Possible changes coming to Wisconsin deer hunting seasons

GREEN BAY, Wis. - Some major changes could be coming to future deer hunting seasons in Wisconsin.

The state's natural resources board has approved six questions the public will weigh in on at the Conservation Congress spring hearings.

We're now getting a look at some of the potential changes, as well as the DNR's initial reaction.

In just a few months, deer hunting will be the hot topic at the Conservation Congress annuals hearing.

the Natural Resources Board, which oversees the DNR, has six questions it wants the public to answer, and according to the DNR's top leadership, the agency is looking forward tot he public's input with great anticipation.

"I think they'll be a great way to get a conversation started, it'll be, sometimes we, the deer season gets done and we don't think about it again until the next fall, and this will keep people engaged and talking about it," says Scott Loomans, an Administrator with the DNR Fish, Wildlife and Parks Division.

One of the more eye-opening questions is if hunters would support extending the nine-day gun season to 19 days.

The state currently has the shortest firearm deer season in the country.

"The second weekend of deer season actually doesn't have that heavy of hunting pressure, so adding another week and weekend probably would just create a high quality opportunity for a number of people to get out and hunt in case they get some bad weather during the week, gives you another shot at it," says Loomans.

Other questions include eliminating the December antlerless-only hunt, eliminating management zones and limiting the crossbow season to October and after the gun season.

Since these are only advisory questions, no changes will be made to the 2020 deer seasons.

If any changes are made in the future, they would come after many steps were taken, including the introduction of rule proposals, DNR hearings, and legislative involvement.