Leftover bonus tags available soon

Editor

Madison Deer hunters who want bonus antlerless permits for the
fall seasons can start buying them over the counter on Monday,
Sept. 10.

The DNR Bureau of Licensing has tentatively selected that date
to have leftover bonus tags available for walk-up sales or
telephone sales.

Hunters had until Aug. 24 to order bonus tags by mail.

“There will be plenty of bonus tags available in just about any
unit that is not a state park or Zone T unit,” said Matt McKay, DNR
assistant deer ecologist.

One free Zone T tag is available with each hunter’s gun deer
tag. Anyone who also hunts during the archery season will pick up a
second free Zone T tag with their bow license. If a hunter wants to
shoot a third antlerless deer in a Zone T unit, they must then buy
a bonus antlerless tag ($12 for residents, $20 for
nonresidents).

In units that are not in Zone T, gun hunters with a choice
permit may use that tag to shoot a doe in the unit for which the
tag is issued. Bonus tags are needed to shoot extra antlerless deer
on non-Zone T units.

While bonus tags should be available for over-the-counter sales
in about 50 non-Zone T units on Sept. 10, several units will likely
sell out soon after the sales begin. Those are Unit 50, Unit 44,
and Unit 29B.

“Most units have plenty of tags available,” McKay said.

The number of bonus permits available in each unit will not be
known until early September, after the DNR Bureau of Licensing
processes all of the mail-in orders.

Heading into the season, the DNR had 540,510 hunter’s choice
permits available, not including state parks and metro units. Any
choice permits not requested by hunters become available as bonus
tags.

Hunters who buy bonus tags for Zone T units (in addition to the
free permits) may fill those tags during the Oct. 25-28 four-day
special antlerless season. Hunters are reminded they may not
bowhunt in Zone T units during that four-day firearms season.
However, they can tag a firearms-killed Zone T doe during the
four-day hunt with the free antlerless tag issued with their bow
license. See regulations for tagging options.

This year’s deer herd is estimated 1.6 million animals, down a
bit from last year’s estimate of 1.8 million. The DNR’s statewide
over-winter goal is about 900,000 deer.

Last year, state deer hunters set a combined (gun, bow and
muzzleloader and Chippewa) harvest record with 618,274 animals
registered.

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