Wisconsin Earn-a-Buck Stickers are in the Mail

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Hunters who registered an antlerless deer last season in a deer management unit that was not Earn-a-Buck (EAB) then, but is under EAB requirements this year will begin receiving their 2007 buck authorization stickers by mail later this week, according to state wildlife officials.

Prequalification was introduced by the Department of Natural Resources in 2006 in response to hunter comments that they frequently had to pass up nice bucks on opening morning in EAB units because they hadn’t shot an antlerless deer first.

Earn-a-Buck rules require a hunter to first shoot and register an antlerless deer before they can legally shoot a buck. The rules are implemented in deer management units that are far above prescribed deer population goals and are very effective in lowering deer numbers in those units because of the impact on the antlerless part of the deer population. Antlerless deer are mainly does although a buck with antlers less than 3 inches in length is also considered antlerless.

"The prequalification option has been very popular," said Keith Warnke, DNR big game ecologist, "thousands of hunters took advantage of it again this year. It's popular because it allows hunters to enter the woods on opening morning and shoot a deer of their choice whether its antlered or antlerless in any deer management unit anywhere in the state."

The mailing will go out to hunters who shot and registered antlerless deer in 2006 in deer management units that were part of the group of "herd control" units in 2006 and are now classified as Earn-a-Buck units in 2007. It is important to note that hunters who shot and registered an antlerless deer in a 2006 Earn-a-Buck unit, received the buck authorization sticker on-the-spot. Those stickers could be used immediately in 2006 to shoot a buck in an EAB unit or held until 2007 for use in an EAB unit. Buck authorization stickers are not replaceable if lost.

If a hunter thinks he or she should be receiving a buck sticker and doesn't find one in the mail, they should check the prequalification data base at http://prodoasext.dnr.wi.gov/inter1/pk_cwd_eab$.startup on the deer hunting pages of the DNR Web site or call a DNR Service Center and ask them to check. The hunter will need their DNR customer ID number to make the check. If the hunter is not on the database list but did shoot and register an antlerless deer in a unit that was not EAB in 2006 and is EAB in 2007, it could be due to an incomplete or unreadable registration stub. The hunter should fill out the online form and the request will be handled as soon as possible.

"It is still possible to earn a buck sticker for the gun season opener during the archery hunt," says Warnke. "The stickers are not weapon specific. A hunter can use a buck sticker earned during the gun season to take a buck with a bow and vice-versa. The main object of the prequalification program is to give hunters options for earning a buck sticker and at the same time, boost the antlerless harvest."

"Hunters made great progress last year in boosting the antlerless harvest and moving the herd toward population goals but getting the herd to the prescribed goals is going to be a multi-year effort."

A common misconception is that if a hunter shoots an antlerless deer in an EAB unit, they will have a sticker mailed to them the following year. The mailing of stickers will only apply to antlerless deer harvested in non-EAB units that become EAB the following year. All hunters who shoot antlerless deer in an EAB unit must receive their Buck Authorization sticker(s) at the registration station when they register their deer.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Warnke - (608) 264-6023