From my family to yours, have a safe, joyous and
happy Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has been celebrated in the
United States since it was officially established in a 1789
proclamation issued by President George Washington. Thanksgiving
has been celebrated as a national holiday since 1863 when
President Abraham Lincoln, amidst a war for the nation's
survival, proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving to be
celebrated on the last Thursday in November. In his October 3,
1863 proclamation declaring the last Thursday of November to be
Thanksgiving and, going forward, a federal holiday, Lincoln
wrote, "It seemed to me fit and proper that they should be
solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one
heart and one voice by the American people. I do therefore
invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States,
and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in
foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of
November next, as a day of Thanksgiving..."
Changes to the
state's "Mentored Hunting" program
This week, Wisconsin's nine-day gun-deer hunting
season, a time-honored ritual for many families, commences. With
opening day of the 2017 gun-dear season just days away, there
are a few things to be mindful of. Chief among them is the
change to Wisconsin's "Mentored Hunting" program. Act 62
(Assembly Bill 455), signed into law by Governor Scott Walker,
last week, eliminates the requirement that a person who hunts
under the hunting mentorship program, be at least ten-years old,
and eliminates the restriction prohibiting a mentee and mentor
from possessing more than one firearm between them while
hunting. What is more, a mentor is prohibited from killing a
deer for a mentee while group hunting. The following information
regarding changes to the "Mentored Hunting" program, is
important to be mindful of:
As of Monday, November 13, 2017, any
Wisconsinite eleven years of age or younger, was able to
purchase a mentored hunting license. The mentored hunting
law continues to require those hunters to hunt within arm's
reach of a qualified mentor.
The new law provides that both the mentor
and mentored hunter may be in possession of a firearm, bow,
The mentored hunting license for those
eleven years of age and younger can be purchased for $7.00.
The license can be purchased through
Go Wild, at
Service Centers, or at one of the many
sales locations across Wisconsin.
As with new customers, new hunters eleven
years of age and younger will need to have a Social Security
Number to establish a Go Wild customer ID and purchase a
license. Parents/guardians should be prepared to provide
that information when making an initial license purchase for
their child. Once a customer ID is established, an SSN will
not need to be provided in the future.
Best of luck to all who will be participating in
this year's gun-deer season, and please be safe.
Tree stand safety
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
partnered with the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation and UW
Hospital and Clinics in 2014 to learn more about deer stand
accidents and how to prevent them from occurring. A thorough
review of medical reports found some common themes, the most
important of which is that deer hunters often overestimate their
ability to avoid accidents.
Surveys found that one-quarter of Wisconsin bow
hunters have experienced a fall or near-fall from an elevated
stand in the past. Less than half of Wisconsin deer hunters use
a safety harness every time they climb.
Published research posits that risky climbing and
complacency become more pronounced as one becomes a more
To avoid accidents, it is imperative to use a
full-restraint device when hunting above the ground, regardless
of whether you hunt with a ladder stand, tower stand, or hang-on
stand. It would also behoove those hunting above-ground to don a
full-body harness. A 2003 survey of Wisconsin gun-deer hunters
showed that two-thirds of hunters who hunted from tree stands
owned a harness, but less than one-third of them reported to
actually using the harness. What is more, roughly one-third of
hunters did not own a full-body harness.
No matter what type of tree stand you use, the
following rules apply to all of them:
Always wear a full-body harness also known
as a fall-arrest system. Connect to your tether line and
keep your tether line short. The tether is designed to keep
you in the seat, not to catch you after falling.
Always have three points of contact while
climbing into and out of the tree stand: This means two
hands and one foot or two fee and one hand at all times.
Always use a haul line to raise and lower
your unloaded firearm or bow into and out of the stand. You
can also use the haul for other things like a heavy
Use a lifeline when climbing up and down,
this keeps you connected from the time you leave the ground
to the time you get back down.
The following are a few additional tips to keep
you safe if hunting above-ground this gun-deer season:
Be aware of suspension trauma: Suspension
trauma can happen in less than twenty minutes and can be
fatal. Attaching an additional foot strap to the body
harness will take pressure off your upper legs should you
Select a tree that is substantial enough to
support your weight.
Read, understand and follow all the
manufacturer's recommended procedures.
Do not alter your equipment.
Use a short tether between you and the tree
when seated in the tree stand.
Let people know where you will be hunting,
parking your vehicle, and your estimated return time.
Carry a cell phone with you so you are able
to call for assistance, should you become injured as the
result of a fall.
Revised Deer Hunting Tag Rules
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, in preparation
for the forthcoming gun-deer hunting season, has revised its tag
requirements. Gun-deer hunting this year runs from November
18-26 and is immediately followed by muzzleloader season, which
runs from November 27-December 6. The newly revised tag
No longer required to validate.
No longer required to attach the tag.
No longer required to keep the tag with the
meat, upon processing.
For more additional details on these new
Department of Natural Resources rules, please visit the
Deer Tags 2017 FAQ.
2017 Wisconsin Christmas
Governor Scott Walker announced, this week, the
selection and harvest of the 2017 State Capitol Christmas tree.
The forty-foot balsam fur was harvested in the Town of Emery and
donated by Jim Ryf. This year's State Capitol Christmas Tree
will have the added privilege of honoring the capitol's
centennial with ornaments from school children across Wisconsin.
The 2017 capitol Christmas tree is being
transported by Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association. It
is estimated to arrive at the East Washington entrance of the
Wisconsin state capitol, this week. The tree will be decorated
and ready for public viewing, immediately following
Thanksgiving. The Wisconsin State Capitol is open from 8:00 a.m.
to 6:00 p.m., Monday-Friday and 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., on
Have a great week,
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