While much of the attention given to ways hunters can help keep wildlife healthy is devoted to chronic wasting disease among deer, they’re not the only ones who can help keep their outdoor activities and quarry in good health.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has asked waterfowl hunters to pay particular attention to stopping invasive aquatic species during this year’s hunt. Non-native plants, animals and diseases can hitch rides to new locations if people aren’t careful about protection measures.

The DNR asks hunters to inspect their waders, boats, trailers and anything else that has come in contact with water. All plants, animals and mud should be removed, to the best of the hunters’ ability. And water from decoys, boats and live wells should be drained.

It hunters use vegetation to help disguise their duck blinds, they are asked to remove all seeds and roots. And plants or live animals should never be moved away from a body of water.

The DNR and University of Wisconsin-Madison’s extension program also works with the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association, Ducks Unlimited and other partners to install boot brush stations near lake and river launches. Any organizations interested in setting up such stations should contact DNRAISinfo@wisconsin.gov for information.

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