What does the future of deer hunting look like in Wisconsin? I hear people talking about the D.T.R, but do not know what that means. I know there will be some changes for deer hunters in 2014 but have not seen anything released yet. In particular I am interested in changes that may affect my hunting in Oneida County.
-Robert, Sugar Camp
We asked James Jung, DNR Conservation Warden, this question and he replied:
The DTR you refer to is actually the Deer Trustee Report. After the initial analysis by Dr. Kroll, citizen committees were formed and these committees helped guide the changes we will begin to see in deer management here in Wisconsin.
Oneida County will continue to have the traditional nine-day gun deer season, the October Youth Gun Hunt weekend, the archery season (including a new crossbow season) and the muzzleloader season. There will be no December antlerless hunts in Northern Wisconsin, which is now referred to as the “Northern Forest Zone.” The purchase of a gun deer license or archery/crossbow license will be valid for one buck tag only in the Northern Forest Zone; a free statewide antlerless permit will no longer be issued with an archery hunting license.
DMUs (deer management units) have been eliminated; county boundaries will designate most units in 2014 and beyond. In 2014 there will be some pilot study areas for automated deer registration, but in-person registration stations will still be required. A combination of telephone, Internet and in-person registrations are scheduled for 2015. Major changes will occur in the central and southern portions of the state including bonus buck opportunities, December hunts and Holiday hunts in the southern farmland zone. Another new addition will be the implementation of public use and private use tags. A private landowner enrolled in a (Deer Management Assistance Plan) will have the ability to obtain antlerless deer tags which must be used on their enrolled property. The number of public and private lands tags available will be based on harvest objectives within each unit. Citizen committees will be formed in each of the 72 Counties to recommend the number of antlerless deer tags to be issued by the DNR.
No changes to the current baiting and feeding rules were made. To read additional information, including some of the major changes to the central forest zone, central farmland zone and southern farmland zone, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword “deer trustee report.”