A Department of Natural Resources report released last week indicated Wisconsin's burgeoning deer herd continues to grow.

The report notes, using the Winter Severity Index, that winter conditions in deer-heavy northern Wisconsin were relatively mild and did not take excessive toll on deer numbers. Conditions, reported from 32 stations, also did not reduce fawn production.

"Overall, the winter of 2004-05 was mild compared to the 30-year average, making it the third year in the last four to record mild conditions," said Amber Roth, wildlife research technician. "As a result, we expect above average birth rates and numbers of yearlings in 2005."

DNR officials have put the state's deer herd at about 1.7million after hunters killed 517,128 deer during last year's hunting seasons.

Sauk teams advance

Trapshooters on four teams representing the Sauk Prairie area have earned spots in the Grand American World Trapshooting Championships in Vandalia, Ohio Aug. 9.

The four squads coached by Darryl Montague of Baraboo finished among the top five at the Scholastic Clay Target Program Wisconsin Trapshooting Championships in Wisconsin Rapids last month.

The senior experienced squad (Brandon Suchla and Scott Boettcher, Prairie du Sac; Doug Ochsner, Plain; Marcus Taylor, Baraboo; Paul Schneller, Sauk City) placed fourth as did the senior novice squad (Curtis Bohler and Logan Deaton, Prairie du Sac; Nick Beil, Mazomanie; Mitch Frey, Dane; Wade Neubauer, Lodi).

The junior novice squad (Kyle Koch and Ryan Tenjum, Dane; Randy Mack, Prairie du Sac; Justin Schwarz, Sauk City; Darren Long, Lodi) took second while the junior experienced team (Cameron Morse, Collin Clark and Scott Maier, Waunakee; Jessica Whalen and Alex Mann, Baraboo) was the lone team awarded a finish in its division.

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