Editors Blog

Are Today’s Hunters Spoiled Rotten?

by Daniel E. Schmidt, editor

So there I sat, sipping a Diet Mountain dew while perusing the daily deer

news. As the editor of D&DH, I get many, sometimes dozens, of emails every

day from deer hunters from across the country.

One of the emails I opened yesterday afternoon included a video clip to a

local newscast here in northeast Wisconsin. The headline, “Hunters Sound Off

Over Small Deer Harvest.” I clicked on the link and proceeded to watch the TV clip.

It took less than two minutes for me to laugh so hard that my nostrils are

still burning from the Mountain Dew sting.

One of the people interviewed for this story was a 14-year-old boy who had

showed up for an informational meeting. His quote, “I think the DNR just doesn’t know
how many deer are around, they don’t drive around like we do, they don’t hunt as hard
as we do, cause there aren’t any deer.”

Said a veteran hunter, “I couldn’t even fill my tag with a doe. They have to admit
(there aren’t that many deer) somewhere along the line, otherwise they’re going to
lose licenses, kids aren’t going to buy licenses.”

Oh my, how times have changed. Or have they?

In 2008, Wisconsin hunters harvested 452,000+ deer during its gun and bow

seasons. The final number will rank this season among the Top 30 all time in

the history of our country’s modern deer seasons. Need more perspective?

That would be Top 30 in more than 1,680 reported deer seasons for the 42

states with huntable whitetail populations.

I’m only 42 years old, but I guess that qualifies me as a veteran these

days. And, yes, I’m quite depressed right now as I reminisce to the “old

days” when I was in college. But, for some more perspective, that would take

us way back (yes, more sarcasm) to the mid-1980s. Back then, which many

Wisconsin hunters amazingly refer to as the “good, old days,” state hunters

killed, on average, 218,000 deer per year.

The fact that we are killing more than twice as many deer in

2009 than we did during the good, old days surely indicates the DNR doesn’t

know what it’s doing.

Sorry for the sarcasm, but this one just calls for it. Please note that my comments
aren’t aimed at any individuals. My point is simply to note how indeed our times have
changed.

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