Old 03-23-2009, 12:39 PM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Sussex WI
Posts: 381
Default RE: Preliminary 2009 Wisconsin Deer Season Structure

EAB is at least better than the goofy t-zone hunts that relatively few participate in anyway.

But the problem as I see it is the DNR's overall approach to the issue. It seems once again to be one of "Buy your tags! Give us your money, now go to h***!" We keep hearing the DNR say how hunters are "the primary deer management tool available". So even a bunch of governmental employees should be able to figure out that if they keep alienating hunters, they won't have that "deer management tool" available to them, at least not in near the capacity they are looking for.

And how have they gone about this? Let's take the example of unit 61, where I hunt. Back in 1993, when I first hunted there, the overwinter target was 25 deer per square mile (DSM). But antlerless tags were only available to those who filled out an application, and even then the chances of getting one were about 50%. In 1996, the DNR suddenly decided that the population in unit 61 was "too high". In addition, the overwinter goal was reduced, making it appear that the unit was even more overpopulated, and the first t-zones popped up. Then in 2001, we were told the population was WAY TOO HIGH, and the overwinter goal wasfurther reduced. Meanwhile, the amount of deer range remained roughly the same over this period. Due to an outcry from Buffalo County residents and outfitters, the DNR did slightly relent on the overwinter goals, raising them back up to levels set in the 1990's. Still, EAB and t-zone hunts remained, alienating residents and others who were being told not to believe their eyes...the DNR said there were more deer out there!

Then in 2005, we were told that EAB could go away if hunters harvested does vs. bucks at a ratio of 2:1 or better in 2006 and 2007. What happened? the 2:1 ratio was exceeded in each year, but EAB stayed in place. Why? Well, the DNR said that the 2:1 ratio had to apply to the whole region, not simply to each DMU. So, in other words, EAB was kept around in places like Dodge and Galesville because people near Neillsville ( about 100 miles away) did not shoot enough does.Apparently the DNR thinks that deer need to be managed like a migratory game bird, where what is harvested hundreds of miles away effects local units. Funny, I must have missed the memo stating that deer were now migrating hundreds of miles...

Now we look at 2009. EAB is still in place in unit 61, despite 2:1 doe to buck harvests continuing, and despite a roughly 20% drop in harvest in 2008 vs. 2007.

And some wonder why the DNR is not trusted?
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