GREEN BAY - Wisconsin deer hunters will have a chance to shoot a buck in more parts of the state when the gun season opens in the fall.
The State Natural Resources Board approved recently approved new regulations.
Many of the changes will open up zones north of Green Bay, as well as a large portion of Northwestern Wisconsin.
There will be 56 regular hunting units. Hunters can harvest a buck during both the gun and archery season. Limited antlerless tags will be available to applicants for $12.
There will be 44 herd-control units. That is down from 64 units a year ago. Hunters will be able to buy an antlerless permit in those areas for $2.
In the northern part of the state, six zones will have a bucks-only season. Rules in the chronic wasting disease zone will stay the same.
"There's no earn-a-buck anywhere in the state. The October deer seasons which used to cause some hunters some concern, there's no October season, except in the CWD management zones," said the DNR's Wildlife Management Program director Tom Hauge.
Hauge said part of the restructuring comes from feedback from the public. 36 forums were held around the state where hunters and landowners could share concerns. 5,000 more people voiced their opinion online.
"We've worked very hard to try to increase our opportunities for input from hunters, and so I think we're on the right track," said Hauge.
"I think slowly and steadily, hunters are starting to have their voice heard. Based on are we controlling everything right, are we not doing what we're supposed to be doing," said deer hunter Adam Nebel.
"I believe we must be rebounding. If the earn-a-buck is taken away, that means we do have enough does and we are reproducing enough deer, that we're not having as much trouble getting quality bucks," said deer hunter Samantha Kropp.
Quality bucks. It's a goal of hunters and management alike. Time will tell if the new rules will pay off, in the fall.
The nine-day gun deer season opens November 17th.
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