Big changes in store for deer hunters - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Big changes in store for deer hunters

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Wisconsin (WQOW) - Some big changes are likely in store for Wisconsin deer hunters. A task force of state residents is out with its final proposals to improve the quality of the state's deer hunt.

Volunteers from around the state were given the task of coming up with ways to implement proposals from Dr. James Kroll. He's the so-called 'deer czar' who was hired by the state to come up with solutions to hunters' concerns about how the deer herd is managed.

Those volunteer teams have just released their final proposals.

Among the most significant changes: banning all feeding and baiting of deer. The group feels that practice increases risk of disease transmission and also leads to more deer eating at night.

Also under the plan the deer carcass tag system would be simplified. The antlerless tag that each hunter gets with their buck license would be clearly marked that it is not usable in northern and central forested zones, only in farmland areas in western, eastern and southern Wisconsin.  

The fee system would also be streamlined to a straight $7 for herd control and bonus tags.

And the task force is recommending creating a program to allow landowners, or groups of landowners, who have at least 160 acres to get help from the DNR to improve wildlife habitat on their land. The cost would range from $75 to $150 for a three-year contract.

Public hearings on the recommendations will be held across the state in October. The state Natural Resources Board will meet in December to make a final decision. If approved the changes would take effect next year.

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