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Minocqua considering managed deer hunt for nuisance animals on islandSubmitted: 04/20/2017
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
Assistant News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Minocqua considering managed deer hunt for nuisance animals on island
MINOCQUA - People in a Northwoods community could find a way to deal with problem deer this year.  Minocqua is considering a managed deer hunt within town limits.

The idea came from a man living on the island who is tired of deer eating plants and trees. The Town Board asked DNR wildlife biologist Michele Woodford to gather information and see if a hunt is feasible.

"This isn't a hunting opportunity in the fact that it's a free tag that's available," Woodford said.  "This is set up in order to control and keep deer population numbers at a reasonable level."

Minocqua Town Chairman Mark Hartzheim told Newswatch 12 on the phone Thursday that the hunt would likely be on the eastern part of the island, running north to Huber Lane. Hartzheim added that the hunt would be archery only and would likely run during the September archery season.

Hartzheim says deer are overrunning parts of the island.

"What we're trying to do is achieve a balance," Hartzheim said. "What people can still have an expectation to see wildlife and have wildlife around them but not have them to the extent where their gardens are being overrun."

Rhinelander and Eagle River both have managed deer hunts. The Minocqua Town Board will reach out to those communities and the DNR for guidance about how to generate its own plan. Woodford says the DNR helps communities make sure their hunts are safe.

"Shooting from an elevated stand into the ground is really the safest thing you can do," Woodford said. "There are laws in place to how close to other buildings and things that you can hunt from. So there's quite a lot there in place."

Hartzheim says Minocqua won't make a final decision until there are more public hearings. If approved, the DNR would help set antlerless tag numbers for the September hunt.

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