Past and Future Season Discussions-Ideas and Dislikes

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Past and Future Season Discussions-Ideas and Dislikes

Postby Goose » Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:38 am

I figure it will be easier for us all if we can more or less go to one thread to read rather than trying to keep up with them all. I am hoping we can use this thread to discuss different thoughts and ideas on the season structures and management process. I ask that we keep it clean with no name calling (WIDNR included) and please respect the other hunters opinions because just like you or I, they have a right to an opinion.
Deer hunting is a very deep tradition for us and it is rooted in all of us on here, to put it another way: its personal for many. So please respect each other and remember that we all are fellow hunters/sportsman.

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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RE: Past and Future Season Discussions-Ideas and Dislikes

Postby schlupis » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:44 am

First off good idea on bringing it to one location Goose.
Here are my thoughts. They may not sit well with others but I will try to explain myself as best I can.
First I think the archery season should stay the same even a little later start might not be bad (just because of the heat in Sept somtimes).  1 buck tag and 1 doe tag good for archery early and late season.
Second I think the gun season should stay 9 days I think that is plenty long enough. I think they should do away with the early youth season. Nothing against youth but if you remember most of us had to go hunting with dad on opening day of the 9 day season and we all turned out fine. 1 buck tag 1 doe tag or just a hunters choice tag which you could apply for.
ML season should be a seperate tag. 1 buck tag 1 doe tag, my reasoning for this is more of a personal one. I think if hunters want to ML hunt they should buy the tag this would make some hunters pick up their ML and practice with it. I hear too many hunters say they are going ML hunting because I didnt get one during the rifle season, and my wife bought me a ML last year. by the way how do you load this thing. Like I said more of a personal reason.
Do away with the Oct and Dec antlerless hunts I really dont think we need them. Keep it simple lets get back to the basics. On a side note with the antlerless tags I think they should be sex specific I mean a nubby buck should be tagged as a buck not a doe. This will keep people from pulling the trigger too early, and will save a few younger bucks from early harvest. You should know exactly what you are shooting at before you shoot.
Just my thoughts but am open to anything that will improve the hunting in this great state.

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RE: Past and Future Season Discussions-Ideas and Dislikes

Postby Goose » Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:06 am

I can agree with your thoughts.
Here are mine. They may not be right and just like everybody, they are MY personal thoughts. I think one thing that is very hard about deer management is that everybody has their own goals and things that they prefer and many of them--me included--are selfish.
I am an archery hunter who also gun hunts so my feelings are gonna benefit archery, thats just the way it is.
How I feel about the DNR and their management practices:
First off, I understand that they have a job to do and its a tough/thankless job. Politics and money are involved and I cannot change that, so there is no need for me to complain about that. One thing that I understand is that we the hunters are not their only concern. They have biologists, professors, foresters, suburbanites, horticulturists, lobbyists, and the great unknown CWD to contend with. We are the tools that they can use to kill the deer and we spend money on it in the process. Thats all we are....pretty simple.
CWD: Despite what many people think, the DNR's plan was not a knee jerk reaction. When it was discovered they flew people out to other states to talk with other agencies to see how to best handle this new scary disease, they talked to associations like QDMA who supported their original plan. They took what they got and the best plan at the time was to eliminate the deer. Their plan was implemented and the deer hit the ground, the spread of the disease was controlled and then people started to get upset about all the dead deer. They suspended seasons and even EAB for a while to get landowners back on board, in the process the deer numbers returned and now the disease has gone up in bucks and does.
Northern Illinois has the same problem and is implementing the same strategy, but they have not backed down and sharpshooters continue to kill deer. They tested more deer last year than in 07 and the number of infected deer went down. Did they handle it better than WI? I don't know, but they stuck to their guns and it appears to have worked so far.
What do we want? Do we want a lot of deer and just deal with CWD or do we want to try to contain it?
Thats a personal choice and we cannot have both at this time.
I believe that this has a major impact on how the DNR manages the herd as a whole. If they keep the herd down across the state, it may reduce the spread of CWD.
I could also be totally wrong on this.
I personally want the impossible which is both, I want a lot of deer and the disease contained. So I do not know which one is right. From the DNR's side I would go with containment which at this point and time in science, means killing deer.
From a landowners side, I would want to have more deer. If you really think about it, its a no win situation and I am just glad that I don't have to deal with it where I hunt. Hopefully science can come up with a better solution.
I also believe that the newspapers who averaged more than one story a day on CWD should get some blame.
QDMA's Quality Whitetails magazine ran a really good article on this in their latest issue, it is worth a read if you can.
Season structure: I personally like it the way it was a while back, I cant remember the years but it had the archery season opening like normal, ending the week before gun hunting  (I would like it to go like it does now where it closes on Thursday), 9 day gun hunt followed by muzzleloader(I like Schlupis's idea of separate tag for ML) then go back to archery until January and close it. I personally wouldn't mind seeing the gun season get moved back to Dec. like Iowa but thats just me. I think that it would save a lot of bucks and hopefully we would have snow by then. Iowa's reason for the late gun hunt was so that the farmers could get their crops harvested and then they could go hunting, that would be another good reason for it IMO.
In these seasons one person would get a buck tag for bow and gun and a doe tag for each as well. No tzone hunts and the youth hunt could go either way for me.
Deer numbers:
This too is a tough and personal one. I do believe that there are pockets that have a lot of deer in them. I also believe that there are many areas that are way below carrying and social capacity. I don't have a perfect solution for it but I would like to believe that there is an accurate way to determine where there are too many deer and not enough deer. I believe hunters know their area pretty good, especially bow hunters. The reason I say bowhunters know their area better is because I do both and I can see a ton of deer leading up to gun hunting then sit in the same stands gun hunting and not see a deer. I think deer are a lot more natural during bow season and because of that, I feel that people out there bow hunting see whats really going on. Obviously gun hunters and harvest trends should be used as a measurement tool as well. Maybe use deer/vehicle collisions and crop damage claims as a guide to there being too many deer.
I also believe that we hunters have as much blame as the DNR. We are the ones that killed all of the deer. Yes it is easier to blame the DNR but if we are honest with ourselves, we killed all of those deer, period.
Where there are not enough deer, I think its pretty simple, don't kill does. Do not shoot a doe then complain about not seeing deer. If you want to shoot a doe then go ahead, but do not complain about deer numbers being low. I honestly believe that the majority of us can live without a doe in the freezer for a year or two if need be. In the same sense, I believe that most of us could find a spot where there are more deer and take a doe there if need be. Can you go up to anybodies door and get permission? No, but if you put in some time and work, I think you have a good chance of finding that place whether its public or private.
It personally did not bother me too much.
Let me explain: I like and enjoy shooting does, I have no problem killing a doe every year, in fact, I enjoy it.
Was it over used? Probably.
The thing I did not like about it was as an example: My grandpa is 82 years old and just gun hunts on land that he worked his whole life to pay for. Opening day comes and he cannot shoot a buck unless he had a doe tag from last year. We would obviously volunteer our tags, but that should not be needed.
I think the whole forcing people to shoot does is what put the bitter taste in our mouths.
I honestly don't care for this new package that is being presented.
My general thoughts and summary:
Deer numbers are down pretty much everywhere. People are upset and the DNR is gonna get tar and feathered again this year.
I personally will not be part of that group. I am gonna take what I learned this year and from the years past and manage the property that I control with that information in mind. My efforts and time are gonna be spent where I can see the results, and that again is on the property that I can control.
The main property that I hunt will see improvements that can support and draw more deer, steps will be taken to increase the deer on that land. I can tell you that no matter what rules are made, I personally will not shoot a doe off of this property (unless it is crippled) for at least 2 years. I will be knocking on doors to try to find a different spot to shoot does again, and I am sure that something will work out again like it did this past year. I am not afraid to put a little work into it. I feel that by doing this and putting my time and effort into it, I will be benefiting both me and the future generations.
Complaining and whining will not do that, when you point your finger at someone, there are three pointing back at you.
I believe that my hard work and knowledge gained from here and other sources will do me more good than other avenues. I will support certain groups that I feel will represent me well, and who I believe are more knowledgeable and have a bigger effect than just me behind a computer screen name.
Ultimately, WE are the ones that control what gets killed and what doesn't, lets remember that.
Just my 2 cents...

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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RE: Past and Future Season Discussions-Ideas and Dislikes

Postby 69Viking » Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:44 am

Goose good on you for starting this post, the different Wisconsin posts were taking over the main page that's for sure!  I know I don't hunt Wisconsin but I grew up close to their in Minnesota and now hunt in Alabama and Florida and in 6 years have learned a lot more about deer than I ever thought I'd need to know or want to know and I still want to learn more.  You and Schlupis so far have given this post a really good start.  Goose your input although long made a lot of sense from one deer hunter to another. 
Since I don't hunt in Wisconsin I have but one comment to make concerning Wisconsin's seasons, take it for what it's worth coming from a father.  I disagree with Schlupis on eliminating the Youth Hunt, do you honestly think that really harms the deer population?  Finding deer to hunt for a seasoned deer hunter is difficult enough, at least give the Youth the same break the Bow hunters get and do like Alabama and give the Youth the week before the rifle season opens up to shoot a deer, it's not going to hurt anybody's hunting.  I have a 12 year old and we've hunted the Youth week two years in a row and we are still trying to get my son his first deer, it's not as easy as people might think.  That time dedicated to hunting with son has been special, don't force father's to take their sons & daughters out there when all the other crazy's have filled up the woods. 
Good luck, I honestly don't think the WIDNR is doing that bad of a job.  If anything the lower deer numbers should make everyone who hunted this year better hunters next year!  I know that is the affect it would have on me, I would just try harder and smarter!   
That's all I have to say, I'll stay out of this from here on out because I don't have a personal stake in it.  I do enjoy reading about it, there are a lot of differing opinions that's for sure and that is probably half your battle.    

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RE: Past and Future Season Discussions-Ideas and Dislikes

Postby gunther89 » Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:47 am

Here are my thoughts

Archery:  I like the way it is now where it ends just before the gun season and then it starts back up again after the gun season.  I wouldn't be against it being moved back a week only because it can be very hot the 2nd weekend in September.

Gun:  I would like to go back to the 9 day gun hunt and you get a doe tag and a hunter's choice tag.  This way if you want to not shoot a doe you can tag a buck with the hunter's choice tag.  I would also do away with the October and December antlerless hunts.  To me there a waste of time.

CWD Area:  This is my own opinion since I hunt in it.  I think they need to shrink the zone down to where most of the deer that have CWD are found.  I hunt in the CWD zone and have yet to see a deer that looks sick and our neighbors say the same thing.  I also feel CWD is still overrated.  I know recently CWD has rose but looking at the numbers on the DNR website only .77% of the deer tested had CWD.  To me this number is way to low to keep shooting excessive amounts of deer. 

EAB:  The only thing I like about EAB is that the bucks around our property have gotten to reach maturity alot more, otherwise I don't like it.  I never had a problem shooting does but when our neighbors can get 4 free doe tags a day they shoot off way to many does and our deer herd is shrinking.  It used to be that you would see close to 100 deer opening day and now we're lucky if we see 10.  I think EAB would work if you used it for at the most 5 years in a row.     

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RE: Past and Future Season Discussions-Ideas and Dislikes

Postby colomabuck » Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:09 pm

This may age me a bit, but how about bringing back the party permit (late 60's early 70's), at least in the areas where the deer numbers are below goals. Otherwise, I'm just not in favor of going to a 16 day season. Just my .02[:)]

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RE: Past and Future Season Discussions-Ideas and Dislikes

Postby tumor96 » Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:22 pm

Great post. I agree with much of what you are saying, especially about holding ourselves, as hunters and outdoorsmen, accountable for pulling the trigger and dropping so many deer, regardless if it is legal to do so.

However, I think that we need to keep our youth hunt active. Studies show that if a youth is not exposed to hunting by the time they are 12 years old, they never take an active interest in the sport. That's scary. We need to keep youth interested for the future of our sport. IMO.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I remember my dad hounding me to "Send in my Either/OR application" in the springtime and your license was good for a buck and if you were drawn, you received a tag to bag a doe as well? I would like to go back to this format. Eliminate antlerless bonus tags and EAB and all that, and only send out doe tags based on winter-kill estimates from the previous winter. This seems to be a logical and efficient/effective way to handle the season...

Which should probably remain 9 days. I personally look forward to the next 2-5 years of hunting whitetail if the DNR keeps the does safe and like Goose said, we can all go without a doe or two for a season or two.

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RE: Past and Future Season Discussions-Ideas and Dislikes

Postby Goose » Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:17 am

I agree with you guys on the youth hunt. I think because it, along with the Tzone is taking up half of Oct. for some people, it receives more negative responses. If it was the only thing going on in the middle of Oct. it may be a different story.

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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RE: Past and Future Season Discussions-Ideas and Dislikes

Postby cschauf » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:50 am

A lot of good posts on here and a lot of it makes sense to me. Here are my thoughts -

First of all for several years now the DNR has been telling everyone there are plenty of deer and to shoot more does. Intelligent hunters, like the ones I suppose are reading forums like this knew better, but, in the case of EAB zones, forced people to shoot one if they wanted a chance at a buck. So, unless you were going to completely stop hunting until EAB was over you had to shoot a doe. So, you cannot blame it all on the hunters. The DNR has admitted that they over estimated the deer population, yet they still tell us we are over "their" goal. How low do we go? It certainly isnt my goal or anyone else's that I have talked to. Hunters and non-hunters alike.

I haven't read them but I have heard of studies that present a case for increasing the goals without any negative impact. I think the DNR has to take a real close hard look at that option. Increasing the populaiton goals.

On the DNR's website they plainly state that the population esitmates are based largely in part on the number of harvested antlered bucks. How can that be accurate? I am sure there are other factors but that is a large part of their formula. I think the DNR needs to do a better job of estimating the herd size.

I also think that the DNR needs to do a better job of communicating with the land owners and educating them on really what is a sustainable healthy herd for a particuar property. Encourage the land owners to contact them and ask questions. Some land owners could care less how many deer they have and shoot whatever they can. Some hord their deer and never shoot a doe ever. Tough issue to overcome but with effort I think it can be.

I think the Secretary of the DNR should be an elected position and not appointed. That way he or she would have to answer to the people who put them there and not be influenced by their boss, the governor, who really only answers to the highest campaign contributors.

Who notices the "Deer Crossing" signs any more? I really dont. I think the state needs to do a better job of notifying motorists (specially the out of staters) that "Hey, the deer really do like to cross here!" signs. If it were more noticeable maybe people would pay more attention.

I guess for me, a WI deer hunter, bow and gun, for 31 years now, its a tradition that is very very much a part of my life. I hold it dearly close to my heart. It's as much a way of life for myself and my family and my extended family than any other part of our lives. It's talked about year round, at every social event or family event that I attend. I am trying hard to mentor my stepson and a friend's two sons, and when I ask them to sit there for hours and hours and hours without seeing anything I can see the dissapointment in their eyes. And it seems to be getting worse every year. I just dont want to see a great WI tradition become something of the past! Really it isnt about killing a deer every single year, but just being out there and seeing a few deer to keep a kid interested. I'm 42 years old and I still remember being a 12, 13, or 14 year old and not being able to fall asleep the night before opening day. Hell, I still can't fall asleep. What a wonderful feeling that is but unless we do something, I guess we are all going to get plenty of sleep next November 19th. There won't be any point in getting up early!

So, I probably dont have all the answers and maybe my suggestions wouldn't do a bit of good. But, I know this, something has to change!

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RE: Past and Future Season Discussions-Ideas and Dislikes

Postby wack » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:42 am

I guess my biggest concern for the future of deer hunting and big game hunting in Wisconsin is the simple idea of being able to get a good accurate count on the deer herd, bear population, and wolf population. Without accurate and timely numbers managing any of the populations is impossible.

 I don't want to get in to debates on who's at fault, I don't care. What I do care about is that we fix what isn't working and reverse what damage that has been done.

 Last spring with the EAB hearings we herd testimony about the SAK and the errors that were found. We herd testimony about how deer car crash data is used in many other states and what this data tells us about our Wisconsin deer herd. IMHO the debate and hearings were about the wrong subject. EAB is just a tool and a good tool if used correctly. I just believe it was not used correctly, used too many years in a row and goals were either set too low or the inability to keep track of the numbers has put us way past intended goals.

 CWD policy again was set up with good intentions but handled all wrong. First the DNR wanted hunters to wipe out the deer herd in the CWD zone but by putting so much emphasis Chronic Wasting disease, creating public fear about consuming diseased meat and all the hoopla did just the opposite of what the DNR wanted and needed to do. It's a simple matter of public relations, if you want hunters to hunt in an area, do not name that area after a disease! Instead of drawing hunters to that area they basically scared people away from hunting the CWD Zone. It would have been much more inviting if the DNR just issued more tags in each unit needed without the scary dramatic label.

 IMHO I believe a lot of hunters who hunted the CWD Zone prior to 2002 drove north to do there hunting for disease free deer while at the same time the dept of Ag was waging war on the deer in the name of CWD and crop damage throughout the state while up north the bear population and wolf population has added to the hunting pressure on the deer herd. The result? Few deer left up north, few deer left in central Wisconsin and too many deer left in the CWD Zone.

 Again, everything stems back to the ability or lack of ability of keeping track of how many deer, bears, wolves and hunters in any given area. I also believe that the current food chain in the north woods can not work and support hunting as it is and needs to be treated differently than the rest of the state unless we want wolves and bears throughout the state.  The north woods deer herd has been over hunted by humans, bears and wolves and the loss of deer will mean the loss of everything. DNR scientists predicted this back in the early 90's and suggested back then that in order to support a bear and wolf population and also a deer hunting season we would need to bring back other missing species such as Elk, bison, caribou and moose. That's what it took to support wolves and bears 200 years ago and we are fools to believe that we can support bears wolves and hunting without bringing at least 1 or 2 of these species back.

 This is where the forestry people get involved saying the over population of deer are hurting our forests. To support the wolf, bear and hunting populations it simply takes more deer than the forests can support. The wood wasn't meant to feed just deer and we can not replace the elk, bison and other species missing with more deer. If something happens to the deer, wolves bears and hunting dies with them. To leave the deer overpopulated you kill the entire forest. The only solution is to bring back elk and bison or kill off the bears and wolves. If we bring back the elk and bison, we may not draw as many deer tags as we have in the past but the addition of bear tags, elk tags, bison tag and even wolf tags will ensure that hunting never dies in our state.

 Speaking of dieing, that's a good description of Wisconsin's paper and lumber industry. As we move further into the paperless erra how much of our north woods should we reinvest in these industries? Would it not make more sense to optimize the renewable resources that we can get from the land? Trees are an important part of good habitat but tree lots make for very poor habitat. Do you want 10,000 trees of the same species all in rows on your land? Or would 5000 trees of different species and several species of big game animals be a better investment?  The 5000 trees will still be enough to support what's needed for the paper and lumber industries with a lot less wasted or lost to disease, insect infestations, invasive plant species, and fire while at the same time creating good habitat for the deer, elk, bison, bears, wolves and many other native species. Our forests can provide so much more than we're getting from them now.

 Agriculture is another problem. If you were to study South Africa one could draw many parallels to our own situation in Wisconsin. The animals are different but the principles are the same. Farming is an abuse to the land. To plant crops they bulldozed jungle, use fertilizer and pesticides that aren't good for the land, they devert water to feed the crops and livestock, they kill native animals as pests, they need to get rid of the waste from cattle, all hard work that cause more problems than it's worth when you consider that before the farms the jungle took care of itself with out any fertilizers insecticides, irrigation, hard work or manure. The native species that live in the jungle are much more valuable than anything raised on the farms. Instead of eating beef, now the people eat the animals that farmers considered pests as those animal bring in more money, better food with virtually no upkeep. Let the jungle do it's thing and reap the rewards by letting the land provide what it was meant to provide.

 In northern Wisconsin the land can provide lumber, papper pulp, deer, bison, elk, bears, wolves, moose, caribou, ect but at this time it's only providing paper pulp, lumber, a few deer, bears and wolves, a small fraction of its potential.

 To say replace all agriculture with wildlife in Wisconsin would be foolish. The north woods and the rest of Wisconsin are 2 different stories though. The north woods is where we need to start and the first step is getting behind the RMEF and WIDNR in there fight to restore elk. If we can get the elk herd established it will take the pressure off the deer so they can recover and it will get the ball rolling. It took a long time to get us in this bad position, it's going to take some time to make it right.      
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