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December and January hold additional opportunities for deer hunters

Published by Central Office December 4, 2018

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.

Last Revised: Tuesday, December 04, 2018

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