Did we shoot past the target?

retch sweeny
 
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Did we shoot past the target?

Postby retch sweeny » Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:37 am

At the request of a writer for a small town newspaper, I spent some time looking over harvest data for the last few years and DNR population goals since a lot of talk has surfaced about populations goals at the hearing on Wednesday and the fact that this is a DMU review year.  I wondered what harvests would be like if we ever got to goal. Goal is a pretty low number and I contend that most hunters will not like the harvest potential that an "At Goal" scenario will bring.  I looked at a few units and the 2008 harvest data. I picked units that were a mix of regular, Herd Control and EAB season structure.

 2008 gun deer hunter harvest by unit

Unit.............. Gun/buck

14....................434
39....................371
59C.................2,582
62A.................1,770
67A.................1,693
69...................1,493

Here are the DNR expected gun/buck harvests for those units when these units reach goal. This Document was given to me in Jan. as part of the DMU Goal setting advisory board paperwork that each member received. It lists the expected harvest for each DMU in an "At Goal" condition.

Unit.............. Gun/buck

14....................515
39....................844
59C.................3,701
62A.................2,328
67A..................1,968
69....................2,305

If you're like me, you noticed something. In 2008, these units experienced a gun/buck harvest that was below what we can expect even in an at goal condition to the tune of the following values:

Unit................ %

14...................15% below what can be expected when at goal
39...................56% below what can be expected when at goal
59C.................30% below what can be expected when at goal
62A.................24% below what can be expected when at goal
67A.................14% below what can be expected when at goal
69....................35% below what can be expected when at goal

I don't think it's a stretch to say that these units are likely, already below goal and that a cold wet spring effecting fawning did nothing to cause this sort of drop in the harvest of antlered bucks.

It should be noted that this includes the units that have been EAB units for the last 3 years and were originally slated for EAB in 09. The 08 harvest data was finalized back in Feb. and the initial season structure map was released back on March 5th and it was the above data that was used by the Dept to make the map (as well as SAK estimates). That season structure map included many EAB and Herd control units even though the harvest data showed totals far lower than would be realized even if those units were at goal.

Why then was the initial EAB and Herd control season structure presented? and why  does current SAK data show so many units above goal? At the Wednesday hearing, I was asked what I thought the current population was. I said that I thought there were roughly 780,000 deer on the landscape today and that we are far closer to goal than DNR is estimating.  After reviewing this data, I am even more inclined to think that we are very close to an at goal condition on a state wide level and clearly FAR BELOW goal in much of the North.

While I have problems with current SAK population estimates, the above data used historic harvest trends to predict harvest rates when goal populations are reached. I compared that to actual harvest data from last year so I cannot understand why the early season structure map was released unless actual data was ignored in favor of SAK estimates telling the Dept, that the herd is still far over goal.

I apologize for the length of this post and for expressing my distrust in the SAK estimates. I seem to be beating a dead horse but no matter which way I slice this thing,  I keep coming up with data that tells me that SAK is a bucket with many holes in it.

wack
 
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RE: Did we shoot past the target?

Postby wack » Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:45 am

Retch, Did you attend or watch the April 15th hearing in Madison? Either way, I suggest you compare the numbers you came up with to the deer car crash numbers over the years. This will not give you herd numbers but according to what was testified at the hearing, it should be a good indication of the dirrection the herd is going. Some states depend solely on deer car crash data, no SAK and hoopla. You should see similarities between deer car crashes and buck harvest data. You will probably have to go way back on deer/car crashes to find them as low as the past 2 years. I'm guessing back when the deer population was 700,000 state wide or lower.

What I took from the hearing was that EAB is illegal, the use of EAB and herd control hunts doesn't work with SAK. For SAK to work EAB and T zone hunts must go, a few other tweaks are needed, and those numbers can be double checked with deer car crashes. If you want a better understand of what went wrong with SAK and how to fix it, watch the hearing testimony from the hunters, not from Mr Franks. He didn't answer much of anything. It's long but very informative. I also liked the NRA reps testimony basically saying Wisconsin is the most confusing over regulated hunting state in the nation and how that hurts us with bringing in new and young hunters and out of state hunters. Most states deer hunting rules book is 2 or 3 pages, Wisconsin's deer hunting rule book is over 80 pages, a bit overwhelming. 
American by birth, hunter by choice.

DoeEyed
 
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RE: Did we shoot past the target?

Postby DoeEyed » Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:53 pm

Wack, Retch gave testimony on the car/deer crashes. He did a great job along with everyone else.
All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

wack
 
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RE: Did we shoot past the target?

Postby wack » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:33 pm

That was him? Awesome job Retch! See, I was paying attention and with 5 hours of testimony, that point made sense to me and I think left a great impression on the reps. The charts on deer car crash was like an AH HA moment for me and I believe for some of the reps also. It was backed up with other testimony quite nicely and I think it was one of the key points of the hearing.

Retch also posted the hearing and I suggest everyone take the time to watch it. Even if you were there, watch it again, a lot of good information. As you watch it, take notes or what ever and let's not leave this lay. Here is the committee list of those who attended, http://www.legis.state.wi.us/w3asp/Comm ... E=Assembly write them and let the know what you think were the best ideas from the hearing. I've written them to do so and also to ask for help with the DNR and RMEF's fight with the Dept. of Agriculture over transporting elk for Wisconsin's elk reintroduction program. If you were not at the hearing, here's your chance to "testify" or at least say "Thanks for listening."
 
American by birth, hunter by choice.

DoeEyed
 
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RE: Did we shoot past the target?

Postby DoeEyed » Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:56 pm

I was there but did watch it when I came home. I missed some of the testimonies when my brother and I snuck out for lunch. After 3.5 hrs we needed a break. I have to give props to the legislators. I don't know how they can sit thru hours of testimony like that all the time. 5 hours is a long time and there would have been more if the buses did'nt leave when they did.
All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

retch sweeny
 
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RE: Did we shoot past the target?

Postby retch sweeny » Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:40 am

Yes wack. I was the person who testified about the car deer crash data. I also watched my testimony later that night. They say the camera adds 10 pounds. I say BULL! I think it adds about 50. [;)]

wack
 
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RE: Did we shoot past the target?

Postby wack » Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:46 am

They should have had to sit through all the testimony, the longer they sat the more mad they were getting at the DNR. lol Did anyone else get the impression that the committee was irritated with Mr Franks right from the start? And at a certain point it seemed like the committee had heard enough, seemed like maybe they got the answers they needed? It will be very interesting as to what becomes of this hearing.  What can this committee really do?
American by birth, hunter by choice.

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Centralwisconsinland
 
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RE: Did we shoot past the target?

Postby Centralwisconsinland » Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:55 am

Matt Frank is the one that should have stayed and LISTENED to the hunters, as he said he would.  He left after his testimony.
It's easier to do a job right the first time than to explain why you didn't.

wack
 
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RE: Did we shoot past the target?

Postby wack » Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:36 am

Yes wack. I was the person who testified about the car deer crash data. I also watched my testimony later that night. They say the camera adds 10 pounds. I say BULL! I think it adds about 50.


Great job Retch! So when you watched all the testimony, what do you think the committee took from it?
American by birth, hunter by choice.

retch sweeny
 
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RE: Did we shoot past the target?

Postby retch sweeny » Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:46 am

We can expect good things and changes that hunters are looking for. I can't go into more detail than that at this time. Everyone will hear soon enough.

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