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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published November 22, 2011

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2012 spring turkey, black bear permit application deadline Dec. 10

MADISON - Wild turkey and black bear hunters have until close of business on Dec. 10 to apply for available permits for the 2012 Wisconsin spring turkey hunting season and the 2012 black bear hunting season.

Preliminary permit levels for the spring turkey season are set at 225,420 total permits (not including Fort McCoy or State Park & Disabled-only Hunting Zones). This is the same number of permits available to hunters during the 2011 spring season. Final permit levels are not set until after the close of the fall turkey season but will likely not differ significantly from preliminary permit levels.

Total permits available for the 2012 black bear hunt has not yet been determined. The Natural Resources Board will take up the proposed black bear quotas and harvest permit levels at its January 2012 meeting.

Applications for each of these two permit drawings cost $3 and may be purchased through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website, at all authorized license agents, at DNR Service Centers (Hours for service centers vary; check the DNR website for service center days and hours of operation; DNR Service Centers are not open on Saturdays), or by calling toll-free 1-877-LICENSE (1-877-945-4236). Applications postmarked after the December 10th deadline, or those which have been filled out incorrectly, will not be considered for the drawings.

Hunters interested in receiving email updates can sign up for the DNR's GovDelivery service through the "Subscribe to DNR Updates" link on the DNR website. There, you can select your subscription preferences.

Spring 2012 turkey hunting periods extended to seven days

The 2012 spring turkey season officially begins with the April 7-8 Spring Turkey Youth Hunt. The regular turkey season begins on the following Wednesday, April 11. New in 2012, the spring season will consist of six 7-day time periods, ending on May 22. Previously the season was six 5-day periods. The drawing for permits will take place in late January or early February. Successful permit applicants can expect to receive a postcard by mid-February. All applicants may also check their drawing status online through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website starting in mid-February.

With the start of the 2012 license year on March 7, 2012, permit winners may then purchase their required 2012 Spring Turkey License ($15 for Wisconsin residents and $60 for non-residents) and 2012 Wild Turkey Stamp ($5.25). The permit (also known as a carcass tag) will be printed at the time of purchase. Conservation Patrons and Senior Citizen Recreation Card holders do not need to purchase a turkey license or stamp when they go to pick up their permit.

Permits remaining after the initial drawing for the 2012 spring turkey season will be available for purchase in late March, at a date to be specified later.

All turkey hunters are reminded that in-person turkey registration stations are no longer available in Wisconsin. Turkeys can be registered either via telephone at 1-888-HUNT-WIS or online through the Wild Turkey Hunting in Wisconsin page of the DNR website. These registration systems were in implemented with the Fall 2011 turkey season, and offer hunters a more convenient method of registering their turkey.

Applications for special turkey hunts for hunters with disabilities also due Dec. 10

Applications for people who want to conduct or participate in a spring wild turkey hunt for people with disabilities on private land must also be submitted by Dec. 10 to the local DNR wildlife biologist or department office for the county within which the hunt will take place. Please note that any hunter applicant who applies for a disabled turkey hunt on private lands using the above forms may NOT also apply for a permit through the regular spring turkey drawing.

Black bear

The 2012 black bear season begins Sept. 5, the first Wednesday after Labor Day, and runs through Oct. 9. The opening week of Wisconsin's bear hunting season alternates - allowing those who hunt over bait to go first one year and those who hunt with the aid of dogs to go first the next year. In 2012, hunters who hunt over bait will go first in all management zones; the season for those hunting with the aid of dogs or using other methods will open Sept. 12 in zones that allow hunting with the aid of dogs (A,B, and D). In Zone C, where hunting with dogs is prohibited, hunters may hunt bear over bait or by other means not using dogs from September 5th through Oct. 9.

There were 27,793 hunters who submitted applications for the 9,005 Class A bear harvest permits available for the 2011 bear season. A total of 103,853 hunters applied for either a harvest permit or a preference point in 2011.

Applicants currently need to have collected between four and nine preference points in order to successfully draw a bear harvest permit. Hunters can check their preference point status in one of three ways: by visiting the Online Licensing Center, by calling Customer Service & Licensing toll-free at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463), or by contacting a local DNR Service Center.

The bear drawing is held each year in early February. Drawing winners will be notified via U.S. Mail shortly after the drawing. Drawing winners may purchase their 2012 Class A bear license beginning March 7, the start of the 2012 license year.

Total permit availability for the 2012 black bear season has not yet been determined. Proposed quota and permit levels will be taken up by the State Natural Resources Board at its January 2012 meeting.

More information on black bear hunting is available on the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: on spring turkey hunting contact Scott Walter, Upland Wildlife Ecologist - (608) 267-7861 or Sharon Fandel, Assistant Upland Wildlife Ecologist - (608) 261-8456; on black bear hunting contact: Linda Olver, Assistant Big Game Specialist - (608) 261-7588



Muzzleloader season underway after regular deer season

December antlerless season also ahead

MADISON - The close of the nine-day gun deer hunt also signals the opening of the 10-day, muzzleloader deer hunt that runs from Nov. 28 through Dec. 7. The muzzleloader hunt is statewide with the exception of most state parks. There is also an ongoing deer hunting season through Dec. 7 in designated metropolitan, or metro, units due to higher deer populations near some urban areas. Check the current deer hunting regulations for details.

Following the muzzleloader hunt is a four-day antlerless deer hunt running Dec. 8 through 11 statewide except in state parks and in Menominee County.

All hunters are reminded that blaze orange clothing requirements are in place whenever any gun deer season is open.

License sales officials say there are unit-specific antlerless deer tags are still available for some regular units. Permits are $5 for 10 and 11 year olds, $12 for residents and $20 for the nonresidents. Antlerless deer tags for herd control units and earn-a-buck units are available for $2 each.

Visit the deer hunting pages of the DNR Web site for details on license requirements, permit availability, bag limits and harvest rules. For additional questions call the toll free 1-888-WDNR-INFo (888-936-7463) line for answers. The line is staffed 7a.m. to 10 p.m. 7-days per week

More information on a muzzleloader hunting is available on the law enforcement pages of the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Dan Hirchert (608) 264-6023 or Bob Manwell - (608) 264-9248



Lots of hunting left, many antlerless deer permits available, consider donating venison

"What a great opening weekend!" Kurt Thiede, DNR administrator

MADISON - "'Trophy' can mean different things to different people; whether it's the buck of a lifetime, a young buck, a first deer or an antlerless deer," said Kurt Thiede, Department of Natural Resources administrator of the wildlife management program. "The important thing is that folks participated this past weekend and many were successful...that is what will keep our hunting tradition strong in this state."

With another five days left in the popular gun deer season that includes what is a long Thanksgiving weekend for many people, there is a lot of hunting opportunity left according to Thiede. The traditional nine-day gun hunt runs through Sunday Nov. 27.

"If you hunt in an area where you saw a lot of antlerless deer on opening weekend, which may be in the chronic wasting disease management zone or in a herd control unit and you have an antlerless tag available, please consider filling that tag," says Thiede. "Many units still have antlerless tags available and they can be purchased from our license vendors. In addition to the rest of this regular deer gun season, we also have the four-day early December antlerless gun hunt, the 10-day muzzleloader hunt, the late archery season, and in the CWD zones - the Holiday hunt. Food pantries are looking for donations."

Thiede encourages hunters to donate deer to the state's venison donation program. Early donations are running slower than in past years - perhaps because of having no earn-a-buck this year -- but demand is strong for the high quality food. Wisconsin meat processors and civic groups all across Wisconsin participate in the program. There is no cost to hunters other than transporting a deer carcass to a registration station and then to a participating processor.

"Your harvest can be donated to help feed the hungry or, it could mean a little extra free range and lean meat for your freezer, or maybe some always popular venison sausage," says Thiede. "Also, it truly helps keep our valuable deer herd in balance and healthy.

Jerry Stoddard, owner of Stoddard Country Grove Market in Cottage Grove, and Dick Dickman, owner of Dick's Quality Meats in Mt. Horeb, participate in the pantry donation program which provides venison to local food pantries.

"In the past, people have been really good about donating," Dickman said. This fall, Dickman said that the number of deer being brought to his market during archery season have been good. "They're out there," said Dickman. "And they're all big deer."

Once the venison is processed, community groups assist in distributing the packages of ground venison to food pantries

Michelle Friedrich with the Southwest Community Action Partnership (SWCAP) in Dodgeville and the Target Hunger point person stresses the need for deer donation. "Being able to provide venison to needy families helps to fill a very real need," she said. "When we have venison, it flies out the door." Last year, Target Hunger received more than 58,000 pounds of venison from 1,300 donated deer. Their goal is to reach 2,000 deer donations this season.

A list of participating processors is available online. Hunters are encouraged to call ahead to check business hours and if the processor has space available.

Pantry donation locations within the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone (CWD-MZ) will also sample and register deer. The DNR recommends that hunters who wish to donate a deer that was harvested in the CWD-MZ take it to a processor who operates within the CWD-MZ as well.

"We skin them, bone them and freeze them in crates with the registration tags," says Stoddard of a testing process that determines if the deer has CWD. If the test is negative the meat is ground into hamburger for distribution or if positive it is disposed of in an approved manner.

"It's a great program and food pantries really, really appreciate it," says Dickman who gives all of his donated venison to SWCAP. "It's all being done right," he adds.

"With the big opening day behind us, and as we look ahead to the rest of the fall and winter, please consider taking to the field with family and friends to extend the tradition a while longer," says Thiede. "So as this deer season rolls on I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving, and of course....Go Packers, Go Badgers, and Go Hunting!"

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kurt Thiede - (608) 266-5833 or Bob Manwell - (608) 264-9248



2011 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Gold Seal Award winners

MADISON - Wisconsin offers many picturesque places to take in fall colors, but this year the Stower Serven Lakes Trail in Polk County was selected as offering the best fall color viewing in the 2011 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Gold Seal Award contest.

Each summer, the statewide friends group invites campers, bikers, hunters, hikers and anglers to vote on their favorite features at the state parks and trails they visit. Votes are cast through the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks website (exit DNR), counted up and Gold Seal awards are presented each year at the Friends annual meeting in mid-October.

The other winners of the Gold Seal Awards for 201w are:

In addition to the Gold Seals, the statewide Friends of Wisconsin State Parks will be recognizing a DNR land manager, a local Friends group, and a Friends member with State Park Hero awards. These awards showcase the terrific leadership and exemplary service of individuals and groups that selflessly supporting the State Park System in 2011

The winners of the State Park Hero Awards are:

All awardees were honored at the FWSP annual meeting and awards ceremony Oct. 21 at the Lussier Family Heritage Center in Madison. Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp provided opening remarks for the Annual Awards Banquet. Tracey Schwalbe, President of FWSP Board of Directors, Dan Schuller, DNR Parks Director and Peter Beirmeier, DNR Parks Section Chief presented the awards.

The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks has worked to promote, protect, preserve, restore, and enhance the State Park System over the last decade in order to protect state parks and their resources for future generations.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Patty Loosen - Friends of Wisconsin State Parks coordinator, (608) 264-8994



Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council award nominations due Dec. 30

MADISON -- The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council is looking to recognize outstanding individuals, organizations, communities and tribes whose efforts have supported and furthered urban forestry in the state. Award winners are announced in February.

Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council Awards are presented in five categories:

The deadline for nominations is Dec. 30. Nominations should include the following information: award category or categories; complete contact information (including names, addresses and telephone numbers) for the individual(s), organization, group and/or project being nominated, along with contact information for the person(s) who can provide information about the nomination; and a description of the merits of the nominee and/or the achievements of the project or partnership, including any supporting documents (news clippings, photographs, letters, etc.) that show why the nominee is deserving of the award.

People who know of an individual or project of merit but don't have the support materials should submit the name and contact information and the UF Council will follow up and request additional support materials.

Information can be sent to the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707, or e-mailed to Forestry Division's council liaison Laura Wyatt at Additional information about the awards and previous winners is available on the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council page of the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Laura Wyatt (608) 267-0568


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, November 22, 2011

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