Michael J. Rader
DNR Conservation Warden
Well the days are getting shorter and the leaves are starting to show some color so fall must be on the way.
That’s okay with me as fall is my favorite time of year. With fall comes the start of several of our hunting seasons and I figured I would pass along some reminders of new and existing regulations for 2015.
Saturday, Sept. 12, marked the beginning of the archery deer, ruffed grouse (Zone A), crow, fall wild turkey, squirrel and cottontail rabbit (north zone) seasons.
For deer season, one of the big changes is electronic registration.
All harvested deer must be registered electronically by phone, internet, or an in-person registration station. In-person registration stations will offer phones and computers to use to register your deer. You will answer a series of questions and be given a confirmation number which you will record at the bottom of your carcass tag. The carcass tag must be kept until the meat has been consumed. All deer must be registered by 5 p.m. the day after harvest.
Regarding transportation of deer while afield, no person may possess or transport another hunter’s deer, even after it has been registered, unless accompanied by the person issued the carcass tag attached to the deer. Anyone may possess another person’s registered deer on a public road or at a residence, camp or business.
Limited numbers of bonus antlerless deer carcass permits were available for Lincoln County for 2015.
These tags are valid only in the DMU (deer management unit), zone and land type (public access or private) specified on the tag and are not weapon specific. Public access lands includes Managed Forest Lands, Forest Crop Lands, public utilities lands and lands acquired with state stewardship funds that are all open to deer hunting.
The DNR has a webpage dedicated to deer hunting information. Check it out: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/deer.html Or you can visit the DNR home page, dnr,wi.gov, and search the keyword, “deer” for the link.
As a reminder, state law prohibits shining wild animals between 10 p.m.–7 a.m. from Sept. 15–Dec. 31.
There were not a lot of changes to the small game regulations for 2015.
A Southern Zone has been added for bobcat hunting, which is below Highway 64. Bobcat harvest requires a valid permit.
For bear season, the big change this year was that the Class B license was eliminated.
Residents and non-residents may now participate in bear hunting, baiting and training activities without a Class B bear license in compliance with all applicable regulations including: baiting bears for hunting purposes, training dogs to track bears, acting as a back-up shooter and assisting hunters with pursuing bears, provided that a person does not shoot, shoot at, capture, take, or kill the bear (unless acting as a backup shooter).
Backup shooters can only shoot for the purpose of killing a bear that was shot, but not killed by a Class A bear license holder with a valid permit for the bear shot. The backup shooter must be in the same party as the Class A hunter at the point of kill, and may only shoot if killing the bear is necessary to protect the safety of members of the hunting party or others.
Recent regulation changes for waterfowl hunting include: opening day shooting hours for the regular duck season, for all zones, now begin at a half hour before sunrise; and the daily bag limit for canvasback has changed from 1 to 2 for 2015. The Northern Zone wild duck season runs from Sept. 26–Nov. 24.
For additional information, please call DNR Information at: 1-888-936-7463, or contact me at the Merrill Ranger Station: (715) 536-4503. To report DNR violations, please call or text: 1-800-847-9367. Enjoy the outdoors, be safe, and introduce someone new to the heritage.