CORRESPONDENCE/MEMORANDUM

Date: November 30, 2001 File Ref: 4100

To: Darrell Bazzell

From: Tom Harelson

Subject: 2001 Deer Gun Season Report

Hunting Pressure and Attitudes of Hunters:

Conditions & Pressure - Wardens reported lighter than normal hunting pressure throughout the region during most of the 9-day season. Most hunting activity was observed the opening weekend with very few hunters observed Monday through Wednesday. Hunting activity increased over the Thanksgiving Holiday, but still remained fairly light. Weather was probably a contributing factor with above normal temperatures and rain on a couple of days. Heavy rain on the last Saturday ended the hunt early for many hunters. Many hunters felt that the warm weather contributed to the reduced deer kill, as hunters remained on stands rather than walk around to get the deer moving. There were also a good number of hunters complained about not seeing deer and questioned the Department’s deer numbers.

Another factor that was influenced by the warm, wet conditions was the higher than normal water levels in lakes, rivers and marshes, making the marshes inaccessible since they did not freeze over as was the case last year. Hunters speculated that those low-lying areas became refuges for the deer. Hip boots were part of many hunters' attire the second weekend.

The Changing Landscape & Hunting Culture -- The effects of changing land use patterns and our hunting culture coupled with baiting/feeding practices in Wisconsin continue to have a dramatic impact on deer and deer hunting in Wisconsin. Every year more and more "huntable" acres of property are being occupied by homes with residents who may or may not be hunters. In addition, local units of government are under pressure to restrict the use of firearms in some of these traditionally rural areas. This "urban sprawl" is also having an impact on traditional hunting areas with an increase in calls, questions, and complaints relating to the "discharge of a firearm within 100 yards of a dwelling". Many of these residents also feed deer year round for viewing purposes, to prevent starvation, to keep deer on their property, etc. creating refuges for large deer numbers.

Privately owned "hunting lands" continue to change as well. Most are heavily posted and are seeing less hunting pressure than in the past. Deer drives are not as commonplace and landowners are placing restrictions on the harvest of deer on these properties. In addition, hunters using these private lands prefer to "sneak in and out" of their stands preventing deer from leaving the property if at all possible. Some of these individuals will be the first to complain that the deer numbers are over estimated.

Urban Sprawl - Numerous deer hunters have expressed concerns about the numerous small tracks of land, both public and private that are being closed to hunting. Warden Zeihen made the following statement: Hunting pressure was non-existent in Waukesha County. Areas of traditional gun deer hunting are being lost at an increasing rate due to urban sprawl. In the Eagle/Mukwonago administrative area, the only place left to hunt other than state lands are on the borders with Racine, Walworth and Jefferson counties. Many of the local hunting parties that I saw year after year now head North to look for their deer.

Conflicts between hunters and non-hunters - There were some safety concerns with non-hunters using biking and hiking trails and not wearing blaze orange. The unseasonably warm weather probably increased trail use during this year. It was suggested that we increase our public relations efforts in this area when a potentially warm weather season approaches in the future, warning hunters and non-hunters alike.

Confusion about our tagging system - Clearly, the biggest concern of hunters encountered by wardens this season revolved around the proliferation of regulations and the difficulty hunters (and wardens alike) were having understanding the deer hunting regulations and the use of carcass tags. Many hunters commented they believed they needed their lawyers with them to ensure they weren’t breaking any laws. The charts in the regulation booklets are difficult to read and, in some cases, inconsistent with actual law. All wardens report this as being a significant problem! We absolutely must simplify the tagging system for our deer hunters and become consistent in future years.

Deer baiting and feeding - The use of bait/feed continues to grow at an exponential rate each year. As reported in past seasons, many persons who are not in favor of baiting are doing so themselves, because they feel they need to just to compete. Wardens’ sense that there is a growing concern from the majority of hunters who feel that baiting/feeding cannot continue as it has. Many complaints before and during the season were either directly or indirectly related to the practice of baiting. These complaints occurred on both private and public lands.

This year wardens found that the prevalence of illegal bait is continuing to increase. This year wardens issued 99 citations to hunters who were hunting over illegally baited areas which is up significantly from last year. The following excerpts were taken from some of the warden reports and are indicative of the kinds of complaints dealt with this season:

These few examples begin to give a flavor of the problems surrounding baiting and feeding. An attachment to this report of stories by wardens gives dozens more examples where baiting is a problem.

Venison Processing - Warm weather was a concern for many hunters because they were worried that a deer would spoil if they left it hanging. Seems that most hunters left for home early because they had killed a deer and wanted to get the meat home and cut up before it spoiled.

Complaints of deer numbers down - Almost every warden reports hunters expressing the opinion that DNR deer population estimates were off, and that the big kill last year certainly had an impact on the number of deer this year. Those hunters who were around 20-30 years ago said things have come full circle. Even though the wildlife biologists report that registration totals were right on line with the two previous warm seasons (1998-1999), there is still a lot of concern among hunters concerning deer numbers. Personal observations by most wardens showed fewer deer seen on patrol than previous years but that may be a result of either the "…don't scare the deer off my property" or "….hold them on my property mentality." Statements were made to the effect that, if the DNR tries to push for another Zone T season, that there might be another "red shirt rebellion" looming on the horizon. This seemed to be a major concern of most hunters contacted. Warden Demler in Sawyer County observed a sign placed on state property (subject unknown) that stated, "This was the worst hunting season in 20 years, thanks DNR".

ALIS License Issues - The ALIS license system is an outstanding law enforcement tool. Our wardens were able to complete investigations in short amounts of time that would have lingered until after the deer season was over. Along with the compliments, wardens passed on many suggested changes that will be forwarded to Customer Service and Licensing for improvements next year.

Reduced Law Enforcement Operating Budgets – The budget shortfalls facing the law enforcement program severely hampered our ability to effectively patrol areas, respond to all calls for service, use the aircraft, purchase needed equipment, etc. In addition, the reduction in Limited Term Employee funding required some wardens to work without their deputy wardens during this past deer gun season, a serious safety concern. Many wardens took days off during the middle of the week in deer season because they did not have the money to operate their vehicles.

Incidents/Observations Where Shooting Hours Were An Issue:

Hunting Hours - The lengthened shooting hours combined with overcast days much of the season reduced the number of late hunting violations for the most part with the majority of hunters using commons sense by leaving the woods on or before legal hunting time. While many hunters still seemed to rely on the old "4:30 PM" closing time, on clear nights there were still persons hunting well after the legal shooting hours. It also appeared that there were many more early hunting violations reported pre-dawn. While the numbers of citations issued for late hunting are down from past years, some of this is due to the fact that wardens were not comfortable walking in to check hunters at closing time. Last year a Pennsylvania Warden was shot and killed by a hunter doing just that. Wardens were urged to use extreme caution if attempts were made to contact these late hunters. Many Field Wardens feel the department should reconsider its position on the hunting hours and change the rules to require an earlier closing time reflecting "safe hunting light conditions" each day during the gun deer seasons. It was also recommended that the Department put together an aggressive media campaign prior to next season aimed at educating hunters about the dangers of hunting in reduced light conditions and to encourage persons to quit hunting when appropriate for the conditions.

Selected warden comments on hunting hours:

It can't be to early to shoot - Warden Chris DeRemer in Rock County responded to a complaint of late shooting. DeRemer found and interviewed the suspects and one of them finally admitted that he shot a deer while he was walking from his stand back to his truck to leave. Warden DeRemer asked him to estimate the time that he shot, and the hunter replied that he couldn’t be sure because "it was too dark to see my watch!"

Dangerous Conditions - Warden Todd Wippermann of Clintonville commented that he "observed very dangerous conditions at closing time especially on the rainy dark days of the season. I did receive several complaints of late hunting even with liberal hunting hours however, I worked several of these complaints but no arrests were made. Working these late hunters is much more dangerous to the warden than in years past and is still not one of my highest priorities. On some of the darkest evenings you could not even see blaze orange at 15 minutes after hours"

It's a black out - Warden Sabrowsky’s first evening (which was clear) advised he eased up behind a hunter in his stand. At quitting time he could barely see the hunters blaze orange. He waited. The hunter remained watching his illegal bait until 15 minutes after when Sabrowsky finally shined a light on him making him quit. Sabrowsky literally could not see his blaze orange from a distance of 60 feet 15 minutes after closing.

Early Shooting - Warden Jeff Knorr of Fremont reported "I was informed by several hunters of hearing early shots this year, 6:00 am, 6:05 am, 6:07 am, and 6:11 am-meaning 15 to 20 minutes early-obviously an opportunity situation and tough to enforce"

Scared to be out There - Warden Dave Algrem of Wautoma indicated that "while the opening day evening had clear skies making for good visibility even with the new hours the rest of the season had mostly cloudy dark closing hours. A number of hunters mentioned they thought to was too dark and were actually scared to move around then"

Late, Late Hunting - Warden Dale Hochhausen, Fond du Lac County issued 2 late hunting citations and 1 warning to members of the same hunting camp. Based on a previous late hunting complaint, Warden Hochhausen contacted 2 persons while hunting in their stands 21 and 26 minutes after closing and warning a third for shooting 4 minutes after close.

Couldn’t See My Sights - Warden Darren Kuhn of Green Bay heard from one group of hunters that stated they had deer within range near the end of an evening hunt but could not see their sights to make the shot. Warden Kuhn commended that group for not taking the risk of shooting and crippling the deer that were in range even though season was still open. If hunters were unable to see their sights to shoot, Warden Kuhn would argue that it is too dark to hunt and the hunting hours should be re-evaluated.

Search and Rescue:

A common misconception of Conservation Wardens is that they just arrest people and resolve user conflicts. Although, catching poachers and resolving conflicts are an important part of the job, there is much more. Because of their extensive knowledge of the terrain and equipment necessary to get back into remote locations, wardens have always served an important search and rescue role for lost hunters. The following are a collection of selected comments from wardens involved in search and rescue during the deer season - some with a happy ending and some with a sad ending:

Things aren't always as they appear = Unfortunately, the West Central Region had 5 of the fatal shooting incidents (not counting the Clark County homicide investigation) and 2 non-fatal incidents. The incident in Clark County resulted in finding a gunshot victim where wardens were called in to investigate a possible hunting accident. This case now appears to be an intentional homicide. Wardens Wagner, Knepper, Yearman, Maxinoski, and Schwengel have been assisting the sheriff’s department in this case where a Medford man who was believed to been hunting was found shot twice in the back and laying in a wooded area. Warden Maxinoski went airborne with the "Spirit of Marshfield" helicopter to aid in the search of the scene. No firearm was found with the man.

Happy to be Found! - Warden Pat Novesky of Mountain heard a shot about 15 minutes after the end of shooting hours and began walking that direction. About 10 minutes later, Warden Novesky heard another shot this time about 50 feet away. As Warden Novesky announced his presence an excited and appreciative hunter stated "Thank God, I’ve been lost in here since 1:00 O’clock". The hunter was about 2 miles from the rest of his party and was firing in the air to get their attention.

I Should Have Told My Spouse - In another case, Warden Pat Novesky assisted the Oconto County Sheriff’s Department with attempting to locate a lost hunter who had apparent heart problems. The hunter’s vehicle was eventually found parked at a local "gin mill" and the hunter was fine, however had forgot to check in with his wife.

Isn't the fall that gets you, it’s the sudden stop at the bottom - On Tuesday November 20th, Warden Knepper participated in a search and rescue operation in Clark County. An older gentleman had climbed up into an oak tree during a deer drive for a better view. A branch broke and the man fell about 8-10 feet and landed on his head and neck. Warden Knepper was the first on scene and walked two miles back into swampy woods where the victim was laying down, afraid to move. Warden Knepper helped update the medical team on the victim’s condition. The subject had to be put on a backboard and hauled out from two miles in the woods. It took a long time to get the victim out, after which he was air lifted by the "Spirit" helicopter to the Marshfield Hospital. The victim had remained in the hospital for one day. A "dedicated" member of the victim’s group took his loaded rifle back into the woods with the rescuers in case a deer would be kicked up. When it came time to take the victim out of the woods, we needed that extra person to rotate carrying the victim. However, the hunter could not help since he had to carry his gun.

Sad young man listens well - In Chippewa County Warden Gullickson assisted the sheriff’s department with locating a 69-year-old hunter who died of apparent natural causes while attempting to make a deer drive toward his 12-year-old grandson. The grandson waited 10 hours at his stand for his grandfather before going for help. He told his mother that he thought he was lost and that Warden Gullickson had told him in hunter education class to stay put until help arrived. He did just that.

Dangers surrounding dams - Warden Rosen was called to a boat accident during the gun deer season. Two anglers had ignored the warnings of the dam gates opening and became caught in heavy current along the Lake Mallalieu dam and were repeatedly and violently smashed against the dam. The anglers were forced to scale the face of the dam to escape with their lives. One angler was given private transport to the Hospital for treatment of a broken leg. Warden Rosen and a St Croix County Deputy retrieved the capsized vessel, which will most likely be a total loss.

Full service agency - Warden Peterson and Stone searched for a 10-year-old boy for approximately 2 hours before he was found. The boy’s father was the subject of an investigation and when he was contacted regarding the investigation, reported that his son was missing. No other LE agencies were called to assist.

Tree stand safety - Wardens Bauman, Leezer, Modjeski, and Burmesch responded to an incident where a hunter fell from a tree stand. Bauman and Leezer provided transportation for EMT’s through fields and carried emergency equipment up steep hills to the scene to attempt to save the victim. The victim was transported by the wardens to a site where Med-flight could transport the victim to a hospital. Unfortunately, the victim died.

Car problems - Wardens got a call to respond to search for lost hunters on the Kickapoo Wildlife Area near Wauzeka. While wardens were starting to search the 2000-acre property, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Dept. was attempting to locate family of the owners of the two vehicles at the DNR parking lot. Both persons, who had been hunting together, were found at home. They had car problems on both vehicles and got rides with someone else. On the other hand…information from this incident led to two felons hunting with firearms later in the season.

A long ways to just get lost - A hunter from Louisiana who did not come out of the Kickapoo Wildlife Area by their group's designated meeting time of 3:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., his hunting partners went to a nearby residence and called the sheriff' dept. The property owner rode his horse onto the property and after a short search found the subject. With the use of his portable radio he called a family member who picked up the lost hunter with an ATV and transported him to the parking lot. A thank you card will be sent to the property owner.

Those hills are dangerous - The Grant County Sheriffs Department reported that they had received a telephone call reporting that a hunter had fallen off a cliff near Cassville and broke his leg. He had to be taken out by boat. Later it was learned that he was hunting by himself and had gone in by boat, and was climbing the hillside when he slipped and ended up breaking his leg. It was quite a while before anyone came looking for him.

Good news - Warden Mike Cross responded to a call from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Dept. regarding an elderly hunter overdue from the field. The public hunting ground he was on adjoins a vast tamarack swamp and it was almost the end of hunting hours and getting dark. En route to assist, Cross secured permission from a private landowner to use a gate on his property for access if they needed to get rescue vehicles in behind the public land. All was well, as the hunter returned to his relieved son's vehicle by himself!

All's well that ends well - Warden Mike MacKenzie did assist at a search and rescue attempt on the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest the second Saturday of the season. MacKenzie met with hunters and attempted to locate a lost 15-year-old hunter. The local fire department personnel, sheriff’s department and rangers were also there. MacKenzie assisted both Saturday evening and Sunday morning. The hunter was located the following morning, cold, wet, but in good shape.

It's worth a buck - Warden’s McGeshick assisted the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office in locating a lost hunter in Consolidated Paper Company Property northeast of Monico, WI. The hunter had shot a six point buck and was trailing it when started to get late. The hunter found the deer and after tagging and field dressing the deer the hunter began to drag the deer out. It became late and it was not a clear night to assist the hunter in finding his way out. The other hunters in his hunting party called the sheriff’s department and requested their assistance in locating their lost party member. McGeshick arrived on scene and assisted the sheriff’s department. The hunter was able to get out of the woods by following the sounds of the siren of the patrol vehicles. The hunter left the deer in the woods so to find his way out easier. The hunter went back the following morning to retrieve the buck.

If I'm lost, I'm going to be warm - Warden’s McGeshick and Osborne were called by the Forest County Sheriff’s Office to look for a lost hunter in the Nicolet National Forest by Armstrong Creek, WI in the northeastern corner of Forest County. The other hunter hunting with the lost hunter called the sheriff’s department with a cell phone. McGeshick and Osborne traveled to the scene of the lost hunter and found a person on the side of Forest Service Road sitting next to a fire. McGeshick and Osborne contacted the person by the fire and found it to be the supposed lost hunter. There was a communication shortcoming between the two hunters. One hunter came out of the woods farther down from the other hunter. The two individuals were about 500 yards away from each other. Better communication between the two would have avoided the situation.

Just forget about everything - Warden Lindsley assisted the Florence County Sheriff’s Office in locating a lost hunter who was overdue by a week. Warden’s four-wheel drive squad was able to check areas where squad cars found it inaccessible. Hunter was located in fine health and unaware that he should have called home once in a while.

Sourballs might save your life someday - There was only one search and rescue incident for the Cumberland Team this season. On the opening day a 75-year-old hunter became lost near the Burnett-Polk County line on county forestland. He was not seen after 2:30 p.m. The Burnett County Sheriff’s Department initiated a search effort the next morning. Warden’s King, Smith, Edwards and Deputy Warden Tamara Larson assisted. Additionally, Warden Larson used her trained bloodhound. Pilot Phil Miller assisted with this effort also. Deputy Larson was approximately 100 yards from the lost hunter when he was spotted by Pilot Miller. The hunter was in good condition after spending the night outside and stated that he had gotten along well on the supply of sourballs he had in his pocket.

Warm weather makes it better - Warden DiSalvo and Bayfield County deputies were involved in the search for a lost 13-year-old. The youngster spent the night in the wood. Hunters in the area came upon the boy and led him out as Mark was arranging for the DNR pilot to begin a search. Dense fog had prohibited an earlier flight. The youngster had walked off behind the cabin to a stand and then decided to go to a different stand and got lost. Luckily the weather was warm. The father was relieved and then was instructed about the need to be with the youngster while hunting. A citation was also issued to bring home the point.

 

HUNTING ACCIDENTS

Firearm related shooting incidents while hunting were down during the firearm deer season compared to the previous two years. This year there were 19 total incidents reported most of which happened on the first two days of the season (see Chart #1 below). From a safety point of view this season was bittersweet. The 2001 gun deer season the 5th safest season on record for total numbers of accidents. Unfortunately, 7 of the accidents were fatalities. This is the highest number of fatalities reported since the 1987 season when there were 8 fatalities (see Graph #1 below). While there were 7 fatal accidents reported, it is important to note that when the investigations are competed that one or more of these may not be recorded as a hunting related incident. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those that were involved in a hunting incident (see Attachment #1).

It has been asked as to what can these incidents, both fatal and nonfatal injuries, be attributed; what was the common denominator that caused these things to happen. There are an infinite number of possible contributing factors, which can add to the cause of these things happening. Weather (snow or fog vs no snow or clear skies), topography (hills vs flat cornfields), type of ground cover (open fields vs thick forests) can be an issue. However, none of these causes a hunter to pull the trigger; that decision rests with each individual hunter. There’s no question that when we have snow cover during the gun deer season visibility is better. Perhaps some of these incidents this year would not have happened if there had been snow. In every firearms related incident whether they are fatal or an injury, whether they are self inflicted or caused by someone else there are some common denominators. Those are: Failure to point the muzzle in a safe direction, failure to keep the safety on and your finger out of the trigger guard until ready to shoot, failure to positively identify your target, failure to have a safe backstop for your shots, and failure to always know your safe zones of fire. Simply put, hunters will be safe when they decide to be safe. The very good news is that the great majority of our hunters are safe and they are getting safer all the time. As we have increased the numbers of hunters in Wisconsin the hunting incident rate continues to drop. This deer season we had over 600,000 hunters in the field. To have only 19 reported incidents is remarkable. The incident rate for this season was 3.1 per 100,000 participants. That is less than half the national average of 7 per 100,000 participants.

Some of the particular facts of this season are that this is the 5th time we have had less than 20 total incidents to report. The percentage of these, which were caused by juvenile hunters (-12 – 17 year old), dropped to 23.5%. The statistical normal percentage is 33% for this age group. The average age of the shooters causing these was 33.9. Deer drives were a contributing factor in 42% of the incidents. Handguns dropped to only 1 reported injury this season. One very disturbing fact is that 3 of these incidents this year involved juveniles of ages 12 and 13 hunting alone contrary to law, which requires this age group to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Hunters shooting themselves caused 31%.

Over time we see a continuing trend of declining numbers of gun deer hunting incidents. To have a season with less than 20 total gun related incidents is truly remarkable and yet unacceptable. Our hunter education program’s goal is to see a season with no reported incidents. As we continue to certify more hunters every year in hunter education we expect to see safer seasons to come. I’d like to personally thank all of our safe hunters, volunteer instructors, conservation wardens and department staff that have contributed to such a successful incident reduction trend.

Chart #1

2001 DEER GUN SEASON ACCIDENTS

#ACCIDENTS

Fri

Sat

Sun

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thr

Fri

Sat

Sun

Total

Fatal

 

4

 

1

     

1

1

 

7

Nonfatal

 

5

3

       

2

 

2

12

 

Graph #1

ARRESTS AND SEIZURES

ARRESTS:

There were 1340 arrests during the deer gun season, a decrease (13%) from 2000, when 1533 arrests were made (see attachment #2). This year was the lowest number of arrests since 1976 (see Graph # 2 below). This year continued the downward trend in juvenile citations with only 38 issued. It is felt that this is a direct result of the hunter education program and the work of over 4000 plus volunteer instructors.

Some trends appear in examination of individual arrest categories. Not surprisingly, arrests for "hunting before/after hours" dropped from 226 in 1999 to just 69 in 2000 and 39 arrests this year. The liberalized hours and the wardens not working on late shooters because of the danger, account for most of this drop. Citations for "hunt from or within 50 feet of the road", or "shoot from the roadway" number 168 this year, down slightly from 186 in 2000. Warm conditions that allowed hunters to stay in the woods all day generally discouraged hunters from shooting from the roadway. Arrests for hunting over illegal bait continues to increase, numbering 99 this year, up from 80 in 2000(up 19% in a year when total citations were down 13%). Most baiters cited are substantially over the 10-gallon limit, with amounts well in excess of 100 gallons common and almost always involved in other violations. The most common citations continue to be transporting loaded or uncased firearms, with 249 citations issued, down from 342 in 2000.

Hunting without blaze orange citations increased by 43% this year. Wardens reported that hunters were eager to shed their coats in the warm weather and most did not have lighter orange clothing to wear. Surprisingly, hunters were willing to take a chance with this important safety regulation.

Of particular interest is the fact that since 1976 the numbers of juvenile citations have generally declined. Juveniles accounted for 13 percent of the total arrests in 1976 and for only 3 percent in 2001. It is felt that the hunter education program is responsible for most of this decline.

 

Graph #2

 

 

The top 10 citations are listed in Chart #2 below from the highest to the lowest. Hunt from a permanent tree stand on public lands had the most significant percentage change from last year with a 53% decrease.

ATV’s continue to be a significant part of deer hunting. Their use grows each year. Wardens issued 70 citations to ATV operators during the season. This year, the most common violation was for operation of an ATV on the roadway. While ATV’s are a tremendous tool for removing deer and getting to and from hunting spots, they are a source of significant complaints from the public, especially on public lands.

Chart #2

2001

RANK

2000

RANK

VIOLATION

2001

2000

% CHANGE

1

1

Uncased firearm in or on a motor vehicle

131

172

- 31 %

2

2

Loaded firearm in or on a motor vehicle

118

170

- 44 %

3

6

Hunt over illegal bait

99

80

+ 19 %

4

5

Hunt within 50 feet of a road

85

85

SAME

5

3

Shoot w/in 50’ of Road

83

101

- 18 %

6

4

Failure to attach or validate the carcass tag

54

88

- 39 %

7

10

Operate ATV on roadway

42

36

+17 %

8

9

Hunt before or after hours

39

47

- 17 %

9

11

Group deer hunting

38

27

+19%

10

19

Hunt without blaze orange

33

19

+43%

14

7

Hunt deer in the wrong quota area

24

49

- 51 %

16

8

Hunt from permanent tree stand on state property

22

47

- 53 %

 

SEIZURES:

Illegal deer seizures numbered 150 this year, down from 260 last year (also a year with lots of tags), but below the 356 deer seized in 1998 (see Chart #3 below). As noted below, some folks continue to not tag deer (or validate their tags), despite having a pocketful of tags.

 

Chart #3

2000 DEER GUN SEASON SEIZURES

#SEIZURES

Fri

Sat

Sun

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thr

Fri

Sat

Sun

Total

Illegal Deer

4

39

27

14

11

11

6

8

19

11

150

Illegal Bear

 

1

1

2

1

 

5

GENERAL COMMENTS

 

SHERIFF'S DEPT. COOPERATION - The cooperation between the Department and local sheriff's departments was again excellent. There were many instances where sheriff's deputies were handling conservation violations. In a few instances wardens handled trespass and traffic to fill in behind a county officer. Dispatchers simply sent the closest car. The cooperation and partnering was excellent between all involved and allowed for a smooth and safe deer season.

CONSERVATION WORK EFFORT - Traditionally, conservation wardens work over 18,000 hours of deer enforcement during the pay periods surrounding the deer season. Additionally, there was a tremendous amount of effort in both in the early hunts and working shiners at night…..and it’s not over yet. We still have the Muzzleloader season, Zone-T late hunt and the late archery to go. Complaints from the deer season will continue well into 2002 and will result in arrests and the seizure of many more illegal deer before the next season comes around. My thanks to all our wardens who put in so many long hours under difficult and dangerous conditions this fall. There is a tradition in the warden service to measure ones career in how many deer seasons they have left to work. I would like to especially thank those wardens who may have worked their last deer season as a Game Warden! Now, it’s time for them to go hunt or just spend time with their families!

cc: Dave Meier

Natural Resources Board Members

Regional Wardens - SER, WCR, NOR, NER and SCR

Laurel Steffes

Tom Hauge