Walker suspends October deer hunt
MADISON Gov. Scott Walker suspended the October four-day deer gun hunt in Wisconsin's south-central Chronic Wasting Disease zone, according to a release from Walker's office.
Walker said legislators and hunters are favoring a more traditional hunting season, including the nine-day hunt in November.
Wisconsin held its first four-day October hunt in 1996. In 2011, legislation eliminated the four-day gun hunt outside the CWD management zone, along with the unpopular Earn-a-Buck regulation. Under this legislation, the four-day October gun deer hunt could only occur if an emergency rule was ultimately approved by the governor.
Earlier this year, a nationally noted deer management expert James C. Kroll, officially known as Wisconsin's white-tailed deer trustees, to conduct an independent review of Wisconsin's deer management practices. He was assisted by David Guynn, a wildlife management professor at Clemson University in South Carolina and Gary Alt, a former Pennsylvania Game Commission deer manager. The assessment report was presented in June.
"We feel an early doe harvest has negative impacts on deer behavior, resulting in a subsequent reduced buck harvest during the gun season," Kroll said. "We feel this is a positive first step by the Wisconsin DNR to move deer management in a positive direction, and demonstrate their commitment to listening to the hunters and landowners of Wisconsin. Our analysis of the impact of this hunt on the herd and hunter attitudes in previous years supports this recommendation, as previous harvests have not accomplished the desired goal. "