Letter from Rep. Petryk: Results on the nine-day gun deer season
On November 23rd, Wisconsin kicked-off our long standing tradition of the nine-day gun deer hunting season. Despite the cold temperatures and snow fall, hunters saw some successes and some disappointments but as the saying goes, “that’s hunting!”
For the 2013 nine-day hunt, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued 633,602 gun deer licenses. Of those, nearly 27,000 were issued to new resident hunters who were able to take advantage of the discounted license fee for new hunters. Also, nearly 33 percent of the new hunter licenses issued were to women and overall, the participation of women in the gun deer hunting season rose by 10 percent. This is all due in part to the efforts of the Legislature, the Governor, and the DNR to increase participation and continue our proud sporting heritage with new and younger hunters.
Despite new interest in the gun deer season, overall the harvest numbers were down this season. The following information was recently released by the DNR on this year’s preliminary harvest numbers:
- 226,582 deer were killed (down 7 percent from 2012)
- 97,765 bucks were harvested (114,822 in 2012)
- 128,817 antlerless deer were harvested (128,917 in 2012)
Locally, the 93rd Assembly District saw decreases in this year’s gun deer harvest as well. The following was provided by the DNR:CountyBucksAntlerlessPercent Difference from 2012Buffalo1,5202,958-10 %Dunn1,6793,230-18 %Eau Claire9531,570-5 %Pepin6751,206-7 %Pierce1,4052,600-5 %Despite the falling numbers there are many reasons to celebrate this year’s hunt. This year’s gun deer season did not have any reported fatalities. There were, however, eight shooting related incidents. Four of these incidents can be attributed to unsafe muzzle control. The other four incidents were due to hunters not being certain of their intended target and what was beyond that target. However, the silver-lining is that no one was fatally wounded in any of these gun related incidents.
If you are interested, the DNR is still conducting the Deer Hunter Wildlife survey. This information will be used by the DNR to improve population estimates for our state’s herd and other species. If you would like to complete this survey please visit: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/wlsurvey.html.
Congratulations to all the hunters, new and experienced, who contributed to this year’s nine-day gun deer hunting season. My sincere hope is that you not only got that trophy deer but that you created memories that will last a life time!
Veterans Listening Session at the Chippewa Falls Veterans Home
On Thursday, December 5th, a public listening session as held at the Wisconsin Veteran’s Home located in Chippewa Falls. The panel of listeners consisted of: John Scocos, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA); Dave Ross, Secretary of the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) ; Bill Wendle, Deputy Secretary of DSPS; Senator Terry Moulton, 23rd Senate District; Representative Stephen Smith, 75th Assembly District; Representative Tom Larson, 67th Assembly District; and myself. Also joining us were the Chippewa Falls Veterans Home Commandant Mark Wilson along with many area representatives from Disabled American Veterans (DAV), County Veterans Service Officers (CVSO), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and Scott Bolstad, assistant to U.S. Senator Ron Johnson.
Approximately fifty members of the public, including veterans from multiple wars including World War II to Afghanistan, were given an opportunity to ask questions of the panel members and have their concerns addressed directly by staff from the DVA. Secretary Scocos defined priorities of the Department. The primary goal is making the veteran’s homes solvent. In 2011, when I entered office, these homes were going broke and today they are financially stable with a $9 million surplus and the homes are self-sustaining in their expenses.
Particular emphasis will be placed by the Department along with the Assembly Committee on Veterans, of which I am the Chair, to expand veteran’s homes in Wisconsin, give priority to veterans who are seeking employment, consolidate veteran’s information, and ensure that those who wish to utilize the GI Bill get good information and find jobs after completing their education. Our goal is to put a minimum of 8,000 veterans to work in 2014.
Secretary Ross pointed out that thanks to legislative action, we will be able to provide returning veterans with the opportunity to obtain their first professional license free of charge. It was determined that military experiences in many fields qualify a veteran to earn a professional license from the state.
The panel also heard input concerning the epidemic increase of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. There is an ever-growing need for veterans to receive the necessary counseling, therapy, and care required to help those suffering from this debilitating condition. It is encouraging to see that Wisconsin is leading the way nationwide in helping veterans with their diverse needs. There is much cooperation and collaboration between state departments to make sure that we take care of those who have served our nation and state so selflessly.
I would like to thank all of those in attendance and extend a special thank you to my guests from the state legislature and the two state departments. My special thanks also to Mark Wilson and his dedicated staff for being such congenial hosts for the event.
Governor Seeks Nominations for Export Achievement Awards
Wisconsin’s Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is now accepting nominations for the Governor’s 2014 Export Achievement Awards. This award recognizes Wisconsin companies who have succeeded in international markets and have helped Wisconsin compete in the global economy.
The WEDC reports that in the last decade, the value of exports from Wisconsin has more than doubled. More Wisconsin companies see the value in expanding their business to include exports to foreign countries.
Those companies that are nominated will be judged on measurable export growth, innovation, and contributions to the overall state economy and trade development in Wisconsin. Companies will be able to describe their strategy and accomplishments in their own words. All nominations will be reviewed by a distinguished panel of international trade professionals. The presentation of awards will be onTuesday, May 13, 2014 at the Wisconsin International Trade Conference in Milwaukee.
The WEDC will accept nominations until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, January 31, 2014. You can find more information on the application process on the WEDC website at http://inwisconsin.com/exporting/resources/gov-export-achievement-awards/.
Best of luck to all the companies who are nominated!
Grant Funding Provided for Nutrient Management Training
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced that nearly $356,000 in grant funding has been awarded to counties so that they may provide farmers with training and assistance in nutrient management planning. This also includes training on controlling contaminated runoff from reaching the state’s waterways and groundwater.
Formerly known as MALWEG, Nutrient Management Farmer Education grants are vital in assisting farmers in developing plans that best suit their individual operations. Two types of grants were awarded, Tier 1 and Tier 2. Both grants require workshops, individual mapping of farms showing soil types and nutrient application restrictions, and individual manure spreader calibration for each farmer. For Tier 1 only grant recipients, Tier 1 may offer farmers incentive payments for soil testing and other elements needed to complete a nutrient management plan.
Eau Claire County received a Tier 1 grant of $13,200 and Chippewa Valley Technical College was awarded $30,000. For more information on this grant program, please visit the DATCP website at http://datcp.wi.gov/index.aspx.
Upcoming Events in the 93rd Assembly District
Menomonie Winter DazeDecember 12th, 4:30-8:00 p.m.
Pepin Bizarre for the Senior CouncilDecember 17th, 9:00 a.m.Riverview Community Center - For more information call 715-672-4101
13th Annual Spring Valley Lion's Ice Fishing DerbyFebruary 18th, 2014, 9:00-2:00 p.m.