Hey Stump, nice post. Everyone should fill out the survey, I just did. But just like the survey, the DNR isn't using all the info they have and avoiding some real important subjects. Wildlife management isn't just about deer. It takes more than a deer expert to manage wildlife. Our current deer experts are only experts on killing deer. Controlling the population. Up until now, controlling deer population only meant, how do we kill enough deer. They say there's not going to be enough hunters in the future and then going to make that true by lowering the deer numbers. They've picked and chosen parts of the biological plan and ignored other parts despite the biologists warnings.
From a biological stand point, to lower the herd to 8-20 deer per square mile maybe the perfect number of deer in a perfect ecosystem. In our ecosystem, according to the great records the DNR keeps, each wolf eats 18 deer per year. That means a pack of 6 wolves clear out 5.4 square miles of 20 deer per square and with 8 deer per square miles, 1 pack of 6 wolves wipes out all the deer for 13.5 sq miles. Even that's hard work for a wolf pack and doesn't include 13,000 - 40,000 bears and human hunters. The miss count of bears is a huge problem now, the deer goals are now way to low, the elk program is years and thousands of elk behind, and the entire big game end of the food chain is ready to collapse. Throw in the lumber and paper industry economy, large areas of unnatural plantings of trees that are falling to disease and infestations, it's time we take another look at our renewable natural resources and re evaluate how we manage them for the future.
Stump says," They owe us a balanced and healthy ecosystem." For the most part, the DNR and Wisconsin has come a long ways in the past 30 years bringing back many endangered species, cleaning up our water and environment, we're a few steps from being a great big game state and yet only a few mistakes away from being another disaster story. Politics have over written parts of the biological recovery plan and threatens to undo everything we've worked for. Farmers in this state can't make a living beating the land into submission to raise crops and cows but put deer, elk, bison, bears, wolves, turkeys, ducks, geese, and small game on the land and all of a sudden land owners and farmers have a renewable resource with a balanced and healthy ecosystem that can more than compete with milk prices, paper pulp products and once again add value back to the land. The tourist industry, the hunting industry, meat packing industry, fire arms industry, habitat restoration industry, film making industry all could benefit and provide jobs desperately needed in our state. If we get back to basics and take care of the land, it can take care of us and lead us out of this depression and secure the tradition of hunting conservation for generations to come. All this from simply adding a couple hundred elk and moving a couple dozen bison from a pasture to the north woods.
American by birth, hunter by choice.