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Hunter input sought on proposed 2022 deer season framework

"About 4,000 deer hunters across the state participate in this, and there's over 600,000 deer hunters."
Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 1:33 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Starting tomorrow, deer hunters across the state will have the opportunity to share their input on the proposed framework for the 2022 hunt next fall.

It’s part of the annual County Deer Advisory Council process that started in Wisconsin back in 2014 to include a more citizen-science based approach. But a lack of public input in recent years could be a sign that most hunters are satisfied with the state’s current deer management.

County Deer Advisory Councils have spent the last several weeks pouring over data from last year’s deer hunt to propose harvest goals for this year.

And April 9-15, hunters can take part in an online questionnaire to share opinions about the proposals in the county they hunt in.

But getting those opinions hasn’t been easy for many CDACs for several years.

“That is the challenging part of this inasmuch as when there isn’t something really controversial on the table participation tends to be low. We tend to get about 4,000 deer hunters across the state participate in this and there’s over 600,000 deer hunters, and so it’s just a small sliver,” says Jeff Pritzl, DNR Deer Program Specialist.

Pritzl says this year most CDACs are making recommendations similar to last year, with a few exceptions in certain counties.

“There’s a fair number of counties that seem to be taking a steady-as-she goes approach. Some of the benefits to that, especially when we see these variables like whether it’s the pandemic or some other issues, is that often if we keep changing parameters annually it makes it even harder to compare one year to another,” explains Pritzl.

With CDACs now firmly established playing a major role in the state’s deer management, Pritzl feels the goal moving forward needs to be a focus on efficiency for the more than 500 volunteer CDAC members.

“How we can make some process improvements to get to the same place that we need to be, recognizing the prominence of deer in Wisconsin, with as well used time and efficiency as possible,” says Pritzl.

To learn what your County Deer Advisory Council is proposing this year, visit https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Hunt/cdac

The annual survey will shape the fall deer hunting seasons

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