Wildlife officials discuss plans for future deer management - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wildlife officials discuss plans for future deer management

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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -

Wisconsin wildlife officials held a meeting on Saturday to discuss how to manage Wisconsin's deer population.

The state's top deer researcher met with people at the UW-Stevens Point campus, to talk about hunting and address hunter's concerns.

"This is the mid-point of the process," said Dr. James Kroll, Deer Researcher.

The committee revealed its findings based on feedback from hunters and wildlife officials.

The findings focused on several issues, including how to improve hunting conditions throughout Wisconsin.

"We're tasked with coming up with a way to implement some of the recommendations," said Jane Severt, Official with the County Forest Association.

Other Forestry Association officials told a packed room that their main concern is with the county forests.

"We have some county forests who have trouble generating certain species of trees because of high deer densities," added Severt.

Meanwhile hunters weren't afraid to voice their concerns to the committee members.

One hot topic, a disease that affects a deer's central nervous system.

"We need to do something about Chronic Wasting Disease," said James Patrick, Pittsville Resident.

"It's a disease similar to Scrapie in sheep, or Mad Cow in cattle," said Joe Weiss, Committee Member.

People also wanted to know if it's safe to consume meat from deer that have contracted the disease.

"The department recommends that if you have your deer tested, and it does test positive, that you don't consume the meat," added Weiss.

But health officials say there hasn't been any known cases of the disease crossing over from deer to humans. They added that a lot more research needs to be done.

The state's top deer official says meeting with the public will help improve hunting throughout the state.

"The process is working," said Kroll.

The Deer Trustee Committee is scheduled to meet again in the fall.

Committee members say they hope their recommendations will lead to new rules and regulations for hunting, that could be adopted by the end of the year.

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