NEW INFORMATION: Wis. board approves deer changes

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' board has approved sweeping new rules to reshape deer hunting in Wisconsin.

Some of the key provisions in the plan call for eliminating in-person deer registration in favor of online or phone registration, reducing the number of deer management units and creating county committees to advise the DNR on population goals.

The rules implement Texas researcher James Kroll's suggestions to improve Wisconsin deer hunting. Gov. Scott Walker's administration hired Kroll in 2011 to review the DNR's deer management policies.

The board approved the package on a unanimous voice vote Wednesday. DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, a Walker appointee, said the rules will give hunters and the public a larger role in deer management.

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The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' board is poised to consider a plan to eliminate in-person deer registration.

The proposal is part of a rules package implementing Texas researcher James Kroll's suggestions to improve Wisconsin deer hunting.

DNR officials say doing away with in-person registration and moving to online or phone registration will save the agency money, help expedite kill tallies and make life more convenient for hunters. Critics contend in-person registration is a Wisconsin tradition and bars and stores that offer registration stations could lose revenue from hunters.

The Natural Resources Board is scheduled to vote on the rules package during a meeting Wednesday at DNR headquarters in Madison.


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