Contact(s): Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game ecologist, 608-261-7589
MADISON -- A new deer metrics system provides a unique opportunity for people to take a detailed look at how County Deer Advisory Councils and the Department of Natural Resources work together with the public to manage Wisconsin's deer herd.
"DNR staff created a system that provides the public and County Deer Advisory Councils with a fast and easy method of learning about their deer management unit and the factors that influence management decisions," said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR deer and elk ecologist.
Metrics provided in the system include deer harvest figures, population trends, deer impacts on agriculture and forest resources, herd history, deer herd health, deer hunter surveys and more. To check out this new webpage and learn more about Wisconsin's deer herd, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords "deer metrics."
County Deer Advisory Councils use these metrics annually to measure their local herd's progress toward the population objectives of increasing, decreasing or maintaining, and then apply management strategies accordingly. Each of the metrics provided in the system plays a role in deer management strategies, and this system allows users to easily discover information for their favorite deer management unit.
"The public sees what we see," said Wallenfang. "Our hope is that by using this system, people will take a greater interest and understanding in deer management and bring that knowledge to local CDAC meetings to help make informed recommendations in shaping the deer seasons."
This deer metrics system is unlike any other in the country and will provide anyone interested in deer management the opportunity to be better informed on their local deer herd. Users are encouraged to get more involved in local deer management through participation in County Deer Advisory Councils or the Deer Management Assistance Program.
Beginning March 13, County Deer Advisory Councils will hold their annual meetings to discuss key management actions for the 2017 deer hunting seasons. At these spring meetings, councils will review key deer metrics in order to develop preliminary antlerless harvest goals and antlerless tag level recommendations on public and private lands within their county.
Council members will also discuss options for additional deer hunting opportunities beyond the traditional seasons in 2017. Each CDAC meeting is open to the public - a statewide meeting schedule is available at dnr.wi.gov, keyword "CDAC." The councils will finalize their recommendations at meetings in late April following a public input period.
Councils will accept public comments at each meeting prior to forming both preliminary and final recommendations. Members of the public with an interest in deer management are encouraged to attend and provide feedback at any CDAC meeting or send comments to CDAC members.