Gov. Walker: Suspends October deer hunt

Contact: Cullen Werwie, 608-267-7303

Gov. Walker: Suspends October deer hunt

Madison—Today, Governor Scott Walker suspended the October 4-day deer gun hunt in Wisconsin’s south central Chronic Wasting Disease zone.

“On the heels of the Kroll report, legislators and hunters have made it clear they want Wisconsin to return to a more traditional season, which includes the 9-day November gun deer hunt,” Gov. Walker said. “Eliminating the 4-day October hunt in the CWD zone is one of the most simple and most effective ways we can show hunters that we are listening.”

Wisconsin held its first 4-day October hunt in 1996. Legislation signed by Governor Walker in 2011 eliminated the 4-day October gun hunt outside the CWD management zone, along with the unpopular Earn-a-Buck regulation. Under this legislation the 4-day October gun deer hunt could only occur if an emergency rule was ultimately approved by the Governor.

Earlier this year, Gov. Walker enlisted the help of nationally noted deer management expert Dr. James C. Kroll, officially known as Wisconsin’s white-tailed deer trustee, to conduct an independent, objective and scientifically-based review of Wisconsin’s deer management practices. He was assisted by Dr. David Guynn, a wildlife management professor at Clemson University in South Carolina, and Dr. Gary Alt, a former Pennsylvania Game Commission deer manager to assist in his assessment of Wisconsin.

That report was presented in June. DNR has begun working on implementation strategies.

“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,” said Dr. James Kroll. “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.”

“We feel an early doe harvest has negative impacts on deer behavior, resulting in a subsequent reduced buck harvest during the gun season,” said Kroll.