DNR officials hope for deer hunt feedback with public hearings - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

DNR officials hope for deer hunt feedback with public hearings

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SCHOFIELD (WAOW) -

Hunters spoke out Tuesday about proposed rules for deer hunting. The Department of Natural Resources has been studying deer hunting for more than a year.

DNR officials said they're trying to manage the deer hunt more effectively.

Many people at Tuesday's public hearing said they found themselves leaving with more questions and concerns than answers.

Deer hunting in Wisconsin could be a little different by next fall if the DNR reaches its goal.

"We're basically looking for the public to provide us input on what direction we should go with our deer management in the future here in Wisconsin," said Cortney Schaefer, DNR Wildlife Biologist.

The DNR held a public hearing at D.C. Everest Middle School to discuss proposed changes to hunting rules.

That includes new hunting boundaries, increasing local involvement and changing some hunting seasons.

"We just want to see if the majority of folks are willing to go with Proposal A or B," said Schaefer.

Officials say four teams worked from March to July to find the best ways to implement the rules, but many people at the public hearing had a lot of questions.

One hot topic: expanding the holiday hunt.

Some worry it could hurt the snowmobile industry.

"This is a time of the year where most families like to take their young ones out for rides or even take their holiday trips," said Don Aanonsen, Marathon County Snowmobile Council.

Even Marathon County administrators shared their concerns about places like Nine Mile Forest.

"I think we could end up having to close them, I just don't know how it's safe to cross-country ski, while somebody's deer hunting right next door," said Brad Karger, Marathon County Administrator.

While there were plenty of questions, not everyone thought expanding the holiday hunt would be bad.

"We know there's other users, but there's boundaries to protect those users as well," said Mike Fitzgerald, a hunter.

DNR officials hope to hear more from hunters in the future. They plan to adopt a final set of rules by December.

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For more information on the Deer Trustee Report or the report's proposed rule survey:

Visit the DNR's website

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