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2007 gun deer hunt runs Nov. 17-25

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outdoors River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Wisconsin's deer herd is estimated at between 1.6 and 1.8 million animals heading into the nine-day Nov. 17-25 gun hunt, followed by a Nov. 26-Dec. 5 muzzleloader-only hunt and a statewide antlerless deer only gun hunt Dec. 6-9.

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DNR launches expanded call center

The toll-free (888) 936-7463 information center and violation hotline hours will be staffed from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week to answer questions and to accept tips on violations. Spanish and Hmong speaking operators are available as well as an electronic chat room where e-mailed questions usually will be answered within minutes.

Prequalification for Earn-a-Buck

It's not too late to head out with a bow and prequalify for a buck sticker by shooting and registering an antlerless deer in any one of the state's 57 Earn-a-Buck deer management units.

Baiting and feeding

People who hunt deer over bait should review Wisconsin's deer baiting and feeding regulations found on the DNR Web site. Baiting and feeding of deer is prohibited in 26 counties and is regulated in all remaining counties.

Protected wild animals

Wolves and coyotes

The gray wolf was removed from the list of endangered and threatened species in Wisconsin but is still classified as a protected wild animal. Persons shooting a wolf are subject to citation and fine and possible loss of equipment and hunting privileges.

The department and its partner USDA-Wildlife Services actively investigate all complaints and will remove known depredating wolves.

Coyote hunting is closed in roughly the northern third of the state during the gun deer seasons, which this year run from Nov. 17 through Dec. 9. For information and boundaries of the closed zone, refer to the Hunting Regulations page of the DNR Web site.

Elk and Moose

Elk are protected wild animals in Wisconsin and it is illegal to shoot them. Efforts to reintroduce them are underway and the growing herd is closely monitored. Moose are also protected.

Safety

All hunters born after Jan. 1, 1973, are required to provide proof of successfully completing a Wisconsin hunter safety course or a similar course from another state to buy a hunting license in Wisconsin.

Four cardinal rules of gun safety are stressed. Known as "TAB-K," the simple to understand guidelines are:

• Treat every gun as if it is loaded;

• Always point the muzzle in a safe direction;

• Be sure of your target and what's beyond it;

• Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.

Tim Lawyer, Wisconsin hunter safety education coordinator, said "Our records show that one out of three hunters who use stands will be injured at some time. So check out your tree stand before opening morning. Make sure it's safe and solid and either repair or replace anything that's missing, looks worn or suspicious.

"Also, leave a hunting plan with someone at home or another member of your hunting party. It should list where you are hunting and when you'll be home or when you'll check in. It's good insurance in case you become lost or disabled in the woods."

Antlerless deer

2007 marks the second year of a two-year trial moratorium on October gun hunting outside of CWD zones requested by hunting groups.

The trial was designed to determine whether or not hunters could reach a 2-to-1 antlerless to buck harvest ratio in Herd Control units across the state over the two year span.

It is likely that October gun hunting will return to much of Wisconsin in 2008 say wildlife managers.

Deer hunting is big business

According to the 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, deer hunting activity in Wisconsin produces $535 million in retail activity, and generates $1 billion in total economic impact and $20.6 million in sales and motor fuel tax revenues.

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