November is a month for treasured traditions.  The State Capitol Christmas Tree has returned to the rotunda. Many of us will pursue the elusive whitetail deer but take a break to cheer on the Green Bay Packers. Then, we’ll dine on roasted turkey, creamy mashed potatoes and, of course, pie with our family and friends.

I am blessed to live in this time and place where I have the amazing opportunity to participate in traditions that connect me with the people I care for, the land that I live on and the communities I represent. I am grateful for all of these blessings. I hope that you will be able to enjoy time with your family and friends in the coming weeks too.

I am particularly anxious to participate in the gun deer hunt this year.  At this time last year, my freezer was relatively full. But this year, it is empty. I am looking forward to my chance to refill our supply while helping to maintain the health of the very large deer herd in my community.

Hunters all over Wisconsin will join me in the woods. Whether hunting in a ground blind or aloft in a tree, hunters are essential to manage the deer herd.

As you prepare for the hunt, take a moment to review the 2021 Wisconsin Hunting Regulations guide. It is available here: https://widnr.widen.net/s/chhtkdmjsh/wm0685-2021_small  While there are no major changes to deer hunting regulations this year, it never hurts to refresh your memory and be versed in your roles and responsibilities as a hunter.

Our primary responsibility is to be ethical, responsible and safe hunters. We should also set a good example for future generations of hunters.

If you are hunting in the counties of the 17th Senate District, it is especially important to consider regulations and options related to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). There are several local individuals and groups who are working hard on this issue and have sponsored carcass disposal and sampling sites.  Visit https://dnr.wi.gov/wmcwd/RegStation/Search to search by county and type of site.

In the counties of the 17th Senate District, there are 75 listings for CWD sampling with assistance, self-service kiosks, disposal dumpsters, a landfill, transfer station and electronic registration options. There are options all over our communities.

In our part of the state, we are encouraged to dispose of our deer differently in order to prevent returning CWD prions to the soil where they can infect other animals in the future. Many of us probably grew up butchering our deer and tossing the remaining carcass somewhere out on the back 40. This is a tradition you may consider changing to make an effort toward reducing the harmful effects of this disease on the deer herd.  There are a lot of options.

Again, I am looking forward to participating in all of the treasured traditions that I hold dear this time of year. I hope that you are able to find time with your family and friends to enjoy time outdoors, a little turkey and perhaps a Green Bay Packer win!

For more information and to connect with me, visit my website http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/17/marklein and subscribe to my weekly E-Update by sending an email to [email protected]gov. Do not hesitate to call 800-978-8008 if you have input, ideas or need assistance with any state-related matters.

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