Wis. lawmakers demand deer changes

January 05, 2010 at 06:09 PM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Legislators have kicked proposed deer population goals back to state conservation officials, demanding they address hunters’ concerns about a dwindling herd.

Hunters killed 29 percent fewer deer in November than last year. They claim the DNR’s herd reduction strategies have devastated the deer population.

The Department of Natural Resources has proposed a rule that sets population goals across the state’s 131 deer management zones for at least the next three years. The agency wants to raise the goal in 13 zones.

But the Assembly Fish and Wildlife Committee sent the plan back to the agency Tuesday.

Rep. Ann Hraychuck, a Balsam Lake Democrat, says the committee wants DNR officials to address what lawmakers see as a flawed population counting system and acknowledge they’re listening to hunters.

Keith Warnke, a DNR big game ecologist, says the agency will work with legislators.