Few EAB Units in 2009

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RE: Few EAB Units in 2009

Postby buckhunter21 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:54 am


It means with the DNR's margin of error that our deer herd is is bad shape. I saw this article today also,  http://www.thenorthwestern.com/article/20090309/OSH0101/90309171/1128&located=RSS

They put the population at 830,000 and we are not finished with winter yet. A large part of the EAB zone is already at the 4th worst winter on record for snow fall, only 2" short of last years 3rd worst "harsh winter" on record and we're not done yet. A large part of the now "regular zone" should not be hunted, there has to be enough deer to feed the wolves and bears.

Deer count, bear count, wolf count, the numbers just aren't adding up and it's time we get some straight answers. First, how are they figuring winter kill when winter isn't over yet? How did we go from 1.7 million down to 830,000 in 1 year? How did we go from 13,000 bears to over 40,000 in 1 year? How are we going to deal with 700-850 wolf pups this year adding to the 530 wolves we have already? The biologists said we could handle 350-500 wolves max and that was when we only had 13,000 bears and 1.7 million deer. The DNR's goal of 700,000 is going to wipe out the deer herd up north and make them as scares as chickens teeth everywhere else.
They need to add a new zone category, Zones that are below goal numbers, where no doe tags are sold and bucks have to be at least 6 points and spread outside the ears and all EAB units should be given a break for at least a year to recover from such a dramatic drop and until the DNR can prove there are more than 700,000 deer in this state. I see no reason to reduce the deer population further in any part of the state outside the CWD zone and even that's debatable. It's still not too late to get the elk herd going, but that too has been screwed up and with the number of bears, wolves and lack of deer, it's not looking good for them either.

I like in the article where they say, 'DNR deer expert Keith Warnke...'  What a joke.

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RE: Few EAB Units in 2009

Postby Bigfoot » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:26 am

does anyone know how many deer are in the cwd zones? because the article says 830,000 deer in wisconsin not including the cwd zones.......if one was to estimate 100,000-200,000 in the cwd zones then all together would be around 1 million deer total in wisconsin

now heading in to last season we were told the 1.5 million to 1.7 million so take the 1.5 million and subtract the 450,000+  that were harversted not including tribal harvert,or anything else and your left with just over a million deer

to me it doesnt really seem like the dnr has lowered deer numbers all that much

or if your a conspiracy therorist,the dnr tired of hearing all the talk about their being no deer, and they need money so they come up with a plan to make a bunch of regular units this year thus increasing the bonus tag revenue they get per tag from 2 dollars to 20 dollars

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RE: Few EAB Units in 2009

Postby stumpsitter66 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:39 am

I think this article says it all...

Wisconsin's deer hunters killed more than 400,000 whitetails during the 2008 archery and firearms seasons, but many are spitting bullets because they didn't see as many deer as last year.

As a result, we see renewed demands for legislative hearings and a better way to count deer.

Welcome to Wisconsin's version of "Groundhog Day," the Bill Murray movie in which his life gets stuck on Feb. 2. Murray's self-absorbed character relives Groundhog Day until realizing his "me, me, me" approach is going nowhere.

Likewise, we complain every winter about the previous season no matter how many deer we shoot. The difference this year is that we cranked the volume to "maximum" when the Department of Natural Resources conceded its preseason herd estimates were high.

"See, we were right!" the crowd screamed.

Yep. And we were right following the 1992 deer seasons, which also produced fewer deer than expected. But what about the years in between, not to mention those before 1992? Why the same outcry when annual kills met or exceeded DNR estimates far more often than not?

Before expending further bile and sweat, let's concede science isn't perfect. But let's remind ourselves Wisconsin's system has been audited repeatedly the past four decades by university researchers, the Legislative Audit Bureau and select panels of national deer experts.

The most recent audit, in 2006, declared it the nation's most data-rich deer-management system. Its accuracy could be improved with more research and larger management zones, but it's still unrivaled nationwide.

Therefore, let's ask legislators, the DNR and the Natural Resources Board a simple question: What did the public overlook in the three-year, million-dollar effort called Deer 2000?

You remember Deer 2000, right? The Natural Resources Board created it for the Wisconsin Conservation Congress - the board's lay advisory group - as a put-up or shut-up initiative. By 1997, the Board was tired of the ritualistic whining, so it told the Congress' chieftains to gather public opinion and create a deer-management plan "for 2000 and beyond."

Between April 1998 and January 2001, Wisconsin spent $1,001,593.37, held 103 study-group and 42 oversight meetings, and squeezed 12,124 hours of unpaid work from volunteers.

Those totals don't include time and money spent by thousands of citizens who drove to Deer 2000 meetings to talk, listen and fill bulletin boards with ideas.

When the committees finished, DNR staff helped write reports and recommendations, and prepared a small library of supporting materials. Some ideas received the Board's endorsement and the Legislature's. That's why we've had longer archery seasons, a 10-day muzzleloader season, and an endorsement of Zone T hunts in October and December for nearly a decade.

Deer 2000 also legitimated Earn-A-Buck. We're now warned for two years if deer herds in our area are too large. If Zone T hunts don't trim the herd, EAB kicks in. EAB disappears when the herd drops.

Unfortunately, the DNR forgot about Deer 2000 as quickly as the public did. It has acted as if Deer 2000's goal was to write reports, not carry out the public's wishes. Only recently have DNR staff reminded us that our citizen committees backed EAB repeatedly after considering other alternatives.

But Deer 2000 is far more than EAB. The trouble is, the DNR never created a process to review, implement and monitor the initiative's many ideas. It's not too late, though. The DNRstill can look at those reports and ask:

"Where do we want to be in five years? Which criteria would help measure progress? Most importantly, how can the public help? Other than the dead deer that hunters register, what hands-on data can they provide to build credibility in the program?"

But this failure isn't just the DNR's. The Conservation Congress didn't hold the agency to its own recommendations. Neither did the Board nor the Legislature, even though it cost $1 million.

Instead, they help perpetuate the annual bellyaching that spawned Deer 2000 12 years ago. Let's spare ourselves this recurring nightmare by bringing those dusty Deer 2000 reports to life.

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RE: Few EAB Units in 2009

Postby gunther89 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:10 am

Well my zone is in EAB again(54BCWD) no surprise though.  I got my buck tag already so I'm good to go.

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RE: Few EAB Units in 2009

Postby Osty » Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:28 pm

Not really shocked to see some areas still in EAB or herd control.  62B, 63A - that whole Fox Valley region is still loaded with deer even after many seasons of EAB or T-Zone.
Last year was one of the worst gun seasons for me in terms of seeing deer.  I hunted 62A, Portage county near Stevens Point.  My Dad shot the only deer (doe) we had seen on opening day.  I hunted by my in-laws in 63A, Outagamie county near New London/Hortonville.  I shot a 4 pt on Thanksgiving.  The only deer I had seen all season.
Causes for low populations or lack of sightings -
EAB, T-Zone for several years in some of the units
Wolves (Some sightings that I have heard of in southern Portage county, Adams county, Waupaca county and of course in the norther parts of the state)
Overestimate of the population.  Maybe we didn't have quite as many deer to start the season with as expected.

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RE: Few EAB Units in 2009

Postby wack » Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:16 pm

Stumpsitter, very interesting post. I hate to admit it but that's the first I've heard of Deer 2000. Can you tell us more about it and how it pertains to today?

 Yes we do complain some after even the best years past but what I see out my back windows isn't good. What I see on public hunting grounds in my county is pathetic. Where we've seen hundreds of deer in the past, we're see small groups 5-10 deer. I've never in my life seen so few deer. 92 doesn't even come close, yet my county is still an EAB unit. If this is above goal, then our deer herd is in trouble, the goal is way too low.

 The WI DNR does have a lot of DATA, maybe more than every other state, but they're not using the DATA to make decisions. There DATA shows that even by there low number goals, they are below goal so they call that area "Regular Zone." There admitted miss calculation of the deer herd is blamed on late winter kill last year. How can they determine late winter kill already for this year when winter isn't over yet? This year is every bit as bad as last year weather wise, we killed too many deer last year in the "regular Zone" because they sold the chickens before they hatched.

 You add up the lost deer, you add up the sudden jump from 13,000 bears to over 40,000 in 1 year, add up the wolves that will triple last years number by this summer, by time you are all done adding and subtracting, the deer numbers in Regular zone are in the red just like Wisconsin's accounting books. Problem is, when the deer are all gone, you can't just borrow some from Obama's bail out plan.
 I don't know about Deer 2000 but I know back in the early 90's Wisconsin biologists and hunters had a blue print to restore the natural food chain in Northern WI. That plan came to light when the first wolves were wandering into the north woods and the first few bears were gaining numbers also. They figured the bears could bring in big game money, deer was big game money, but if wolves move in, elk and other big game is needed. They studied all the native missing big game animals, elk, bison, moose, caribou..... they determined that only elk and bison were feasable for reintroduction. 1995 They put in 25 elk as a test herd near Clam Lake. Around 2000 they were doing so well that it was decided more elk were now needed to turn the test herd into a reintroduction herd. 2002 all was planned and ready to go when CWD was discovered in southern WI's deer herd and the elk plan was put on hold. The DNR restudied the situation, and decided that the elk were still needed and worth the risk. They joined forces with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and devised a new plan to get disease free elk from Elk Island Canada to boost the test herds genetics and add a 2nd herd in Black River Falls. This plan is well thought out, well planned, and even paid for but the DNR was stopped by the Dept of Ag and forbidden to transport any elk into this state. The Dept, of Ag will not even let the DNR split up our existing herd with in the state can not truck an elk 1 mile. The plan is on hold until the Dept of Agriculture says so.

 So the plan put together years ago has all gone ahead without the elk, with out the bison, the bears are peaking, the wolves are peaking, our deer are holding up the food chain as well as possible, but doomed to collapse if the elk don't show up to help feed the hunters, bears, wolves and now cougars. If the deer collapse, the bears follow, then the wolves and here we go again. Wolves will be back on the Fed list, the only way to get rid of them is to loose everything. The only way to live with them is to have deer elk and bison for all the hunters to hunt. One fact that bodes well for the elk is the fact that Clam Lake and Black River Falls are swarming with wolves and bears, deer numbers are way down, chances of CWD spreading through deer past all the wolves and bears is drastically reduced. Mother natures CWD buffer zone, so now's a good time to get those elk into the north woods. , lower the bear count, keep close control of that 500 wolf goal and let the deer recover together with the new elk. Move the DNR bison from central WI's enclosed pen to open range in Northern WI with the elk as a test herd. If studies work out, we can reintroduce them in numbers in the future. If they don't work out, it was worth a try and the DNR can convert there present pastures back into unfenced natural habitat. You want a healthy deer herd, you need a healthy food chain and never before has WI deer needed elk and other big game animals more.

American by birth, hunter by choice.

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RE: Few EAB Units in 2009

Postby stumpsitter66 » Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:18 am

The WI DNR does have a lot of DATA, maybe more than every other state, but they're not using the DATA to make decisions.

Hi Wack, yes, they are using this data to make decisions. That is the whole point. Deer 2000 was possibly the biggest initative ever taken by any state deer hunting agency in the history of modern deer management. It was audited to death by researchers, biologists, hunters, etc. The end result was WI is hands-down the leader in science-based deer management. No other state even comes close. See Dan schmidt's (and others) comments and articles on this for more background.

The problem most people don't realize is that goals are set based on what is HEALTHY for the habitat. And northern WI hunters have become so accustomed to seeing a lot of deer that shouldn't be there in the first place. Goals for the north woods are anywhere from 8 deer per square mile to something more than 20. Think about that for a minute. That is why Units like Unit 6 are still in EAB. No, they don't have a ton of deer like there are in the southern areas of the state, but they have way too many for their situation. The reason is due to Forest structure and habitat. These woods are severely overbrowsed and simply cannot sustain densities of 30, 40 or more deer per sqaure mile.

Another point to remember is that the pre-hunt herd estimate doesn't really matter. It is all about how close we are to goal. The science states that our state's herd should be somewhere in the 730,000 range POST-HUNT. The science isn't perfect on estimating pre-hunt, but it is nearly dead-on for estimating post-hunt. I don't have a degree in statsitics, but my buddy who is in that field explained it in very complex terms. This is also backed up by any biologist you talk to from other states. Anyway, Right now we are sitting at 850,000+ post-hunt. And that is why we still have areas with EAB, etc. I like to see deer just as much as anyone else, but I understand that when I am hunting a SMALL property (200 acres or less) that my chances of seeing deer will be reduced if there are only supposed to be 35 deer per square mile to begin with. They are even less when you are only supposed to have 10 or 15 up north.

I think a lot of the frustration stems from guys who hunt public land or guys who foolishly paid a lot of money ($2, $3 and even $4,000 an acre) for land up north during this last "land rush" from the past 5 to 10 years only to realize that there was a "deer bubble" just like there was a housing bubble. It had to burst at some point and now everyone feels dumb for rushing in without analyzing things completely through.

Have to get back to work before I get fired!


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RE: Few EAB Units in 2009

Postby Goose » Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:10 am

Stump, you bring up some hard to swallow but interesting points.......I have heard that there are people who want to sue the DNR for decreasing the value of their land...

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: Few EAB Units in 2009

Postby stumpsitter66 » Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:38 am

Hi Goose, that made me laugh out loud!!!! Who are we all going to sue because our house values went down??? [:D]

OMG, that is priceless.

I understand why people are not happy, but I think you made the point in a previous post that just because you are issued the tags doesn't mean you have to use them all. That is a really good post. Just because you buy a case of beer doesn't mean you have to drink it all in one night. Same thing really.

In any event here is a survey that the DNR is letting people complete. If anyone on this forum isn't happy, here is the time to express your views. Still, they are charged with managing a resource ... just like water, woods or anything else. They don't owe us venison in the freezer. They owe us a balanced and healthy ecosystem. The rest is up to us.

General Questionnaire
This second link is for an online questionnaire being used to gather general input on deer management in Wisconsin.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=T ... _2fw_3d_3d


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RE: Few EAB Units in 2009

Postby Goose » Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:17 am

Thanks for the survey link!

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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