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Soilman 11-05-2009 03:45 PM

DNR projects lower deer harvest

By Paul A. Smith of the Journal Sentinel
Nov. 5, 2009 4:21 p.m.

Hunters should expect a lower statewide deer harvest in 2009, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
Factors cited by state wildlife managers include: a throttling-back of aggressive hunting regulations; below average fawn production the last two years; a drop in antlerless permits in northern units that are at- or below-goal; and a delayed corn harvest.
“Hunters told us they wished to return to a more historically traditional hunt,” said Keith Warnke, DNR big game ecologist. “They will see that traditional hunt in many management units in the north and central forest where deer populations are at or close to a healthy goal, and where there will be no Earn-A-Buck and few or no antlerless permits issued. Herd control and Earn-A-Buck are accomplishing what they were intended to do, bringing deer numbers down to healthy population goals in parts of the state.”
Hunters registered 453,480 deer in the 2008 archery, gun and tribal seasons, a drop from 520,416 in 2007.
The prospect of a smaller kill this year will not be welcome news to many hunters. But it's not unexpected, either.
"I think everybody has resigned themselves to a few bleak years coming up here," said Ed Harvey, chairman of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress.
The Wisconsin deer herd has declined in recent years due to high hunter harvests of antlerless deer, increased predation from wolves and bears and lower than average fawn production.
An outcry from hunters after last year's drop in harvest led to legislative hearings on Earn-A-Buck. The Natural Resources Board later suspended the regulation indefinitely.
Wildlife managers attempt to balance hunter desires for an ample herd with ecological, agricultural and public safety interests.
The state's legally established over-winter population goal is about 740,000 deer. Last year the over-winter herd was estimated at 1 million deer, according to the DNR.
Wisconsin hunters registered 618,274 in 2000, highest of any state on record.
A harsher than average winter in 2007-08 reduced fawn production last year to 0.73 fawns per doe; the long-term average is 0.87.
State biologists are still analyzing this year's deer observations and have yet to come up with 2009 figures for fawn production and other deer population estimates.
Based on preliminary information, Warnke said it looked like fawn production will be up slightly this year but still below average.
Even with decreased expectations, the season may have a silver lining: The 2009 regulations may result in an increase in the proportion of bucks harvested in some units.
As always, wildlife managers recommend hunters scout to increase their odds of success. Less than 40% of hunters tag a deer each year, according to the DNR.
“But deer hunting is a whole lot more than just killing a deer,” said Warnke. “For most deer hunters, it’s about spending time with family and friends getting outside in the autumn air, observing wildlife and enjoying the various traditions associated with the deer season."
The 2009 gun deer season runs Nov. 21 to 30, followed by the muzzleloader season Dec. 1 to 9 and a late antlerless-only season Dec. 10 to 13 in select zones. The late archery season ends Jan. 3, 2010 in much of the state.

mr.mc54 11-05-2009 03:49 PM

What does Kieth Warnke know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He speaks for the Devil.

cayugad 11-07-2009 09:30 PM

“But deer hunting is a whole lot more than just killing a deer,” said Warnke. “For most deer hunters, it’s about spending time with family and friends getting outside in the autumn air, observing wildlife and enjoying the various traditions associated with the deer season."

Well I want to wish all of the Wisconsin Hunters the best of luck. I hope your area have lots of deer that you can observe, and maybe even score a buck.

mr.mc54 11-08-2009 08:24 AM

Alot of the hunters will be sniffing fresh air and drinking lots of tradition to make up for the lack of deer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trapper22 11-16-2009 05:55 PM

Here's an update on my bowhunting so far this year. In 30 trips out I have seen 12 deer total. I saw 3 deer on 2 different occasions (doe with 2 fawns) so take 6 of the deer away and 2 trips out and you have 6 deer seen in 28 trips. That is pathetic at best. However in the local paper in Prairie du Chien the DNR has an article in it that says the successful hunters they surveyed have been seeing a lot of deer. I could say I'm a billionaire too but I'm not. They may be seeing deer but they may not be either. The DNR in this state doesn't have much credability left.

Funny how they don't ask a person like me how the deer sightings have been and instead ask people that managed to get a deer, of course they're going to be happy.

Hopefully I get one this coming weekend, I've been out of venison for a couple months.

mnprohunter 11-16-2009 06:20 PM

Sounds like mn is right behind judging from what I have seen and from people I have talked to. Pockets of deer in certain parts of the state have deer, but, overall it seems slow.

gunther89 11-16-2009 06:58 PM

Wisconsin needs to come up with a better way for units. I hunt in 54B CWD and in my area there are hardly any deer but if you go 5 miles away there are tons of them. Like others have said, there are pockets where there are alot of deer but the majority of the state doesn't have alot of deer.

Boogeyman24 11-16-2009 07:18 PM

i am PUMPED for the upcoming season!!! Good Luck and be safe to everyone out there, let's hope the weather cooperates finally. I'm hoping to catch up with an 11pt that was saved by a branch a couple weeks ago, hope we have some other people here who can put one on the ground

william75 11-16-2009 09:08 PM

Originally Posted by PY Antlers (Post 3495383)
I hunt in the southern part of unit 56. The northern part of 56 is the meadow valley area, and the herd there is down, for a couple of reasons. The southern part of 56 is private farm ground and cranberry marsh's, and we have to many deer. And when I say deer I mean does. On my property we shoot 4-6 does a year trying to maintain a better ratio. Any bucks shot on our land has to be at least an 8 point wider than his ears. Yes, I have it better than alot of other hunters out there, but we manage the deer the way we feel it should be, for quality

I too hunt meadow valley and have seen more nice bucks than in years past including one dandy 10 pt near the eagles nests. Not alot of does though and the wolf sign seems to be on the rise, Down south in CWD land the herd seems to be near extinct. If things continue this way I 'll be on the roof December 24 trying to fill my tag!:deer:

mr.mc54 11-17-2009 12:15 PM

I say the DNR should have a survey with every lisc. sold that asks for hunters input on what's out there. The problem is - it's to easy. Ask land owners like myself who know whats on my property. Public land is just about shot off and it's only going to get worse. Soon hunters will say enough is enough and stay home. It stands to reason that if deer go on public land and are lucky enough to survive , they will seek out a place where there isn't as much pressure (private land). The counts are best done by hunters and land owners. Just a thought!

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