Wisconsin Natural Resources Board approves 2017 deer harvest quotas and season structure June 5, 2017

Wisconsin Deer Population, Management News and Information Archive

Wisconsin Natural Resources Board approves 2017 deer harvest quotas and season structure

The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board approved deer hunting season framework and antlerless deer quotas for 2017 at its May 24 meeting in Madison.

Final season framework reflects recommendations from County Deer Advisory Councils – 2017 marks the third year these councils have played a key role in Wisconsin’s deer management efforts. In addition to direct feedback from councils, more than 6,500 questionnaires were received during a public input process that ran from April 3-13, 2017.

In 2017, four deer management units within the Northern and Central Forest zones will allow only bucks to be harvested, while the rest of Wisconsin will have a total quota of 276,515 antlerless deer (compared to 256,775 in 2016). 

A decrease in “buck-only” counties compared to the last two years (12 in 2015 and 10 in 2016) is a good indication that councils and the DNR are seeing herds rebound in Northern Forest Zone counties. As a reminder, rules are in place to allow disabled hunters, military personnel on leave, Deer Management Assistance Program cooperators, and youth hunters (the Junior Antlerless Tag is valid statewide) to harvest antlerless deer in buck-only units. As a result, there will be some antlerless deer harvested in each of the 4 buck-only units in 2017.

The sale of bonus antlerless deer hunting tags will include 31,945 tags valid on public access lands (compared to 22,775 in 2016) and 168,210 tags valid on private lands (compared to 136,875 in 2016). Bonus antlerless tag sales will occur as follows (sales begin each day at 10 a.m.):

  • Monday, Aug. 14 - Northern and Central Forest zones;
  • Tuesday, Aug. 15 - Central Farmland Zone;
  • Wednesday, Aug. 16 - Southern Farmland Zone; and
  • Thursday, Aug. 17 - all remaining bonus tags can be purchased until sold out or the season ends.

A Holiday Hunt will be held within 17 counties and provide for an additional antlerless-only opportunity for firearm hunters from Dec. 24, 2017 to Jan.1, 2018.

The department’s deer hunting webpage will be updated within the coming weeks with additional resources regarding the 2017 deer hunting quotas and season framework. To help hunters prepare for the 2017 deer hunt, the following documents are now available at keyword “deer”:

Farmland (Zone 2) Antlerless tags are now available!

Farmland (Zone 2) antlerless tags are now available for distribution. Depending on the deer management unit, one or more Farmland (Zone 2) antlerless deer tags are included with the purchase of each gun and archery deer hunting license. Remember to print and carry your tag with you in the field, and after a successful hunt - if you leave it, tag it!

Think strategic in making your selection. Remember:

  • All tags selected for each individual license must be for the same county.
  • If you have a combination of license privileges that include BOTH gun and archery/crossbow seasons, you may select tags in two different counties.
  • While each license type will offer the tags, the Farmland (Zone 2) tags are NOT weapon or season specific and can be used during any season with the appropriate weapon for that season.
  • If selecting a county that offers more than one tag, you can designate one for private land and one for public land, both for private land or both for public land.

Here's how to make your Farmland (Zone 2) Antlerless Deer Tag selection:

  • Go to GoWild.WI.gov and click on the Get Started box to log into your Go Wild account.
  • After verifying all of your personal information you'll be at your own Homepage. Scroll down to the black License heading, click on Buy Licenses.
  • Under the black Products heading, you should see the option to receive Farmland (Zone 2) antlerless tags. Click on the blue letters "Farmland (Zone 2) tags."
  • From there, simply click on the appropriate boxes to select the county (DMU) where you wish to use your Farmland Zone tag, and whether it will be used on public land.
  • If you have both an archery/crossbow and gun license, you will be allowed to select tags for each.

Already purchased a license?
Hunters who have already purchased a license for hunting deer are able to select the unit and land type for Farmland (Zone 2) antlerless tags and obtain a hard copy of the tag using one of the three options found below:

  • access their online Go Wild account at gowild.wi.gov, make your selections and print your tag(s);
  • request tag(s) at a DNR Service Center; or
  • request tag(s) at a license agent (this will require a $2 processing fee).

Need to purchase a license? 

Hunters who have not yet purchased a license for hunting deer will be prompted to select the unit and land-type at the point of sale. Licenses may be purchased through the Go Wild website, gowild.wi.gov or at any of more than 1,000 Go Wild license sales locations.

Hunters who have yet to determine hunting location may defer the Farmland (Zone 2) antlerless tag selection. When ready, hunters may:

  • make a tag selection online from their Go Wild account and print themselves;
  • request desired tag(s) at a local DNR Service Center; or
  • visit a license agent (this will require a $2 processing fee).

What can DMAP do for you? It’s never been easier to improve your habitat for deer and other wildlife

DMAP engages landowners and hunters to balance wildlife and habitat needs on a given property.  Landowners can designate anyone as a representative for their property to allow friends or family that may not own land themselves to take the lead on habitat management. 

Check out this new video featuring DMAP cooperators here.

Join hundreds of DMAP cooperators as a steward of our Wisconsin land and wildlife resources - to apply or learn more about DMAP, visit dnr.wi.gov, keyword “DMAP.”


These articles have been reviewed for relevance and content.  Some links to the original article may no longer be active.

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