The state’s nine-day gun deer season is over, but Sauk County hunters still can take part in two “antlerless only” gun hunts, as well as crossbow and archery seasons.
An annual statewide four-day, antlerless-only hunt started Thursday and continues through Sunday. Hunters may fill any unused antlerless tags while hunting in the deer management zone, unit and land type specified on their tags.
As of Thursday afternoon, there were 443 antlerless deer tags for public land in Sauk County left available for purchase and 3,313 for private land. Hunters can check to see if additional antlerless deer tags are available at dnr.wi.gov/Permits/bonusavailability.html.
In a blog post on Skillet Creek Media, local outdoor blogger and state park enthusiast Derrick Mayoleth recommended those visiting Devil’s Lake State Park this weekend take extra precautions, as hunting is allowed in the Steinke Basin area and other popular sections of the state land.
Mayoleth said hikers should be sure to wear bright clothing, stay on trails, make noise, avoid going out at dusk and dawn, and know the hunting season dates as well as where hunting is permitted.
An antlerless-only holiday hunt also will be offered in Sauk County and 16 other farmland units from Dec. 24 through Jan. 1. The seasons are implemented in units with high deer numbers at the request of County Deer Advisory Councils. The antlerless harvests are intended to slow overall herd growth, according to DNR officials.
Any unit where the holiday hunt is not offered will be open for archery and crossbow hunting, and bucks may be taken. Any legal firearm, crossbow or archery equipment may be used during the statewide antlerless-only and holiday hunts. The archery and crossbow seasons will remain open through Jan. 7 statewide.
Chronic Wasting Disease sampling is being offered at various locations throughout southern, central and northern Wisconsin, including both in-person service and self-service options. Self-service kiosks are open all day and night for hunters to drop off a deer head to be tested for CWD.
In Sauk County, there will be two in-person registration stations available to hunters: Valley View Discount, E3675 Highway 154, Hillpoint and McFarlanes’, 780 Carolina St., Sauk City.
CWD testing will be available from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at Alive Look Taxidermy, 2772E, County N/Highway 130, Hillpoint. Hunters must have completed electronic registration in advance.
Self-service registration kiosks also will be available at the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area off Highway 12 south of Baraboo, Dell Creek Wildlife Area in Reedsburg and Prem Meats in Spring Green.
The DNR’s Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey will be active until all deer seasons have ended. Wildlife managers ask that hunters submit a report of what they saw during their time in the field. According to DNR officials, the information will provide the agency with data about Wisconsin’s deer herd and other animal species.