What would you do if you were the head of the DNR?

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Fish
 
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What would you do if you were the head of the DNR?

Postby Fish » Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:09 am

We seem to all have answers to our deer problem, much of which, are opinion, argumentitive and negative.  So I thought, what would I do if I was the head of the DNR(taking all concerns into consideration).  We know a person from the Big Game Commission logs on every once in awhile.  Maybe Big Brother is reading our post and some positive feedback will help.  So to start it off, here's what I would do.

My first action would be to set new deer zones, making these zones larger.  Biologist asked this to be done in order to eliminate some of the errors in the SAK model.  Obviously, there is a concern on the deer population and density, so for 2 years, I would use another way of estimating the herd along with SAK.  I would average numbers for each zone with the two models.  Since we would not have an accurate number the first year, regulations would be set as followed.

Baiting would be banned statewide.  Food plots would be acceptible but managed.  You would only be allowed only a certain percentage of food plot to acreage (i.e. 1 acre per 40 acres).  Crop land would be included as a food plot BUT not limited to the regulated number.  So you could have 100 acres and 50 of them corn and your fine, you just can't plant a food plot.  By doing this, the deer will go back to their natural movements and not hitting bait piles at night.

Eliminate the EAB and T-zone for 2 years.  This will help the accuracy of the estimation models.   Based on past herd estimations of some counties, doe tags would be by draw or back to the party system.  Once harvested, the doe tag would cost $20 at registration.  Counties with previous high estimations of deer, doe tags would be issued at quotas but tag cost would be $20.  Once the quota was filled, no more tags would be available.  Bow hunting tags would see a price increase to $30, either sex and gun tags($35) would be buck only.   Use of the gun tag would be valid for muzzy season but either sex.  Non resident landowner tags will be the same as resident.  Non resident tags would see an increase of $50 or up to $300 per tag.

In the CWD zones, the same regulations(above) would apply but every deer must be tested.  Use of extra cost of tags would cover the test/results.  We need to know if CWD is still a concern.

Ag tags would still be available BUT each farmer requesting them must file a complaint with the DNR which would result in an inspection by the DNR.  In order to qualify, the deer damage must be greater than amount of damage done by other species.  I.e. if turkey damage 1% of crop, farmer will be awarded Ag tags above 1% deer damage.  In other words, he will not be compensated or given any tags for damage done of a natural average occurance.  Just like water, drought, and other crop loss: he can look for the other avenues of subsidizing.  Farmers who apply and granted Ag tags may only fill one tag after he or she has filled their primary(gun) tags.  Only one tag per immediate family.  The remaining tags must be filled by a non related hunters.  The DNR will issue the remaining tags, by drawing, to hunters that apply.  Cost of this drawing would be $20 per tag, in which $10 would be given back to the farmer.

Additional bear tags will be issued over the next 5 years until the population would be down to reasonable numbers.  Preference points will still be used.

Turkey season would include either sex for both fall and spring hunts until numbers are manageable.

Wolf population would be selectively reduced to 400 considering numbers double in spring/summer.  If the Fed has a problem with the killing of these animals, we will offer to let them come in and remove the animals to transport out of WI.  We'll shoot off all the Clam Lake elk to use as bait for these wolves, so they can drug and remove them safely.  Just kidding, Wack, need a little humor here.  You'll be allowed to have one elk transported in by the RMEF, release in your back yard and harvested at your leisure.

And probably the biggest change would be to change the way the DNR board is selected.  No longer will it be an appointed position by the Govenor, he/she will be an elected official.  This official will carry a term of 4 years and be chosen by the general election.  His/her board members will be nominated by the DNR staff and approved by the Conservation Congress.

After these two years are up, I believe we'll have a better idea of the deer density in all area of WI.  We'll use deer collisons, crop damage and deer kill to set new standards of deer density limits.  Some areas may only allow 2-3 deer to survive per 40 acres while some have the food and habitat to hold 4-5.  I would toss out any mention of deer density and wild flower/tree habitat.  We all know that properly managing your hardwoods is by selective harvest of trees.  So if the treehuggers want more flowers, plant them.  I've never seen a deer eat flowers.

So there's my idea.  I believe it would give hunters a better opportunity to manage their land and harvest what they want.  Allow for a better estimation of deer.  Gain more revenue for the State and weed out the "weekend warrior" shooting too many deer becasue tags are free.  If a certain area does get out of hand with deer numbers, different regulations like EAB or T-zone maybe implimented if hunters elect to not manage the land properly. 

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Washburn
 
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RE: What would you do if you were the head of the DNR?

Postby Washburn » Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:59 am

I like alot of your points specific to deer.

I would ban baiting and feeding immediately.

Increasing the cost of anterless tags is a smart idea; $2 is insulting to the deer. $20 or more is fine with me.

However, either sex spring Turkey is a bad, bad idea.

Washburn
"As the light grows dimmer and the trail begins to fade, my sweetest dreams are those of yesteryear, at deer camp."

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mtnman
 
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RE: What would you do if you were the head of the DNR?

Postby mtnman » Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:04 am

I vote for Fish for DNR czar....[:D]

You make very good points. Especially the Non-resident tags are way too low...
I'm on board with you!
(Florence Co., WI)

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Fish
 
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RE: What would you do if you were the head of the DNR?

Postby Fish » Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:13 am

I'm setting up my paypal account for my election fund..lol
 
I'm interested in your turkey thoughts, Washburn.  I'm not a diehard turk hunter, in fact, love to eat the hens(juicier) and don't have time to really get into it.  My thoughts were more on the line of thinning out the hens/flocks to see what damage is done to crops.  At least in my area, we have ample amounts of turkey and they always have 800+ tags available.  I definately might be way off in my thoughts though.

highview72
 
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RE: What would you do if you were the head of the DNR?

Postby highview72 » Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:16 am

All very good thoughts. The one change I would make is that turkey would be part of your small game license. No extra money is needed to fund turkeys in this state. When I have 26 turkeys in my back yard at any one time ripping up my mulch and tearing up the garden, I no longer see any reason to have a license by application only.

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Washburn
 
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RE: What would you do if you were the head of the DNR?

Postby Washburn » Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:58 am

ORIGINAL: Fish
I'm interested in your turkey thoughts, Washburn.  I'm not a diehard turk hunter, in fact, love to eat the hens(juicier) and don't have time to really get into it.  My thoughts were more on the line of thinning out the hens/flocks to see what damage is done to crops.  At least in my area, we have ample amounts of turkey and they always have 800+ tags available.  I definately might be way off in my thoughts though.

All the science I've read indicates that turkeys do not have a negative effect on deer, despite them sharing habitats. Crop damage is something I am not well versed in. Turkeys are opportunistic feeders and certainly will glean waste grains but they don't, as far as I know, hammer crops like bear and deer sometimes do.

My main point is that killing hens in spring would have a dramatic negative impact on flock numbers. Killing hens early in the spring eliminates those birds from re-producing. Kill a hen later in the spring after she's nested, and the brood is doomed. Wouldn't take long before you'd see a significant drop in numbers. However, if turkey numbers ever got to the point where they were a problem, shooting hens in spring would certainly solve that.

In Wisconsin both spring and fall tags are awarded by a lottery. They are relatively difficult to get, especially spring. Hunter success remains remarkably consistent at around 25%. If anything I'd say a few more permits could be given out in some areas. However, when you consider the success the turkey re-introduction has been, it's hard to argue with the way the birds are being managed.

Turkeys are amazingly adaptive and certainly are expanding their range. We have them now in Washburn County despite the deep snow covers we usually see every winter.

I love hunting turkeys. I often joke to my hunting partners that if turkeys had the nose of a whitetail you'd never shoot one. Great birds and great hunts.

Washburn
"As the light grows dimmer and the trail begins to fade, my sweetest dreams are those of yesteryear, at deer camp."

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Fish
 
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RE: What would you do if you were the head of the DNR?

Postby Fish » Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:18 am

If deer had the eyes of a turkey, we'd never shoot a deer either...of course at our herd right now, may not shoot one anyway.
 
Here in southcentral WI, turkey are all over the place.  Not many people hunt them either as to my reference of 800+ tags available to purchase over the counter.  So different areas, obviously different numbers.  Someone did a test on deer and turkay damage on corn.  One area they fenced out deer.  The area w/o the deer had as much damage if not more than the deer did.  Turkeys were the main problem.

highview72
 
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RE: What would you do if you were the head of the DNR?

Postby highview72 » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:02 am

I agree Fish. In the early spring during planting time you can watch flocks out in the fields plucking up the newly planted seed. Im not too sure about turkeys not adversly affecting the deer herd either. They share the same habitat and they compete for the same food. The large flocks around here can eat up a ton of acorns or spillage and leave very little for the 1.2 deer per 40 acres. lol   Seriously though, there are too many turkeys in many areas. If the DNR would let the deer thrive like they do the turkeys, we wouldnt be on here complaining. Maybe thats what I dont get the most. I can see there is an overabundance of turkeys in my area but the DNR keeps hunting pressure low. I can also see the deer herd in my area is very thin but they hand out tags like candy at Halloween. Back on topic. If I was the head of the DNR.......I would start by handing out pink slips like candy at Halloween!! lol
A man only has so many hunting seasons. Make the most of them.

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mtnman
 
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RE: What would you do if you were the head of the DNR?

Postby mtnman » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:08 am

I agree with you on the need for treating the turkey as any other small game(bird species). When the grouse population is at the bottom of it's seven year cycle, I hear no one suggesting that we go to a permit system and pay 20 bucks a pop for the right to take one. Turkeys in my neck of the woods are a over-abundant pain in the arse...rather see grouse, woodcock, or even pheasant. No body hunts them here. And because no one hunts them, they grow more abundant. It is not a joke to see 20-40 birds in my yard at any one time. The DNR should give out ag tags for turkeys...but then again, who would shoot them?

Fish, on your thought on PayPal, I long ago stopped selling or buying from ebay and taking money sales through PayPal, for good reason.
PayPal, and it's parent company Ebay. where telling those that sold firearms related items, what they could and could not sell...after the fact. many of those that built eBay when they were small unknown start up were the gun enthusiasts that bought everything from guns to ammo to parts on their site..all legally mind you and according to Fed and State regs.
Once they got big enough* and the liberal light had finally shown through. They put a ban on just about all firearms related items, and kicked all those good folks right in the teeth...we needed you then, but no more. You could not make any transactions with PayPal without the eBay gestapo telling you you could not make reference to or use PayPal in your gun related transactions. I used to take PayPal. But after they constantly harrassed me about having their name mentioned on my web site..iI told them and eBay to go jump...in no uncertain terms. Then after all that , they begged me to use their service again...if I would obey their rules that they set forth.
I have no problems with a company setting terms of use. But doing a 180 degree turn without notice in midstream stinks.
So I have a choice, they do not want my business for gun related and hunting items, then they will get none..seling or buying of any kind..they can have all my business, or none of it. They made the choice...others are more than willing to take up the slack..and at a betters cost to the seller.

Do us a favor...forget PayPal....they will be using the money to work against you and me.....I'll send you a check*S*
(Florence Co., WI)

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Goose
 
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RE: What would you do if you were the head of the DNR?

Postby Goose » Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:15 pm

Good thread Fish! I agree with your ideas for the most part.
My issues-
Don't quite understand your Ag tag idea. IMO their should be no compensation at all. If there truly is a problem the dnr can look at it and issue tags to the public accordingly. No need to compensate.
Would also like to see baiting banned but disagree with the food plot regulations. Its your land, you can plant food and nutritions all you want as long as it is planted. If the only thing holding it to the ground is gravity then its illegal.
Food plots are a good thing for all of wildlife, theres no need to deter it.
ML should be a separate permit. Why do you need a week and half to hunt with a ml when you can use one during the reg 9 day gun season? Take that season right out, if you want to take a deer with the ml use it during the firearms season.Taking that week and half out and changing it to bow hunting would also save you some deer.
I agree with taking the eab and tzone out but disagree with charging extra for a doe. Id issue an either sex tag with a doe tag also. By not forcing people to shoot does before the bucks you'll see a major decrease in doe harvests.Leave it up to the hunter to manage their area. If their area has alot of deer they can take a doe, if their area doesn't have alot of deer they don't have to shoot a doe.
License increase is tough imo. Using your prices for a family of 4 to bow and gun hunt would cost $260 just for licenses. Thats a little steep. Yes it would deter some people but this is a sport I love and want others to be able to enjoy it as well without having to break the bank to hunt. Out of stater's could use an increase.
The rest I think i can go along with, but I would like to see the conservation part of managing the deer herd be promoted and encouraged among the hunters. 
Jake

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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