Monday, December 2, 2013

2013 Wisconsin Deer Season Opens— Old Traditions, New Information, by William Ricioppo

The 2013 nine-day deer hunting season brings new technology and specific information.

DNR officials recently announced the first free DNR mobile hunting app for both iPhone and Android. The app allows hunters to find hunting locations, register, and access rules and regulations. It also has a GPS safety mapping tool that lets users notify designated contacts of their whereabouts.

“By bridging the tradition of hunting with new technology, we aim to make it even easier for hunters to connect with each other, with DNR, and help deliver information hunters are looking for to have a safe and successful season,” says DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp.

The new DNR app will also have other benefits for fishing and general outdoor recreational activities. “This app will have something for everyone who has an interest in the outdoors of our state,” notes Stepp.
A “Trophy Case” feature on the app allows hunters to share stories and photos from their hunt.

Numbers of deer in farmland regions were presumed to be high this year. However, hunters participating in the recent bow hunt reported fewer sightings in northern parts of the state.

This year Minnesota reported numbers of deer down by about 6% from the 2012 season.

One way hunters  increase their chances of finding good animals is to spend more time in the field. “Nearly ten percent of Wisconsin residents will take to the field for the annual hunt,” says DNR ecologist Kevin Wallenfang, “putting potentially hundreds of thousands of outdoorsmen in the woods.”

Also this year DNR is encouraging hunters to participate in wildlife surveys. Hunters are asked to track and record their wildlife observations while on the hunt, and submit the information to DNR. State officials are hoping to gather information to help biologists track population changes and improve management decisions.
Information on the survey can be found at and information may be submitted online or through the mail.

“This is a great opportunity for hunters to inform wildlife biologists what they are seeing,” stated DNR survey manager Brian Dhuey.

Hunters can record and submit information until January 2014.

Wet conditions could impact hunter accessibility and deer activity according to Wallenfang. Not only is it tougher for hunters to get around in boggy conditions, but the late start this year could also mean reduced rutting activity.

The  deer season ended Sunday, December 1, at sundown.