I have talked to other states game biologists, and have hunted in numerous other states.
Have you? Really? Who did you talk to? I am assuming it wasn't anyone from Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Texas Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, Arkansas, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee or West Virginia. Why? Because the top deer biologists from those states are the ones who sat on the steering committee that audited our deer herd and the SAK formula.
If Wisconsin is using a flawed model, it's not alone. Seven of those states also use a SAK system and seven others use similar "herd reconstruction" models to estimate deer num-
bers. Meanwhile, Texas uses spotlight surveys and the other five states - Alabama, Arkansas,
Indiana, Tennessee and Virginia - don't bother with statewide estimates. Why?
Sound deer management doesn't always require them. As the panel reported: "Some
states estimated deer numbers for political or media purposes,
but population estimates were not used for making management decisions."
After comparing how these 21 states compile and use deer data, the panel wrote: "In Wis-
consin, data collection and analysis is objective and open to citizen review. The deer
management program is clearly defined, well-documented and available to the public. Wisconsin exceeds all states surveyed in the amount of information about the deer-management
process that is available to their citizens and the transparent manner in which deer manage-
ment decisions are made."
For those who sniff a conspiracy, please note four of the panelists work in states in-
cluded in the review: Josh Millspaugh and Lonnie Hansen are from Missouri, Duane Diefenbach is from Pennsylvania and Kent Kammermeyer is
from Georgia. The other two, Mark Boyce and John Skalski, are from Alberta and Washing-