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OK to take deer with tags and collars, but please call researcher

From Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

-- Wildlife researchers are looking for help from any Wisconsin hunter who may harvest one of the 335 white-tailed deer marked with ear tags and radio-collars during the archery and gun-deer seasons.

Researchers are looking for some basic, valuable information that could play a role in how Wisconsin's white-tailed deer herd is managed for generations to come.

It will only take a few moments of time for each hunter who harvests a marked deer only a few minutes to provide the information.

"These deer were marked back in January as part of a study to better understand how long deer live and how they die," said Chris Jacques, a research scientist with the Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Science Services. "Hunters are free to harvest these marked deer. And if they do, we would like some basic information that shouldn't take more than a minute to provide."

Hunters are being asked to call Jacques at (608) 221-6358 with basic information about the deer taken. This includes the ear tag or radio collar number; how, when and where the animal died or was harvested; and, the hunter's phone number, complete with area code.

Deer marked were in the northern counties of Rusk, Sawyer and Price, and the east central counties of Shawano, Waupaca and Outagamie 10 months ago as part of the buck mortality study. Find information on the study at http://dnr.wi.gov/org/es/science/wildlife/deer/buck/.

"To date, we have not heard from any hunters who may have harvested a tagged deer," Jacques said. "The information that hunters provide is important to the future of our deer herd." He said researchers are monitoring weekly survival status of radio-collared deer across east central Wisconsin, including 42 adult males, 32 adult females and 33 fawns. In the northern counties, researchers are monitoring the survival status of 44 adult males, 30 adult females, and 11 fawns.

While the DNR uses a deer population modeling system built upon sound science and data, Jacques says challenges remain.

"Years ago, the presence of predators wasn't an unusual issue. However, that's changed as predator populations across Wisconsin expand and deer are sought by more than just the orange-clad hunters," Jacques said. "Not only is this a wildlife issue, it is an economic issue. Deer hunting is part of the tourism industry, and our hunters have expressed concerns about the impact predation may be having on deer population growth and recruitment rates across the state."

There is no way to successfully manage the deer herd without the hunters' participation, Jacques said.

To report a tagged or collared deer harvest, call Chris Jacques at (608) 221-6358 or Joanne Haas at (608) 267-0798.

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