Editor’s note: Gimme 5 is a five-question interview about a topic of local interest.
Title: Big game ecologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Talks about: The upcoming “holiday hunt” in some west-central Wisconsin counties.
There are lots of ways to celebrate the holidays, but now I see Wisconsin even has a “holiday hunt.” When and where does that take place?
The antlerless-only holiday hunt will be offered in 17 Farmland Zone units (across the state) from Sunday, Dec. 24, through Monday, Jan. 1.
Can you tell me if this holiday hunt is a rare thing or a regular season?
The holiday hunt is not a rare season. It is an annual part of the season structure that we have approval to use just like any other season.
The difference with the holiday hunt is that it’s up to the discretion of the County Deer Advisory Councils whether they use it within their county or not in a given year. It’s an annual decision made by the CDACs, and it’s totally their choice. Then those go to the Natural Resources Board, which has never denied a county a holiday hunt.
Why do some counties choose to be included in the holiday hunt?
The hunt is offered where added opportunity to harvest antlerless deer will help reach antlerless harvest goals and the county deer population objective.
What west-central Wisconsin counties are included in the holiday hunt?
Dunn, Buffalo and Polk counties all have the holiday hunt. They can only shoot antlerless deer during that time.
In any of the surrounding counties that are not included in the holiday hunt, the bow seasons remain open and hunters can shoot bucks in those counties. Any antlerless tag they use has to be specific for the county and the land type that they are hunting on.
What weapons can be used during the holiday hunt?
Hunters may fill any unused antlerless tags in the designated zone, deer management unit and land type using any legal firearm, crossbow or archery equipment.
— Eric Lindquist, reporter