How Your Opinion Can Affect Deer Season Decisions

Expressing your opinions to state wildlife officials can give them valuable insight to what’s going on in the public and help drive management decisions.

You may not always agree with a state wildlife agency’s decisions, changes or goals, but keeping your opinions to yourself also isn’t helpful. Whether you’re in lockstep, have differing ideas or are somewhere in-between, it’s better to let them know what you’re thinking instead of being mute.

Here’s what’s going on in the next few weeks in Wisconsin, where future deer seasons will be discussed at length with the public:

Beginning Aug. 21, Wisconsin County Deer Advisory Councils will review deer population data and other key information to develop preliminary three-year population objectives within their counties. August CDAC meetings will develop preliminary recommendations, and a public feedback period in mid-September will include an online survey.

Wisconsin hunters have the chance to meet with state Department of Natural Resources officials at meetings to discuss population, future plans and more.

Councils will also discuss potential changes to Deer Management Unit (DMU) boundaries. Each CDAC meeting is open to the public. A meeting schedule  will be available at, keyword CDAC.

Councils will reconvene in October to determine final population objectives and boundaries that will be in place through the 2020 deer seasons. Final population objectives and DMU boundaries will be determined at the December 2017 Natural Resources Board meeting based on the information received through this public involvement process.

One way to obtain information that may be helpful is with the deer metrics system. This system provides a unique opportunity to take a detailed look at how CDACs and the Department of Natural Resources work closely with the public to manage Wisconsin’s deer herd. This metrics system is unlike any other in the country and gives anyone interested in deer management an opportunity to learn more about their local deer herd. 

Metrics provided in the system include deer harvest figures, population trends, deer impacts on agriculture and forest resources, herd history, deer herd health, deer hunter  surveys and more. To check out this new webpage and learn more about Wisconsin’s deer herd, visit and search keywords “deer metrics.”

County Deer Advisory Councils use these metrics annually to measure local herd progress toward population objectives of increasing, decreasing or maintaining, and then apply management strategies accordingly.  Each of the metrics provided within the system play a role in deer management strategies, and users can easily find information for their favorite deer management unit.

Users are encouraged to get more involved in local deer management through participation in County Deer Advisory Councils or the Deer Management Assistance Program.