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September 14, 2010

MADISON - September 18 marks the opening day of Wisconsin's 79th archery deer hunting season.

A growing cadre of camo-clad archery deer hunters will be melting into the woods, heading for deer stands across the state, hoping preseason scouting will pay off and that they've placed their stand where they'll have a chance at a whitetail. The popularity of archery deer hunting is increasing yearly and the archery harvest is a growing segment of the yearly deer harvest.

In 1966 there were just over 85,000 licensed archery hunters who harvested just under 6,000 deer. By 1981 the number of archery hunters had more than doubled to nearly 174,000 hunters who took more than 29,000 deer. By last year, the number had reached more than 260,000 bow hunters with a total harvest of more than 87,000. By comparison, in 2009 Wisconsin had almost 630,000 licensed gun hunters who registered just under 242,000 deer.

Important new rules in 2010 for archers

Before heading out, archers are encouraged to study the season structure map found in the 2010 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations pamphlet or online to assure they know the rules where they hunt.

Nineteen northeast Wisconsin regular deer management units are buck only in 2010 for both archery and gun deer hunters in order to support efforts to grow herd numbers in those units. The archery antlerless deer carcass tag issued with an archery deer hunting license and patron license cannot be used in units: 7, 13, 28, 29A, 29B, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 49A, 52 and 52A. The archery antlerless tag is good in all other units statewide during an archery season.

Archery deer hunters are also reminded that they must wear blaze orange on all days when the archery deer season runs concurrent with a gun deer season. This includes the Oct. 14-17 antlerless-only hunt in herd control and CWD units, in the CWD zone during the November nine-day gun deer and the December/January Holiday gun deer seasons, the statewide 10-day muzzleloader season, and during the Dec. 9-12 statewide antlerless only hunt. This includes the 19 DMUs where antlerless harvest is restricted to certain disabled hunters, qualified U. S. Armed Forces members and first year hunter education graduates who have a valid tag for an antlerless deer in these units.

Additional antlerless tags available for some regular units

In regular deer management units with an antlerless deer quota, archers can purchase additional unit specific antlerless deer carcass tags for $12 resident and $20 nonresident. Unit specific antlerless tags are available through license vendors, by phone and online. These tags are in limited supply and are available only until a unit is sold out.

There are exceptions to the buck only rule in the 19 northeastern DMUs for armed forces personnel home on leave, Class A and C disabled permit holders who have an unfilled gun buck deer carcass tags and first time hunter education graduates with an unfilled special free antlerless deer carcass tags issued for completing the hunter education course in 2010. For details, consult the 2010 Deer Hunting Regulations pamphlet or call the DNR information line at 1.888.WDNR-INFo

Mentored hunting

There's no better way to share your knowledge of deer, deer hunting and woodsmanship with a youth than through the new Mentored Hunter Program. The milder weather and more relaxed atmosphere of the archery deer hunt are perfect for teaching and communicating. Started in 2009 the Mentored Hunting Law allows a licensed hunter 18 years of age and older to mentor individuals as young as 10 years of age in a hunting outing without the need for the mentored hunter to first earn a hunter education certificate. The quite time spent in the woods is ideal for sharing traditions, developing an appreciation for just being out and hunting skills. Consult the 2010 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations for details.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jason Fleener (608) 261-7589

Last Revised: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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