Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
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Properties Enrolled in County Deer Damage
   View enrollment data for agricultural producers enrolled in the Wildlife Damage Abatement & Claims program for deer damage. For additional Information….
According to the USDA -National Agriculture Statistics Service’s 2012 census, Wisconsin ranks 9th in the nation for the total value of agricultural crops sold. This statistic reinforces the importance of agriculture to Wisconsin’s economy. In areas of high deer abundance negative impacts from deer browsing can have a significant economic impact on agriculture producers. It is important to consider these negative impacts when recommending decreasing, stabilizing, or increasing deer populations in each county.
Collection and analysis methods
The Wildlife Damage Abatement and Claims Program (WDACP) provides damage abatement assistance and partial compensation to agriculture producers experiencing damage to agriculture crops from deer. Currently 70 Wisconsin counties participate in the program, Menominee and Kenosha counties are the only counties that do not participate. The WDACP is a voluntary program allowing individual producers to determine what level of deer damage is tolerable to them before deciding to enroll in the program. Through this program information including the number of producers enrolled in the program for deer damage, the number of deer shooting permits issued and deer harvested, and appraised deer damages will be available to each County Deer Advisory Committee when making recommendations to change or maintain deer populations within the county.
Using the metric
Agriculture damage and deer shooting permit information can be used as an index to track impacts deer are having on agriculture producers within a county. This data would be useful in determining 3 year population objectives to increase, stabilize, or decrease deer populations within the county and for developing annual antlerless deer quota recommendations.
Limitations and precautions
The WDACP is a voluntary program and does not reflect the total amount of agriculture damage that is being done by deer within a county. Individual tolerances to deer damage vary and there are a variety of other social factors that impact a producer’s choice to enroll in the program. For example, there are very few WDACP enrollments in Buffalo County because of the program’s public hunting access requirement even though some producers are experiencing significant damages from deer. To these producers not having to allow public hunting access is more important than receiving compensation for the deer damages.

By Wisconsin Administrative Code participating counties do not need to submit wildlife damage claims to the department until March 1 following the calendar year in which damage occurred and the department has until June 1 to process the claim. Because of these deadline there will be a 1-year lag in appraised deer damage information being available to the CDAC’s, i.e. 2014 appraised deer damages will not be available to the CDAC’s until June of 2015.
Future needs
Because the WDACP is a voluntary program there is a need to conduct social surveys to better gauge the level of deer damage that is occurring and what social factors influence a producer’s tolerance to deer damage. there it does not provide a comprehensive analysis of the deer damage that is occurring in each county and the need to identify the social factors within the that determine whether a producer enrolls in the WDACP.
Additional background materials related to this metric
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Properties Enrolled in County Deer Damage
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For questions on this deer metric data contact:
Jeff Pritzl 920-366-3450 Jeffrey.Pritzl@wisconsin.gov