2014 deer hunting season structure approved; 19 counties to allow "buck only" hunting

MADISON, Wis. (DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES NEWS RELEASE) -- The Natural Resources Board approved today the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' recommendations for the 2014 deer hunting season. With board approval, antlerless quotas, antlerless permit levels and an updated CWD affected area have been established for 2014.

"With the severity of this past winter, recommending a buck only hunting season for much of Northern Wisconsin is a first step in allowing the deer population to recover," said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. "We have received a great deal of public input on these recommendations and have received great support."

In 2014, 19 counties (all or in whole) and four tribal reservation deer management units will allow buck only hunting with an antlerless quota of zero for most hunters. New deer management units will follow county lines and reservation boundaries. It is important to note that youth hunters, disabled hunters and qualified military personnel will be allowed to harvest a limited number of antlerless deer in buck only units. All proposed buck only counties fall within the northern and central forest deer management zones.

In addition to each hunter receiving one free antlerless permit for use in farmland zones in 2014, approximately 175,000 bonus antlerless deer permits will become available for purchase in mid-August. At purchase, hunters will designate the zone, county and land type where they will use each bonus permit. Public versus private land designation will allow the department to limit antlerless harvest on heavily-hunted public lands.

The board also established the boundaries of an updated CWD affected area. This area will include 35 counties where CWD has been detected in either wild or game farm deer or elk since 2008. The department will continue to work with stakeholders throughout Wisconsin to learn more about the disease. For more information, click on the "CWD" link on the right side of this story.

Implementation of the approved recommendations will involve public outreach to inform hunters, landowners and others about changes and opportunities prior to the 2014 deer season. For more information, click on the "Deer Hunting" link on the right side of this story.


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