Contact(s): Lt. David Walz, DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement - based at Woodruff Service Center, 715-525-1393; Joanne M. Haas - DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement, 608-209-8147
Hunters and wildlife observers in three northern Wisconsin counties - Forest, Vilas and Oneida - are reminded deer baiting and feeding activities are prohibited, Wis. Department of Natural Resources law enforcement officials say.
DNR Conservation Warden David Walz of Woodruff says he understands how area residents may be confused in light of recent rule changes.
"However, in order to protect the state's natural resources - in this case, our white-tail deer population - it is important to follow these baiting and feeding bans in Vilas, Oneida and Forest counties," Walz said. "Looking beyond the borders of these counties, it is important for hunters and wildlife observers in all counties to follow the regulations of each county."
Walz says he sometimes gets questions about feeders for birds and other small mammals. "You may still feed the birds and small mammals, but citizens need to make sure these feeders are within 50 yards of the home and are at a height so a deer cannot access the feeders."
Also, Walz says there were changes to regulations earlier this fall which have affected 15 other counties where baiting and feeding was prohibited due to the presence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) or bovine tuberculosis. The following 15 counties previously subject to deer baiting and feeding prohibitions have changed back to regulated deer baiting and feeding as a result of this proposal's enactment: Barron, Burnett, Calumet, Clark, Dodge, Jackson, Kenosha, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Polk, Racine, Sheboygan, Washburn, Washington and Waushara.
Walz cautions that it remains important to remember that baiting and feeding restrictions remain in place for 28 CWD affected areas/counties, including Vilas, Oneida and Forest. "And none of these will be lifted this year."
The best idea, Walz says, is to check the county regulations that may prohibit baiting and feeding of deer. Information on this topic can be found on the DNR's website at dnr.wi.gov, keywords "baiting and feeding." More information regarding current baiting and feeding rules in response to CWD detections can be found at keyword "CWD."
During the 2017 deer hunting season, DNR will continue to sample deer within the Southern Farmland Zone and at select locations in the CWD-affected area. To learn more about the 2017 CWD surveillance plan, or for more information on CWD, search keyword "CWD." Hunters are reminded that the surveillance plan identifies where the Wisconsin DNR will be attempting to collect samples from deer however if hunters anywhere in the state are interested in having their animal tested, they should contact their local wildlife biologist for the county they are located.