One of Wisconsin’s top deer hunting county’s might avoid an entire year of doe-only hunting after all.
Residents of Waupaca County last night passed a floor resolution to work with the Wisconsin Legislature to craft an earn-a-buck law, with the stipulation that EAB counties have mandatory in-person registration. The resolution was passed 39-36 on Monday at the Waupaca County annual spring fish and game hearings.
The next step is a county-wide meeting at Waupaca High School on Tuesday, April 19.
Waupaca County is home to one of the nation’s largest white-tailed deer herds. Biologists estimate the county’s herd will balloon to more than 60,000 animals by the time the state’s bowhunting season starts in September. Residents routinely harvest an average of 10,000 to 14,000 deer per year in the county during bow and firearms seasons. Waupaca County is comprises of 98 percent private land, and attracts more than 13,000 bowhunters annually.
The deer hunting controversy arose last month when a 6-member council of deer enthusiasts proposed a doe-only season this year for Waupaca County, Wisconsin. Located in the east-central part of the state (70 miles west of Green Bay), Waupaca is renowned for high deer densities (at one point in the early 2000s, some pockets harbored more than 100 deer per square mile) and lots of deer hunters. County deer hunters routinely harvested more than 10,000 deer per year, with high-water marks exceeding 14,000. Look at this way: Waupaca County’s annual deer harvests rank at or above the averages for 10 other states: Connecticut, Delaware, Arizona, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming.
One more thing to chew on: Waupaca County covers just 765 square miles, but it is the perfect mix of edge habitat for whitetails. The southern part of the county features farmland, lakes, streams and rivers. The northern part of the county is big woods and dairy farmland.
Deer hunters from across the Badger State have an opportunity to check in with their thoughts on deer management no matter which county they hunt. To do so, visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Survey Page.