2008 Hunting Season Set In CWD Management Zone

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Regulations subject to legislative review

MADISON – Hunters in areas of southern Wisconsin where efforts are underway to control the spread of the Chronic Wasting Disease will have a new season framework under a proposal the Natural Resources Board adopted at its meeting in Madison on April 23. The season framework must still pass legislative review.

The board approved combining the two previous CWD management zones (the “herd reduction zone” and the “herd eradication zone”) into a single zone with consistent regulations, season dates and firearm rules across the zone.

Other highlights of the season proposal include:

  • Establishing interim deer population goals that are 20 percent below the population goals that were in place in 2001 in the affected deer management units.
  • Establishment of a season structure that is similar to the rest of the state.
  • Allowing use of rifles in the entire combined CWD management zone except for metro units.
  • A late firearm season, dubbed a “holiday season,” that provides additional hunting opportunities.
  • All seasons in the CWD Management Zone would be unlimited Earn-a-Buck (EAB) with prequalification except during two antlerless only seasons in October and December.

Full details of the rule adopted by the NRB (pdf) are available on the Natural Resources Board pages of the DNR Web site. The 2008 Deer Management Unit map is also available.

EAB requires a hunter to first shoot an antlerless deer before shooting a buck. Prequalification was introduced two seasons back and has proven popular with hunters. Prequalification allows a hunter to harvest an antlerless deer in any of the state’s (**correction** hunters do not earn buck stickers in herd control units) EAB or CWD units and receive a buck sticker good in the current year or in the coming year in any EAB unit anywhere in the state.

Other regulations adopted but not in effect until 2009 are a prohibition on importing whole cervid (deer, moose and elk) carcasses from areas within other states or provinces where CWD is found into Wisconsin and transporting whole carcasses from Wisconsin’s CWD management zone to elsewhere in the state.

The seasons adopted by the NRB in part include recommendations forwarded by a citizens CWD stakeholder group convened to advise the department on potential future CWD management strategies.

Season dates

The CWD Zone deer hunting seasons are unlimited Earn-a-Buck except where noted and are as follows:

  • Sept. 14 –Jan. 4, 2009: Archery
  • Oct. 11-12: Youth hunt (Youth hunters are required to use their gun buck deer carcass tag to harvest an antlered deer during this hunt in all units, including CWD and EAB units. Youth hunters may earn a buck sticker if they shoot an antlerless deer in a CWD or EAB unit during this hunt.).
  • Oct. 16-19: Early firearm, antlerless only
  • Nov. 22-30: Traditional fire arm season
  • Dec. 1-10: Muzzleloader firearm only
  • Dec. 11-14: Late firearm, antlerless only
  • Dec. 24-Jan. 4, 2009: Holiday firearm season

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Warnke, 608-264-6023