Snow or no, Iron County snowmobile trails closed until Dec. 11
Published Friday, December 1, 2006 3:31:45 PM Central Time
By RALPH ANSAMI
Globe News Editor
Whether it snows or not, Iron County's snowmobile trails will remain closed until Dec. 11.
That means the trails will be closed during the special Dec. 7-10 antlerless deer hunting season, but will open in time for Hurley's Redlight Rally snowmobile event on Dec. 14-17.
Joe Olson, of the Iron County Recreational Council, said Wednesday, "Because of the Dec. 7-10 special herd control deer hunt in Wisconsin and out of respect for all of our landowners, the snowmobile trails in Iron County will remain closed until Dec. 11. All gates will remain closed."
Area tourism officials opposed the December hunt because it poses conflicts with snowmobiling here.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials will be watching all aspects of the hunt closely to determine whether the December hunting period will be renewed in 2007 and the conflict with snowmobiling could play a role in deciding whether it will return.
Keith Warnke, DNR deer ecologist, said hunter participation in the Dec. 7-10 antlerless hunt will be one factor in determining whether or not it will return.
"Stakeholder groups who helped shape the gun season this year, including dropping an October gun hunt on a trial basis, believe enough antlerless deer would be killed during the two-day youth hunt, nine-day gun deer hunt and a four-day antlerless only gun deer hunt in December to control herd numbers," Warnke said.
"I strongly encourage hunters to participate in the December antlerless gun hunt," Warnke said.
Iron County area hunters have not responded well to antlerless-only hunts in the past. After a gun-deer season in which many hunters passed up on the opportunity to shoot does, it remains to be determined how many will return to the woods for the special December hunt.
DNR officials note temperatures and snowfall will be two key factors in how many hunters participate in the Dec. 7-10 season in the north.
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