DNR: Hunters reminded that collared deer and coyotes are legal to harvest

CONTACT:  Dan Storm, DNR ungulate research ecologist 715-365-4712; Nathan Roberts, DNR furbearer research ecologist, 715-490-9345; Caitlin Henning, Office of Applied Science communications specialist, 608-228-6518

MADISON – This fall, hunters may spot collared or ear-tagged deer or coyote in Southwest Wisconsin and should treat these animals like any others when pursuing game.

Many animals in this area were collared as part of the Southwest Wisconsin Chronic Wasting Disease, Deer and Predator Study – a five-year investigation into deer mortality.

“The most important thing for hunters to know is that collared and tagged deer and coyotes should be treated just like the rest of the animals in the area,” said Dan Storm, DNR ungulate research ecologist. “We’ve collared a random sample of deer and coyotes, so the collars don’t indicate anything about the animals’ health or suitability for harvest.”

Hunting licensing and normal harvest regulations apply to collared deer as they do to uncollared deer – hunters should make their decision without regard for GPS collars. Hunters who harvest collared deer should call the number listed on the collar (608-935-1940) so DNR staff can retrieve each collar.

“Collared and tagged deer are absolutely fine to harvest, so if you would otherwise harvest that deer, go ahead and take it. If you would normally let it pass by, do so,” said Storm.

Southwest Wisconsin CWD, Deer and Predator Study will help DNR staff learn more about Wisconsin’s wildlife

DNR researchers are collaring deer and coyotes in two study areas across Grant, Iowa and Dane counties, with an ultimate goal to comprehensively examine factors that could impact deer survival and deer population growth in southern Wisconsin. Those include CWD, predation, habitat suitability and hunter harvest. The study is part of the Governor’s initiative on chronic wasting disease.

“We’re collaring deer, coyotes, and bobcats over five years, and these animals will department staff better understand deer mortality and predator densities for the in the region,” said Storm. “Obviously, we know that one of the mortality causes for deer is hunter harvest, so we hope that the collars do not influence a hunters decision as to whether or not to harvest that animal.”

Whether you harvest a collared deer or an uncollared deer this season, the DNR asks for hunters’ help by having their deer tested for CWD. The department needs to sample your adult deer to help further understand CWD in your area. Visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords “CWD sampling” or contact our call center at 1-888-936-7463 to learn more.

For more information regarding the Southwest Wisconsin CWD, Deer and Predator study, search keywords “SW Study.”

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