November 24, 2014

State budget to include deer management plan

(Photo: Wisconsin DNR)

(Photo: Wisconsin DNR)

Governor Scott Walker says he plans to include money in his upcoming state budget proposal to improve the way Wisconsin manages its deer herd. Walker on Friday outlined a proposal that includes several deer-related measures, such as the creation of a Deer Management Assistance Program called “D-MAP.”

The creation of D-MAP was one of the top recommendations made last year by Walker’s “Deer Czar,” James Kroll. The proposal is a system in which hunters and landowners work with the state to manage deer and other habitat on specific lands. Hunters on those lands would get special tags to shoot antlerless deer, and would collect and share data from their harvests.

Walker says his budget would include a D-MAP coordinator, and fees for the program’s services. About 20 other states use the D-MAP system, and the properties are determined by a consensus from landowners and wildlife officials.

The governor he also wants to invest in more modern satellite technology to help deer managers track animals and make herd management decisions. Hunters in chronic wasting disease zones would also start paying fees for antlerless tags, to speed up the testing of animals suspected of having CWD. Walker also wants to give the DNR the authority to adopt needed emergency rules for the 2013 and 2014 deer seasons.

The governor did not say how much the initiatives would cost or how much hunters would pay for the specialized tags in CWD zones.

The proposals will be included in the budget Walker plans to present to the state Legislature on February 20th.

AUDIO: Gov. Scott Walker (1:16)