Wisconsin deer hunters can expect a number of drastic changes next season, including a reduction of management units by half, more reliance on hunter input, and the elimination of traditional check stations.

“It’s such an exciting time in deer management in this state,” Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp said. “We will not waste this opportunity.”

The absence of check stations is likely to have the biggest impact on hunters. According to the Associated Press, wildlife officials voted to end in-person checks on Wednesday after a four-hour discussion on the matter. The decision to eliminate the check stations came about in an effort to improve hunting in the state, which means decreasing costs. Instead of transporting deer to a physical check station, hunters are now directed to register their harvests remotely by phone or online. The move is expected to save the state as much as $182,000 a year, along with valuable processing time. As a bonus to hunters, officials said remote registration is also more convenient.

However, small businesses are worried that the removal of check stations could mean a drop in customers. Jeremy Brenner, who owns Brenner’s Generations Lanes in Eldorado, says that he fears a lackluster deer season now that hunters will no longer be bringing deer in to be checked at his business.

“For most people deer hunting isn’t about getting a deer,” Brenner said, “it’s about the memories and the good times they had at deer camp with their kids and their hunting friends. They grab a soda and a pizza and sit around and talk about the day.”

Others believe that by no longer requiring hunters to register in person, some will attempt to abuse the system. Brenner himself said it would be easy to harvest a deer and simply not report it.

Despite these concerns, wildlife officials said the decision has been a long time in coming. Wisconsin turkey and geese hunters already register their harvests using the new methods, which DNR employees reported are easier and faster to process than traditional paper forms.

Image from RTD Photography on the flickr Creative Commons

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2 thoughts on “Major Changes Come to Wisconsin’s Deer Season, No More Check Stations

  1. Loose you hunting and fishing rights for 5 years if you get caught with a deer not registered will make you think twice about not registering your deer. Those that would abuse the new system, would abuse the old system

    1. I am 54 years old. Hunted a very long time! As more and more people lose interest in hunting, the more the piles and piles of rules are thrown aside for the all mighty dollar and insurance industry appeasement ! We own 50 acres in northeastern Buffalo County,Wi. Earn a Buck debacle is still haunting our hunt! Almost completely destroyed our hunting. Before 2007 you, at the very least would see a deer almost every time out while hunting. As of late, 2012 skunked 75% of the time! this past fall (2013) even worse! 80% skunked! As a non resident I quit buying a, non res, gun license 3 yrs. ago because it is so bad! Not worth it! I continue to bow hunt because it is our land and it means so much to me. Earn a buck actually helped the first 2 years, but the DNR got so greedy and continued it for several more. Just killed our hunting! Remember, for every doe you kill typically means 3 less deer for you to shoot at the next season since doe usually have twins! Adds up,very quickly! Also, the wolf predication is much worse than is let on! To me, land in n northern half of Wi. and northern Mn. is worth pennies on the dollar to me for hunting! Days and days of hunting with never seeing a deer! Very sad indeed! DNR in both states, pitiful at best! I am CJ’s,hunting pal,Kevin.

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