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October gun hunt included in 2008 deer hunting framework

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A gun-only October deer hunt is part of the plan for this fall's deer season, according to officials with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

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The October gun hunt will run from Oct. 16-19 and will be for anterless deer only in most of the state's herd control and Earn-a-Buck deer management areas.

Approval for the October hunt was given by the Natural Resources Board during their meeting in Madison on April 23.

The framework for the upcoming deer season will include all deer management units outside of the southern Wisconsin Chronic Wasting Disease management zones.

The season also includes an Oct. 11-12 youth hunt and a Dec. 11-14 antlerless only firearm hunt.

"Hunters had, by most measures, a very good 2007 season," said Keith Warnke, a DNR big game biologist.

Warnke added that the deer population remains high despite the severe winter.

"Getting the statewide deer population down to established goals will take time, it won't be accomplished in one season," Warnke told board members, "but we are making progress."

Details about the rules changes are available on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.wi.us.

The 2008 Deer Management Unit map is also available on the site.

A two-year trial moratorium on the October antlerless gun hunt expired at the end of the 2007 season.

EAB regulations will be in effect in 35 deer management units outside of the CWD management zones, which are also EAB in 2008. EAB requires a hunter to first shoot an antlerless deer before shooting a buck.

The 2008 season dates are:

Archery season -- Sept. 13-Nov. 20 and Dec. 1-Jan. 4, 2009.

Youth hunt -- Oct. 11-12.

Early antlerless deer only gun hunt in Herd Control and Earn-a-Buck deer management units, including CWD units (units in the Central Forest Deer Management Region do not have the Oct 16-19 antlerless gun hunt) -- Oct. 16-19.

Traditional nine-day fire arm season -- Nov. 22-30.

Muzzleloader firearm only -- Dec. 1-10.

December antlerless deer only gun hunt in all units (state park units may offer this hunt. Check regulations for state park units) -- Dec. 11-14.

The full regulations pamphlet, 2008 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations, should be available online and in hard copy by early summer, according to wildlife officials.

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