Clark deer panel sets harvest goals



Clark County hunters over the next three years should be seeing more deer in the expansive county forest area and about the same number as they have been in farm woodlots. At least those are the management goals approved last week by the Clark County Deer Advisory Council (CDAC), the local group charged by the Department of Natural Resources with setting harvest quotas for archery and rifle hunters.
Meeting in Loyal on Oct. 11, the CDAC voted to recommend to the DNR that it continue with two main objectives for the next three years: 1.) Limit harvest quotas enough to allow the deer herd to grow in the heavily-forested southwestern one-third of the county, and 2.) Set higher quotas in the farmland portion of the county to maintain deer populations at current levels. The CDAC is also recommending that the DNR change the boundary between the forest/farmland areas to better match actual habitat conditions.
On the boundary matter, the CDAC will ask the state to approve moving the forest-farmland line farther to the south and west, so more farmland with relatively high deer numbers and potential for crop damage can be included in the DNR’s farmland management zone. The current boundary is a line following State Highway 73 through roughly the center of the county north to Highway 29, and then west. If the new boundary is approved, the line would shift some 8-10 miles to the west, on a line comprised of Highway 10 west of Neillsville to County Trunks G, I and M, and then west on MM. The change would mean roughly two-thirds of the county would be in the farmland zone, instead of approximately half.

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