The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is ramping up social media to connect with the public on the excitement and traditions of the state’s nine-day gun deer season. Seasoned hunters, new hunters and those interested in learning more about hunting in Wisconsin are invited to take part in online chats, a new wildlife-focused blog, Facebook and a “tweet-along” with DNR conservation wardens. The goal is to help the public prepare for the hunt, share traditions, ask experts questions and share stories of Deer Season 2012.
The forums will run through the end of the nine-day gun deer season. A complete list is below:
“Ask the Experts” series of live online chats
The DNR is hosting a series of daily online deer hunt chats throughout the week leading to the deer gun opener. Experts will answer questions and provide tips on topic areas ranging from regulations and safety to how women can get involved in the hunt.
To participate, visit dnr.wi.gov and look for the advertisement or search the phrase “ask the experts.” Below is the schedule for the series of chats.
• Nov 13, 11:30 a.m. , Women In Hunting: Join Dr. Christine Thomas, Dean of the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and founder of “Becoming an Outdoors-Woman,” and Keith Warnke, DNR hunting and shooting sports coordinator, to discuss the important role of women in hunting and how women can get involved.
• Nov 14, 11:30 a.m. – Get ready for the hunt: Join Kevin Wallenfang, DNR Big Game Ecologist; Scott Loomans, DNR Wildlife Regulations Specialist; and Tom Van Haren, DNR conservation warden, to discuss pre-season preparation questions such as regulation changes, deer season forecast, and safety.
• Nov 15, 11:30 a.m. – Need a place to hunt? Join representatives from the DNR’s Managed Forest Law, Voluntary Public Access and Public Lands programs to learn about the thousands upon thousands of private and public acres of prime habitat open for public hunting.
• Nov 16, 11:30 a.m. – Safe and legal, the keys to a successful hunt: Join DNR conservation wardens Tom Van Haren and Todd Schaller, along with DNR wildlife regulations specialist, Scott Loomans, to ask last-minute safety and deer regulations questions before heading to the field.
New WNDR wildlife blog, “Hunting for the Health of it”
The DNR has launched the first-ever wildlife blog during the 2012 deer hunt with a “Hunting for the Health of it” theme. Readers can follow the blog starting Monday, Nov. 12, as each day Jeff Pritzl, DNR Northeast Region Wildlife Supervisor, explores seven health-related aspects of hunting. Topics include social, physical, emotional, career, intellectual, environmental and spiritual aspects of the hunt that lead to increased health for the participant, communities and natural resources. Follow the DNR wildlife blog at wdnr.blogs.govdelivery.com.
Facebook – Share the stories and join the contest
The DNR is posting photos, videos and stories relating to the deer hunt. This year they will also launch a new Facebook photo contest centering around Wisconsin’s rich hunting tradition. Beginning Nov. 17 and running through Nov. 28, hunters, families and non-hunters energized by the deer season are encouraged to submit photos that represent what the traditions of the deer hunt mean to them. These can be historical photos, photos of the hunt or even landscape shots from a morning in a tree stand. The public will vote for their favorite picture, and the winner will receive a free three-year subscription to Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine. Anyone interested in the traditions of the hunt should “like” the Wisconsin DNR on Facebook to follow the stories of the deer season and participate in the 2012 “Traditions of the Hunt” photo contest. Visit www.facebook.com/WIDNR.
Deer Hunt 2012 with Dan Small
Once again, the DNR has partnered with Dan Small to produce Deer Hunt 2012, an informative and entertaining one-hour television show aimed at helping hunters brush up on safety, know the science, and get ready for the fun, family and traditions of the hunt. This year’s show captures important research on buck mortality, fawn recruitment and the social side of deer management; the importance of passing along the hunting tradition to the next generation and recruiting new hunters; hunter safety and the new ATV/UTV laws; a ride-along with a conservation warden; the link between forest management and deer management; the season forecast and hunting tips. There are recipes and a campfire conversation with DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp and others as they share their first deer stories and encourage seasoned hunters to share their traditions and the thrill of the harvest with new hunters. The show may be viewed at dnr.wi.gov (search keyword “Deer Show”).
Twitter – Tweet-a-long with DNR conservation wardens
Get the latest news and information by following DNR on Twitter. Be sure to follow the DNR Nov. 17, 18, 22, 23, and 25 as they live-feed tweets and images from a ride-along with a DNR conservation warden out working deer season. Warden ride-alongs often reveal interesting events and insights into the deer hunt that many people never see. The tweet-along will focus on the social, safety, and community-building aspects of the nine-day deer season. Follow the DNR at twitter.com/WDNR.