There’s Still Time To Help Shape The Future Of Deer Management



There’s Still Time To Help Shape The
Future Of Deer Management


There’s still time to help shape the upcoming deer season by providing feedback and attending your local County Deer Advisory Council meeting. 

Do you have thoughts on deer management in your area? We want to hear about it!

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and County Deer Advisory Councils are seeking public input to prepare for the 2024 deer season.

Each county in Wisconsin has a County Deer Advisory Council that meets annually to provide input and recommendations to the DNR on deer management in its county.

The online public comment period is open until April 14, 2024. Complete the public input questionnaire to help provide feedback for your County Deer Advisory Council.

County Deer Advisory Council recommendations are based on deer metrics, county deer population objectives and public feedback. Information on each county’s harvest and population metrics can be found on the Wisconsin Deer Metrics System database.

The online public comment period is an opportunity for anyone interested in helping shape local deer herd management. Local County Deer Advisory Councils will consider public comments when creating recommendations for the DNR.

Interested members of the public are encouraged to participate in the discussion at their local County Deer Advisory Council meeting. At these meetings, councils review county data on fawn-to-doe ratios, harvest trends, herd health, deer impacts on agriculture, forest health, vehicle collisions and hunter experience. This information is reviewed annually to respond to deer harvest, winter severity and other factors that impact the upcoming deer season.

The 2024 County Deer Advisory Council meetings will occur between April 22 – May 2, 2024.

You can search for and view the County Deer Advisory Council meeting info on the DNR’s Meetings & Hearings calendar.

Following the County Deer Advisory Council process, the DNR will bring recommendations for the 2024 season to the Natural Resources Board for consideration in June.

Anglers, Please Clean Your Gear

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) urges anglers to properly clean their gear after discovering the parasite Myxobolus cerebralis in Elton Creek in Langlade County.

Elton Creek is a Class 1 trout stream that recently tested positive for Myxobolus cerebralis below Elton Springpond and at Highway 64.

Myxobolus cerebralis is a microscopic parasite that damages the cartilage and nerve tissue of trout and salmon and has been known to cause whirling disease.

Although no fish have been discovered in Wisconsin with clinical symptoms of the disease, the DNR is implementing a surveillance program to determine if any additional trout populations have been affected.

Anglers should watch for trout or salmon displaying any signs of whirling disease like blackened tails, skeletal deformities or swimming in circles, and report sightings to their local fisheries biologist. These signs are not exclusive to whirling disease.

Myxobolus cerebralis is only capable of infecting trout and salmon, with rainbow and brook trout thought to be the most susceptible. It cannot infect other fish species and poses no threat to humans or household pets like cats and dogs.

Though cooking harvested fish according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s food safety guidelines is always recommended, anglers are encouraged to never consume fish that appear sick or diseased.

Help Minimize The Spread

This parasite is nearly impossible to eradicate once it has been established, but steps can be taken to limit the spread. The DNR reminds anglers of the importance of cleaning and disinfecting their gear after fishing.

Anglers are encouraged to wear rubber-bottomed boots or waders. All water, aquatic vegetation, and/or mud that might contain the parasite should be removed from their fishing equipment streamside before being thoroughly cleaned. All fishing equipment, including boats, trailers, boots, waders, nets and float tubes should then be dried completely before being used again.

It’s also important to remember to not dispose of fish tissue or by-products into bodies of water to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and other fish diseases.


Celebrate Earth Month By Volunteering With The DNR

April is Earth Month, and there’s no better way to celebrate than getting outside, rolling up your sleeves and volunteering with the DNR. Even if you only have an hour, you can help protect and enhance Wisconsin’s natural resources.

There are several ways you can pitch in:

Work Play Earth Day

Join us throughout April at various properties across the state for family-friendly activities that help enhance public lands in our communities.

These Work Play Earth Day events lead to lasting enhancements, increased awareness and continued support for Wisconsin’s state parks and wildlife areas.

Activities may include planting trees and shrubs, removing invasive plants, helping with trail and campground maintenance, picking up litter and more. Find a Work Play Earth Day event happening in your part of the state.

Community Science Opportunities

April also happens to be Citizen Science Month, also known as community science. We’re celebrating the dedicated volunteers in scientific research and monitoring efforts.

There are active community science projects in every county, with volunteer opportunities available for everyone, regardless of skill level, science experience or availability.

Some of the community science projects happening around the state include invasive and rare plant surveys, the Bumble Bee Brigade, carnivore tracking, bat monitoring, turtle conservation, animal identification through Snapshot Wisconsin and much more.

Find more information about community monitoring efforts and how to get involved on our Citizen-Based Monitoring webpage.

State Natural Areas Volunteer Program

Help us care for some of our state’s most pristine public lands by attending a State Natural Area Workday. Encourage native plants and animals to thrive by cutting brush, controlling invasive species, collecting seeds, monitoring rare species and preparing fire breaks.

Workdays take place year-round and are a great way to get some exercise, have fun and learn something new.

Join A Friends Group Or Adopt A Fish Or Wildlife Area

A Friends Group is a nonprofit organization whose members volunteer their time, services and support to enhance Wisconsin’s state parks, forests, trails, wildlife areas and recreation areas. Many friends groups co-sponsor Earth Day events at DNR properties and often provide lunches or refreshments.

Like a Friends Group, organizations and individuals can help support the more than 300 wildlife and fisheries areas in Wisconsin by joining the Adopt A Fish Or Wildlife Area program. Participants help with habitat improvements, litter removal, surveys, financial donations and more.

Run For The Trees: Happy Little 5K

Inspired by artist Bob Ross, this virtual race is designed for everyone and benefits tree health and protection across the state. Participants can walk, run, skate, scooter, cycle or use a mobility device to complete the 3.1-mile race and even get to pick their start and finish locations. Registrants can complete the race anytime between April 22 (Earth Day) and April 26 (Arbor Day).

Registration is open until April 15, 2024 and suggested 5K routes at Wisconsin state parks, forests, trails and recreation areas are available on the DNR’s OutWiGo webpage.

Proceeds support tree planting and forest protection in state parks.

Other Ways To Help

The DNR hosts a wide variety of events around the state the public can get involved in year-round. Check out service projects through the DNR’s volunteer portal or visit the DNR Events Calendar to discover even more ways to get involved.

Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR