DNR board: No buck-only counties for 1st time in decade

MADISON — The state Department of Natural Resources board has approved a 2019 deer hunt framework that doesn’t include any buck-only counties for the first time in a decade.

Buck-only designations are typically imposed to protect does so area herds can grow. No buck-only counties signal the statewide herd’s numbers are healthy, particularly in northwestern and southern Wisconsin.

Hunters killed 160,653 bucks in 2018, the second-highest buck kill in the last decade. DNR officials said in a memo to the board that county deer advisory councils are increasingly frustrated with trying to maintain or decrease the herd in farmland management zones in northwestern, southern and central Wisconsin.

The board approved the framework unanimously Wednesday.

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