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Participation doubles for WI deer forums, online survey

From Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

-- Participation in Wisconsin’s 2012 deer forums was significantly higher than the previous year, with double the number of people attending meetings and more than 6,500 providing comments online.

Throughout March, 36 deer forums were held throughout the state to listen to hunters and others interested in deer and to share current information about deer management and prospects for the 2012 season.

New this year, the public was also able to get unit-specific information and contribute feedback about their favorite deer management unit through the DNR website. While attendance at the forums was just shy of 1,200 people, more than 6,500 provided feedback through the DNR website.

“Attendance at the local meetings more than doubled this year, but the response to the online forum option greatly exceeded our hopes,” said Kevin Wallenfang, big game ecologist. “With three times the people taking advantage of the online forum it seems we’ve found a good way to accommodate people who don’t want to drive great distances, but still want to participate in some way.”

Results of both the local forums and on-line survey indicate strong public support for reduced permit numbers in the north for the 2012 deer season.

Preliminary results indicate the majority of online feedback from people in northern Wisconsin, with 39 percent representing the northern forest deer management region, 21 percent southern farmland, 18 percent eastern farmland, 13 percent western farmland, and 9 percent central forest.

The majority of online respondents were hunters, and most hunt deer during both gun and archery seasons.

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