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Cover of Spring 2020 issue

Spring 2020
Volume 44, Number 1

Contact information
For information on the magazine's webpage, contact:
Kathryn Kahler
Associate editor

A message from
Preston D. Cole

Photo of DNR Secretary-designee Preston Cole and Veteran Affairs Secretary Mary Kolar
DNR Secretary-designee Preston D. Cole and Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary Mary Kolar at the MacKenzie Center near Poynette.

Wisconsin's hunting legacy runs deep.

Every hunting trip creates a new memory and there's always a story to tell. As fall turns to winter, it is important to recognize the time-honored tradition of deer hunting in Wisconsin.

With an estimated 1.8 million deer on the landscape statewide, there were more hunting opportunities than ever for the state's annual nine-day gun deer season. For the first time in a decade, all Wisconsin counties had antlerless deer hunting opportunities, thanks to an abundant deer herd.

Everyone is welcome to join in the excitement of hunting in Wisconsin, from our youth to our veterans. The nine-day gun deer season takes place each November, the same month we salute our veterans and thank them for their service.

That's why myself and Mary Kolar, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, wanted to take time to acknowledge the veterans who hunt with a video message. You can find it on the DNR's YouTube channel –

As we take a moment to honor those who serve, I especially want to thank the veterans among our DNR staff. The commitment to public service ingrained at the DNR is no more evident than in the 201 staff members who are veterans, making up 5.5% of the DNR workforce. We are fortunate to have them as colleagues.

Wisconsin is ranked second among all states in the number of resident and non-resident hunters. Hunting is not only woven into the fabric of the state's culture, it is an important economic boost for local communities and the state.

For those of you who do hunt, I encourage you to take the time to introduce someone to your favorite sport. By doing so, you help protect Wisconsin's hunting heritage while at the same time enjoy the thrill of helping someone experience their first hunt.

Have no fear, dear reader, this issue highlights more than deer hunting. As I have shared before, Wisconsin is home to amazing natural resources. At the DNR, it is our job to protect those natural resources. This issue dives into the DNR's focus on clean drinking water, an irreplaceable resource, by looking at the work the department is doing to protect the water we drink.

In September, I sent a memo to DNR staff outlining the department's role in addressing climate change and clean energy. This issue explores what we are doing alongside other agencies to protect this state's great resources in a changing climate.

Other content includes stories on the mysteries of Mother Nature and how plants and animals endure Wisconsin winters, one woman's dedication to a bird rehab center, the conservation measures being used to help save one of the world's rarest butterflies and more.

Giving you an insider's view of the natural resources that make Wisconsin special, and introducing you to the people who protect them, is what this magazine is all about.

As always, from all of us at Wisconsin Natural Resources, thanks for reading.

Last revised: Tuesday December 03 2019