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Old 12-18-2008, 12:01 PM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Sussex WI
Posts: 381
Default RE: wisconsin DNR CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Ihave never used a crop damage tag nor have I askedfor damages because we managed our herd until the DNR alowed the slaughter on neighboring properties!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You, like many, saw that something needed to be done and took action. That is my point in my response to Handles. I'm not disputing that some areas have had, and continue to have, population issues. Nor do I think that we should simply do away with season rules and regulations. Rather, my point is that the DNR needs to be more responsive and understand that they have to work with farmers, hunters, and landowners and stop the "rule by decree" approach.

Like I pointed out, until just a short time ago, it was the DNR that effecively discouraged the shooting of antlerless deer by leaving in place outdated hoops to jump through, like "Hunters Choice" and having to apply for antlerless tags. Was the $3 for Hunters Choice to expensive? No. Neither was the $12 you had to pay for a "bonus tag". But it was another pain in the neck step that simply made it more difficult. Whether intentionally or not, the DNR basically made it appear that shooting does was something "special" that had to be strictly limited. Then, almost overnight, we were told that we had a "deer management crisis" in Wisconsin due to overpopulation. So we then had free tags, t-zones, EAB, and the like. Fast forward to this year: we were told for the past several years that there are too many deer, so now the expectation hunters have when they hit the timber is that they are going to see more deer than in the past, then we have the 2008 season and the harvest drops by 20%.

Basically, what I am saying is the DNR has created a boom/bust deer management practice. For reasons that may have more to do with protecting spending dollars to maintain the wildlife menagement bureacracy, the DNR seems to manage as if there is always a crisis right around the corner. "We need Hunters Choice and Bonus Tag application approvals to make sure we have enough deer." all the way to "We need EAB and t-zone to make sure we don't have too many deer."

Handles, you did make the point about bowhunting and seeing no deer on several occassions. I have had that occur with me as well. But that is not the point. Gun season is when the vast majority of deer harvested are taken. If hunters are told that they should expect to have plenty of harvest opportunities, and then see few or no deer, what do you think is going to happen? You think they are more likely or less likely to buy a license and hunt next year? So next year, if little changes with management policy, what is the DNR to do if the number of licenses sold drops by 10 or 20%? Require all of us who still buy licenses to shoot two or three does before we shoot a buck, to make up for the fact we have fewer hunters?

The DNR needs to do a better job of finding balance: balance in the deer herd, but also balance in public relations with hunters and landowners. If they alienate hunters, they alienate their primary deer management tool. If they alienate landowners, expect that there will be even less access to private land, making deer management more difficult.

That is what is at stake here.
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