County Deer Advisory Councils (CDAC) in three counties — Vilas, Oneida and Forest — are recommending more antlerless permits for fall deer hunting seasons.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the public can now weigh in on recommendations for the 2021 county-level antlerless deer harvest goals and the 2021 white-tailed deer hunting season structure.

Now is the chance for hunters to share their thoughts on the preliminary recommendations provided by the CDACs for the 2021 deer hunting season structure. 

Anyone interested in helping shape local deer herd management preferences can submit comments online between now and April 25. The online input tool for public comment is available on the DNR’s CDAC webpage at dnr.wi.gov.

Each county in Wisconsin has a CDAC to provide input and recommendations to the department on deer management within their county. Each CDAC is made up of representatives from different interest groups that provide recommendations to the DNR on deer management within their county.

Councils work with local DNR staff to schedule meetings, provide community outreach and an opportunity for public input, review population data and deer impacts on forests and agriculture, develop recommendations on county population objectives and create annual antlerless harvest quotas.

After the public comment period closes on April 25, CDACs will reconvene between May 3-7 to consider the feedback and determine their final recommendations for the 2021 deer hunting season. All CDAC meetings are open to the public and will be held virtually via Zoom. 

The DNR and the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board (NRB) will present the final county-level recommendations for approval in June. 



Vilas increase

The Vilas CDAC, on a 4-2 vote, approved for a preliminary antlerless harvest quota of 525 deer. With an anticipated 35% hunter success rate, the council is recommending 450 harvest authorizations on public land and 1,050 on private land.

DNR liaison to the council, Michelle Woodford, said the 2020-’21 winter severity was very mild, as the snow came late and left early. She expects herd growth will be good this year and the committee should consider a decent number of antlerless tags.

Last year, the Vilas council voted for 500 tags (150 quota), but the Natural Resources Board cut it to 225 tags (75 quota). The hunter authorizations sold out in 10 minutes.

Woodford said increasing the quota would take pressure off the buck harvest, provide more data for aging and health checks and increase tourism in the county.

Last year, the actual antlerless harvest was 362, which included harvest for agricultural damage, disabled hunters, tribal, youth harvest and finally other hunters.

The final meeting for the Vilas CDAC will be May 4 with a teleconference starting at 6:30 p.m.



Oneida numbers

The Oneida CDAC approved a preliminary antlerless harvest quota of 625 deer, with the council recommending 1,000 tags for public land and 2,000 for private land. Last year, Oneida County had 500 permits for public land and 2,000 permits for private land. 

The final meeting for Oneida County will be May 6, with a teleconference starting at 7:30 p.m.



Forest update

The Forest CDAC approved a preliminary harvest quota of 100, with a 33% hunter success rate the council is recommending 200 private land tags and 100 public land tags. The council noted there will likely be an additional 200 antlerless deer harvested in 2021 with youths, disabled hunters, ag damage, tribal and military. The total anticipated harvest would then be 300 antlerless deer.

The final meeting for Forest County will be May 4, with a teleconference starting at 7 p.m.