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Paperless Deer Registration Bad For Business, Say Proprietors

Bars, Gas Stations Used To Host DNR Registration Services

Lynn Friedman (CC-BY-NC-ND)

While the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has touted its electronic deer registration as a step forward for the state, registration stations say it drove down business.

Traditionally, Wisconsin deer hunters brought their kills to a local tavern or gas station in order to register their deer. But this year, hunters began registering online or by phone. There were still deer registration stations like Speedy’s C Stop in Barronett, but only for those who wanted help using the electronic system.

Owner Kelly Nelson said it was a drag on business during last month’s gun deer season.

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“Last year I came on opening evening just to help out, because we were packed and we had DNR out in the parking lot, people all around, people in buying items. And now this year I came in here, and there was nobody here,” said Nelson.

He said fewer than 10 hunters have registered their deer at his station so far.

Tammy Braaten, owner of T And D’s 5th Avenue Bar in Cochrane, had a similar experience. She said that last year, she registered around 250 deer, and that many of those hunters stayed for food and drinks. This year, she said, there were only six.

“You didn’t have nearly the number of hunters that would come in and just sit and hang out and show their deer,” said Braaten.

The DNR said the new system makes registering deer easier and more efficient for hunters and offers quicker data about the deer harvest.

Correction: The audio originally featured in this article was for a different story. The correct radio story has since been uploaded.