The Fall Hunting Seasons are upon us
A seasonal outdoor recreation column courtesy of WDNR Southern Lincoln County Conservation Warden Curt Butler
And with the season of many colors comes changing weather with highs in the 70s to frosty nights, floods to snow. Lincoln County’s weather swings can put a lot of our outdoor skills to the test. I know it has gotten the best of me a few times lately. Now that most of the leaves are off the trees, it has me – and I bet many of you – thinking about hunting season.
I hope everyone gets a chance to get out this fall and enjoy one of our many hunting opportunities we have in the area. That can mean enjoying a walk through the woods in search for some grouse or sitting in a duck blind or boat trying to shoot some diver ducks moving though on a cold front. Or, it could be sitting safely in your tree stand looking for deer or getting some last-minute open water fishing before ice up. Before you head out for those activities and others, there are a few things I would like to bring to your attention first. Most of them have to do with deer, which is normal because a lot of us Wisconsinites live and breathe deer hunting!
Baiting and feeding ban, shining rules, blaze colors & more
I wrote about the deer baiting and feeding ban in the spring column, but it is good to visit this again. It is important to the health of our deer herd, but I have investigated a significant amount of illegal deer feeding/baiting complaints so far this fall.
BAITING AND FEEDING:
As of Feb. 1, it became illegal to bait or to feed deer within Lincoln County.
This baiting and feeding ban is in effect for three years. A common question I hear concerns hay bales and mineral blocks. Both are considered deer bait or feed and would be illegal. However, food plots are not considered deer bait or feed and are okay to utilize under the ongoing ban. From my experience as an avid bow hunter, the food plots are by far the most effective if done right. I encourage people to do research because many factors can make this challenging.
It is illegal to shine deer from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. from Sept. 15 to Dec. 31. It also is illegal while shining, to possess a firearm, bow, or crossbow, at any time.
You might have seen some fluorescent pink last year during the gun deer seasons. An addition for this year fluorescent pink may now be used as an alternative to blaze orange on ground blinds on DNR-managed lands.
DEER HARVEST REGISTRATION REQUIRED:
We have seen several changes in the past few years in the deer hunting world. However, what hasn’t changed is you are still required to register you deer harvest.
Not only is it illegal to not register a deer harvest, it is part of a hunter’s responsibility with deer management. For registration instructions reference the 2018 Wisconsin deer regulations pamphlet, 4th page, “7. Register that deer—it’s required!”
What Do I Need?: One of the most common questions I get while checking licenses is “what do I need now-a-days?” You must carry proof of your hunting license and harvest authorizations while afield. You will need one of the four forms of proof:
•A paper copy.
•An authenticated Wisconsin driver’s license.
•A Go Wild conservation card.
•A department-issued digital PDF file displayed on a mobile device.
***A picture of your license on your phone is not acceptable.
TREE STANDS ON DNR PUBLIC PROPERTY:
Remember that if you are north of Highway 64, you are allowed to place, and to leave overnight, two portable devices per county from Sept. 1-Jan. 31, 2019. If you do, you must legibly display your name, address, and phone number, OR your WDNR customer ID number.
As always before you go afield, review the regulation pamphlet specific to your activity. For questions that are not found in the regulation pamphlets, contact WDNR call center staff available 7 days a week (7 a.m.-10 p.m.) call toll free 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463). Also, to report WDNR violations call 1- 800-TIP-WDNR (1-800-847-9367) 24/7 365 days a year, or contact me at (715) 416-0068.