County Deer Advisory Council wants public input for deer population

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- If you want to give your input on the management of local deer populations in future hunting seasons, this is the week to do it.

Local counties are hosting their County Deer Advisory Council meetings this week.

Each county in Wisconsin has a County Deer Advisory Council (CDAC) to, in a way, keep the Department of Natural Resources in check. Anyone can go to one of the meetings and provide input that the DNR takes into consideration before making a decision on what to do with the deer population.

2017 is the third year the DNR has been holding these meetings, and so far, the input they’re getting is helping. The council acts as a middleman between the community and the DNR when looking to control deer populations in every county.

“We’re the liaison that helps,” David Zielke, Eau Claire County’s CDAC Chair, said. “We do the recommendations as to what we would like to see in the county. And we get that from the community. We get that from people coming in and telling us what they want to see, along with DNR numbers that are presented to us.”

The council tries to be fair to everyone in the community, not just the hunters out trying to harvest deer.

“A level that is satisfactory for hunters to go out and have a good experience and see deer, but we don’t want the deer numbers to be so high that they’re creating major problems for the farmers,” Zielke said.

And if you think these meeting are just for hunters and farmers, they’re not. Anyone who has an issue or a suggestion can come to the meeting.

“Anybody who has an interest in deer management, whether it’s a homeowner who’s having their hostas eaten by deer or a hunter out in the woods who is seeing too many deer or too little deer, this is the place to come and let us know how you feel,” Hogseth said.

The recommendations are reviewed by the DNR and given to the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board for final approval.

“There’s lots of different opinions out there about deer management and what’s the best way to go, so if people do have an opinion, these are the venues to voice them,” Hogseth said. “Even if you’re not a member of the council, there is a public comment period for them to give input.”

Eau Claire’s meeting will be held on Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at the DNR Service Center in Eau Claire and Chippewa and Clark County’s will be on Wednesday, both from 7-9 p.m.

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