Here’s a couple of bucks that survived Wisconsin’s rifle season. There’s still muzzleloader and late bow season though. There’s a turkey with quite the pose in the gallery also.
Here’s the latest pictures, just in time for Wisconsin’s rifle season. Some different bucks, a wolf, and a bobcat showed up too.
Here’s the trail camera pictures for the week ending 11/10/12.
This year’s nine-day hunt to have ‘more of a traditional feel’
MADISON — According to Wisconsin DNR, hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites and visiting non-residents eagerly await the arrival of the 2012 9-day gun deer season, which kicks off Nov. 17.
Approximately 10 percent of Wisconsin residents will take to the field for the annual hunt, and thousands more will participate by providing food, hotels, and other services that make deer hunting such an important part of the Wisconsin culture and economy.
Kevin Wallenfang, big game ecologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, says the 2012 gun season is one that he hopes will be exciting and satisfying for all involved. “It’s a tradition that many hunters and businesses look forward to all year long. It will also have more of a traditional feel to it this year due to the elimination of most early season gun hunts.”
Wallenfang says that getting back to a more normal season framework seems to have many people very enthusiastic this year. “Add to that the fact that deer populations across the north have increased in many units thanks to a very mild winter and reduced antlerless permits, and hunters could be in for a very satisfying year,” Wallenfang says. He adds, however, that some northern units are still below goal, so hunters should not expect to see a lot of deer in some areas.
Deer populations throughout most of the farmland region of the state are strong, says Wallenfang, especially on private lands. Still, despite comparatively high deer numbers, farmland units can be difficult to hunt, especially for those spending their season on public lands where hunting pressure is often much higher than surrounding private properties. The good news is that Wisconsin has more than 1 million acres of private lands open for public hunting, including Voluntary Public Access program and Managed Forest Law program lands.
Even with increasing deer populations in many units, hunter success during the gun season can vary based on a wide range of factors. Hunter effort, weather events, rut activity, hunting pressure, and stand site locations in addition to deer numbers can all play influential roles in whether or not individual hunters see and harvest deer.
For more information on deer in different areas of the state, see the 2012 Wisconsin Fall Hunting Forecast [PDF].
“Deer are not distributed evenly across the landscape and their movements vary greatly from one day to the next,” says Wallenfang. “Some hunters simply have access to better hunting and more deer.”
Another step hunters can take to increase their opportunities and enjoy their season is to take advantage of more days in the field. “There has been an increasing trend of hunters spending fewer days in the woods than in years past, often hunting just the opening weekend,” Wallenfang says. “Although deer sightings can be fewer after opening weekend, there are still deer to be hunted and the later part of the season can be more relaxing than the high pressure of opening weekend.”
Hopefully we’ll have some comfortable hunting conditions that will allow people to stay in the woods and enjoy the hunt longer,” Wallenfang says. “Best of luck for a very safe and enjoyable hunt.”
New rule does not apply to archery deer hunting seasons
EAU CLAIRE – According the the Wisconsin DNR, any hunter now can use a crossbow during any Wisconsin gun deer season, including muzzleloader, under the authority of their gun deer license and gun deer carcass tags, under new rules approved this year that apply to gun seasons only.
An archery license still allows hunting only with a bow and arrow, except that a person age 65 or older and certain qualified disabled hunters may use a crossbow to fill their archery deer carcass tags. Under a 2011 rule change, archers can hunt with bow and arrow during the nine-day gun deer season as long as they comply with the same blaze orange clothing requirements that apply to gun hunters.
The crossbow cannot be used in group hunting, which is limited to the gun deer season and to hunters with a gun license using firearms. In group hunting, one hunter can shoot a deer and another can tag it as long as both have gun deer licenses and the gun deer tag is valid for that unit. The two hunters must be within voice contact without the use of electronic devices such as cell phones or walkie talkies.
Just prior to deer season last year, the regulations changed regarding the transportation of firearms and bows. Highlights are as follows:
• Firearms no longer need to be cased while in a vehicle, regardless of whether the vehicle is stationary or moving.
• All long guns must be unloaded when in any vehicle, and in or on a moving vehicle.
• Handguns can be uncased and loaded in a vehicle, but cannot be concealed unless the person is authorized to possess a concealed weapon.
• It is illegal to shoot a firearm or bow and arrow from a vehicle, unless disabled and complying with conditions of a disabled hunting permit.
DNR conservation wardens are encouraging hunters to review the 2012 hunting regulations pamphlet available at any DNR office or license vendor and also available online at dnr.wi.gov. Just type “deer” into the search box and scroll down for the regulations link. Reviewing the regulations will help ensure a fun, safe and successful hunt.
State again ranks high on auto insurer’s annual list of high car-deer collisions
MADISON — Wisconsin drivers have a 1-in-79 chance of colliding with a deer any month of the year – but even more likely during October and November when bucks are running wild looking for a date.
Reports from Department of Natural Resources offices around the state indicate the white-tail deer are now actively moving into their mating season, known as the rut.
Wisconsin ranks seventh in the new State Farm insurance company annual ranking of states where drivers are most likely to strike deer. The auto insurer uses its claims records and federal licensed driver data to calculate the ranking.
Chief Warden Randy Stark says the increased deer movement, both day and night, due to the breeding season being under way requires drivers to be especially cautious in the next month. This is particularly true at dusk and at dawn. “This is when the deer are on the move from where they’ve spent the night to where they are going to eat. Deer are the most active when feeding and chasing potential mates,” Stark said. “Deer are not looking for cars, which is why drivers must look for deer.”
Last year, the Department of Transportation says Wisconsin law enforcement agencies reported a total of 18,176 deer versus motor vehicle crashes.
• Dane County had the most motor vehicle versus deer crashes reported in 2011 with 846.
• Shawano County had the second most with 762 followed by Waukesha County with 714.
• In Shawano and Green Lake counties, more than half of all reported crashes in 2011 involved deer.
• Deer are the third most commonly struck object in Wisconsin traffic crashes (behind collisions with another vehicle or a fixed object).
• Motorcycles were involved in four of the five fatal deer versus motor vehicle crashes in 2011.
Stark says it pays to remember if you see one deer, it’s likely there are more. “It’s important vehicle operators drive defensively and anticipate the presence of additional deer when they see a deer along the roadway.”
The WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety offers the following advice to prevent deer crashes:
• Be on the lookout for deer, eliminate distractions while driving, and slow down in early morning and evening hours—the most active time for deer.
• Always wear your safety belt—there are fewer and less severe injuries in vehicle-deer crashes when safety belts are worn.
• If you see a deer by the side of the road, slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away.
• When you see one deer, look for another one—deer seldom run alone.
• If you see a deer looming in your headlights, don’t expect the deer to move away—headlights can confuse a deer and cause the animal to freeze.
• Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path.
• Do not swerve—it can confuse the deer as to where to run—and cause you to lose control and hit a tree or another car.
• The one exception to the “don’t swerve” advice applies to motorcyclists. On a motorcycle, you should slow down, brake firmly and then swerve if necessary to avoid hitting the deer. If you must swerve, always try to stay within your lane to avoid hitting other objects.
• If you hit a deer, get your vehicle off the road if possible, and then call a law enforcement agency. Walking on a highway is dangerous, so stay in your vehicle if you can.
• Don’t try to move the animal if it is still alive. The injured deer could hurt you.
Here’s a few pictures of a pretty decent 8 pointer that’s coming in. The buck activity is definitely picking up.
There’s bigger deer out there, but it would be tough to pass up a shot on this one.
MADISON — It’s late in the day and a beautiful night is on the way. You’re in your tree stand and you realize you don’t have the hunting regulation pamphlet with you. You don’t know if it is still legal to shoot. Now what do you do?
It’s very simple. The answer is in your palm. (See below how to get it!)
Sunrise sunset QR code
Look at your Android phone. Tap on the new “Sunrise-Sunset” app and learn immediately the legal times of the day to shoot at your location. It’s so simple you’ll think it’s cheating, but it’s not.
Tested by Wisconsin conservation wardens, the app has been developed by the Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Law Enforcement to answer your needs.
Using a GPS system, the app tells you to the second the opening and closing time for various hunting seasons for your current location.
• No calculating is needed.
• No adding or subtracting of minutes is needed.
• What you see on the screen for an opening time or a closing time is when you can legally pull the trigger or when you should no longer shoot.
You also can use it to learn the opening and closing times for locations anywhere in the state or for future dates.
The app is really simple
Just turn on your phone’s GPS.
• Open the app and select the date you are going to hunt.
• Select the species you want to hunt.
• Set your location using the traditional state map areas (A-F) and the correct shooting opening and closing times will be displayed.
The app comes complete with a state time zone map tab, an informational tab and an email shortcut to notify the DNR about app needs and issues.
How to get it
Not only is it efficient, it’s cheap – that’s 99 cents cheap! Here are two surefire ways to get it:
• QR code above: If you have a QR code reader on your phone, fire it up and read the code shown above. It will take you right to the Play Store. After selecting the Plays Store [dnr.wi.gov/u/?q=16], you’ll be brought right to the app.
• Download the app at the Android Market. Search for Sunrise-Sunset by the WI DNR
Deer hunting should be good when Minnesota’s firearms hunting season opens Nov. 3, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
“Minnesota’s deer population is up from last year, in part, because of the mild winter,” said Lou Cornicelli, the DNR’s wildlife research manager. “Mild winters result in more survival of adults, more fawns being born, and more deer in the state’s fields and forests the following hunting season.” He estimated the deer population at about 1 million.
Cornicelli said one difference between this and last year is there are fewer areas where hunters can harvest more than one deer. This change, he said, reflects the agency’s interest in rebuilding or maintaining the deer herd in certain portions of the state by managing the harvest.
“Hunters in about half of the state had to apply for a limited number of antlerless permits,” said Cornicelli. “Moreover, there are fewer places where hunters can take two or more deer.” These harvest reduction changes, he said, were implemented based on hunter input and also addressing the interests of private landowners, agricultural growers, automobile drivers and others. They also reflect the fact that antlerless and bonus deer permit availability decreases as overly abundant populations are brought into line with agency goals.
Last year, Minnesota’s nearly 500,000 deer hunters harvested 192,300 deer.
Minnesota’s deer harvest has varied widely over the past half-century. In a historical context, too many deer were taken during the 1960s, forcing the closure of the deer season in 1971 and a rebuilding of the deer herd through the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s. The highest deer harvest occurred in 2003 when 270,000 deer were taken as part of an effort to reduce the deer herd. Today, the DNR manages the deer population based on goals established with public input.
“The state’s deer population has gone from too low to too high to fairly close to what people are willing to accept,” said Cornicelli. “I don’t envision spectacularly high or low harvests in the years ahead but rather moderate harvests . . . harvests that reflect the herd being managed responsibly and responsively.” Cornicelli said deer hunters play an important role in deer management by helping control deer numbers.
The firearms deer season concludes in the northern Minnesota on Sunday, Nov. 18, and Sunday, Nov. 11, in all other parts of the state. A late season in southeastern Minnesota that stretches from Watertown in the north to Caledonia in the south opens Saturday, Nov. 17, and closes Sunday, Nov. 25.
Northwestern Region Outlook
The northwest region expects a good deer hunting season in 2012, barring any adverse weather conditions. This past winter was extremely mild, which resulted in good deer survival and production.
Deer populations in most permit areas are at or near goal densities. To maintain populations or increase them to goal densities, most permit area designations have dropped one level from 2011. Hunter choice areas becoming lottery areas and managed areas becoming hunter choice areas are expected to lower the overall deer harvest from last year although the buck harvest likely will be higher.
DNR will again sample hunter-harvested deer in the bovine tuberculosis management area but at a reduced effort from prior years. Samples will be collected Nov. 3-11 at six registration stations. If no deer test positive, this will mark the third consecutive year of no positives and will be the last year of sampling for bovine TB.
Conditions are very dry this year so hunters should generally find easier access to hunting areas compared to past years. In addition, the crop harvest is well ahead of normal, meaning there will be less cover available for deer as compared to most openers.
Northeastern Region Outlook
DNR wildlife managers in northeastern Minnesota are expecting a good deer season in 2012. Harvest regulations generally are more conservative than in the recent past. Following public input into our deer population goals, harvest changes were implemented that will allow the deer population to grow in most of the permit areas in this region.
The likely result for hunters is that more permit areas will have a lottery or hunter choice designation in 2012. The 2012 harvest is projected to be less than that of 2011 because of these restrictions but hunters should expect to see good numbers of young deer.
Due to the discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease near Shell Lake, Wis., the DNR will conduct surveillance in deer permit areas 159, 183 and 225 along the Wisconsin border until 300 samples have been collected from each area. CWD has not been found in those areas; however, the CWD management plan calls for surveillance when a new infection is discovered near Minnesota.
Central/Southeastern Region Outlook
Another mild winter and an early harvest of crops should lead to an outstanding deer hunting season in this region, which stretches from the northern borders of Morrison and Todd counties southeast to the Minnesota-Wisconsin-Iowa border.
The deer population overall is extremely healthy. Most of the region’s deer permit areas can be categorized as hunter choice, managed or intensive. This region has traditionally boasted excellent deer hunting with harvest rates per square mile well above average in spite of heavy human development, typically accounting for close to 30 percent of the state’s deer harvest. Considering that nearly three-fourths of the state’s human population lives in this area, it’s clear that a lot of people are finding quality deer hunting opportunities close to home.
Hunters in 300 series permit areas (southeast) can legally shoot either a doe or a buck. Bucks, however, must have at least four antler points on one side to be legal and buck cross-tagging is prohibited. The experimental antler-point restriction, aimed at increasing take of antlerless deer and producing older, bigger bucks, is in its third and final year, and will be re-evaluated this winter. It does not apply to youth hunters ages 10 to 17. Deer taken in an antler point restriction permit area must be registered at a walk-in station; telephone or internet registration is not allowed.
The Central/Southeastern Region also includes two no-limit antlerless permit areas that run for a full three weeks: 601 and 602. Permit area 602 northwest of Rochester is a special area where chronic wasting disease was discovered in one hunter harvested deer nearly two years ago. Special rules require hunters to submit deer taken there for lymph node sampling, and they prohibit carcasses from being moved out of the area until a negative CWD test result has come back. Permit area 601 encompasses the seven-county metro region.
Southern Region Outlook
The Southern region, which encompasses much of Minnesota’s prime farmland, anticipates good deer hunting opportunities in 2012. This mostly open, agricultural part of Minnesota is dominated by a lottery season framework.
Corn and soybean harvest is mostly complete. The number of antlerless permits offered this fall under the lottery was decreased significantly from 2011 levels. This will provide protection to the herd and allow for herd growth where desired.
The effects of the relatively mild winter of 2011-12 has helped deer and they are in good condition. Generally, the population goals are to continue to increase the deer population, and the number of permits allotted should do just that.
Finally, the eastern portion of the region will have a block of six hunter choice permit areas where hunters can shoot one deer of either sex without first obtaining an antlerless permit through the lottery process.
Conditions are dry and hunters need to be careful to prevent wildlife fires.