Bonus fall turkey harvest authorizations begins Aug. 18

MADISON, WI - New for 2018, one fall turkey harvest authorization is issued to each person purchasing a fall turkey license or conservation patron license, instead of being issued through a drawing.
Hunters can choose the zone for which their harvest authorization will be valid at the time of purchase.
Bonus fall turkey harvest authorizations can be purchased in addition to the fall turkey harvest authorization included with a license purchase. The bonus harvest authorization sale begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 18, availability is as follows:
* Zone 1: 5,000.
* Zone 2: 1,000.
* Zone 3: 5,000.
* Zone 4: 2,000.
* Zone 5: 0.
* Zone 6: 0.
* Zone 7: 0.
Bonus harvest authorizations are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. They can be purchased at a rate of one per day until the zone sells out or the season ends. The cost is $10 for residents, $15 for nonresidents, and $5 for hunters under 12 years old. An annual turkey stamp authorization is required to hunt turkeys.
Hunters can purchase their bonus harvest authorization in person at any license agent or online at GoWild.wi.gov. Hunters can purchase their fall turkey license and claim their fall harvest authorization anytime throughout the fall turkey season. Please note that customers who wish to purchase a bonus authorization will need to first purchase a fall turkey license and claim their harvest authorization.
The fall 2018 wild turkey season for Zones 1-5 is Sept. 15, to Jan. 6, 2019. For zones 6 and 7, the season runs from Sept. 15, to Nov. 16.
Availability for bonus harvest authorizations is determined by a variety of factors, including hunting pressure, customer demand, habitat availability, turkey population densities and turkey distribution in each zone.
The fall turkey regulations can be found within the 2018 Wisconsin Small Game Hunting Regulations [PDF]. For more information regarding turkey hunting in Wisconsin, visit dnr.wi.gov and search "turkey."

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Minnesota DNR invites public to attend deer open houses

Anyone interested in deer can talk with area wildlife managers from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at meetings scheduled across the state.
The meetings are meant to encourage discussions about deer and deer management, enhance local relationships and foster two-way communication.  
These area-level engagement meetings organized by the DNR are one of the first steps identified for implementing the state’s new White-tailed Deer Management Plan.
”The format of the meetings will be similar to the ones held in April, when our draft plan was released,” said Erik Thorson, DNR acting big game program leader. “The focus this time will be on the upcoming deer season, progress in meeting population goals, local DNR management efforts and listening to citizen suggestions on improving deer management.”
These local open-house style meetings will provide hunters and others interested in deer a forum for sharing their observations, talking to DNR wildlife managers, reviewing new deer-related information – including the final deer plan – and discussing options for the future. No formal presentations have been planned, so people can arrive any time during the scheduled meeting times.
The DNR encourages anyone who can’t attend a scheduled meeting to contact a local wildlife manager for additional information or to address any questions about deer management. A list of area wildlife offices is available online at mndnr.gov/areas/wildlife.
More information about the state’s deer management plan is available at mndnr.gov/deerplan.

Meeting details
* Aitkin: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, Aitkin Area Office, 1200 Minnesota Ave.
* Altura: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, Whitewater Wildlife Management Area Headquarters, 15035 Highway 74.
* Baudette: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, Baudette High School AV Room, 236 15th Ave. SW.
* Bemidji: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, Bemidji City Hall, 317 4th St. NW.
* Brainerd: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, Brainerd area DNR Office, 1601 Minnesota Drive.
* Cambridge: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, Cambridge area DNR Office, 800 Oak Savanna Lane SW.
* Cloquet: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, Cloquet Area DNR Office, 1604 Highway 33 S.
* Detroit Lakes: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, Detroit Lakes Area DNR Office Conference Room, 14583 County Highway 19.
* Fergus Falls: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, Fergus Falls Office DNR Conference Room, 1509 1st Ave. N.
* Forest Lake: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, Carlos Avery WMA Headquarters, 5463 W. Broadway Ave.
* Glenwood: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, Glenwood DNR Office Conference Room, 23070 N. Lakeshore Drive.
* Grand Rapids: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, Grand Rapids Regional DNR Office, 1201 East Highway 2.
* International Falls: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, International Falls Area DNR Office, 392 East Highway 11.
* Lake Bronson: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, Lake Bronson State Park Visitor’s Center, 3793 230th St.
* Little Falls: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, Little Falls Area DNR Office, 16543 Haven Road.
* McIntosh: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, McIntosh Community Center, 240 Cleveland Ave. SW.
* Middle River: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, Thief Lake Area DNR Office, 42280 240th Ave. NE.
* Minneota: 7-9 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27, Southwest Sportsmen’s Club, 3467 State Highway 68.
* New London: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, DNR Wildlife Office (Sibley State Park), 398 Sibley Park Road.
* Onamia: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, Mille Lacs WMA Headquarters, 29172 100th Ave.
* Park Rapids: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, Park Rapids Area Library, 210 W. 1st St.
* Rochester: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, Willow Creek Middle School Cafeteria, 615 7th St. SW.
* Roseau: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, Roseau County Courthouse, 606 5th Ave. SW.
* Rosemount: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, Vermillion WMA Office, 15325 Babcock Ave.
* Sauk Rapids: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, Sauk Rapids Area DNR Office, 1035 S. Benton Drive.
* Shakopee: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, Shakopee Area DNR Office, 7050 East Highway 101.
* Slayton: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, Slayton Pizza Ranch, 2306 Broadway Ave.
* St. Paul: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, DNR Central Office, 500 Lafayette Road.
* Thief River Falls: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, TRF Joint Operations Conference Room, 246 125th Ave. NE.
* Tower: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, Tower Area DNR Office, 650 Highway 169.
* Two Harbors: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, Two Harbors Area DNR Office, 1568 Highway 2.
* Warroad: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, Warroad DNR Forestry meeting room, 804 Cherne Drive NE.
* Waterville: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, Waterville Fish Hatchery, 50317 Fish Hatchery Road.
* Watson: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, Appleton/Lac qui Parle DNR Headquarters, 14047 20th St. NW.
* Windom: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, Windom Community Center, 1750 Cottonwood Lake Drive.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


Apply by Aug. 17 for Camp Ripley archery hunts

Hunters can apply through Friday, Aug. 17, for the regular archery deer hunts at Camp Ripley near Little Falls.
Apply online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense, by phone at 888-665-4236 or in person wherever Minnesota hunting and fishing licenses are sold.
Hunters may pick from only one of two hunting seasons: Oct. 18-19 (Thur.-Fri., code 668) or Oct. 27-28 (Sat.-Sun., code 669). A total of 4,000 permits, with 2,000 per two-day hunt, will be made available. The bag limit for this year’s hunt is two, and bonus permits may be used to take antlerless deer.
The archery hunt at Camp Ripley is an annual event. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources coordinates the hunt in collaboration with the Department of Military Affairs and the Central Lakes College Natural Resources Department. Visit mndnr.gov/hunting/deer to find additional rules and instructions for this year’s hunt.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


Bonus antlerless deer harvest authorizations available Aug. 13

MADISON, WI - Wisconsin bonus antlerless harvest authorizations (formerly known as tags) will be available for purchase starting Monday, Aug. 13, at 10 a.m., through the Go Wild website and license sales locations.
The fall deer hunt is just around the corner - visit dnr.wi.gov, keyword "deer" and prepare for another season in the woods.
Bonus antlerless harvest authorizations will be sold at a rate of one per person per day until sold out or until the 2018 deer hunting season ends. The cost is $12 each for Wisconsin residents, $20 each for non-residents and $5 each for youth ages 11 and under.
For a list of units with bonus antlerless harvest authorizations available for purchase, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "bonus availability." These and all other deer hunting licenses and harvest authorizations are available online through the Go Wild website, GoWild.WI.gov or at any of more than 1,000 Go Wild license sales locations.
To prepare for the sale, each day at 9:45 a.m., an online queuing system will be put in place to manage volume in the Go Wild system. At 10 a.m., all online users that are on the site will be randomly assigned a number and staged into a "virtual" line regardless of the actual time you entered into the system. There is no advantage for customers who enter the site before 9:45 a.m. Please note that customers entering the site after the randomization that occurs at 10 a.m., will be added to the end of "virtual" line in the order in which they arrive. All visitors to the site during this time period will experience the queuing system.
When you access the Go Wild site, follow the prompts until you reach your personalized dashboard. To purchase a bonus antlerless harvest authorization, click the "Buy Licenses" button from the dashboard to open the sales catalog - from there, you will find the Bonus Antlerless Harvest Authorization at the very top of the list. If you haven't had the chance to get your license in advance, Go Wild can help you purchase one after you select the Bonus Antlerless Harvest Authorization.
Hunters will need to know the deer management zone, unit, and determine whether they will hunt on public or private land in order to make their purchase.
The first three days of bonus sales are management zone-specific and will be available as follows:
* Aug. 13, 10 a.m. - Northern and Central Forest (Zone 1);
* Aug. 14, 10 a.m.- Central Farmland (Zone 2);
* Aug. 15, 10 a.m.- Southern Farmland (Zone 2); and
* Aug. 16, 10 a.m. - remaining bonus harvest authorizations (all zones).
As a reminder, Farmland (Zone 2) antlerless harvest authorizations are now available for distribution. A Farmland (Zone 2) antlerless harvest authorization is included with the purchase of each deer hunting license in units that offer them. Some units will offer more than one with each deer license.

GovDelivery

Those interested in receiving occasional email reminders can sign up to receive messages about season dates, license and harvest authorization types, and other information. Visit dnr.wi.gov and click on the email icon near the bottom of the page for "subscribe for updates for DNR topics," then follow the prompts and select a list of your choice.
For more information regarding deer hunting in Wisconsin, search keyword "deer."

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Minnesota deer hunters have more opportunities this fall

Additional deer hunting opportunities are available this fall because numbers continue to rebound across Minnesota and now many areas have populations at or above goal levels, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
“Deer populations have responded well to favorable winter weather and our generally conservative harvest levels in recent years,” said Erik Thorson, acting big game program leader for the DNR. “So we have been able to expand hunting opportunities once again in much of the state in order to reduce populations or stabilize growth.”
This year, there are more deer permit areas where hunters can use bonus permits to harvest more than one deer, and fewer areas where hunters need to apply in a lottery to shoot an antlerless deer.
Mandatory testing for chronic wasting disease (CWD) continues this year: in the disease management zone (deer permit area 603) during all deer seasons; in most permit areas in southeastern Minnesota during the first two days of both the A (Nov. 3 and 4) and 3B (Nov. 17 and 18) firearm seasons; and in several deer permit areas in Crow Wing and Meeker county areas in north-central and central Minnesota during the first two days of the A firearms season.
Hunters could buy deer licenses and apply to the lottery for antlerless deer permits beginning Wednesday, Aug. 1. The deadline to apply for the antlerless permit lottery is Thursday, Sept. 6. Archery deer season opens Saturday, Sept. 15, and firearms deer season opens Saturday, Nov. 3.
Every year harvest regulations are reviewed, taking a wide variety of information into consideration. Wildlife research scientists use the previous year’s harvest data, winter severity, aerial survey information where available and other information to estimate late winter deer abundance in each permit area. These estimates are compared to established population goals for each area, and along with observations from DNR area wildlife managers, hunters, farmers, foresters and others, form the basis for final season recommendations.
“As part of our new statewide White-tailed Deer Management Plan, we are scheduling local meetings across the state for citizens, including hunters, to come and discuss deer hunting regulations and management with area DNR wildlife managers,” Thorson said.
The regulations for each of Minnesota’s deer permit areas are set to manage populations toward goals established for each area. These goals are based on information from the DNR and local citizens through a periodic public goal-setting process.  
In just one of the state’s 130 permit areas, only bucks can be hunted. In 39 areas, hunters must be chosen in a lottery to harvest an antlerless deer (down from 48 areas last year). In 36 areas, hunters have the choice of harvesting a doe or a buck (down from 38 areas last year). Bonus permits allowing hunters to harvest more than one deer may be used in 54 permit areas (up from 43 areas last year) and for most special hunts. Four permit areas in southeastern Minnesota will also be open again for an early antlerless-only hunt in October.

Buying a license

Hunters who purchase a license by Sept. 6, are automatically entered into the lottery for an antlerless permit. Those who do not wish to harvest an antlerless deer are encouraged to purchase their license after the lottery deadline.
Hunters may apply using both their firearm and muzzleloader licenses. If a hunter is selected for both licenses, only one antlerless deer can be taken.
Deer hunting licenses, lottery applications and special hunt applications are available at any DNR license agent, by telephone at 888-646-6367 or online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense. Lottery winners will be notified in October.

Permit area changes

Changes to permit area boundaries made last year remain in effect this year. In southeastern Minnesota, portions of permit areas 347 and 348 were merged to form permit area 603 when CWD was detected. In northeastern Minnesota’s moose range, all or some of permit areas 122, 127, 176, 178, 180 and 181 from 2016 were realigned to form permit areas 130, 131, 132 and 133.

Southeast Minnesota CWD sampling

Mandatory CWD testing of deer harvested within the disease management zone – deer permit area 603 – throughout all hunting seasons continues this year. Carcass movement restrictions remain in place until a test result is reported due to continued infection found in this area.
Sampling of hunter-harvested deer for CWD will be mandatory during the first two days of both the A (Nov. 3 and 4) and 3B (Nov. 17 and 18) firearm seasons this year in most permit areas in southeastern Minnesota. Those areas are 255 (Nov. 3 and 4 only), 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348 and 349 (Nov. 3-4 and Nov. 17-18). This expanded area is due to the discovery of CWD in nine farmed deer in Winona County, two wild deer in Forestville State Park and a wild deer in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin.

North-central and central Minnesota CWD sampling

Hunter-harvested deer from permit areas surrounding two CWD-positive deer farms in Crow Wing and Meeker counties will again be tested for CWD this fall during the first two days of the A firearms deer season (Nov. 3-4), but this mandatory testing will be in smaller, more focused areas. Those areas are:
* North-central (Crow Wing County area): Deer permit areas 242 and 247.
* Central (Meeker County area): Deer permit areas including portions of 277 and 283 east of state highway 4, the portion of 219 south of state highway 55, and the portion of 285 north of Minnesota Highway 7.
No positive deer were found during the 2017 deer season and wild deer in these areas are not known to have CWD. Because disease symptoms are slow to develop, DNR conducts sampling for 3 consecutive years. This is the second year for these areas and further testing will determine if the disease has spread to the wild.
Additional maps and CWD sampling stations can be found in the 2018 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations handbook. Complete CWD sampling, testing and disease management information is regularly updated on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwd and details will be announced as they become available.

Carcass movement restrictions

Hunters harvesting deer outside the state are reminded they cannot bring whole carcasses of any member of the deer family into Minnesota. These animals include but are not limited to white-tailed deer, mule deer, black-tailed deer, elk, caribou and moose. More information is available at mndnr.gov/deerimports.  

More information

Hunters should review new deer hunting regulations, permit area designations and boundary changes before applying for the antlerless lottery.
“Hunters are particularly encouraged to explore the interactive deer permit mapping tool,” Thorson said. “It provides permit area boundary details, as well as access to Detail Reports that contain deer management history and hunting land information for individual deer permit areas.”
Regularly updated deer information, including the DNR’s deer permit mapping tool, can be found online at mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


Minnesota DNR’s first statewide deer plan eyes the positive

A new statewide deer plan released recently by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources sets new goals and priorities, increases formal opportunities for citizens to influence deer decisions, and aims for a disease-free deer population.
The plan reflects a two-year planning effort that involved statewide meetings and hundreds of in-depth conversations with citizens and stakeholders. It includes input from a 19-member citizen advisory committee, dozens of public input meetings and open houses, more than 1,100 submitted comments and letters from tribal governments, hunting organizations and others.
“We’ve listened, and the plan reflects that,” said Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner. “The document is largely about sharing a vision, clarifying expectations and improving two-way communication among hunters and other stakeholders for the benefit of deer management.”
The 50-plus page plan is available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/deerplan.
Leslie McInenly, the DNR wildlife manager who coordinated the plan, said the document will help forge stronger and deeper relationships with stakeholders in the years ahead.
“The vision communicates our commitment to long-term, sustainable deer management, hunting and recreational opportunities and habitat conservation,” McInenly said. “We’ve placed a high priority on working with citizens to discuss how best to collectively work toward our shared goals.”

Goals of the plan
The plan’s eight broad goals cover topics ranging from research, to keeping Minnesota’s deer populations healthy to how the DNR and the public work together on deer management.
The DNR will also increase two-way communication with hunters, landowners and others by convening annual deer management discussions with interested citizens at the area wildlife office level and creating an ongoing statewide deer stakeholder input group.
Local meetings will provide hunters and others with a forum for sharing their observations, hearing the DNR’s management proposals and identifying opportunities to improve deer management.  
The plan supports Minnesota’s hunting heritage through efforts to recruit, retain and reactivate hunters while also minimizing deer damage to native plants, agricultural crops, forest regeneration or negative societal impacts such as deer-vehicle collisions and urban deer conflicts.
More frequent and regular deer hunter and public attitude surveys will help gauge satisfaction and identify areas needing improvement. And a suite of performance measures will track and communicate progress. One new measure is a harvest target that will be used as a secondary, statewide check on success in meeting population goals.
Responding to chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Minnesota’s wild deer herd will be a top priority for the agency in the near term. The plan provides direction to eliminate CWD in wild deer and minimize the risk of new introductions.
“The long-term health of Minnesota’s wild deer and the need to work aggressively to eliminate the disease if possible was a key concern raised by the advisory committee and members of the public during plan review,” McInenly said.
In addition to goals, the plan includes specific performance measures that will help the DNR and the public track progress over time. One performance measure is a statewide harvest target. The DNR will track annual harvests in relation to a general statewide harvest target of 200,000 deer per year. This number reflects the approximate statewide harvest when deer populations are generally within goal range in most permit areas.

Road to the plan
For more than a year, a 19-member citizen’s advisory group helped the DNR draft the deer plan. The group’s members had knowledge of deer management, interests related to deer and familiarity with different areas of the state.
“We’re incredibly grateful for the work of the advisory committee and the public’s involvement in developing this plan,” Landwehr said. “We know differences of opinion are inherent in deer management, but individuals who contributed to this plan worked very hard to understand different perspectives.”
As part of its new outreach effort, the DNR is encouraging the public to contact their local wildlife manager for additional information or to address any questions they may have about the deer plan. A list of area wildlife offices is available online at mndnr.gov/areas/wildlife.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


25 sharp-tailed grouse permits available in Unit 8

MADISON - Twenty-five sharp-tailed grouse harvest permits have been made available for Game Management Unit 8 in northwestern Wisconsin for the 2018 season, which runs from Oct. 20 to Nov. 11.
"We have a very dedicated group of sharp-tailed grouse hunters in Wisconsin," said Mark Witecha, upland wildlife ecologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "This limited season should provide those grouse enthusiasts with a chance to pursue the species while not impacting the long-term sustainability of the population."
Those interested in hunting sharp-tailed grouse in Unit 8 must submit an application. The application period is Aug. 1-31. Applications cost $3 and will be available at any licensing agent and online at GoWild.wi.gov.
Those who are unsuccessful in the drawing will receive a preference point. Preference points will increase the odds of drawing a permit during the next sharp-tailed grouse season. Preference points acquired in past sharp-tailed grouse season drawings are valid for the 2018 drawing.
Sharp-tailed grouse are found primarily in large blocks of barrens habitat on public lands in northwest Wisconsin. The barrens habitat is recognized internationally as a key conservation opportunity area. Sharptails are a popular game bird species also well-known for their dramatic breeding displays. The birds attract many visitors to the northwestern part of the state each year.
Wisconsin's Sharp-tailed Grouse Management Plan provides a framework to combine habitat development for barrens-dependent wildlife species with working forests. The goal is to expand the suitable habitat for sharp-tailed grouse and reconnect isolated populations where possible.
"Biologists will continue to assess the status of our sharp-tailed grouse population on an annual basis," said Witecha. "We would like to thank those who remain passionate about Wisconsin's sharp-tailed grouse population, and wish all hunters who successfully draw a permit a safe and happy hunt this fall."
For more information, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords "sharp-tailed grouse."

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR