Focus on habitat rather than feeding to help deer through winter

MADISON — Wisconsin residents should consider the impacts of wildlife feeding as well as potential alternatives that provide long-term benefits to help wildlife through a cold and snowy winter season.

“People want to see healthy deer on the landscape, but feeding is not the only solution,” said Tim Marien, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wildlife health specialist. “Improving habitat can support deer and many other types of wildlife year-round.”

Even a mild Wisconsin winter can cause concerns for those living alongside deer and other wildlife, but deer and other wildlife commonly seen in Wisconsin adapt both physically and behaviorally to winter weather. Animals with adequate fat reserves and good winter cover are more likely to survive in good condition.

“Deer start preparing for winter during the summer, when nutritious natural food sources are abundant,” said Marien. “When winter arrives, they seek out shelter in stands of pine, cedar and fir that provide cover from snow and wind, and search for winter foods in the vicinity until spring.”

However, some winters can overly stress individual animals, and this can reduce their chances of survival. Especially during hard winters, concerned citizens may turn to feeding to help deer through the winter. While this can benefit individual animals, feeding often occurs on a scale too small to affect the overall condition of the deer herd. Feeding can also have a negative impact on deer, as it draws them out of winter range that offers the best food and cover to help deer conserve energy. Feeding also increases the risk of disease spread and severe digestive issues.

CWD-affected counties

As a reminder, deer feeding is illegal in counties affected by chronic wasting disease. Where it is legal, regulations restrict how much food may be placed and where feeding sites may be placed. Feeding deer is also prohibited when elk and bear are using the site. For a full list of wildlife feeding regulations, visit the DNR website at and search “feeding regulations.”

“Feeding restrictions are in place to protect the health and safety of both humans and wildlife,” said Marien. “In areas where elk and bear are present, feeding can present a safety risk when these animals acclimate to people. Also, elk are susceptible to several diseases that deer carry, which can weaken the elk herds that Wisconsin has been working to grow over the past few decades.”

DNR staff do not recommend feeding deer, and the practice is currently prohibited in CWD-affected counties. For counties where feeding deer is allowed, the department provides guidance for feeding techniques at keyword “deer.” To view current baiting and feeding regulations, search keyword “bait.”

Citizens are encouraged to contact a local DNR wildlife biologist for additional information – contact information can be found at keywords “staff directory” – enter “wildlife biologist” in the subject line.

Improve habitat to help deer through a tough winter

Creating and improving habitat can give deer and other wildlife the resources they need during summer months and sustain them during the winter. Maintaining nutritious natural food sources, like oak, aspen and crabapple provides summer and fall food, while evergreen stands create winter cover and food for deer. Good habitat fulfills the needs of many deer, rather than individuals.

A variety of resources are available to help landowners improve their land for wildlife, including the Deer Management Assistance Program, Young Forest Initiative and the Landowner Incentive Program. More information on these programs and additional publications is available on the DNR website by searching keyword “landowner.”

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Natural Resources Board to meet January 25 in Madison

MADISON – A request for the approval of 2017 bear harvest quotas, proposed rules relating to cisco harvest in Lake Superior, approvals of master plans for the Horicon Marsh-Shaw and Northwest Barrens planning groups, and a request to reconsider a master plan amendment for Blue Mound State park are among the items the state Natural Resources Board will address when it meets January 25 in Madison.

The regular business meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 25, in Room G09 of the State Natural Resources Building (GEF 2), 101 South Webster St., Madison.

The agenda also includes: a request for changes to a series of rules related to the generation, transportation, recycling, treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste, universal waste, and use oil; a request for adoption of proposed rules related to placement and use of tree stands and hunting blinds on DNR managed lands, hunting hours, and a review of 2016 wildlife management related spring hearing advisory questions; and a request for conditional approval related to establishing the 2017 migratory bird hunting seasons.

The complete January board agenda is available by searching the DNR website, for keyword “NRB” and clicking on the button for “view agendas.”

The public must pre-register with Laurie Ross, board liaison, to testify at the board meeting. The deadline to register to testify for this business meeting is 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Registration information is available on the agenda on the DNR website. The deadline to submit written comments on the Blue Mound master plan amendment was Jan. 13, 2017, and the deadline to submit written comments on the remainder of the agenda items is 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.

Board meetings are webcast live. People can watch the meeting over the internet by going to the NRB agenda page of the DNR website and clicking on webcasts in the Related Links column on the right. Then click on this month’s meeting. After each meeting, the webcast will be permanently available on demand.

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DNR to look at recreational opportunities statewide

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is kicking off an effort to look at recreational opportunities and needs across Wisconsin. The project, officially called a Recreation Opportunities Analysis, or ROA, aims to identify future recreational needs across the state, and the role of DNR lands in helping to meet those needs.

The ROA will rely on the same eight regions that the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan — known as SCORP — uses to evaluate outdoor recreation trends and issues. Recommendations resulting from the Analysis will then be used to help inform decision-making about use of DNR lands, including in future master planning efforts.

One element of the effort is to facilitate full implementation of 2013 legislation requiring that roads on department property be designated as open or closed for motorized use. However, motorized recreation is not the primary purpose of the project. The department is using this opportunity to work with the public to evaluate the full spectrum of recreational opportunities and demands commonly sought on DNR lands.

“Taking a holistic view at the statewide level while engaging stakeholders allows the department to better understand the current opportunities and existing conditions, and position ourselves to make more informed decisions regarding the gaps, demands and where to best place recreational infrastructure to meet statewide needs,” said Diane Brusoe, DNR master planning supervisor.

Initial steps of the phased project include gathering data on existing recreational opportunities currently available to the public, and working with key statewide stakeholder groups in developing the process to engage regional and local user groups. The goal is to create a regional-based recreational opportunity analysis that is inclusive in design and holistic in approach.

Public involvement in this effort will be extremely important. Open house meetings and outreach by the DNR early this year to user groups and others with an interest in the recreational uses of public lands will provide key opportunities for public involvement and ultimately the success of the project.

For more information about the recreational opportunities analysis and to sign up to receive information about the project and learn how you can participate, visit and search keyword “ROA.”

For more information about the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, visit and search “SCORP.”

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No license required during DNR’s Free Fishing Weekend on Jan. 21-22

Ice anglers urged to use caution, check DNR website for possible event schedule changes
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In addition to organized community events, Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to get family and friends together for a day out on the ice. Click on image for larger size.

MADISON – Wisconsin’s winter Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to discover the fun of ice fishing or introduce family and friends to this hard water recreation.

During the weekend of Jan. 21-22, residents and visitors anywhere in the state can take advantage of opportunities to check out free loaner equipment or just head out to a local fishing spot. Several special events, listed below, are also scheduled. No fishing license or Great Lakes salmon and trout stamp is needed to fish most Wisconsin waters. This includes inland waters and Wisconsin’s side of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River and other boundary waters; spring trout ponds are not open, however.

Other fishing rules apply, such as limits on the number and size of fish you can keep and any seasons when you must release certain fish species. Given recent warm temperatures and rain in many parts of the state this week, anglers are urged to use caution and stay safe using tips found below.

“Ice fishing is a great way to get outside during the winter and fish anywhere without a boat,” said Theresa Stabo, fisheries outreach coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “We want to encourage everyone to have fun this weekend while also using common sense before heading out on the ice. We also would suggest that people check the Free Fishing Weekend website for possible event or schedule changes due to changing conditions.”

Anglers urged to use caution as ice conditions vary from location to location

DNR ice fisheries experts advise ice anglers to check ice conditions carefully and dress warmly. It's not a bad idea to bring some extra snacks, too - especially if you are hosting friends and family.
DNR ice fisheries experts advise ice anglers to check ice conditions carefully and dress warmly. It’s not a bad idea to bring some extra snacks, too – especially if you are hosting friends and family.
Photo Credit: DNR

Following several days of unseasonably warm temperatures and rain, DNR staff members are recommending caution on state waters. Ice conditions vary across the state and can also vary on the same water body.

Anglers should err on the side of caution and never assume consistent ice throughout the waterbody. The best sources for information on ice conditions in your area are local bait shops and fishing organizations.

So, what can people expect if they decide to head out? Thanks to careful management by DNR and cooperation from numerous partners, fish populations are healthy statewide with abundant opportunities to catch northern pike, walleye, yellow perch and other species.

In the west central part of the state, Lake Eau Claire is a 1,360 acre impoundment of the Eau Claire River that features yellow perch, crappie and walleye. Joseph Gerbyshak, a DNR fisheries biologist based in Eau Claire, said the perch fishery is the “bread and butter” of the lake. Most anglers target perch in the old river channel in 10 to 15 feet of water with small jigs tipped with plastics or wax worms. The lake also has a strong walleye population, which can be targeted with tip-ups and small suckers.

Gerbyshak noted Otter Lake in Chippewa County also has been providing good opportunities for ice anglers thanks to its healthy populations of bluegill and walleye. Meanwhile, Glen Loch in Chippewa Falls will host an official Free Fishing Weekend event Jan. 21 from noon to 4 p.m. with access from the Ojibwa Golf & Bowl, 8140 136th St. For more information contact Ron Bakken at 715-723-7770.

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With patience and a little luck, you might find a nice dinner on the end of your line.
Photo Credit: DNR

John Kubisiak, a DNR fisheries supervisor based in Rhinelander, said anglers in the north may want to check out an event sponsored by Oneida County 4H and DNR at Perch Lake Park for school-age youth and their families. Ice fishing equipment and bait will be provided.

Perch Lake is stocked annually by DNR with rainbow trout. It also contains bluegill, yellow perch and largemouth bass, Kubisiak said. Anglers have been catching bluegill and trout jigging with spikes or wax worms while trout may also be caught on small minnows. For this event, anglers are asked to pre-register if possible. The contact is Lynn Feldman,, 715-365-2750.

Other Free Fishing Weekend events include:

  • Dane County: The Marshall Lions will hold the 14th Annual Ice Fisheree Festival with a free fishing event on Jan. 21 starting at 6 a.m. The event will be at Fireman’s Park, 309 Park St. in Marshall. For more information contact Shelly Allness,, 608-630-4830.
  • Fond du Lac County: DNR will host a free fishing event on Jan. 21 from 10 a.m. to noon at Mauthe Lake Recreation Area Picnic Shelter, off of County Road GGG and south of County Road SS near New Prospect. The recreation area is part of the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit near Campbellsport. Equipment, tackle and bait will be provided. A Wisconsin state park sticker is required to enter the activity area. Please register by Jan. 20 with Jackie Scharfenberg,, or 920-533-8322.

DNR tackle loaner sites have ice fishing gear that groups and individuals can use, although ice augers to drill the holes are limited. To learn more, visit and search “Free Fishing Weekend.” Additional tips to keep anglers safe on the ice can be found by searching: ice safety.

Keep fishing with Go Wild!

For novices who would like to continue the thrill of “hard water” fishing after Free Fishing Weekend, “first-time buyer” resident licenses are available for just $5. Fishing licenses can be purchased online through

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New Year, new chance to win! Free lottery helps landowners learn about their property

MADISON – Would you like to know more about the plants and animals that call your property home?

Wisconsin landowners can again enter a lottery to win a free customized report from Department of Natural Resources Natural Heritage Conservation program to discover what unique plants and animals may live on their land. The report is based on a DNR review of state records and winners also have the option of receiving a site visit from a DNR ecologist.

“More than 1,000 landowners from nearly every county entered last year, so we are happy to make this program available again to meet the growing demand,” says Drew Feldkirchner, who directs the DNR Natural Heritage Conservation program.

“The overwhelming interest in this lottery really speaks to the passion Wisconsin residents have for conserving native species on their property. We hope to continue the rich history of private land conservation in Wisconsin by again providing customized reports that help landowners know what may be on their land and how to maintain or improve natural habitat.”

The lottery runs from Jan. 3, 2017, until Jan. 31, 2017; 100 landowners who voluntarily enter their name will be randomly selected to receive the customized report, known as a Landowner Conservation Report. To learn more about Landowner Conservation Reports and enter the lottery, visit the DNR website,, and search the keyword “lottery.”

Entrants who did not win previously get preference points this year

Again this year, landowners who entered previous lotteries but did not win will get preference points to improve their chance of winning in 2017. Previous applicants will receive one point for each year they have entered a landowner lottery but were not selected. Each point will earn an additional entry into the 2017 lottery. Previous winners can register again for different properties but will not receive preference points.

Wenthe says the site visit and the recommendations provided are completely voluntary. Information collected during the review process will not affect what landowners can subsequently do with their property. “We are trying to provide landowners with the best information possible and let them make the decisions that are right for their property. We hope they will think of Wisconsin’s rare and native species when managing their land.”

To create the reports, Wenthe reviews various DNR and federal databases containing information about the rare plants and animals documented through field surveys of public lands or lands owned by nongovernmental organizations. Normally, Wisconsin law requires DNR to charge for such searches, but a private donation to the Natural Heritage Conservation program is covering the cost of the searches for the 100 Landowner Conservation Reports.

“These reports provide landowners with information about the rare species found in their area, which is the foundation for successful management” says Wenthe. The report also contains general information about the natural communities, soils, and geology in the area; as well as specific recommendations on improving habitat and controlling invasive species, information on where landowners can get technical and financial help for habitat work, and a list of private contractors who can help landowners develop and implement detailed conservation plans.

Wenthe says it’s been gratifying to have landowners use the report information and enroll in other DNR or governmental programs that can provide technical and financial help to further habitat work. “We are excited to continue to support these landowners as they conserve their land for future generations.”

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UW-Stevens Point selected as location for 2017 Federal Duck Stamp Art Competition

MADISON – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has selected the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point to host the 2017 Federal Duck Stamp Art Competition.

This competition, which attracts many of the top wildlife artists from across the country each year, will be held Sept. 15-16, 2017 on the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point campus in partnership with the Department of Natural Resources and other key stakeholders.

2016 Federal Duck Stamp by James Hautman
2016 Federal Duck Stamp contest
winning entry by James Hautman
Photo Credit: USFWS

Final judging for the stamp contest will take place over this two-day period and will be open to the public. The winning artwork will be featured as the 2018 Federal Duck Stamp, available for purchase July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. In addition to the stamp contest, other events include a decoy carving contest and exhibition, hosted by Wisconsin Waterfowl Association, and a Learn to Hunt program.

Wisconsin is one of the top five states in the country in number of duck hunters, with roughly 80,000 waterfowl hunters per year, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognized that Wisconsin represents considerable contributions to the federal duck stamp program.

The Federal Duck Stamp, formally known as the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, is required for waterfowl hunters ages 16 or older. This stamp is the longest running, single themed U.S. postal stamp. The stamp represents a badge of honor each year for waterfowl hunters and is often purchased as a collector item.

Funding from duck stamp sales has contributed to the purchase of thousands of acres of federal public land in Wisconsin within nine national wildlife refuges, and numerous Waterfowl Production Areas within the Leopold and St. Croix Wetland Management Districts. A recent federal duck stamp price increase ($15 to $25) has bolstered land purchases across the country, with a new focus to purchase conservation easements to conserve waterfowl production habitat.

Visit the federal duck stamp program [EXIT DNR] website for additional information.

For more information regarding waterfowl hunting in Wisconsin, visit and search keyword “waterfowl.”

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30th annual Bald Eagle Watching Days takes flight January 13-14 in Sauk Prairie

Other events set for Fox River valley, Prairie du Chien, Alma and Ferryville

MADISON – Bald eagle watching events take flight in January in several Wisconsin communities and continue into March, allowing people ample opportunities to watch eagles at their wintering sites and enjoy live raptor shows and other activities showcasing the raptor’s recovery from near extinction.

 A bald eagle on the ice at Ferryville, which hosts its Eagle Watching Day March 4, 2017.
A bald eagle on the ice at Ferryville, which hosts its Eagle Watching Day March 4, 2017.
Photo Credit: Patty Sampson

Bald eagles from northern Wisconsin, Canada, northern Michigan and Minnesota move south as the lakes and rivers they live along freeze over during cold winters. Seeking fish, a main food source, the raptors typically congregate along open water areas below dams along the Wisconsin, Mississippi and Fox rivers, where their growing presence has turned the sites into birdwatching destinations and fostered community events.

“Eagle watching events celebrate the successful return of bald eagles to Wisconsin and provide a great variety of activities and settings to see and learn more about this majestic bird,” says Sumner Matteson, a Department of Natural Resources avian ecologist who has been involved in the Bald Eagle Watching Days since its inception.

The first event on the calendar, Bald Eagle Watching Days, set for January 13 and 14 in the Sauk Prairie area in Sauk County, is also the longest-running event in Wisconsin. Bald Eagle Watching Days marks its 30th anniversary in 2017 with highlights including eagle viewing at overlooks or on buses with eagle experts on hand to answer questions and live shows with bald eagles and other raptors from the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee. The planned release of an eagle rehabilitated at the Raptor Education Group, Inc., on January 14 is another highlight.

The planned release of a rehabilitated eagle is one of the highlights of Bald Eagle Watching Days Jan. 13-14 in the Sauk Prairie area.
The planned release of a rehabilitated eagle is one of the highlights of Bald Eagle Watching Days Jan. 13-14 in the Sauk Prairie area.
Photo Credit: Kurt Eakle

Brief descriptions follow of the known eagle watching events in 2017 in Wisconsin. Links to the event websites are found below and on DNR’s Bald eagle watching in Wisconsin web page. Go to and search “eagle watching.”

DNR conservation and wildlife biologists will be helping answer questions and presenting talks at the events. As well, DNR’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHC) will have a booth where people can learn more about Wisconsin’s eagle population and the bald eagle license plate that is a fundraiser for NHC work with endangered plants and animals and state natural areas.

Live birds of prey shows are part of Bald Eagle Watching Days Jan. 14 in the Sauk Prairie and at other events this winter.
Live birds of prey shows are part of Bald Eagle Watching Days Jan. 14 in the Sauk Prairie and at other events this winter.
Photo Credit: Kurt Eakle

Eagle Days along the Fox River

Eagle Days Along the Fox River brings a series of events to the Fox River Valley in January. The river is a wintering site for hundreds of bald eagles following habitat improvements and the removal of contaminants within the river, says Cheryl Root, eagle monitoring coordinator for the Northeast Wisconsin Alliance, a community based non-profit organization serving the people and wildlife of Northeast Wisconsin.

“The bald eagle is a symbol of the improved health of the river system and its communities,” she says. “Important elements affected by this revival include health of its citizens, tourism, job creation and appreciation of our history. These are reasons to celebrate Eagle Days along the Fox.”

Events range from a Mid-Winter Eagle Monitoring at sunrise at various locations and presentation at Atlas Waterfront Café on Jan. 14; various raptor education programs and speakers at the Paper Discovery Center in Appleton and the Neenah Public Library and indoor viewing at Lawrence University on Jan. 21-22; and various live eagle and raptor presentations at 1000 Islands Environmental Center in Kaukauna on Jan. 28.

Alma Eagles on Ice

Wings Over Alma, a non-profit nature and art center, offers a 50-foot viewing deck just below Lock & Dam #4 with free scopes and binoculars for an up close viewing opportunity on January 21. The Eagles on Ice event includes a chili feed and is sponsored by Wings Over Alma Nature & Art Center.

Prairie du Chien Bald Eagle Appreciation Days

Prairie du Chien’s Bald Eagle Appreciation Days are set for February 24-25, 2017, at Hoffman Hall, 1600 S. Wacouta Ave., in Prairie Du Chien. The event features live bald eagle and raptor programs, educational programs by birding experts, exhibits, outdoor viewing of Bald Eagles through spotting scopes, a life-sized bald eagle nest, activities for children. Free Friday evening educational programs at local hotels. Saturday programs run 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. and are held at Hoffman Hall, Prairie du Chien. All programs Friday and Saturday are free and open to the public. This is a fun educational event for the whole family. The event is co-sponsored by Effigy Mounds National Monument and the Prairie du Chien Tourism Council.

Ferryville Eagle Watching Day

Ferryville Eagle Watching Day is set for March 4 at the Ferryville Community Center, 170 Pine Street Highway 35 and will feature eagle nest building at 10 a.m., an activity in which kids can help build a nest and learn more about eagles and preserving habitat; live eagle and raptor programs by the University of Minnesota Raptor Center at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. There also will be kids activities, presentations on the waterfowl of the Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge, a hooting contest, and displays of middle schoolers’ eagle art and habitat projects. The event is sponsored by the Ferryville Tourism Council and the Friends of Pool 9.

Tips for viewing wherever and whenever you go

With 2016 nest surveys showing the bald eagle population has soared to a new high – 1,504 occupied nests translating into more than 3,000 adult birds plus their offspring – there should be plenty of opportunity to see the birds at the events and on your own, Matteson says.

“Continued cold weather will mean more birds coming down to open water along the Wisconsin, Mississippi and Fox rivers where the events are centered,” he says. “Warmer weather may mean the birds are more scattered across the countryside, but some are almost always found at open water areas because those area provide an easy source of food.”

The greatest number of eagles can usually be seen at open-water areas in the mornings as they fly back and forth, searching for their first meal of the day. Late afternoon can be good as well as they are moving back to their roosting areas.

Matteson cautions eagle watchers, whether participating in organized events or on their own, to take care not to disturb eagles. Winter is a stressful time of the year for the birds and they need to conserve energy to make it through the long winter. Please stay in your car their car unless they are at a staffed viewing site.

Marge Gibson of the Raptor Education Group, Inc., (REGI) gets ready to release a rehabilitated eagle at the 2016 eagle days event in the Sauk Prairie area.
Marge Gibson of the Raptor Education Group, Inc., (REGI) gets ready to release a rehabilitated eagle at the 2016 eagle days event in the Sauk Prairie area.
Photo Credit: Kurt Eakle

Bald eagles have recovered from near extinction in the 1970s in Wisconsin, when there were only 108 breeding pairs, and elsewhere in the nation as a result of the banning of the pesticide DDT nationally in 1972 (and in Wisconsin in 1969), prohibition of killing of eagles, improved water quality in lakes and rivers, and nest protection and reintroduction of eagles in some areas. Bald eagles were removed from Wisconsin’s endangered species list in 1997 and the federal list a decade later. The number of eagle pairs in Wisconsin has grown from 108 pairs in the 1970s to ten times that number today.

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EDITOR’S ADVISORY: No DNR Weekly News, DNR Outdoor Report last week of December

There will be no Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Weekly News issued on Dec. 27, 2016. There will also be no DNR Outdoor Report on Dec. 29, 2016. The next DNR Weekly News will be Jan. 3, 2017 and the next DNR Outdoor Report will be Jan. 5, 2017.

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DNR fills district wildlife supervisor positions in southern and west central Wisconsin

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources filled two important supervisory positions, as Bret Owsley and Kris Johansen assume the roles of district wildlife supervisors in the southern and west central districts, respectively.

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Owsley will serve as the Wildlife Management District Supervisor in DNR’s southern district.
Contributed Photo

Owsley graduated from Iowa State University in 2006 with a degree in natural resources ecology and management with a wildlife emphasis. He spent his first six years after college in various wildlife positions in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois and Florida. Owsley began his career with DNR in 2012 as the Horicon Area Wildlife Supervisor – during this time, he led development efforts for the Horicon Marsh Explorium and served as the Southern District representative on the DNR Deer Advisory Committee. In his spare time, Owsley enjoys being outdoors (specifically hunting), watching his favorite sports teams and spending time with his family.

“I am very excited to continue my work with the Wildlife Management Bureau and interact with DNR staff and partners across the Southern District in this new capacity,” said Owsley.

Johansen graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he received a bachelors degree in biology with a minor in land use planning. He has held a number of positions since starting his career with the department in 2000, including one year as a limited-term wildlife technician, two years as a project wildlife biologist, three years as a permanent wildlife technician and six years as a wildlife biologist covering Buffalo and Trempealeau counties.

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Johansen will serve as the Wildlife Management District Supervisor in DNR’s west central district.
Contributed Photo

Since 2012, Johansen has served as the Wisconsin Rapids and Black River Falls Area Wildlife Supervisor, where he oversaw work on a wide range of issues, including elk translocation, prairie chicken management and conservation agriculture.

Johansen enjoys any activity that gets him outdoors, especially time spent with his eight year old son Anders while hunting, fishing and trapping. He also enjoys cooking and preserving the bounties of the annual harvest through mason jars and smoke houses.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve as the district leader in the wildlife program for the WCD and work with the talented staff within the district and across the state,” said Johansen. “I am honored to be serving in this position and look forward to bringing my previous field experiences, supervisory experience and ability to build and maintain internal and external partnerships to this position.”

Contact information for these new wildlife supervisors can be found at, keyword “contact.” For more information regarding wildlife management in Wisconsin, search keyword “wildlife.”

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Preliminary results for Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey now available

MADISON – In the first three months of the 2016 deer hunter wildlife survey, 2,626 bucks, 8,502 does, 4,745 fawns, and 745 unknowns were reported in 6,985 hunting trips. Hunters are reminded to record wildlife observations through the end of the 2016 deer hunting seasons.

This fun opportunity allows hunters to share their enthusiasm for wildlife and assist with DNR survey efforts. Department staff can track population changes and improve management decisions, especially for species that may be hard to monitor, with help from hunters throughout Wisconsin. Hunters are encouraged to record all hunting activity, even if no wildlife sightings occur.

At the end of each survey year, participants receive a personalized summary of all recorded wildlife. To access the survey webpage, search the DNR website,, for keywords “deer hunter wildlife.” Tally sheets can be filled out electronically or printed directly from the DNR website. The current survey period ends January 2017.

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