Wisconsin Deer Hunters Beware!

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 2 weeks ago

They’re trying to take your hunting away from you.  Source.

Earlier this month, a group of Republican lawmakers introduced a bill that would prohibit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from allowing any doe hunts in the state’s “Northern Forest Zone,” an area encompassing all or part of 20 counties in the northern part of the Badger State. If passed, Senate Bill 965 would ban whitetail doe hunting in the Northwoods for the next four years.

The bill is a response to a disappointing hunting season in deer camps throughout northern Wisconsin last fall. According to the DNR, hunters tagged just over 28,000 whitetails in the Northern Forest Zone during the 2023 guns season. 10,305 of those were does—down a whopping 27.2 percent from the previous five seasons. The buck total also dropped, by nearly 15 percent, with hunters tagging 17,715 antlered deer.

In a Jan. 17 statement announcing the bill, co-sponsor Rep. Chaz Green, had this to say: “Deer hunting has been a tradition for generations in Northern Wisconsin. But those traditions have been thrown by the wayside because the population of deer has been decreasing for years. We want future generations to enjoy the tradition of hunting in Northern Wisconsin, and this bill is a good start to making that happen.”

Sen. Romaine Quinn, the bill primary co-sponsor, echoed Rep. Green’s thoughts. “This past month, we have heard from hundreds of constituents at multiple listening sessions about the poor deer season this year,” he said. “Although there are many issues we will continue to debate within the hunting community, there is a clear consensus that we must act now to save and improve our deer herd, and this bill is a critical first step.”

Well then. One would think that with this sort of proposed law, they knew a lot of stuff about how many hunters were in the bush, had testimony from DNR wildlife biologists, and on and on we could go.  Someone surely has researched this, right?

Lindsay Thomas Jr. is the Chief Communications Officer for the National Deer Association (NDA). He tells Field & Stream that it’s too early for NDA to take an official stance on the pending legislation.

“We have not had a chance to really dig into the biology side of the question or the nature of the problem in northern Wisconsin, but, in general, we prefer to see issues like this—deer management and deer biology—being handled by professional biologists at state wildlife agencies,” says Thomas. “If you ban doe hunting across an entire region, that removes any flexibility from a management standpoint whatsoever. What we want to know is: What does the [Wisconsin DNR] have to say about this. How would they manage it?”

Nobody knows the answers to those questions because the lawmakers want to “do something, now.” They always do, especially in election years.

Meanwhile, the wolf population is strong.  Hunting was so good that the rewilders managed to put a stop to wolf hunting after a three day season.

Yeah, so there’s that.


Comments

  1. On January 31, 2024 at 3:39 am, Animals With Logic said:

    Fun fact-The glorious peoples republic of Wisconsin has the most Satanic covens of any state in FUSA and more muh weed grows than Commierado.
    Recently seeing several at least six point bucks in the last remaining crop fields and some does running around on the grounds of local Christian school.
    Throwing out supper scraps late night/small hours AM in that same field.
    Deer jerky and chili is some of the best ever.

  2. On January 31, 2024 at 6:41 am, jrg said:

    I think a full stop on deer season would be a mistake. The loss in revenue from licenses would be considerable and would likely strain already tight game departments. If the numbers are truly that low, maybe changing limits to a single doe and buck per season would be a better solution ?

  3. On January 31, 2024 at 8:08 am, Wes said:

    This is not the way herd management is supposed to happen, in WI anyway. They have biologists who do this sort of thing. WI has worked themselves into a position where the politikrats in Madison are hearing from a variety of interested parties, read “lobbyists.”

    Some hate the car vs. deer expenses they have to pay out. (Insurance companies.) Others are tired of herds being decimated because, within a season in many areas, you can go right back to the store after shooting a doe and get another antlerless tag, fill that, fill your freezer, rinse/repeat. Some (from out of state, paying non-resident fees) are simply mad because they couldn’t fill their tag out the back door of their 2nd home resort cabin. Some hate the fact that so many deer are taken outside the typical fall gun season that removes deer before the rut, when they haven’t had a chance to breed yet. They can’t seem to correlate that these things mean fewer little deer overall in the Spring. And, well, there wolves doing what wolves do. One thing for sure is that the legislators need to stay in their lane.

    This sudden hue & cry isn’t sudden; this isn’t a process that only surfaced after one season. The problem has been building for some time.

  4. On January 31, 2024 at 8:35 am, John Fisher said:

    If they do ban deer hunts, the wolf population will boom in a couple of years…

  5. On February 1, 2024 at 9:10 am, Greg said:

    WI DNR has never been able to manage the deer herd, despite prodigious (IMHO) funding to do so. Hunters complain. Legislature ‘does something.’ Tax dollars pissed down same old rat hole. Cycle repeats.

    Greg

  6. On February 1, 2024 at 10:53 am, george 1 said:

    The goal is destruction not conservation.

  7. On February 1, 2024 at 10:31 pm, Tom Totzke said:

    Yes it was a crappy year deer hunting. But that’s what happens when deer are in their winter coats and the temperatures are in the 50’s and 60’s.They go nocturnal and move around at night when it’s cooler. I hunted in the UP and the Wisconsin Northern Forest Zone. I managed a very nice 7 pointer and saw several does and fawns while my buddy and I had not seen one deer in 10 days of hunting in the UP. The weather was the issue. That being said, I heard wolves every single day I was out hunting, on both sides of the state line. The wolves are taking a huge toll on the population. Here is an example; I had read in the Ottawa National Forest that at one time the population density was 13 deer per square mile. If one wolf eats 35 deer a year(biologists numbers, not mine) and the average pack of wolves is 8-10, how many square miles of woods do you think they clean out a year ? Nuff said ! It’s time they are managed like every other game animal out there !

  8. On February 1, 2024 at 10:58 pm, Fishlaw said:

    I have 40 acres in the center of the Wisconsin northern forest zone. I have hunted deer there for 30+ years. Before the damn wolves were dropped on an unwilling populace, the deer hunting was better–there were a lot more deer. The bulk of the people who live in the area blame the wolves. I think they are correct. I would roughly estimate that in my area the deer population has decreased by 40%. Of greater concern, there are fewer mature deer. And, deer are not the only victims. Wisconsin has a September season for hunting bears with dogs, and many bear dogs disappear while hunting. Since the DNR’s hands are tied by the wolf lovers, I think they are doing the best they can. Closing the season would be devastating to the businesses in the area, which rely upon hunters coming up from the southern part of the state.

  9. On February 2, 2024 at 2:19 pm, Paul Johnson said:

    I live in the northwest part of the state. We had a lot of snow and it was hard on the deer. The wolves and bears take lot of deer.
    Some of the problem is that the DNR doesn’t really have a true idea of the kill.
    The hunters register the deer over the phone or on line some people just get the deer and don’t bother.
    You used to have to go to various gas stations, bars, and restaurants. It was a good business and they did a lot of the paperwork The hunters could see other kills and talk about it while having a snack or meal
    It can take ten years to get a bear tag here. It isn’t hard to find a bear as a lot of nuisance bears are around.
    The deer are pretty thinned out now.
    It does need to change.

  10. On February 4, 2024 at 6:33 pm, Paul B said:

    CWD. That is the main reason for a decrease in deer. This season was odd so the deer moved mostly at night. We had late snow and cold that had them moving some during the day but still not like most years.

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You are currently reading "Wisconsin Deer Hunters Beware!", entry #36398 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Animals,Hunting and was published January 30th, 2024 by Herschel Smith.

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