The deer hunt 2014
One of the truly great opportunities Northern Wisconsin offers is the widespread diversity available to hunters during hunting season. From renting a rustic cabin to purchasing acreage for personal hunting advantages, the Northwoods not only has a vast array of game, it offers the best atmosphere to enhance every hunting experience.
It’s only a few weeks until deer gun hunting season opens and the DNR has made quite a few changes to the program this year. Perhaps the most interesting (and the one that makes the most sense) is the dissolution of the Deer Management Units (DMUs). Now county lines will be used to establish rules applying to boundary limitations.
There are Deer Management Zones and the map for these zones is included in the webpage link; http://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/wm/WM0554.pdf.
More than half of the counties in the state have a ban on baiting and feeding deer. The counties where Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been found as well as areas within 10 miles of the area known to have CWD are included this area. The bottom third of the state, with the exception of Ouzakee County, has the ban and that ban reaches as far north as Marathon and Shawano counties. In the northwest part of the state, Burnett, Washburn, Polk and Barron counties also have the same ban.
The laws for feeding or baiting deer are quite extensive and hunters may want to refresh their memories or pick up more information at http://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/wm/WM0554.pdf. For example, baiting can only be done no sooner than 24 hours prior to deer archery season in counties where it is allowed.
This year there is no T-Zone hunt in December in the Northern Forest Zone. There is a four-day antlerless hunt-only in the Central Farmland and Forest Zones Dec. 11-14. This year’s bonus tags are for bucks and the rules, taken from the DNR website, are as follows:
- Bonus buck opportunities will be offered in the Southern Farmland Zone units only.
- Each unfilled bonus buck authorization sticker earned during the 2013 deer season can still be used during the 2014 deer season.
- Only one bonus buck authorization sticker earned during the 2014 deer seasons may be used during the 2014 deer seasons.
- Bonus buck authorization stickers earned in 2014 may not be valid in 2015.
Another change is a crossbow deer hunt season. Previously, crossbows were only allowed for disabled hunters. The crossbow season runs concurrently with the regular archery season. “It is important to note that persons purchasing a traditional bow and a crossbow license will receive only one set of tags,” says the DNR website.
A new feature that will begin with the 2015 season, not this year, will allow hunters to register their deer online instead of requiring they be brought into a deer registration location.
As area hunters know, tags are only being issued for buck kills this year in the Northern Forest Zone.
This was just a brief overview of the 2014 deer hunting season. A complete list of regulations is available when a license is purchased or you can visit the website to read the 48-page booklet at: http://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/wm/WM0431.pdf.
We wish the best of luck to all who are venturing out this season. But watch out – you may just fall in love with the area as thousands have! There are real estate brochures at almost every hospitality location. Pick up one of ours – maybe next year you will be hunting from your Northwoods home!