Meeting Wisconsin’s Deer Conservation Challenges – Wisconsin’s Green Fire Opportunities Now July 2021 Report

WI Green Fire, June 29, 2021


Deer have an essential place in the livelihoods and ways of life for Wisconsin citizens. In our new report, Wisconsin’s Green Fire (WGF) examines threats and trends that are causing profound, long-term impacts that threaten the future of Wisconsin’s white-tailed deer herd.

The report discusses the threats Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) poses to deer and human health; explains the ecological effects of high deer densities on forest habitat quality; discusses the lack of antlerless deer harvests and reduced hunter numbers in Wisconsin; and concludes with recommendations for policy and actions on the state and local levels to ensure the health and safety of Wisconsin’s deer and their habitat.

Key recommendations for Wisconsin:

  • Overhaul Wisconsin’s 2010-25 CWD Response Plan. Prioritize efforts to reduce disease prevalence, slow its spread, and develop a rapid response to new detections.
  • Establish a long-term strategic conservation plan for white-tailed deer.
  • Complete development and approval of Wisconsin’s Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation (R3) plan by 2023. The R3 of deer hunters should be a top Department priority.
  • Remove statutory restrictions that prevent implementation of effective herd control using October firearm seasons and Earn-a-Buck.
  • Create a 10-year deer conservation reinvestment fund for implementation of the white-tailed deer strategic conservation plan.

Download the Full Report: Meeting Wisconsin’s Deer Conservation Challenges

This report is the fifth in a series of Opportunities Now 2021-2023 issue reports from Wisconsin’s Green Fire. The first report on wolves can be found here, the second report on PFAS can be found here, and the third report on Energy Policy in Wisconsin can be found here, and the fourth report on the Waters of the United States Rule can be found here.

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