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DNR officials offer final hunting outlook before deer season opening weekend


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) -- This deer's deer hunting forecast is a tale of two regions of the state.

Department of Natural Resources big game biologist Kevin Wallenfang says hunters in the southern two-thirds of the state will be seeing greater than average numbers this year, but that the northwoods still has lower numbers than they'd like. "We had a tough winter last year and we've been trying to grow deer populations up there for the last several years, and in some areas, frankly we're not making a whole lot of progress." He says hunters should be prepared for low numbers in the north and be willing to move from their usual spots this year.

Deer tags may be hard to come by in the northern hunting zones come opening day, but there's plenty of doe and buck tags in the herd control units in central and southern Wisconsin. "So you're going to find pockets of really good hunting and areas where it's gonna be tough to find a deer in some situations, so keep your options open, move around a bit if you can."

Wallenfang would also like to see plenty of hunters out in the CWD zones as well. "We will continue to monitor the CWD situation around the state. People will be able to take their animal in and have it tested if they wish to, and we'd like them to do that as we continue to keep a handle on what's going on out there."

Wallenfang says hunters anywhere in the state will be able to turn in their deer for testing, and that that if you have venison you're not going to eat, that the state's Target Hunger and Hunt for the Hungry programs continue to operate this year.

Deer season opens at sunrise on Saturday.

ON THE WEB: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/deer.html