FITCHBURG – The Department of Natural Resources will be hosting seven deer management Open Houses in south central Wisconsin preceding public hearings on the agency’s proposed revisions to its chronic wasting disease (CWD) rules and regulations.

Each Open House will run from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and during this segment of the evening’s program a DNR wildlife biologist will discuss results from the 2003 hunting seasons, population estimates, proposed deer hunting seasons and CWD management in area deer management units (DMU’s).

Following the Open Houses and starting at 7:00 p.m., DNR will hold a formal, public hearing on its proposed revisions to the CWD permanent rule. Highlighting these proposals and which the public is asked to comment on are recommended changes that would:

  • Eliminate the CWD Intensive Harvest Zone and use roads rather than section line boundaries to define the CWD Disease Eradication Zone (DEZ).

  • Change the population goals for the DEZ’s from zero to less than five deer per square mile of deer range.

  • Allow hunters to use any tag on antlerless deer and bucks harvested after shooting an antlerless deer in CWD zones.

  • Require hunters to allow a sample to be taken from their deer at CWD zone registration stations.

The Open House/Public Hearings dates, locations, wildlife biologists, their telephone numbers and DMU’s open for discussion are as follows:

March 16 at Portage – Portage City Hall, Basement Meeting Room, 115 W. Pleasant St., Pat Kaiser, 608-635-8123, DMU’s 70B, 70E and 70G.

March 16 at Shopiere – Town of Turtle Community Center, 6916 South CTH J, Doug Fendry, 608-743-4835, DMU’s 77A, 77C and 76A.

March 16 at Spring Green – Round Barn Lodge and Restaurant, E4830 STH 14 & 60, Bill Ishmael, 608-588-2591, DMU’s 70, 70A, 70B, 75C and 54B, plus State Park Units 70C – Governor Dodge, 70D – Blue Mounds, and 70F – Natural Bridge.

March 17 at Mt. Horeb – Karakahl Country Inn, Basement Conference Room, 1405 Business STH 18/151 East, Mike Foy, 608-273-6275 DMU’s 70A, 75C, 76M, 76 and 75A, plus State Park Units 70C – Governor Dodge and 70D – Blue Mounds.

March 17 at Richland Center – Ramada Inn/White House Supper Club, Lincoln Conference Room, 1450 Veterans Dr., Ron Lichtie, 608-375-4123, DMU’s 71, 73E and 73B – CWD.

March 18 at Fayette – RFS Center, 18298 CTH D, Bruce Folley, 608-743-4831, DMU’s 75A, 75C and 75D, plus State Park unit 75B – Yellowstone Lake.

March 18 at Jefferson – Jefferson County Fair Grounds, Activity Center, 503 N. Jackson St., Charlie Kilian, 920-648-3054, DMU 76A.