Using the latest Data from the DNR given to me as a member of the deer management unit goal advisory board, I created this map showing the current status of deer population in each DMU and how it relates to the current population goals. This map is based on the current population goal of 737,000 deer statewide.
The reason I chose 20% as the limit for the "Tan" color is because the trigger point for whether a DMU is put into Oct. T-zone or EAB is this: If a unit is 20% above goal for a year, it becomes a herd control unit and has an Oct. T-zone hunt. If that hunt does not reduce the herd below the 20% over goal situation and the unit is 20% above goal for 2 years, it becomes an EAB unit until it falls below 20% above goal.
After hearing from people around the state and how they saw few if any deer during the 2008 season, it got me wondering if get the herd to an "At Goal" condition was going to damage deer hunting since seeing deer is important to those that spend time in the woods each fall. As a member of the DMU goal advisory board we are tasked with making recommendations for what the population goal should be set at. It dawned on me that while in certain areas of the state, there are pockets of high over population and certain areas that don't have a population problem as much as they have goals that are set too low.
I took the DNR spreadsheet with current estimated populations and adjusted the Over Winter goals
I Increased the over winter goals as currently set by making the following changes:
Units currently set at 10 deer per square mile of range would increase to 12,
Units currently set at 12 deer per square mile of range would increase to 14,
Units currently set at 15 and 16 deer per square mile of range would increase to 19,
Units currently set at 17 and 18 deer per square mile of range would increase to 22,
Units currently set at 20, 21 and 22 deer per square mile of range would increase to 25,
Units currently set at 25 deer per square mile of range would increase to 28,
Units currently set at 30 deer per square mile of range would increase to 33
This would bring the over winter population goal up from 737,000 to 882,600 deer and would take some units out of EAB and even more out of herd control seasons. This increase had a noticeable effect on the map I posted above. Here is the new map.
The data from the DNR that was used to make the first map (at the top) was the same data used by them to create this preliminary season structure map for 2009.
Noticing that many of the units on the DNR spreadsheet that were over goal were just barely over the 20% trigger point, I made adjustments to the spreadsheet by increasing the over winter goal in each DMU. From that I created a new 2009 season structure map which resulted in 14 fewer herd control units and 2 less EAB (units 65B and 68B) would now become herd control rather than EAB.
One of the requests of members of the DMU goal advisory board is for us to seek input from people and to get ideas. Because of this, I wanted to use the Conservation Congress and the April 13th hearing to gather public input on the population goal increased I mention above. I plane to submit the following resolution at the April 13th spring hearing in my County (Waukesha).
Title: Deer, Overwinter goals
The Problem: During the 2008 deer season, sharp declines in the deer population, coupled with years of intense harvest quotas such as EAB and Oct. T-zone, left many hunters with little if any deer sighting and we now have many units that are below goal.
Even in units that remain above goal, hunters saw fewer (if any) deer and will again be subjected to antlerless harvest seasons they don't agree with. The problem is NOT that areas have too many deer. The problem is the goals are set too low. The current overwinter population goal is 737,000 deer. Increase the current overwinter goals by making these changes:
Units at 10 deer per sq./mi. increase to 12,
Units at 12 deer per sq./mi. increase to 14,
Units at 15 and 16 deer per sq./mi. increase to 19,
Units at 17 and 18 deer per sq./mi. increase to 22,
Units at 20, 21 and 22 deer per sq./mi. increase to 25,
Units at 25 deer per sq./mi. increase to 28,
Units at 30 deer per sq./mi. increase to 33
This brings the overwinter population goal from 737,000 to 882,600 and would take some units out of EAB and even more out of herd control seasons.
Be it resolved that the Conservation Congress at its annual meeting held in ____________ County on April 13, 2009, Recommends the Conservation Congress work with the Department and the NRB to take action to institute this modest increase in overwinter deer population goals.
If you think this resolution has merit and you would like this change enacted, I would ask that you copy and paste the above resolution into a document and submit it at your counties spring hearing. Simply fill in the data at the bottom that pertains to you and your county and print two copies and hand them to the CC chairman at your county's hearing.