There may be very few “upsides” to the COVID-19 virus, but the beginning of the County Deer Advisory Council (CDAC) meetings brought out one positive from the restrictions that have become part of dealing with the coronavirus threat.
Because of cancellations of in-person meetings, CDACs are now meeting via telephone and anyone may listen to the meetings from anywhere in the state, without having to travel to the city where meetings are normally held.
The Crawford County March 30 CDAC was the first Crawford County meeting that I have been able attend. I live in Madison but own land in Crawford County. Similar “by telephone” meetings were held in seven other counties the same evening. More are coming up for other counties.
The meeting was interesting and informative for any hunter or landowner.
Bob Ziel, chair and long-time sportsman from Prairie du Chien, ran an orderly meeting and set out the ground rules early.
Ziel reviewed the CDAC’s purpose and actions from last spring. He mentioned that council members could talk and any members of the public could listen.
Dan Goltz, DNR wildlife biologist, reviewed the 2019 season and had previously recorded deer metric information that was available online.
Council members discussed deer populations, antlerless permits, the holiday hunt, extending bow season, and effects of epizootic hemorrhagic disease on the county’s deer population.
After discussion, the council agreed that more deer have to be harvested in order to maintain the level of the herd around 15,800. CDAC members recommended an antlerless quota of 3,300 animals and will give out four free antlerless tags with each license.
Bonus permits levels were recommended at 2,800 on public land and increase to 200 on public land.
Council members stressed this is just preliminary, and now the public may weigh-in.
The public can e-mail comments and suggestions to the CDAC from April 16 to April 28 at dnr.wi.gov and look for “CDAC.”
At the next meeting the Crawford County CDAC which will then make its final recommendations. That meeting is scheduled for May 6 and it is not known yet if it will also be by phone or if, by that time, an in-person meeting will be allowed in Prairie du Chien.
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