Planning for Wisconsin's 2015 deer hunting season is underway.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Conservation Congress encourage anyone interested in discussing their local deer herd to attend a County Deer Advisory Council (CDAC) meeting this fall.
Each CDAC will meet in September, October, and December to determine a three-year deer population goal of increase, decrease, or stabilize.
"County Deer Advisory Councils will give folks the opportunity to become directly involved in managing deer in their county," said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game ecologist. "The creation of CDACs is something that has never been done before - we're anxious and excited to be working with a wide range of stakeholders."
In 2014, council meetings will be held at designated locations in all 72 counties. Meeting locations will be arranged locally, and all will begin at 7 p.m. Each council is made up of members who represent various stakeholder groups impacted by deer, including hunters, tourism, agriculture, forestry and others. Each county's meetings will be chaired by a Conservation Congress delegate.
DNR County Deer Advisory Councils are part of an effort to provide for more public input on deer management issues and give stakeholders greater responsibility in managing local deer numbers.
Three meetings will be held this fall, as will happen every three years, to develop deer herd population objective recommendations to the department. Councils will meet each spring to develop antlerless deer harvest quotas for deer hunting seasons and consider various strategies to meet population objectives.
September's meeting schedule includes:
- Florence County, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Florence Natural Resources Center, 5631 Forestry Drive, Florence.
- Marinette County, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wausaukee High School Auditorium, N11941 Highway 141, Wausaukee.
- Forest County, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., County Board Room, Forest County Courthouse, 200 E. Madison St., Crandon.
Council meetings will develop recommendations to the DNR regarding deer population objectives in their respective county, antlerless quotas, and season structure options. Through their participation, CDAC members and meeting participants will be given a direct stake in managing the deer herd.
Local DNR staff will be on hand to present information and answer any questions and discuss possible strategies for managing the local deer herd.
Those unable to attend a local meeting will be able to view meeting agendas and minutes on the department's website.
More information is available by visiting dnr.wi.gov and using the search keyword "CDAC."
In Michigan, the Upper Peninsula Deer Advisory Team held a series of open houses across the region this past January and February. To provide input to the team, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "UPDAT" or contact Ashley Autenrieth, deer program biologist, 1732 W. M-32, Gaylord, MI 49735, telephone (989) 732-3541 Ext. 5044. More information is also available by visiting www.michigan.gov/dnr/.