November 1, 2011
[EDITOR'S ADVISORY: The following news release is from the 2011 Wisconsin Fall Hunting and Trapping Forecast (PDF, 6.5 MB, 48 pages). The fall forecast contains additional information including more detailed regional forecasts for the deer season.]
MADISON -- The 2011 gun deer season opens on Nov. 19 and barring bad weather, wildlife officials say all the pieces are in place for successful season.
"I sincerely hope everyone who enjoys and cherishes the traditions and excitement of deer hunting can find time to spend sharing these special days with family and friends," said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp. "Wisconsin is a special place when it comes to deer and deer hunting and I want to wish everyone a safe, enjoyable and successful hunt."
While portions of the state (96 deer management units) are included in Herd Control or CWD seasons that allow for addition harvest to curtail growth, 38 deer management units (DMUs) will have limited or no antlerless harvest to regulate or allow for herd growth, under the in the 2011 deer season structure.
This year, eight DMUs in the northern forest will have buck-only hunting during the archery and gun deer seasons. Some exceptions may apply to qualified members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are home on furlough or leave, Class A and C disabled permit hunters and youth ages 10 through 17 who have an unused any DMU antlerless tag (see 2011 Deer Hunting Regulations booklet for details. The Dec. 8-11 antlerless-only hunt will still be held statewide; however, in the eight units where zero antlerless tags are available, only hunters who qualify under the exceptions listed above will be eligible to hunt.
New in 2011, youth hunters ages 10 through 17 who purchase a firearm deer license will automatically be issued an antlerless permit that can be used with gun or bow in any DMU statewide.
The elimination of earn-a-buck outside of the CWD management zone in 2009 allowed hunters to take bucks and pass on antlerless deer.
Hunters are reminded that coyote hunting is closed in approximately the northern third of the state if any gun or muzzleloader deer hunt is in progress. See the 2011 Wisconsin Deer Hunting or Small Game Regulations for the southern boundary of the closed area. As with all hunting seasons, hunters are reminded to be absolutely sure of their target before they shoot.
Hunters may harvest deer with archery equipment during the nine-day gun deer season however they must observe blaze orange hunting clothing rules. The archery season for deer is Sept. 17 - Nov. 17 and Nov. 19 - Jan. 8, 2012. Note the archery season is closed on Nov. 18 for one day.
In 2009, an online Wisconsin Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey reporting system was launched, which allowed deer hunters to report what they were seeing out in the field. Many hunters took advantage of this opportunity and observations from roughly
20,000 hunting trips were reported. The countless hours put into the field by hunters are a valuable source of information for creating indices of wildlife presence and abundance throughout the state.
The online wildlife observation reporting system will once again be available for the 2011 deer hunting season from Sept. 17 through Jan. 8, 2012. Wildlife officials hope archery and gun deer hunters from all corners of the state continue to take part in the survey and for new hunters to begin participating. A field observation sheet is available for hunters to keep track of their observations throughout the season, so they can enter their data at a later time
Data collected will become more meaningful as the number of survey years increases to show wildlife population and distribution trends over time. The more hunting trips reported by deer management unit, the more significant the data will become. Final results from the 2010 web survey and comparisons to 2009 can be found on the Wildlife Survey Reports page of the DNR website (click on the results tab).
Regular units deer populations are at or near goal in these deer management units. For the 2011 season, most regular units will have a limited number of unit-specific antlerless deer carcass tags available.
Hunters may purchase one antlerless tag per day. Fees are $12 each for residents and $20 each for non-residents. Units with lower numbers of available permits can be expected to sell out quickly. The supply of available permits in units with high numbers can be expected to last longer. Hunters may want to monitor permit availability online which is updated periodically. Hunters must purchase a 2011 Wisconsin deer hunting license before purchasing a unit-specific antlerless tag. Licenses and tags can also be purchased by phone (1-877-945-4236) or at the DNR Online Licensing Center.
Eight Regular units will not have any unit-specific antlerless tags available in 2011: DMUs 3, 7, 29B, 34, 35, 39, 44 and 45. These units are below deer population goals. Only certain hunters will be allowed to harvest antlerless deer in these units under the following circumstances:
Herd Control Units Herd Control Units are designated when deer population estimates are 20 percent or more above established overwinter goals. The 2011 Wisconsin gun and archery deer hunting licenses will each include one free Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag that may be used in any of the 74 Herd Control or 22 CWD units. Archery licenses will include a second antlerless tag which is also valid in Herd Control Units. There is no limit to how many additional Antlerless Deer Carcass Tags can be purchased at $2 each for use in Herd Control units. Tags can be purchased at any DNR license sales location or through the Online Licensing Center. Hunters are encouraged to take advantage of antlerless deer harvest opportunities in Herd Control Units to continue moving populations toward sustainable deer population goals.
Metro Units Metro units 59M, 60M, 64M, 1M and 77M will be Herd Control units in 2011. These metro units have an extended regular gun season which will take place from Nov. 19 - Dec. 7. These metro units will also have an extended late archery season which will end on Jan. 31, 2012. Other season dates that apply to Herd Control units will be in effect. Metro Unit 76M around Madison is a CWD Management Unit and all CWD gun and archery deer seasons will apply to this unit. Shotgun restrictions will apply to all of unit 76M. All metro units in 2011 will have shotgun restrictions, except unit 1M which will allow rifle hunting. Check local ordinances to see if other weapon restrictions apply to local areas within metro units. It is important to check with local town officials to see if there are local ordinances prohibiting firearm use.
State Park Units State Park units 23A, 52A, 57D, 59E, 61A, 64A, 69C, 72A, 73A, 77D, 77E and 80C allow deer hunting during one or more deer hunting seasons. Hunters wishing to hunt in these state parks must purchase a $3 State Park Access Permit online or at any DNR license location for the state park of their choice. Available permits for many parks have already been sold out. Archery hunters may hunt in unit 77D (Loew Lake Unit - Kettle Moraine State Forest) without a $3 access permit, however, an access permit is required for muzzleloader hunting in this unit from Nov. 19 - Dec. 7. Special weapon restrictions or hunting season dates may apply to other parks. Check the 2011 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations for details before purchasing your permit.
Those who purchase a state park access permit early will have the park's special deer hunting regulations mailed to them before the season or they may find the regulations online. A state park sticker is required for all vehicles in a state park. Access permits are also required to deer hunt in state parks that allow deer hunting within the CWD Management Zone, but are free of charge and are not limited in quantity. Access permits for CWD state parks can be obtained at DNR Service Centers within the CWD Management Zone, at the state park's office, or the DNR website. Check the State Parks and Trails Hunting Opportunities page of the DNR website for more information on hunting within state parks, trails, and recreation area properties.
Chronic Wasting Disease continues to pose a significant risk to deer and deer hunting across Wisconsin. This disease has the potential to drastically reduce the size and health of our deer herd. The DNR remains committed to working with hunters and landowners to control spread of CWD to healthy deer. The Earn-A-Buck rule has been modified to allow the harvest of one buck deer per unused gun and one buck deer per unused archery buck deer carcass tag(s) without earn-a-buck requirements. Additional bucks can be harvested with a buck authorization sticker earned in 2010 or 2011 or by registering an antlerless deer with a harvested buck. Antlerless deer harvest is unlimited and hunters can obtain these tags free of charge (limit 4 per hunter per day) at registration stations and license vendors in the CWD Management Zone.
Wisconsin's Venison Donation Program is a partnership between local charitable organizations, counties, the Department of Natural Resources, meat processors and hunters. This effort has provided high quality protein to thousands of families over the years. In addition to donating deer to the program, since 2002 hunters have chipped in an additional $127,000 to the pantry program on top of the fee they pay for deer harvest permits. 2010 marked 11th anniversary of Wisconsin's Venison Donation Program. In 11 years the program distributed nearly 3.5 million pounds of ground venison from over 77,000 deer donated by hunters, processed by participating meat processors and distributed by volunteers to state food pantries. A list of participating meat processors is available on the DNR Web site and searchable by county. Rules of the program are simple. Hunters harvest, tag, field dress and register a deer same as they always have. After registration the hunter can drop off the carcass at a participating processor. There is no cost to the hunter other than transporting the carcass. Hunters are advised to call ahead to a processor to check on business hours and if the processor currently has space to accept the carcass.
The four-day December antlerless-only deer hunt will be held Dec. 8-11, 2011. Unlike the October antlerless-only gun hunt, this hunt will take place in all DMUs statewide, except state parks outside of the CWD Management Zone, and non-quota areas. Hunters will need to possess or be in a group that has at least one antlerless deer carcass tag valid for the unit which they will be hunting in. Unit specific tags will not be available for eight regular units in northern Wisconsin (see 2011 Deer Season Structure map) exceptions apply to qualified members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are home on furlough or leave, Class A and C disabled permit hunters and youth between the ages of 10-17 who have an unused any DMU antlerless tag. All gun and archery deer hunters and small game hunters are required to meet blaze orange requirements during this hunt statewide.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Dan Hirchert - (608) 264-6023 or Bob Manwell - (608) 264-9248