations in southern Wisconsin.

To learn more about this study and other DNR research projects, search keywords "deer research."



June 1 deadline to sponsor 2017 disabled deer hunt is fast approaching

Contact(s): Maggie Stewart, DNR assistant big game ecologist, 608-261-7588

Help others experience hunting and become a sponsor today

MADISON -- Sponsors and landowners interested in hosting a gun hunt for deer hunters with disabilities are reminded of the fast approaching June 1 deadline to sign up their lands for the October 2017.

Sponsors are required to enroll at least 60 acres of land and must allow at least 3 disabled hunters access during the October 7-15 hunt.

In 2016, more than 70 landowners in 48 counties enrolled roughly 79,000 acres of hunting land to provide opportunities for over 400 participants to take part in the gun deer hunt for hunters with disabilities.

For an online application, visit for keywords "disabled deer hunt." If sponsors do not have access to an online application, please contact Maggie Stewart, Assistant Big Game Ecologist, at 608-261-7588 for a physical copy.

A full list of hunt sponsors will be available on DNR's website after June 10. Interested hunters are encouraged to contact sponsors as soon as possible.

For more information regarding the 2017 disabled deer hunt in Wisconsin, contact Maggie Stewart, assistant big game ecologist, 608-261-7588 or at


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 16, 2017

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