So, it's just not clear to me. How can the DNR increase the deer population? Reduced tags for those areas? From what you say, no one is killing deer anyway because they are not there to kill. If tags are going unfilled how far do they have to be reduced before that has an affect? I don't live up there so obviously I don't know anything about the situation. I am just trying to understand.
Where I live in NC there are areas that are crazy think with deer. And then there are areas not that far away that have very few. Is it not conceivable that your area just does not hold deer very well?
Berudd it's difficult to explain the situation in Wisconsin because there's really at least 3 situations going on in this state. In the south we have CWD zone. In short this is a zone that the DNR wanted every deer wiped out but CWD scared most hunters away and they fell very short of there goal.
Mid Wisconsin is mostly farm land where the Dept of Agriculture has waged war upon the deer herd in the name of agriculture. Northern Wisconsin is the northwoods where we keep our wolves and black bears....Our wolf population past the DNR population goals several years ago but the DNR's hands are tied by the Endanger Species Act and the anti hunters like The Humane Society of the United States who want to stop hunting by using wolves to kill off all of the game animals. Our DNR has worked hard to rebuild our bear population and have actually done a little too good when they announced a year ago that we don't have 13,000 bears, we have over 40,000 bears. Just a little error.... Our DNR also had a plan to bring elk back to help the deer feed the bears and wolves, started with 25 elk in 1995. Those 25 have multiplied to about 160 this year and are still fighting the Dept of Ag to turn the "TEST HERD" into a "REINTRODUCTION HERD" so that program is 10 years behind schedule while at the same time bear and wolf populations have exploded in the northwoods over the past few years, and the human hunter trend since CWD found down south in 2002, hunters who normally hunted in the south drove north for CWD free deer, and our deer herd up there has all but collapsed.
Inshort, northern Wisconsin has very few deer for its reasons, central Wisconsin has few deer for different reasons, and the southern CWD zone has the most deer, but even there it's about 1/10th of what it was in 2000.
The fear of CWD from agriculture on top of claims of deer crop damage, forestry industry claiming deer were hurting our forests, and DNR responding by setting a goal to take our 3 million deer and reduce it to 700,000 was done over the past few years in a somewhat careless way and nobody really knows when we hit that 700,000 mark or how far past it we went. We as hunters trusted that when they handed us 6 tags each, there was a need for it. There is no longer a need for it, but we can't seem to turn the killing machine off. We faught to get rid of EAB to save the herd and now they say we have to chose another method as effective as Earn a buck. There is still a few more days of black powder season, another 3 day doe only gun hunt and all of late season bow hunting to go this year and they're talking about turning our 9 day season to 16 days next year. We tell them there are no deer and they just keep pushing to kill more deer. This gun season kills are down 1/3 from last year. Last year was down 1/3 from the year before. We should be able to finish off the last 1/3 by next year and still have 40,000 hungry bears and wolves to feed. One way or another, whether mother nature or DNR, Wisconsin's war against CWD might be won, as the next few years we'll have to hunt south if you want a prayer of seeing a deer as we will race the bear, wolves and coyote to each and every last one. Even a guy from NC can look at a map and see that wolves and bears only have 1 dirrection to expand to in Wisconsin. A little hint, the blue on the map are very large lakes. There's only one thing left to feed the wolves in central and southern Wisconsin and they're easier for wolves to kill than deer. Fenced in cows and I for one will not defend the cows....
American by birth, hunter by choice.