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NEWS ARCHIVE:     Age: 578 days

Weekly News Published October 30, 2018


Deer season media packet now available

Contact(s): Sawyer Briel, DNR communications, 608-282-5334

MADISON - With the archery and crossbow deer hunting seasons well underway, the 2018 deer season media packet is now available online.

Following this initial version, the packet may be updated with more information as the nine-day gun deer hunt approaches. The current version of the 2018 media packet can be found at, keywords "Wild Wisconsin" and "deer" - scroll to the bottom of the each page and select the tab labeled "2018 Deer Season Media Packet."

The 2018 deer season media packet contains the following information:

For more helpful deer season content, check out the Wild Wisconsin web and podcast series -Department of Natural Resources staff cover everything from field dressing to public land hunting. All series segments can be found at keywords "Wild Wisconsin."

Deer Hunt 2018

For hunters who take their phone with them in the field, don't forget to download the department's new free hunting app - Hunt Wild Wisconsin. From mobile mapping to shooting hours on the go, this app will help hunters improve their time in the outdoors. A helpful tutorial is also available online. Visit and search keywords "hunt app" to learn more.

For more info throughout deer season, be sure to follow DNR on our social media pages - visit and search keyword "connect." Here's to a safe and successful deer season!



Season two of Wild Wisconsin web series gives hunters access to wealth of helpful information

Contact(s): Sawyer Briel, DNR communications, 608-282-5334

MADISON - The world of hunting is changing, and Department of Natural Resources staff are hard at work to make sure Wisconsin's hunters have the resources they need for a safe and successful deer season.

2018 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Forecast

Wild Wisconsin is your ticket to enjoying the outdoors this fall. Web series segments, podcasts and more - all at your fingertips. With help from Vortex Optics, Mayville Engineering Company Shooting Sports and The Hunting Public, Wild Wisconsin is back for year two.

Whether hunters prefer to watch all segments at once, catch one or two before their hunt, or listen to podcasts, Wild Wisconsin has it all. Topics range from public land hunting tips to chronic wasting disease and what it means for Wisconsin's deer herd.

Wild Wisconsin main series segments - these segments provide a quick overview of helpful hunting-related topics:

Wild Wisconsin bonus segments - a more in-depth look at CWD, public land hunting and more:

For even more hunting content, be sure to check out the Wild Wisconsin: Off the Record podcast - topics covered include a deer hunting forecast, public land hunting guide and much more. The podcast series is available on iTunes (search "Wild Wisconsin), Stitcher (search "Wild Wisconsin) and YouTube.

Deer Hunt 2018

All web series segments and podcasts, along with wild game recipes and much more, can be found at, keywords "Wild Wisconsin." Be sure to follow DNR's Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter pages for more Wild Wisconsin throughout Fall hunting seasons.



Hunt Wild Wisconsin mobile application has everything hunters need to take their time in the outdoors to the next level

Contact(s): Scott Karel, 608-267-2452

MADISON - New for Fall 2018, the Hunt Wild Wisconsin mobile application has everything hunters need to improve their time in the outdoors.

"Hunt Wild Wisconsin is going to help our hunters from day one - they can find new public lands, take a look at the regulations, and much more - all in one place," said DNR Secretary Dan Meyer. "This is something our staff have worked extremely hard to roll out for fall hunting seasons - I think people are going to love using this app. Find new public lands to explore, brush up on the regulations, or listen to podcasts - users can do it all with Hunt Wild Wisconsin. With mobile mapping, up to the minute shooting hours, and much more, we've given you all the tools to focus on what's important - enjoying your time in the outdoors."

To download this free hunting app on a mobile phone, simply search "Hunt Wild Wisconsin" in the iTunes app store or Google Play store on the mobile device. Be sure to check out a helpful tutorial to help navigate the app and learn its features.

This free mobile app has tons of features that will help improve your time in the field:

Hunt Wild Wisconsin App

For users with Android phones, it is important to note that this app is primarily intended for Android versions 8.0 and above. Android phones with version 7.0 may not have access to some mapping capabilities within the app and Android versions 6.0 and below will be unable to install the application - this is to help ensure a quality experience for our users. For support regarding the Hunt Wild Wisconsin mobile application, contact

Find download information and a tutorial by searching the DNR website,, for keywords "hunt app."



Preliminary 2018 Wisconsin black bear harvest numbers available

Contact(s): Scott Walter, DNR Large Carnivore Specialist, 608-267-7865; Maggie Stewart, DNR Assistant Large Carnivore Specialist, 608-261-7588

MADISON - Preliminary registration numbers show hunters harvested 3,685 black bears during the 2018 Wisconsin bear hunting seasons. This represents a decrease of 11 percent from the 4,136 black bears harvested in 2017.

"Wisconsin's bear population remains healthy, and the 2018 season again provided hunters excellent opportunities to share time in the woods with family and friends," said Scott Walter, large carnivore specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "The slight decline in harvest this year was to some extent expected, as we reduced the harvest quota in 3 of our 4 bear management zones to achieve population management goals.

While reports from hunters during the season were varied, hunter success was very similar to previous years across most of the state, with over half of hunters in most areas harvesting a bear. Zone C, which includes central and southern Wisconsin saw just over half the quota harvested, with 9 percent of hunters registering bears.

"Data provided by hunters through registration really serves as the backbone of our bear population management process, and we appreciate their commitment to sound, science-based management," said Walter.

Zone-specific preliminary registration information is as follows:


Preliminary Harvest

Percent of Quota Harvested

Hunter Success Rate



94 percent

53 percent



83 percent

56 percent



55 percent

9 percent



91 percent

51 percent

Interest in black bear hunting continues to increase in Wisconsin, with over 124,000 hunters applying for either a harvest permit or preference point for the 2018 season.

"With participation in many forms of hunting on the decline, the passion Wisconsin bear hunters have for our bear resource, the hunting experience, and for introducing new hunters to the outdoors is wonderful to see," said Walter. "Now is definitely an exciting time for Wisconsin's bear program. We've got new population monitoring tools in development, an extremely engaged community of bear hunters, and a healthy and expanding bear population."

For more information regarding black bears and bear hunting in Wisconsin, visit and search keyword "bear."



2018-19 ruffed grouse hunting season shortened in Zone A

Contact(s): Mark Witecha, DNR upland wildlife ecologist, 608-267-7861; Jaqi Christopher, DNR assistant upland wildlife ecologist, 608-261-8458

MADISON - An emergency rule is now in effect to move the season closing date for ruffed grouse hunting in Zone A from Jan. 31, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2018.

Ruffed grouse zone map - Photo credit: DNR
Ruffed grouse zone mapPhoto credit: DNR

The ruffed grouse season opened Sept.15 in Zone A. The change does not impact season dates for Zone B, which runs from Oct. 20 to Dec. 8, 2018. Bag limits remain at five birds in Zone A and three birds in Zone B.

Emergency rules are effective for 150 days, so the early closure only applies to the 2018-19 season. Department of Natural Resources staff have begun working with partners on a statewide ruffed grouse management plan that will outline the future of ruffed grouse management in Wisconsin. This plan is expected to be completed in early 2020.

The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board approved this emergency rule at its Sept. 26 meeting. For more information regarding ruffed grouse hunting in Wisconsin, search the DNR website,, for "ruffed grouse."



$5.7 million available for wetland restoration projects; apply through December 14

Contact(s): Josh Brown, DNR wetland program coordinator, 608-266-1902,

MADISON - Conservation groups, private landowners and government organizations are encouraged to apply for a share of $5.7 million from the Wisconsin Wetland Conservation Trust available to complete wetland mitigation projects. Proposals for the current round of funding are due Dec. 14, 2018 and can be used to cover all aspects of restoration including land purchases, site construction and long-term maintenance and monitoring.

"We look forward to working with new partners to restore wetland functions and ecosystem services that will benefit local watersheds and communities alike," said Tom Pearce, WWCT project manager for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

More than $2 million of this funding comes from Foxconn as its required payment into the WWCT for mitigating wetlands at a 2:1 acre ratio. This portion of the funding will be targeted to mitigation projects in southeast Wisconsin, specifically the Upper Illinois service area and the Southwestern Lake Michigan service area.

Created in 2014, the WWCT allows for the purchase of wetland mitigation credits as specified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Wisconsin DNR wetland permits. The funds generated from credit sales then help offset the cost of wetland restoration projects. Funds are awarded to applicants through a competitive request for proposal, or RFP process. The DNR administers the funding program.

The WWCT will issue quarterly RFPs beginning Jan. 1, 2019 as funds become available. This abbreviated fall RFP is meant to inform potential applicants of current funding opportunities as soon as possible as the WWCT transitions to the new quarterly schedule.

The Trust is currently funding wetland restoration projects on more than 450 acres statewide with work on these projects continuing this year.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Josh Brown at 608-266-1902 or, to discuss possible projects. Additional information can be found by visiting the DNR website,, and searching "WWCT."



Pond owners urged to dispose of ornamental aquatic plants properly

Contact(s): Alex Selle, aquatic invasive species coordinator, DNR West Central Region, 715-831-3278 or

MADISON - With winter fast approaching, many pond owners are clearing out ornamental aquatic plants and animals before their ponds freeze over. But some plants, like water hyacinth, water lettuce and parrot feather, that can make a pond beautiful and healthy in the summer are non-native and highly invasive species and should not be thrown away into lakes, rivers or wetlands. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources urges pond owners to properly dispose of these aquatic invaders.

"Water gardeners love these plants because they are easy to care for and grow, but they may not be aware that they are also prohibited species in Wisconsin and can potentially block waterways and choke out native habitats," says Alex Selle, an aquatic invasive species coordinator for the DNR West-Central Region.

Water hyacinth - Photo credit: DNR
Water hyacinth can form dense colonies that cover entire ponds and lakes making boating, fishing and other water activities difficultPhoto credit: DNR

If released into natural waterways, these plants can reproduce very quickly and potentially produce thousands of seeds that can be spread by wind or water. Left uncontrolled, the plants can form dense colonies that cover entire ponds and lakes making boating, fishing and other water activities difficult. These dense colonies can also degrade water quality by reducing oxygen levels during dieback important for fish and blocking sunlight that keeps native aquatic plants alive.

"The best way to dispose of your aquatic pond plants is to drain as much water from them as possible, bag them and dispose in your garbage pick-up," Selle says. The bag will keep any plant fragments, like leaves, roots and seeds, from dispersing when the plants dry out.

There are ways you can help prevent the spread of aquatic plants commonly used in aquaculture:

DNR staff request that anyone who sees any of these invasive species while enjoying the natural areas of Wisconsin, report the location using the agency's online reporting form. For more information search the DNR website,, for aquatic invasive species.


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, October 30, 2018

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