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Wisconsin DNR: Outdoor report

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Preliminary registration numbers from Wisconsin’s nine-day gun deer season show an increase in statewide harvest.

  • Overall, preliminary figures show that 211,430 deer were registered during the nine-day gun deer hunt, compared to 197,733 in 2017, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The nine-day gun deer season continues to show hunting as a safe recreational activity, as the season ended with three hunting incidents and no hunting-related fatalities, which DNR law enforcement staff say is the safest season on record.
  • There is now a statewide muzzleloader deer hunt going on through Dec. 5 and there is a statewide antlerless only hunt that runs from Dec. 6 to 9.
  • Ice is forming on lakes across the state but state recreational safety wardens are reminding people that no ice is safe and that early season ice conditions vary greatly from waterbody to waterbody.
  • Ice levels in the far north have reached 3 to 4 inches and ice anglers have begun to venture out. Trout Lake in Vilas County froze over this week but not with thick enough ice to support anglers yet. Search the DNR website for “ice safety” for tips on staying safe on the ice.
  • Bird feeder watchers are reporting many of the standard species now, like woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, and goldfinches, in addition to a few specialties such as pine siskins statewide, evening grosbeaks up north, and the occasional common redpoll. See a conservation biologist’s Top Ten tips for winter bird feeding to discover some secrets to success this winter on the DNR website.
  • Spring is a long way off, but the spring turkey and 2019 bear application is due by Dec. 10.
  • 2019 State Parks & Forests Vehicle Admission Stickers and Trail Passes go on sale Dec. 1 at park and forest offices and DNR service centers. They can also be purchased over the phone by calling the DNR customer service line at 888-936-7463 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

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