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In-Person Deer Planning Public Meetings Canceled

Public Meetings Moved To Call-In Format Starting March 30; Call-In Meetings Open To Public; Online Public Comment Period Remains Unchanged

Spring County Deer Management meetings to develop antlerless harvest goals and season framework have been moved to conference calls due to the COVID-19 outbreak. - Photo credit: DNR
Spring County Deer Advisory Committee meetings to develop antlerless harvest goals and season framework for 2020 have been moved to conference calls due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Photo credit: DNR

Contact(s): Keith Warnke, Administrator Fish, Wildlife and Parks, 608-576-5243 or Eric Lobner, Bureau Director Wildlife Management, 608-235-0860 or
March 23, 2020 at 2:33:44 pm

MADISON, Wis. - In light of COVID-19, the Department of Natural Resources will suspend in-person County Deer Advisory Council meetings planned for discussing this year's deer season antlerless permit recommendations and will instead use a call-in format. Meeting dates and times [PDF] have not changed, and meetings remain open to the public.

Wisconsin's hunting legacy runs deep. Everyone has a say about the deer herd in Wisconsin and the DNR wants to hear from you. Between March 30 and April 9, each county will host a call-in meeting talking about harvest goals for 2020. Anyone interested in listening to their county's call can join the meeting by phone from the comfort of home.

The agenda for each county meeting will include the development of antlerless harvest goals and season framework recommendations for the 2020 deer season to achieve each county's deer population objective. Options under discussion include the antlerless deer harvest quota and various season framework options such as offering the holiday hunt or extended archery/crossbow seasons.

Presentations by DNR wildlife biologists normally given in-person at these meetings will be available on the DNR website by March 26. Meeting schedules and call-in numbers can also be found online here. After meetings conclude, meeting summaries with preliminary recommendations will also be posted on the DNR website.

All council meetings are open to the public. Due to the facilitation limitations of call-in meetings, public comments will not be taken on the call. Instead, anyone wishing to provide feedback will be asked to do so using the online public input form available on the DNR website from April 16-29.

Each county in Wisconsin has a County Deer Advisory Council to provide input and recommendations to the department on deer management within their county. Councils work with local department staff to schedule meetings, provide community outreach and an opportunity for public input, review population data and deer impacts on forests and agriculture, develop three-year recommendations on county population objectives and create annual antlerless harvest quotas.

A second round of meetings will take place in May, during which council members will review public comment and make final recommendations for the 2020 deer season. No meetings will be held in person for as long as the public health emergency lasts. The decision to host May's meetings in-person or by phone will be made closer to the date.

The DNR will review final County Deer Advisory Council recommendations following the May meetings and provide recommendations to the Natural Resources Board for approval in June. Questions about this updated process can be sent via email to

Last Revised: Monday, March 23, 2020

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