County Deer Advisory Councils public feedback period begins Monday

CDAC form, April 2, 2018 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

DOOR COUNTY (WLUK) -- Deer Hunt 2018 is still more than seven months away, but local deer managers are working on plans for the upcoming season.

Seventy-two County Deer Advisory Councils met last month, and now those groups are looking for input from hunters and non-hunters alike.

The public has a chance to weigh in, starting Monday.

When it comes to total deer harvest, Door County is coming off its best year on record.

"I think what's happening, is the hunters are recognizing that the population is there," said Dick Baudhuin, Door County Deer Advisory Council President.

From hunters to foresters to those in tourism, CDAC members decide how the county's deer hunting season will be structured. For the second straight year, Door County hunters may receive five free antlerless permits with each license purchased.

"I think that's a good indicator that the hunters are more willing to harvest antlerless deer. Are we where we need to be? No. But I think the trend is there. The last two years, we've harvested more antlerless deer both years," said Baudhuin.

And new this year, the councils could extend the archery season, giving hunters about an extra month to harvest bucks and does.

"So the council in Door County recommended that we have it open through the month of January," said Baudhuin.

At this point, the deer advisory councils recommendations are preliminary. For the next 10 days, the Department of Natural Resources will take feedback.

An online comment period started Monday.

"You can go on there, select a county that you either hunt in, live in, recreate in, or have interest in, and you can provide public comments in regards to what that county has recommended. From antlerled quotas, to antlerless harvest levels," said Josh Martinez, DNR Wildlife Biologist.

And at the county level deer managers encourage all people to attend the advisory meetings.

"It's hard to manage a population when the folks we hear from are our partners in harvesting. We're not hearing from the other people that are impacted," said Baudhuin.

The DNR will share the public comments with the 72 county deer councils, which will meet again in a couple weeks.

The councils will forward their final recommendations to the State Natural Resources Board for approval in May.

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