The Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) and partner organizations applaud the vote by the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) to include a $5 adjustment to the Wisconsin Waterfowl Stamp in the state legislature’s 2021-2023 proposed budget.

“The sportsmen and women have been asking to provide more money for conservation through the stamp fund and we’re thrilled to see this advancing through the budget process,” said Tony Blattler, WCC Chair.

The current price of the waterfowl stamp ($7) has been in place since 1997. Inflation over the last 24 years has significantly reduced the buying power of this critically important conservation funding mechanism. As a result, with limited habitat work there are fewer acres of wetland habitat in Wisconsin and fewer ducks.

“100% of the funds raised from the sale of the state duck stamp are used to improve the habitat that brings waterfowl to our state, and the additional funds raised will mean that those who enjoy our state’s wetlands will have better and more opportunities to do so,” said Nels Swenson, Wisconsin State Policy Chair for Ducks Unlimited. 

Waterfowl hunters have been asking the state legislature for an adjustment to the state waterfowl stamp for the last 10 years. A coalition of all the major waterfowl and wetland conservation organizations, representing over 40,000 of the state’s waterfowl hunters, has long supported this effort. The coalition includes the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, Wisconsin Waterfowl Association, Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation and the Green Bay Duck Hunters Association. 

“These stamp funds are a huge win for all of Wisconsin since the habitat improvement projects greatly enhance so many other species,” said former Wisconsin Conservation Congress Chairman Larry Bonde.“Birdwatchers, trappers, and the entire sporting community benefit from the projects that use waterfowl stamp funds.”

Membership surveys by these organizations over the last decade have consistently shown overwhelming support for an adjustment to the Wisconsin Waterfowl Stamp. The most recent survey conducted In WWA’s and Delta Waterfowl’s most recent survey, 84% and 95% of their memberships, respectively, supported adjusting the state stamp fee by at least $5.

“This modest adjustment – which is less than the cost of a box of shotgun shells – will go a long way to enhance and restore habitat to produce more waterfowl in Wisconsin,” said John Devney, Senior Vice President of Policy for Delta Waterfowl. “We thank the members of the Wisconsin legislature for listening to the state’s waterfowl hunters and supporting this long-awaited and much-needed adjustment.”

The coalition would like to specifically thank Sen. Patrick Testin (R – Stevens Point) and Rep. Ken Skowronski (R – Franklin) for their leadership on this issue. Sen. Testin and Rep. Skowronski have been long-time champions on this issue and were instrumental in getting this adjustment included in the proposed state budget.

“We would like to thank the members of the JFC for standing with our state’s sportsmen and women and supporting their desire to help provide better habitat for our wildlife,” said Bruce Ross, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association (WWA).

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages residents and visitors to take precautions to avoid potential conflicts with black bears across the state as they emerge from their dens early this spring.

Black bears are most common in the northern half of the state; however, populations have been slowly expanding southward for the past few decades. They are naturally cautious animals that normally avoid contact with people for their safety, but conflicts between people and bears can arise. Additionally, bears can quickly learn to associate humans with food when food sources are available.

"As the weather warms and we all get outside more, some of our activities can generate food sources for bear,” said Brad Koele, DNR Wildlife Damage Specialist. “Grilling outdoors, feeding birds, pet food provided outside and unsecured trash cans can lead to conflict when they become bear food sources. It is important to make sure these attractants are inaccessible to bear at all times of the year, but it’s especially important in spring when natural food sources are limited.”

If a bear finds food such as bird feed or garbage near homes and cabins, it will likely return. Visits are more likely to stop when food is no longer available. Bears will periodically check sites where food was once available, so it may take several days to weeks after a food source has been removed for a bear to discontinue visiting food sites entirely.

Follow these steps to avoid attracting black bears:

  • Do not knowingly feed a bear

  • Completely remove bird feeders, even during daytime hours – Bears are active during the day and may cause problems even if the feeders are out only during that time

  • Clean areas where bird feeders were located so that accumulated deposits of spilled seed are removed

  • Reduce garbage odors by rinsing food cans before putting them in covered recycling containers or garbage cans

  • Keep meat scraps in the freezer until garbage day, and if possible, keep garbage cans in a closed building until the morning of pick-up

  • Be sure to lock commercial dumpsters

  • Keep pet food inside or inaccessible to bears even during daytime hours

  • Keep barbeque grills and picnic tables clean

Bears are normally solitary forest animals, but their powerful sense of smell can lead them into urban areas in search of food, especially in the spring and fall. Black bears are secretive animals and usually try to avoid people. However, conflicts with humans can occur when bears destroy gardens, bird feeders, apiaries and trash cans.

By understanding bear behavior, there are several ways people can reduce negative human-bear conflicts around their homes. The DNR’s Living With Black Bears In Wisconsin pamphlet is a great resource for learning more about co-existing with bears in Wisconsin.

"We are encouraging property owners and residents to take actions now to avoid conflicts with bear,” Koele said. “Taking proactive steps now will decrease the likelihood that wildlife specialists will need to conduct site visits and implement control efforts.”  

If a bear is near your home or cabin, wave your arms and make noise to scare it away. Back away slowly and seek a safe location where you can wait for the bear to leave.

When scaring a bear away, make sure it has a clear escape route; never corner a bear. If you encounter a bear while in the woods, stay calm and do not approach the bear. Never approach a bear with cubs, and for your safety, do not attempt to break up a fight between your pet and a bear.

The DNR partners with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services Program to respond to approximately 800 bear-related complaints reported in Wisconsin each year.

If unable to resolve a conflict with a bear, contact the USDA Wildlife Services toll-free line at 1-800-433-0663 for properties in southern Wisconsin and 1-800-228-1368 for properties in northern Wisconsin.

For more information regarding bears and safety, visit the DNR webpage here.


Mishicot Sportsmen’s Club

for donating $500 to the ADA fishing pier project a Harpts lake! Treasurer

Larry Kobes   presenting check to Russell Rezba












This is what will happen when all the Sportsmen Clubs work together on a project. Thanks to Larrabee Sportsman Club for building another ADA Fishing pier on Haupt’s Lake. Each club in the County could use your support please. Great place to take your children or grandchildren for some good old fashion education. I mean, no computers of games. Good place to get your hands dirty working on a club project.


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking volunteers to help collect information about the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly and its habitat to help advance recovery efforts.

One of the many things Wisconsinites can be proud of is the abundance of habitats that support the world’s largest populations of Karner blue butterflies. Wisconsin is one of the last remaining strongholds in the entire Karner range. They can be found in barrens, savannas, prairies, and right of way corridors. The adult Karner is about the size of a nickel and has two flight periods: The first beginning in late May/earlyJune into late June and the second beginning in early/mid July into late August.

There are many opportunities for the public to help protect the Karner blue and its habitat, including volunteering to survey this special butterfly. Anyone interested in volunteering must watch two free online training videos and take a quiz. These and other resources can be found on the Karner Volunteer Monitoring Website.

There is also an optional virtual field day at 1 p.m. on June 11. To get the link for the field day, please email Chelsea Weinzinger, DNR Karner Blue Butterfly Recovery Coordinator, at Chelsea.Weinzinger@wisconsin.gov.

The volunteer training, which is part of the DNR's monitoring program for Karners, has been revamped this year and is an important part of the multifaceted efforts underway to protect and restore Karners and their habitat. The progress of these efforts has helped maintain Wisconsin's Karner blue butterfly population as the nation’s largest stronghold.

"Our goal is to train citizen scientists to be able to identify Karner blue butterflies and help us collect data to look at metapopulation dynamics, or how this species moves around the landscape over time," said Chelsea Weinzinger, DNR Karner Blue Butterfly Recovery Coordinator. "Historically, we’ve focused on surveying the largest known occupied sites over the years, so expanding our capacity to collect large scale information will improve our data and give us a better statewide picture of how this species is faring."

The Karner blue butterfly was listed in 1992 as a federally endangered species. Karner caterpillars only eat native wild lupine (Lupinus perennis), a plant mainly found in oak and pine barrens communities, and such habitats have been lost in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

2021 Senate Bill 166 and 2021 Assembly Bill 151 is currently in front of the Wisconsin State Senate’s Natural Resources and Energy Committee. This bill mandates the Department of Natural Resources to provide up to $200,000 in grants in the 2021-23 fiscal biennium for the creation of new sites for the disposal of deer carcasses. DNR must prioritize the development of sites in underserved areas that are affected by chronic wasting disease and ensure the greatest geographic distribution of disposal sites. Disposal sites created with a grant award must be accessible to the general public throughout deer hunting season and may not charge any fee for carcass disposal. Further, this bill also provides that the operator of a landfill may not refuse to accept any deer carcass that is in a bag for disposal.

Proper disposal of deer carcasses is essential to slowing CWD’s spread. This bill makes it easier for hunters to dispose of deer properly, instead of placing potentially infected carcasses on the landscape. One of the easiest ways for hunters to help slow CWD’s spread is to stop human transport of infected deer carcasses. Thus, easy methods of deer carcass disposal will help ensure carcasses from CWD areas are not disposed on the landscape in non-CWD areas. This bill will provide Wisconsin with the necessary funding to allow the public easy access to proper deer disposal.

The Wisconsin Chapter of BHA supports this bill. CWD is a major concern to Wisconsin’s deer herd and hunting heritage and thus far it has not received the attention it deserves.  This bill alone will not stop CWD. Rather, it is one step in a long journey to slowing and, hopefully, stopping CWD. 

Please contact your legislators and tell them that you support 2021 Senate Bill 166 and 2021 Assembly Bill 151 by clicking here.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding Wisconsinites to get ready for the upcoming 2021 spring turkey hunt happening April 21 - June 1.

The 2021 spring turkey hunt includes six, seven-day periods running Wednesday through the following Tuesday. Each of the DNR’s seven turkey management zones will be open for hunting.

The Fall 2020 - Spring 2021 Combined Hunting Regulations provides hunters with everything you need to know about spring turkey hunting from season dates, general regulations to shooting hours.

Registering your turkey harvest remains a critical component of wildlife population management. Turkey registration is mandatory and hunters must register their turkey by 5 p.m. the day after recovery using the DNR’s Electronic Game Registration reporting system GameReg, or by phone at 1-844-426-3734.

Hunters will need their harvest authorization number to register their turkey, located on a paper or a digital copy of their harvest authorization.

The wild turkey is truly one of Wisconsin's wildlife management success stories. A key part of the success of the wild turkey management program can be attributed to hunters through their purchase of the Wild Turkey Stamp which provides vital financial support in providing for future opportunities for turkey management and hunting in Wisconsin.

Youth Turkey Hunt April 17-18

Youth under the age of 16 may hunt during the spring turkey youth hunt April 17-18. Hunters under the age of 12 and youth without a hunter education safety certificate can participate in the youth turkey hunt under the mentored hunting program. A qualified adult must accompany the youth and follow the youth turkey hunting and mentored hunting program rules.

Youth hunters must possess a valid spring turkey license, stamp and harvest authorization. A harvest authorization for any period can be used during the youth hunt weekend, but youth hunters must hunt within the turkey management zone indicated on their harvest authorization. For more information about Wisconsin youth hunts, click here.

Wisconsin's Public Lands Are The Perfect Place To Pursue Birds This Spring

Each year, thousands of outdoor enthusiasts use Wisconsin's public lands for various activities, ranging from birdwatching to hunting. For anyone interested in exploring all Wisconsin has to offer, the DNR has several tools to help users find a new favorite spot in the wild.

The DNR’s free Hunt Wild mobile app gives hunters the tools they need to plan their time in the field, combining public lands mapping, rules and regulations, shooting hours and the option to link their Go Wild account.

Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, public access to nearly 40,000 acres of private land is available through the Voluntary Public Access-Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP) and the Turkey Hunter Access Program (THAP). More information and interactive property maps for both programs is available on the DNR website.

Hunters who would like to pursue turkeys in a state park must hold a harvest authorization for the turkey management zone in which the park is located. Spring turkey hunting is allowed in select state parks during the two-day youth hunt and the regular season's first two time periods. For more information regarding hunting in state parks, visit the DNR’s state park hunting webpage.

The Fort McCoy spring turkey hunting season is managed separately from the State of Wisconsin spring turkey hunt. Hunters who do not receive a harvest authorization through the Wisconsin spring turkey drawing can apply for a spring permit at Fort McCoy. Applications can be obtained from Fort McCoy by calling 608-388-3337 or by visiting their website.

For additional information about turkey hunting in Wisconsin, click here

April brings a high risk for the often-fatal oak wilt disease across the state, and as a result, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recommends not pruning or cutting oak trees from April through July. What you can’t see can kill a tree.

Oak wilt is widespread in southern Wisconsin, but it is still a new and uncommon disease in much of northern Wisconsin. As spring draws property owners outdoors to start seasonal yard maintenance and cleanup projects, when it comes to the health of oaks trees, keeping those chainsaws and trimming tools a safe distance will go a long way to ensure that your trees stay healthy for many more spring seasons to come.

Pruning and cutting oaks in spring and early summer leaves them vulnerable to oak wilt, which rapidly kills trees in the red oak group and weakens those in the white oak group. Any damage during this time, including broken branches caused by storms, exposes living tree tissue beneath the bark and provides an opportunity for the oak wilt fungus to attack the tree.

Tree paint or wound dressing is not normally recommended on pruned or wounded surfaces, but for damaged oaks a light application of these products immediately, if possible within 15 minutes, may be the only defense against oak wilt infection from April through July. Wounds are not susceptible to oak wilt after 72 hours.

It should be noted that although overland infection can occur in mid-July, it is not common. To be very cautious, avoid wounding oaks from April through October 1.

If an oak is wounded during this period, immediately and thoroughly apply pruning sealer or tree paint over the wound. Torn branches or roots should be cut clean and the cut surface painted. For additional protection, cover treated roots with soil. The DNR does not recommend tree paint or wound dressing on pruned or wounded surfaces.

Oak wilt spreads over land, by sap-feeding beetles that carry the fungal spores from infected oaks to fresh wounds on healthy oaks; and, underground, from infected oaks to nearby healthy oaks through grafted, or interconnected, root systems.

“Sap-feeding beetles, like most insects, have an incredible sense of smell, which draws them to open wound surfaces to feed on sugary sap in as little as 15 minutes after a tree is wounded,” said Paul Cigan, DNR Forest Health Specialist. “This is how most new oak wilt infections start.”

Red, black and pin oaks are highly susceptible to oak wilt. Once infected, they can die within a few weeks. White and bur oaks are much less susceptible. If infected, they can take months or years to die, or they may even recover.

Avoiding tree pruning in spring not only protects trees from disease, but also helps trees regenerate.

“Deciduous (shedding) trees that lose their leaves in the fall are just starting to grow new buds and leaves, so the trees’ food reserves are low,” said Don Kissinger, DNR Urban Forester. “In general, the best time to prune is in winter when trees are dormant.”

As of January 31, the DNR has received reports of oak wilt in all Wisconsin counties except Ashland, Iron, Forest, Taylor, Door, Kewaunee, Calumet and Manitowoc counties. Several of these counties contain the highest abundance of healthy and productive oak forests in the state. Taking recommended precautions will help keep them that way for years to come. Check with your municipality to find out if they have their own oak wilt ordinances that you should follow as well.

Oak wilt and other diseases move easily on or in firewood logs year-round, so keeping firewood local or purchasing Wisconsin-certified firewood, is another critical component of protecting trees and maintaining healthy forests.

More information is available online on the DNR’s oak wilt webpage and the DNR’s firewood webpage. Additional information about proper pruning techniques is available from community foresters in the DNR’s Proper Pruning Techniques publication.

This year marks the 26th year of the FORWARD Endowment gifting cycle.  The FORWARD Endowment, the Manitowoc County trust established to fund projects focused on hunting, fishing, conservation, and related education, has completed its 2020 funding cycle which began in September of 2020.  FORWARD stands for Friends Of Resources, Wildlife And Recreational Development.  It was founded by The Manitowoc Unit of Manitowoc County Fish & Game.  It is now supported by a combination of funding from area sporting clubs, private donations, and estate gifts.  Manitowoc County Fish and Game has been a major supporter of the fund and provides a percentage of their Annual Banquet proceeds each year.


The FORWARD Endowment received 6 requests totaling almost $25,000 for funding of projects from community organizations in Manitowoc County.  The trust has specific parameters that must be met, and all projects must show public benefit.  Only Manitowoc County groups can be considered.  A total of just over $9,500 was awarded to the following organizations:


                        Conservation Education Incorporated – Signage Project

                   Manitowoc County Fish & Game – Pigeon Lake ADA Pier Project

                   Woodland Dunes Nature Center – Student Conservation Leaders

                   Larrabee Sportsman’s Club – Harpt Lake ADA Fishing Pier Project

                   Camp TaPaWingo – Digital Observation Technology Program


Organizations have been notified by mail of their awards and the specific requirements.  Funds are dispersed by Associated Bank who manages the trust when projects document completion.  Dean Halverson, Chair of the Gift Committee said, “we are thrilled to support great community projects with direct benefit to our area.  We are building the fund every year through proper management and community support.”  The fund is designed that only interest income is made available for grants and adjusted for inflation.


The FORWARD Endowment has now provided over $130,000 in grants awarded to projects and groups in Manitowoc County since being founded in 1993.  FORWARD is a 501C3 and donations can make checks payable to The FORWARD Endowment c/o Associated Bank.  Adam Grantham is the contact person at the bank.  Memorial or estate planning gifts are possible with the fund. 


For More Information Contact mantyfg071@gmail.com

Visit www.mantyfg.org/local-units/forward-endowment/

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the annual Spring Hearings will once again being held online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The public will have the opportunity to provide input on the proposed natural resources rule changes from the DNR, and advisory questions from the Natural Resources Board (NRB) and WCC through the online input opportunity.

The 2021 Spring Hearing online input webpage and will go live at 7 p.m. on April 12 and will remain open for three days (72 hours). Results will be posted as soon as they are available.

This year there are 23 proposed rule changes related to fisheries and five proposed rule changes related to wildlife management. There are also advisory questions from Fisheries, the Natural Resources Board, and the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. All questions are available to preview here.

Wisconsinites can also recommend changes to natural resource issues by submitting citizen resolutions online. Review the Frequently Asked Questions, click the submit a resolution button, and follow the directions to enter your resolution. All citizen resolutions must be received by 5 p.m. April 5. Those who complete the online input form (April 12-15) will be able to see the resolutions that were submitted by individuals indicating they reside in that county.

“This has been a challenging year for everyone around the state and the country. We want to continue to do our part to minimize the spread and impact of this virus on our communities while continuing to provide an opportunity for the public to weigh in on these important natural resources issues,” said Tony Blattler, chair of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. “I hope that everyone interested in the issues being discussed will use the online option to provide their input. We understand the value of the in-person meeting for discussion and sharing of ideas, but our top priority is the health and safety of Wisconsinites.”

Typically, county residents would have the option to run for a seat on the Conservation Congress and to elect delegates from their county to represent their county views regarding natural resources on the Conservation Congress. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, 2021 elections are canceled.

"We will be extending the terms of each of the WCC delegates by another year," said Blattler. "If a current delegate no longer wishes to serve, the seat will become vacant and the county chair can appoint someone to fill the remainder of the term."

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress is the only statutory body in the state where the public elects delegates to advise the Natural Resources Board and the Department of Natural Resources on how to responsibly manage Wisconsin's natural resources for present and future generations. The Congress accomplishes this through open, impartial, broad-ranged actions.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will begin selling 2021 bonus turkey harvest authorizations on Monday, March 15, with a designated sales date for each zone.

Previously known as leftover permits, bonus harvest authorizations are available for purchase online through GoWild.Wi.Gov and at all license agents. Sales begin at 10 a.m. and run through midnight each day. Instructions for how to purchase a spring turkey bonus authorizations in Go Wild are available here.  

Bonus harvest authorizations are $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents. Both residents and non-residents will have equal opportunities for purchase. Hunters can purchase bonus authorizations at a rate of one per day until the zone and time period are sold out, or the season closes. Bonus harvest authorization purchases will not affect preference point status for future spring drawings.

The scheduled sales dates for the 2021 spring turkey harvest authorizations are:

  • Zone 1 - Monday, March 15

  • Zone 2 - Tuesday, March 16

  • Zone 3 - Wednesday, March 17

  • Zone 4 - Thursday, March 18

  • Zone 5 - Friday, March 19

  • Zone 6 - no bonus harvest authorizations available

  • Zone 7 - Friday, March 19

The Go Wild system will use an online queue to assign random numbers to customers who enter the site between 9:45 and 10 a.m. It is important to note that there is no advantage to entering the site prior to 9:45 a.m. Customers who join after 10 a.m. will be added to the queue in order of arrival.

The DNR recommends that turkey hunters interested in purchasing a Conservation Patron license do so before March 15 to make the bonus harvest authorization process as quick and easy as possible.

After zone-specific sales, all remaining turkey harvest authorizations for all zones will be available for purchase Saturday, March 20 at 10 a.m. Hunters who missed the spring turkey drawing deadline last December or who want additional harvest authorizations can purchase bonus authorizations beginning March 15.

In total, 101,291 bonus turkey harvest authorizations are available across turkey zones 1-5 and 7 for the 2021 spring season. No bonus harvest authorizations are available for zone 6 as all available permits were issued via the spring drawing. Hunters are encouraged to check the turkey zone map and the spring turkey bonus harvest authorization availability to see if harvest authorizations are available for the period and turkey zone they wish to hunt.

All spring turkey hunters must possess a valid spring turkey license, a 2021 wild turkey stamp and a valid turkey harvest authorization. If not already done, hunters will be required to purchase the spring turkey license and stamp authorization when purchasing a bonus harvest authorization.

Spring Turkey Season

The spring turkey season is comprised of six seven-day periods running Wednesday through the following Tuesday. A total of seven zones will be open for hunting in 2021. Spring Turkey season dates are as follows:

  • Youth Hunt: April 17-18

  • Period A: April 21-27

  • Period B: April 28-May 4

  • Period C: May 5-May 11

  • Period D: May 12-18

  • Period E: May 19-25

  • Period F: May 26-June 1

Spring turkey hunting regulations are listed in the 2020 Combined Hunting Regulations.

Youth Turkey Hunt Set For April 17-18

Youth hunters under the age of 16 may hunt during the youth turkey hunt April 17-18. Hunters under the age of 12 and youth hunters without hunter safety certification can participate in the youth turkey hunt through the Mentored Hunting Program. Youth hunters must be accompanied by a qualified adult and follow all youth turkey hunting and mentored hunting program rules.

Spring turkey youth hunters must possess a valid spring turkey license, stamp and harvest authorization. A harvest authorization for any time period can be used during the youth hunt weekend, but youth hunters must hunt within the turkey management zone indicated on their harvest authorization.

For more information regarding turkey hunting in Wisconsin, click here

Wisconsin students interested in the outdoors are invited to join the Youth Conservation Congress. This statewide youth program is designed to grow and develop future conservation leaders across the state. The Youth Conservation Congress (YCC) is a student extension of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. 

The purpose of YCC is to give young people a voice and instill a sense of ownership, civic pride and advocacy for Wisconsin's natural resources. The YCC strives to effectively engage, educate, and involve youth in the management and protection of our natural resources and foster a conservation ethic through participation in the program. 

The YCC program offers opportunities for students from all backgrounds, including seasoned outdoor enthusiasts and novices alike. Although the program is best suited for high school students, younger individuals are welcome to apply.

 “I am especially excited about this program because it allows youth an incredible opportunity to work directly with a variety of natural resource managers and experienced outdoor mentors,” said YCC Coordinator Kyle Zenz, who is working to connect more students across the state with the YCC. “Our mission is to provide students with access and the opportunity to follow their outdoor passions whether they are hunting and fishing related or natural resource career driven.”

YCC student delegates are exposed to various aspects of natural resource management and have access to professionals in those fields. Students also receive real-world experience through a variety of service-learning opportunities.

By joining, members gain an understanding of the process for how Wisconsin’s natural resource policy is determined, including the role and history of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress – the state’s statutorily recognized citizen advisory body.

“I enjoy learning about conservation across the state, as well as volunteering directly with the DNR,” said YCC delegate Samantha Hammiller (pictured at left), of Racine, who has eagerly engaged in all that the YCC has to offer. “One of my most memorable outdoor experiences would have to be pheasant stocking with local DNR staff. I loved learning from this hands-on opportunity, especially knowing that I am contributing to wildlife management.” 

Samantha will be attending the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point (UWSP) next fall and has already connected with UWSP staff as well as natural resource leaders in the state due to her involvement with the YCC.  

“The YCC really allows you to explore options for your future and network across the entire state with adult and youth delegates and DNR personnel along with other agencies and conservation groups,” she said.  

The YCC program mirrors the Conservation Congress’s focus on county level initiatives. County Congress members serve as mentors and as a point of local contact for the YCC delegates. Youth who are interested in the program should contact Kyle Zenz with questions about the YCC and how to apply for the program. More information is available here.

The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board will meet virtually on Monday for a Special Meeting to discuss the next steps to establish a wolf hunt in Wisconsin in 2021.

The virtual meeting will begin at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 15, originating from the Public Meeting Room G09, State Natural Resources Building (GEF 2), 101 S. Webster St., Madison, Wisconsin. The Board will act on items 1-2 as listed on the agenda.

The public can watch the Special Meeting via Zoom here. If the meeting is at capacity and you are unable to join, the Special Meeting will also be livestreamed here.

Please submit written comments here on the agenda item to discuss the next steps to establish a wolf hunt in Wisconsin in 2021. Requests for public testimony will not be accepted. The deadline to submit written comments is 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 14.

The NRB will also meet virtually for the upcoming board meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, to consider several proposed emergency rules and donations. The Board will act on items 1-4 and 7-8 as listed on the Agenda. More information is available here.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has identified several potential projects to restore fish and wildlife habitats in the Lower Green Bay and Fox River Area of Concern (AOC). Scientists and natural resource managers recommend these projects to improve fish and wildlife populations and their habitats — and ultimately to support delisting the Lower Green Bay and Fox River AOC. We want your help to prioritize and plan these projects.

To collect your feedback, we will send you another email on Jan. 21 with a secure link to an online form that will focus on seven restoration projects along the west shore of Green Bay. This is the final in a series of three surveys evaluating 18 total project areas.

We want to learn what you and other stakeholders think about these projects' economic and social benefits and their contributions to the communities surrounding the AOC. These could include short or long-term effects on community identity, local tax base, employment or income levels, educational or recreational opportunities, public health or family circumstances. We encourage any other feedback you may have about the projects.

Completing the form will take 15-20 minutes. Your input is anonymous. We will evaluate and summarize responses collectively and will not attribute comments to individuals.

About The Lower Green Bay And Fox River AOC

The Lower Green Bay and Fox River AOC was designated as one of 43 sites on the Great Lakes with significant environmental damage by the United States and Canada in 1987. The Federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding, first launched in 2010, helps AOCs clean up pollution and restore waterways.

Thirteen environmental problems, called beneficial use impairments in the AOC program, were identified for the Lower Green Bay and Fox River AOC, along with management actions to address those problems. Once all impairments have met their targets for cleanup and restoration and are removed, the AOC can be formally delisted. To learn more, visit our website.

Please send any questions to: Brie Kupsky, Wisconsin DNR Lower Green Bay and Fox River Area of Concern Coordinator, at Brianna.Kupsky@wisconsin.gov or 920-662-5465.

Wisconsinites are an important part of the planning process for deer season in every county. Every three years, we seek input from citizens and hunters that help form herd objectives.

This is your last call to weigh in on deer herd objectives in your county! Every three years, Wisconsinites like you have the chance to provide input on what the future of deer hunting will look like in your county. Let us know your thoughts on proposed herd-size objectives today.

Give Your Input

Giving your input takes only a few minutes and helps the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and your local deer advisory council make important deer management decisions.

Provide feedback on the DNR webpage here.

Join The Call

Each county’s deer advisory council will meet once more between Jan. 19-25 to consider public input and make final recommendations for herd-size objectives. The meetings are open to all, and attendees are not required to pre-register to attend. Find out the time and Zoom call information for your county and make your plan to be on the call.

The DNR will review final herd objectives following the January meetings and provide recommendations to the Natural Resources Board for approval in February. More information can be found on the DNR website.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirms a wild deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the Town of Germania in southwestern Shawano County, within 10 miles of Waupaca County. As required by state law, the DNR will renew the baiting and feeding bans in Shawano and Waupaca counties.

The CWD-positive deer was an adult doe harvested during the 2020 gun deer season and was tested as part of the department's disease surveillance efforts. This is the first wild deer detection in Shawano County.

State law requires that the DNR enact a ban on the baiting and feeding of deer in counties or portions of counties within a 10-mile radius of a wild or farm-raised deer that tests positive for CWD. Baiting and feeding were already banned in Shawano County due to a prior CWD positive detection in a farm-raised facility in 2017.

The DNR will continue surveillance near the CWD positive detection location. Collecting CWD samples is essential for assessing where and to what extent CWD occurs in deer across the state.

As ever, successful CWD management depends in part on citizen involvement in the decision-making process through local County Deer Advisory Councils (CDAC).

The upcoming Shawano County CDAC meeting to discuss deer population objectives will be extended to include the new CWD information. The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m., with the CWD portion of the agenda beginning at approximately 7:45 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Additional details regarding the Shawno County CDAC is available here. (Select Shawano from the drop-down menu.) Preregistration is not required.

CWD is a fatal, infectious nervous system disease of deer, moose, elk and reindeer/caribou. It belongs to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases. CWD occurs only in members of the cervid or deer family - both wild and captive. The Wisconsin DNR began monitoring the state's wild white-tailed deer population for CWD in 1999. The first positives were found in 2002.

More information regarding baiting and feeding regulations and CWD in Wisconsin is available here. Information on how to have deer tested during the 2020-21 hunting seasons is available here.

NSSF®, the firearm industry’s trade association, hailed U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson’s (R-N.C.) introduction of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2021, H.R. 38, on the first day of the 117th Congress. The legislation was introduced with bipartisan support and 154 original co-sponsors, demonstrating the wide-ranging support for protecting law-abiding concealed carry permit holders from navigating a patchwork of varying gun control laws when crossing a state line.


The bill aims to eliminate the confusion of varying state-by-state laws and provide protection for Second Amendment rights for permit holders. The legislation would allow handgun owners who are legally permitted and authorized by their home state to carry a concealed firearm in other states while complying with the laws of each state – much in the same way a driver’s license is recognized.


“This legislation provides an answer to the confusing patchwork of laws surrounding concealed carry permits, particularly with regard to states where laws make unwitting criminals out of legal permit holders for a simple mistake of a wrong traffic turn,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “It safeguards a state’s right to determine their own laws while protecting the Second Amendment rights of all Americans. We thank Rep. Hudson for his leadership on behalf of America’s hunters and recreational shooters.” 


“Our Second Amendment rights do not disappear when we cross state lines, and H.R. 38 guarantees that,” said Rep. Hudson. “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2021 is a common sense solution to provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits. I am especially proud to have such widespread and bipartisan support for this measure and will work with my colleagues to get this legislation over the finish line.”


Unlike other rights protected by the U.S. Constitution, the right to keep and bear arms is regulated differently by individual states. While individual rights to speech, religion and protections of Due Process or Search and Seizure are constant, gun rights vary according to the state. Reciprocity agreements exist, but not between all states and are ever-changing. That puts individuals at risk of running afoul of varying state-by-state laws when traveling and crossing borders.


The pitfalls of these varying state-by-state laws were exposed when Philadelphia resident Shaneen Allen faced up to five years in prison for bringing a firearm into New Jersey in 2013. She held a valid license to carry in Pennsylvania, but not in neighboring New Jersey. The mother-of-two voluntarily told a law enforcement officer of the firearm during a traffic stop, but was still arrested, charged, convicted and spent 48 days in jail – all for having made a wrong turn and accidentally crossing state line. Fortunately, after an 18-month legal ordeal, Republican Gov. Chris Christie pardoned Allen. Others are not so lucky.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has confirmed that a wild deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the Town of Trenton in northeastern Washington County, within ten miles of Ozaukee County.

As required by state law, the DNR will enact a new two-year ban on baiting and feeding in Ozaukee County and renew a three-year baiting and feeding ban in Washington County effective Jan. 5, 2021.

The CWD-positive deer was an adult buck harvested during the 2020 archery deer season that was tested as part of the department’s disease surveillance efforts. This is the first wild deer detection in Washington County.

State law requires that the DNR enact a ban on the baiting and feeding of deer in counties or portions of counties within a 10-mile radius of a wild or farm-raised deer that tests positive for CWD. Baiting and feeding were already banned in Washington County due to a prior CWD positive detection in a farm-raised deer facility.

The DNR will continue surveillance near the CWD positive detection location. Collecting CWD samples is important for assessing where and to what extent CWD occurs in deer across the state. As ever, successful CWD management depends in part on citizen involvement in the decision-making process through local County Deer Advisory Councils.

CWD is a fatal, infectious nervous system disease of deer, moose, elk and reindeer/caribou. It belongs to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases. CWD occurs only in members of the cervid or deer family - both wild and captive. The Wisconsin DNR began monitoring the state's wild white-tailed deer population for CWD in 1999. The first positives were found in 2002.

More information regarding baiting and feeding regulations and CWD in Wisconsin is available here. Information on how to have deer tested during the 2020-21 hunting seasons is available here.  

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds black bear and wild turkey hunters the 2021 season application deadline is before midnight on Dec. 10, 2020.

Hunters can purchase applications for permit drawings at GoWild.wi.gov or through an authorized license agent. Consider inviting others who may not usually participate in these seasons to apply and find an adventure in Wisconsin.

2021 Black Bear Hunting

Harvest numbers from the 2020 black bear season are not finalized. Preliminary estimates show that hunters harvested more than 4,100 bears. DNR staff and the Bear Advisory Committee are currently determining 2021 harvest quotas.

Due to the high level of interest in this hunt, bear hunters must apply for several years before receiving a permit through the drawing process for most bear management zones. Bear permit applicants must apply at least once during any period of three consecutive years to retain their accumulated preference points, or all accumulated preference points will be lost.

If the hunter is selected in the drawing, their preference points will be reset to zero, even if they do not purchase the harvest permit. It is the applicant's responsibility to be aware of drawing status. Applicants selected in the drawing will be notified by mail shortly after the drawing and may purchase their 2021 Class A bear license beginning in March 2021. Applicants may also check their status online through their Go Wild customer account.

Applicants are reminded of the new bear management zone boundaries, as their usual hunting grounds may change to a new unit start date in 2021. There will likely be no significant changes across zones A, B, C and D; however, harvest permit wait times could fluctuate.

The new zones are part of the Wisconsin Black Bear Management Plan, 2019-2029, developed by the DNR Bear Advisory Committee and approved by the Natural Resources Board in May 2019. The new bear management zones are designed to address bear conflicts and manage desired population levels effectively.

The season structure for the 2021 bear hunt is as follows:

Zone C, E and F (dogs not permitted):

  • Sept. 8 to Oct. 12 - with the aid of bait and all other legal methods not using dogs.

Zone A, B, and D:

  • Sept. 8-14 – with the aid of dogs only

  • Sept. 15 to Oct. 5 - with all legal methods, including bait and dogs

  • Sept. 6-12 - with the aid of bait, with all other methods not using dogs

For more information on bear hunting in Wisconsin, visit the DNR bear hunting webpage here.

2021 Spring Turkey Hunting

Dec.10 is also the deadline to apply for a spring turkey harvest authorization (previously known as a tag or permit). Turkey harvest authorizations are issued through a preference-based drawing system. For more information on the turkey preference drawing, see Turkey Frequently Asked Questions.

Applicants may choose up to two time period and zone combinations that they would like to hunt. As a third choice, applicants may choose one zone in which they will accept a harvest authorization for any period. This third choice can be the same zone as the first and/or second choice. The second and third choices are optional, but applicants are encouraged to provide second and third choices to maximize their likelihood of drawing a harvest authorization.

Successful applicants will be notified by mail after the drawing results are finalized.

Unsuccessful applicants will receive a preference point that will increase their chances of drawing a harvest authorization the following spring season. Hunters can check their application status online through Go Wild.

Any harvest authorizations not awarded in the drawing will be available for purchase as bonus harvest authorizations starting March 15, 2021. Bonus harvest authorizations will cost $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents.

All turkey hunters must possess a valid spring turkey license and wild turkey stamp when they acquire their spring turkey harvest authorization. A 2020 spring turkey license is $15 for Wisconsin residents and $60 for non-residents. The 2020 wild turkey stamp is $5.25.

The 2021 spring turkey season is as follows:

  • Youth Hunt - April 17 - 18;

  • Period A - April 21 - 27;

  • Period B - April 28 - May 4;

  • Period C – May 5 - 11;

  • Period D - May 12 - 17;

  • Period E - May 19 - May 25; and

  • Period F – May 26 - June 1.

For information on hunting in state parks, visit the DNR webpage. All harvested turkeys must be registered. For information on how to register your turkey, visit the DNR turkey hunting and management webpage.  

2021 Youth Turkey Hunt

The annual Spring Turkey Youth Hunt, designed for hunters ages 15 and younger, is April 17-18, 2021. Interested youth hunt participants should apply for a spring turkey harvest authorization before the Dec. 10 deadline. A harvest authorization for any period can be used during the two-day youth hunt, but hunters are limited to the zone listed on their harvest authorization.

Youth hunters must either have a Hunter Education Certificate of Accomplishment or hunt under the Mentored Hunting Program. All hunters under 12 years of age must participate in the Mentored Hunting Program, even if they have completed a hunter safety education course. All other turkey hunting regulations apply to the youth hunt.

Spring Wild Turkey Hunt For People With Disabilities Applications

Hunters with disabilities may apply for a harvest authorization outside of the standard spring turkey drawing. Hunters can apply for the Spring Wild Turkey Hunt for People with Disabilities by submitting Forms 2300-271 and 2300-271A.

This hunt is only valid on private lands. Forms must be submitted by Dec. 10 to the DNR wildlife biologist for the county where the hunt will occur. Any applicant who applies for a turkey harvest authorization using Forms 2300-271 and 2300-271A may not apply for a harvest authorization through the general spring turkey drawing.

More information regarding bear hunting and turkey hunting in Wisconsin can be found on the DNR website.