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NEWS ARCHIVE:     Age: 697 days

Weekly News Published December 4, 2018


Statewide recreation plan ready for public review

Contact(s): John Pohlman, DNR planner, 608-264-6263

MADISON - The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the draft Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. The plan provides guidance to public outdoor recreation policy and planning decisions and is used in allocating recreation-related grants administered by the Department of Natural Resources.

This iteration of the SCORP covers the period from 2019 to 2023 provides updated information on Wisconsinites' participation in outdoor recreation, existing opportunities, and future needs. The plan was developed with the assistance of an advisory team comprised of a diversity of representatives.

Adding additional trails, such as the recently complete portion of the Great Sauke Trail, is one of the priority needs identified in the plan. - Photo credit: DNR
Adding additional trails, such as the recently complete portion of the Great Sauk Trail, is one of the priority needs identified in the plan.Photo credit: DNR

The DNR will host an open house meeting on Wednesday Dec. 19 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Alumni Room of the Dreyfus University Center on the UW-Stevens Point campus. The Center is located at 1015 Reserve St. Stevens Point.

The SCORP provides guidance for public outdoor recreation policy and planning decisions in the state. The plan also guides the allocation of recreation-related grants administered by the department, including the Land and Water Conservation Fund program.

The plan lays out five overarching goals for outdoor recreation in Wisconsin:

People can review the plan and the appendices by searching the DNR website,, for keyword "SCORP." In addition to the open house, people can also comment on the plan through a public input form on the SCORP page of the DNR website. The form is intended to gather perspectives about the draft SCORP and ideas people may have to improve the document. People can provide input on an online questionnaire, or can download a form and mail it in. Comments, either online or hardcopy, are due by Jan. 4, 2019.



Deadline to apply for black bear permits and spring wild turkey harvest authorizations is Dec. 10

Contact(s): Jaqi Christopher, DNR assistant upland wildlife ecologist, 608-261-8458; Scott Walter, DNR big game ecologist, 608-261-7588

MADISON - Black bear and wild turkey hunters are reminded to submit their applications before midnight on Dec. 10.

Applications for permit drawings can be purchased through Go Wild at or through an authorized license agent.

Black bear

Harvest numbers from the 2018 black bear season are not yet finalized, but preliminary estimates show that hunters harvested more than 3,680 bears. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff and the Bear Advisory Committee are currently in the process of determining 2019 harvest quotas.

Bear hunters are reminded that due to the high interest in this hunt, hunters must apply for several years before receiving a permit through the drawing process for most bear management zones. In order for bear permit applicants to retain their accumulated preference points, they must apply at least once during any period of three consecutive years, or all previously accumulated preference points will be lost.

If the hunter is selected in the drawing, their preference points will be reset to zero, even if they do not purchase the harvest permit. It is the applicant's responsibility to be aware of drawing status. Applicants selected in the drawing will be notified by mail shortly after the drawing and may purchase their 2019 Class A bear license beginning in March 2019. Applicants may also check their status online through their Go Wild customer account.

The season structure for the 2019 bear hunt is as follows:

Zone C (dogs not permitted):

All other zones:

2019 spring turkey

Dec.10 is the deadline to apply for a spring turkey harvest authorization (previously known as a tag or permit). Turkey harvest authorizations are issued through a preference-based drawing system. For more information on the turkey preference drawing, see the Turkey Frequently Asked Questions.

Applicants may choose up to two time period and zone combinations that they would like to hunt. As a third choice, applicants may choose one zone in which they will accept a harvest authorization for any time period. This third choice can be the same zone as the first and/or second choice. The second and third choices are optional, but applicants are encouraged to provide second and third choices to maximize their likelihood drawing a harvest authorization.

Successful applicants will be notified by mail after the drawing results are finalized.

Unsuccessful applicants will receive a preference point that will increase their chances of drawing a harvest authorization the following spring season. Hunters can check their application status online through Go Wild.

Any harvest authorizations that were not awarded in the drawing will be available for purchase as bonus harvest authorizations. Bonus harvest authorizations will cost $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents.

All turkey hunters are required to possess a valid spring turkey license and wild turkey stamp when they acquire their spring turkey harvest authorization. A 2019 Spring Turkey License is $15 for Wisconsin residents and $60 for non-residents. The 2019 Wild Turkey Stamp is $5.25.

The 2019 spring turkey season is as follows:

For information on hunting in state parks, visit and search keywords "hunting state parks." All harvested turkeys must be registered. For information on how to register your turkey, visit and search keywords "turkey registration."

Youth turkey hunt - April 13-14

The annual Spring Turkey Youth Hunt is designed for hunters ages 15 and younger. Interested youth hunt participants should apply for a spring turkey harvest authorization before the Dec. 10 deadline. A harvest authorization for any time period can be used during the two-day youth hunt, but hunters are limited to the zone listed on their hunting authorization.

Youth hunters must either have a Hunter Education Certificate of Accomplishment or hunt under the Mentored Hunting Program. All hunters under 12 years of age must participate in the Mentored Hunting Program, even if they have successfully completed a hunter safety education course. All other turkey hunting regulation apply to the youth hunt.

Spring wild turkey hunt for people with disabilities applications due Dec. 10

Hunters with disabilities may apply for a harvest authorization outside of the normal spring turkey drawing. Hunters can apply for the Spring Wild Turkey Hunt for People with Disabilities by submitting Forms 2300-271 and 2300-271A.

This special hunt is only valid on private lands. Forms must be submitted by Dec. 10 to the DNR wildlife biologist for the county in which the hunt will take place. Any applicant who applies for a turkey harvest authorization using Forms 2300-271 and 2300-271A may not apply for a harvest authorization through the general spring turkey drawing.

For more information regarding bear and turkey hunting in Wisconsin, search keywords "bear" or "turkey."



December and January hold additional opportunities for deer hunters

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

MADISON - The nine-day gun deer hunt may be over, but hunters can still participate in the muzzleloader season, archery and crossbow seasons and two antlerless-only gun hunts.

The muzzleloader deer season will close Dec. 5, but hunters can extend their gun-deer hunting opportunities by filling any unused deer harvest authorization during the annual statewide four-day, antlerless-only hunt that takes place Dec. 6-9. Hunters may fill any unused antlerless harvest authorizations while hunting in the proper deer management zone, unit and land type specified on the authorization.

In addition, the antlerless-only holiday hunt will be offered in 19 farmland units from Dec. 24 - Jan. 1, 2019. These seasons are used at the request of County Deer Advisory Councils and utilized in units with high deer numbers in need of antlerless harvest to slow overall herd grown. Hunters may fill any unused antlerless harvest authorizations in their proper deer management zone, county and land type. Any unit where the holiday hunt is not offered will be open for archery and crossbow hunting, and bucks may be taken.

Any legal firearm, crossbow or archery equipment may be used during the statewide antlerless-only and holiday hunts.

Additional opportunities are also available for U.S. Armed Forces members and Class A and C disability permit holders. More information is available in the 2018 regulations [PDF].

The archery and crossbow seasons will remain open statewide through Jan. 6, 2019.

Metro sub-units have special deer seasons, including the gun deer season, that close on Dec. 5. All archery and crossbow seasons remain open through Jan. 31, 2019 in the extended archery season deer management units. All other archery and crossbow seasons close Jan. 6, 2019.

All hunters except waterfowl hunters are required to wear blaze orange or blaze pink clothing during any open firearm deer hunt. Other outdoor enthusiasts recreating on public lands are encouraged to wear bright colors for their own safety during these periods.

For more information regarding which hunts may be offered in each county, check out the interactive deer map at keyword "DMU."

Chronic wasting disease sampling

If hunters choose to have their deer CWD tested through a cooperating meet processor or taxidermist, a self-service kiosk, or through hunter service testing with their county biologist, they are reminded to contact sampling stations in advance to verify hours of operation and that CWD surveillance efforts focus on testing adult deer, since older deer are more likely to have the disease. For more information regarding where to take your deer for sampling, search keywords "CWD sampling" or contact local DNR wildlife management staff.

Hunters can search for CWD test results individually or view a summary. Hunters will need a customer ID or CWD sample barcode to search for individual results. The average turnaround time from when the deer is brought to a sampling station to when the results are available is typically two to three weeks. For information regarding CWD test results, search keywords "CWD results".

If test results come back positive for CWD, hunters should follow advice from the Center for Disease Control (exit DNR), Wisconsin Department of Health Services and World Health Organization (exit DNR) to not consume venison from that deer.

The cooperation of hunters and private businesses has become increasingly vital to the success of our CWD sampling process. DNR staff would like to thank all those who continue to assist with CWD surveillance.

Hunters asked to participate in online Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey

The Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey will remain active until all deer seasons have ended, and wildlife managers ask that hunters to submit a report of what they saw during their time in the field. This information will provide valuable data pertaining to Wisconsin's deer herd and other species.



Second split in the hunting season for the south goose hunting zone provides opportunity over the holidays

Contact(s): Taylor Finger, DNR migratory game bird ecologist, 608-266-8841; Trenton Rohrer, DNR assistant migratory game bird ecologist, 608-261-6458

MADISON - Goose hunters in the South Goose Hunting Zone are reminded that the regular goose season closed with the duck season on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018 for 13 days. Goose season will reopen on Sunday, Dec. 16 and run through Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019.

This second split in the goose season allows for the opportunity to hunt geese over the Christmas and New Year holidays. This late-season opening was supported by the majority of the public and by most hunting and conservation organizations.

The timeframe for 2018-19 will give hunters the ability to pursue geese during a period when many have time off from work and school. This is also a time when many hunters return home to Wisconsin for the holidays, and these new season dates give people the chance to capitalize on their time off while spending time outdoors with family and friends pursuing geese.

For more information on goose and other waterfowl hunting, visit and search keyword "waterfowl."



Interested applicants for County Deer Advisory Council membership encouraged to apply by January 15

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

MADISON - The application period for vacant County Deer Advisory Council seats is open through Jan. 15, 2019.

CDAC members represent areas of expertise in agriculture, forestry, tourism, transportation, hunting, land management and local government. Individuals with experience in one of these areas are encouraged to apply for open CDAC seats. Council members meet at least twice annually to review deer management data, gather public input from citizens and provide recommendations to the Department of Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Board regarding deer population objectives and antlerless harvest in their county.

Both hunters and non-hunters are encouraged to apply for vacancies, but applicants must have experience or involvement with the seat (agriculture, forestry, etc.) for which they are applying. To view vacancies in your county or to learn more about the application process, visit and search keyword "CDAC."

Councils were established in 2014 and continue to provide an excellent opportunity to receive recommendations on county-specific deer population objectives and herd management decisions involving antlerless harvest goals and season structure. To form these recommendations, councils review a variety of scientific metrics on deer herd harvest and population trends, herd health, impacts to habitat and various human-deer interactions.

For more information regarding CDACs and deer herd management in Wisconsin, or to see if you qualify, search keyword "CDAC" or contact



While monarchs rest this winter, it's time to get busy adding habitat for their return

Contact(s): Brenna Jones, DNR, Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative coordinator, 608-576-2446; Caitlin Williamson, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, 608-266-1430

Get tips and learn more from new website launched by organizations working to save monarchs

MADISON - While Wisconsin monarchs rest and refuel after a 1,700-plus mile flight to their wintering grounds in Mexico, state residents can help them this winter by planting or planning habitat now and taking other actions to help monarchs.

The new Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative website,, has Wisconsin-specific information on adding habitat and other ways to help monarchs.   - Photo credit: DNR
The new Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative website,, has Wisconsin-specific information on adding habitat and other ways to help monarchs. Photo credit: DNR

A new website launched by the Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative, (exit DNR) a coalition of organizations dedicated to reversing dramatic monarch declines in Wisconsin, provides a wealth of state-specific information on planting habitat that will benefit monarchs and other pollinators. The website is found at

"Monarchs are resting this time of year but we're not," says Brenna Jones, coordinator for the Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative and a conservation biologist for Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Natural Heritage Conservation Program, one of the partners.

"Planting milkweed and nectar plants is the best way to help monarchs, and now is a good time to plant seeds or to plan what plants you'll add to your garden next spring. Our new website gives you specific information to help you do that."

The Monarch Collaborative website has an extensive "creating habitat" suite of pages with state-specific resources for creating habitat in urban and suburban areas, on farms, on protected lands and along roadsides and utility corridors. The resources include a Top Twelve Species for Beginner Butterfly Gardens, geared for Wisconsin gardeners

In Wisconsin, native milkweed and other native plant seeds require a prolonged period of cold before they will germinate and grow. Planting milkweed and nectar plant seeds now means the seeds will have good soil contact and be kept moist by winter snowfalls. Lightly raking the soil surface or sowing seed onto an inch or two of snow-covered ground are good ways to hide the seeds from wildlife that may try to eat some of your seeds before they can germinate, Jones says.

The Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative website also provides resources for highway and parks officials and land managers responsible for mowing and planting decisions, notes Brenna Marsicek, co-lead for the Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative's communications and outreach working group and communications director for Madison Audubon Society.

"Winter is a great time to plan and advocate for monarch habitat in your community," Marsicek says. "Begin the conversations with local road and park officials, community leaders, and others who can help provide space for monarchs to reproduce and thrive - specifically on milkweed and other native plants."

Monarch numbers have plunged more than 80 percent over the last 20 years in the eastern population that breeds in Wisconsin and 15 other midwestern states. The leading cause of the decline is the loss of native milkweed. Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative partners have set a goal for Wisconsin to add nearly 120 million stems of native milkweed species within a diverse mix of native wildflowers by 2038, and are designing voluntary strategies for stakeholders throughout the state to work together to achieve this goal.

Monarchs that spend their winters in Mexico leave in the spring and fly to the southern U.S. where they lay their eggs. The caterpillars that hatch from those eggs become the butterflies that make their way to Wisconsin in spring. The fourth or fifth generation of butterflies that hatch every year in Wisconsin then fly to Mexico for the winter, and the cycle begins again.



Submissions for 2019 Keep Wildlife Wild poster accepted beginning Jan. 2

Contact(s): Dianne Robinson, DNR wildlife biologist, 262-424-9827

MADISON - The Department of Natural Resources' Keep Wildlife Wild initiative is announcing its inaugural poster contest for 2019. The contest will be an annual event in the future. Students currently participating in fourth through sixth grade instruction may submit a poster for the contest.

Wisconsin's Keep Wildlife Wild initiative began in 2014 with a focus on providing information about wildlife species' natural behaviors, tips on how to determine if a wild animal is truly orphaned and what to do if someone finds a wild animal in need of assistance.

Dianne Robinson, wildlife biologist with the DNR and the Keep Wildlife Wild co-chair, says "This year, we are excited to incorporate more student involvement by offering this poster contest, which teachers can use along with the Keep Wildlife Wild lesson plan." Since 2014, Keep Wildlife Wild has developed many resources, including wildlife fact sheets and flowcharts to determine if an animal is sick, injured or orphaned. We also have a brochure, lesson plan, cartoon and a variety of news pieces and social media posts."

Posters submitted for the contest must contain the words "Keep Wildlife Wild" and follow the theme of the Keep Wildlife Wild tagline: "A young wild animal's best chance for survival is with its mother!" All posters must consist of original artwork, fit an 8.5x11 inch sheet of paper and be submitted individually; team creations will not be accepted. The contest will run January 2 to February 22, 2019. First, second and third place finalists will be selected for each grade level by a panel of judges, and finalists will be announced April 7-13, 2019 during our second-annual Keep Wildlife Wild week.

Additional details about contest rules and submission procedures will be available in another press release in early January and in the coming weeks. More information is available on our website. Visit and search keyword "Keep Wildlife Wild."



2019 Wisconsin State Park stickers on sale now

Contact(s): Paul Holtan, Office of Communications, 608-267-7517 or to order stickers DNR Customer Service, 1-888-936- 7463

MADISON -- People looking for a holiday gift that keeps giving throughout the year can give outdoor enthusiasts access to some of the most scenic areas found in Wisconsin that offer thousands of miles of trails, hundreds of nature hiking opportunities and dozens of beaches, with a 2019 Wisconsin state park admission sticker or state trail pass.

2019 stickers and state trails passes went on sale Dec. 1 at state park facilities and Department of Natural Resources service centers statewide. State park properties will honor 2019 stickers and passes for admission to parks, forests, recreation areas and trails through the remainder of 2018.

The admission stickers are designed by high school students and the winning design is chosen in a statewide contest.

2019 Wisconsin State Park sticker - Photo credit: Rory Macha, Slinger High School
2019 Wisconsin State Park stickerPhoto credit: Rory Macha, Slinger High School

The winning 2019 admission sticker features a pair of hiking boots hitting the trail by Slinger High School sophomore Rory Macha. The winning design will be printed on state park and forest annual vehicle admission stickers and will be displayed on approximately 300,000 vehicles.

The vehicle admission stickers provide access to more than 60 state park, forest and recreation area properties across Wisconsin. The stickers are required on all motor vehicles stopping in state parks and recreation areas. Some state forest and trail parking areas also require a sticker.

A state trail pass is required for all people age 16 or older biking, in-line skating, horseback riding or cross-country skiing on certain state trails. A state trail pass is not required for walking or hiking.

Annual admission stickers cost $28 for Wisconsin residents or $38 for nonresidents. If there is more than one vehicle registered to the same household, additional state park stickers are available for $15.50 for residents and $20.50 for nonresidents. A senior citizen annual sticker for $13 is available for Wisconsin residents 65 years of age and older. Annual trail passes are $25 for residents and nonresidents.

In addition to park, forest and trail offices and DNR service centers, stickers and trail passes are available over the phone from the DNR call center. Phone customers can call the DNR at 888-936-7463 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Customers need to order stickers and passes by Monday, Dec. 16 to receive them for the holidays.

The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks also offer online sales of admission stickers and trail passes with a donation to the statewide friends group through the organization's website (exit DNR).

For more information search the DNR website,, for keyword "sticker."



Wisconsin Natural Resources Board to meet December 12 in Madison

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

MADISON - Requests to consider proposed rule affecting chapter NR 149 related to the requirements for laboratories participating in the laboratory accreditation program; proposed rule affecting chapter NR 514 related to research, development, and demonstrations plans at municipal solid waste landfills; proposed emergency rule affecting chapters NR 20 and 25 related to harvest management regulations in the Lake Superior fishery; proposed emergency rule affecting chapter NR 10 related to wildlife harvest management are among the items the state Natural Resources Board will address when it meets December 12 in Madison.

The board meeting will convene at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 12, in Room G09, State Natural Resources Building (GEF 2), 101 South Webster St., Madison.

The board also will be asked to accept a number of donations, including a flush toilet facility valued at $193,275 in Peninsula State Park from Northern Sky Theater to be used to replace the existing vault toilet facility located on the concessionaire premises, approximately $170,000 to support the Wisconsin Bat Program, $65,000 for the restoration of 16 State Natural Areas in the Driftless Region and $15,000 to offset the purchase of a compact track loader for the Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit

On Tuesday, Dec. 11 the board will gather for dinner at 6 p.m. Paison's Italian Restaurant, 131 West Wilson Street, Madison 53703. No Board business will be discussed.

The complete December 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 is 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. 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.


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, December 04, 2018

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