Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

highview72
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby highview72 » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:00 am

I never got a response from Wisconsin Deer Hunters Assoc. which is very dissapointing. They would have made a perfect platform to organize all the hunters. As far as WTU is concerned, If you are not a member, then become a member. We need a major voice to get things changed and WTU is a big organization. If you send in a letter explaining your feelings about the deer population along with your 1 yr membership, you will be heard and be giving them the money they may need to voice your opinion and help the deer herd. We attend and sponsor at least three WTU banquets a year and they are a great way to raise money and have fun doing it. If you buy a ticket to a banquet, your membership is also included.

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Fish
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby Fish » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:47 am

Highview72, thanks for the input.  I have mentioned WU in previous post but didn't want the guys/gals in this forum to think I was pushing people for memberships.  The Prez of WU and a few other higher ups are good friends of mine.  I know for a fact, these guys are big hunters and are not pleased with the deer numbers.  I spoke with him last week, they will meet shortly and discuss their approach.  I didn't think they'd want to get involved in the politics and I was probably wrong.  Basically, they want to support the stance of their members and they feel most of the members are not pleased with the herd numbers.   They also are concerned about the lack of deer and the new generations of hunters. 
 
So I'm in agreement with you, we need to join a group to represent us.  1 out of 20 hunters is a member of WU.  Think if that number was 1 out of 2 hunters.  Our voices could not be ignored.  Politicians put to much on their parties support, Dem or Rep.  Hunting does cross party lines.  Come next election, do you think a politician will ignore 350,000-400,000 votes?  I don't think so.
 
And not to get all political on you guys, but the new chair for the Committee of Natural resources is Sen Black.   Sen Black does not like hunting and is anti gun.  Do not believe for a second, the DNR or Dept of Agri will change their herd quotas, EAB or T-zone.  There is no more check & balances in the DNR/Dept of Agri.  If you think this year was bad, don't expect a better 2009.  Write your rep, join a club, do something to make your voice be heard.......otherwise, tag soup for you!  lol
 
 

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Washburn
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby Washburn » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:18 am

I'm new to the D&DH Forum, but not a new Wisconsin hunter. What I am about to say will probably anger many of you; at the very least will generate negative replies headed my way. Just know that this is my opinion and is offered honestly, with no malicious intent.

The good old days of Wisconsin deer hunting are now. Never in our history have there been more deer available to hunters. Never in our history have we had more opportunities to hunt deer. Basically, you can hunt deer in one form or another from the middle of September until January.

But to read many, if not most of, the comments here, you'd think we were experiencing the worst deer hunting in history, not the best.

I don't believe the DNR's only interest in managing the deer herd is making money. Honestly, that's an absurd thought. I also don't believe that the DNR is always right. I do believe the DNR has always made a convenient and easy target for disgruntled hunters.

My first Wisconsin deer hunt was in 1970. I was among roughly 500,000 licensed deer hunters. The kill that year was around 72,000. Back then the only anterless harvest was through the Party Permit system. Remember that? Share an armband and hope to shoot a deer? I was a kid but hunted with a group of pretty skilled hunters in the Minong area. If after 9 days of hunting our group of 10-14 guys had two or three deer hanging, well then we had a heckuva year. Times change.

Deer hunting is much more than the numbers. At least I think so. Many of the comments in these forums seem only concerned with numbers. But the numbers don't lie. Does the DNR miscalculate deer herd numbers? Sure. Imagine the enormity of that task and how difficult it must be to do it accurately.

But instead of acknowledging how difficult estimating the herd must be, many hunters only offer anecdotal 'evidence' that the DNR's estimates are way off because they aren't seeing as many deer as before.

And then there is the matter of shooting anterless deer. Science shows that shooting a percentage of anterless deer does not adversely affect the herd; on the contrary, it helps to control the carrying capacity and provides additional opportunities for hunters.

I'm not crazy about EAB in it's current framework, but not because I am against shooting does. But by and large (other than EAB) if you don't want to shoot does, then don't. But don't confuse your personal preference with solid science.

There are real issues facing deer hunters and how these issues are dealt with will determine the future of Wisconsin deer hunting. CWD, habitat fragmentation, access to private lands, baiting and feeding (both should be banned immediately in my opinion--but don't want to highjack this thread). Blaming the DNR for a "bad" deer season, hurling insults, calling for people's jobs, threatening lawsuits...what is the positive outcome of that behavior?

I don't understand why so many people have such a hair trigger response when it comes to the DNR. Didn't see as many deer this season? "Gotta be the #!*!# DNR's fault!"

Consider all the factors before assigning blame. And, in the end, if the DNR estimates were off, then adjustments will be made in the coming years. You can't make drastic changes mid-season.

Remember that the DNR functions as the steward for all of Wisconsin. They can't make policies based on what happens on your 40 acres. They must take a much longer and larger view.

That's all I got...headed up to Stone Lake for the December T Zone. Mostly to sit in my stand a few more precious days this season. Maybe I'll shoot a doe. Maybe not. But I'll be out there. Peace.

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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Goose
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby Goose » Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:27 pm

Interesting post and you have the right to your own opinion.
The 2008 harvest for gun is down in some areas up to 40 percent. Deer sightings are down with everyone I talk to and most of them are good hunters with good land and management.
The DNR admits that their numbers might of been off.
Its the worse season in 7 years(I'm sure its alot more but their site only goes back that far).
 
Oh I think its safe to say that these are not the good old times.
 
The EAB and TZONE have taken to many does period. It needs to be addressed and changed. The DNR is in charge of managing the herd so they are responsible. 
We hunt 50 acres with 3 people, If we all want a chance at a buck with bow and gun we have to kill 6 does. Thats 6 does off of 50 acres to be legal. Thats ridiculous and it is hurting our herd and hunting.  
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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gunther89
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby gunther89 » Wed Dec 10, 2008 5:07 pm

My unit that I hunt in is EAB.  I need to shoot a doe in order to shoot a buck.  Does are the answer to getting the deer numbers back up but with everyone shooting does the population goes down.  The only way I know of to get a buck tag without shooting an antlerless deer is to be a disabled hunter.  So unless everyone starts to become disabled hunters will need to shoot antlerless deer.

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Gafrage
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby Gafrage » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:04 pm

Or shoot nubby bucks for a couple of years.

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Gafrage
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby Gafrage » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:06 pm

ORIGINAL: Goose

The 2008 harvest for gun is down in some areas up to 40 percent. Deer sightings are down with everyone I talk to and most of them are good hunters with good land and management.
 



Hey, thanks for giving me props Goose!  lol  Actually, I hope I'm in the "most" category.

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Washburn
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby Washburn » Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:00 am

If you and a group own or hunt a 50 acre parcel...any size really...the deer you see ignore boundaries and roam across a much larger area. If you shoot 6 does on your land, sure it has an impact. But through reproduction and dispersal additional deer move into the area. Obviously you can't overharvest a particular area without repercussions, but you get my point.

Larger issues (IMO) than the DNR estimates/T Zone/EAB are habitat fragmentation, hunter access to more private lands, and feeding and baiting.

In many areas deer are able to seek refuge during daylight hours and hunting seasons in areas not open to hunting. Plus, baiting and feeding concentrate deer and otherwise alter the natural movement of deer in a particular area.

I also think it's important for all hunters to take a wider view. My small group of three shot four deer during gun season. Our success doesn't change the fact that we are facing major issues. If the group on the next property didn't see a deer, it doesn't mean a drastic overhaul of the regulations and seasonal framework is necessary.

I'll say it again; when you consider the length and varieties of seasons, number of deer available, and harvest numbers, these are the good old days--there's never been a better time to be a Wisconsin deer hunter.

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

wack
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby wack » Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:19 am

If you do not want to hunt EAB,  you do have another choice. You can hunt the regular zone. You may not see any deer but you can hunt the regular zone.
 I know exactly what Washburn is talking about and can understand his point of view. Obviously the deer population has not been devastated in the area he hunts as it was in the area I hunt. That's OK, in the next few years he'll see.
 Washburn is close to being correct as we have seen the good old days, for me, it ended 2 seasons ago and the deer numbers may once again return to the numbers we had back in the 70's. I highly doubt deer numbers will ever return to the numbers we saw in the 90's nor should they.
 I do not believe that the DNR is the enemy. We need the DNR biologists and wardens and they do a good job and would do even better if we supported them. Problem is the biologists turn there findings and recommendations into there superiors, and the information gets distorted by politics.
 Sad to say, one of our biggest enemies right now is the Dept. of Agriculture. They wipe out big numbers of deer, bear, turkey, and geese. They stopped the DNR from importing elk and put political pressure on the DNR to reduce the deer herd.I've even seen public hunting grounds leased to farmers to plant cash crops and strip the fields just before winter. I know 2 public hunting grounds within 10 miles of my house that were planted with soy beans last 2 years. Last spring both grounds had a large number of winter kill that could have been prevented if the crop was left for the wildlife or better yet, the fields were returned to healthy habitat. Even with the bad winter kill, the farm bordering one of these hunting grounds has been filling Ag tags like crazy since July. The hunters trying to fill those Ag tags are even complaining they are not seeing deer. Makes no sense. Starve the deer off public, forcing them to private so they can be killed in the name of crop damage. Sounds like a pretty effective plan to get rid of deer. I even saw  1 hunter put an Ag tag on a deer shot on public land! I called it in to the DNR and was told they couldn't do anything but ask questions and hope for a confession.
 There is no 1 fix all answer to our problems here but there is some things we could do to improve our situation and help ourselves. Our biologists say that we need to get the wolves delisted and we need to reintroduce elk to our north woods. The only organization who is fighting to get both done in Wisconsin is The Rockey Mountain Elk Foundation. They have already spent over $5 million dollars in our state for research, habitat improvement, and education. A $35 membership to RMEF can do a lot for us.
 I used to support WU until a few years ago when I read there take on CWD. Before you sign up for any organization, make sure they're politics are inline with your own or your money may work against you. I don't know if they've changed there stance but I'd find out before sending money.  I had $50 set aside for gas money to hunt this 4 day T zone hunt. I just sent $35 of it to RMEF and am sitting out today and tomorrow. I may go out Sat and Sun only because I'm poor and need the meat but what I've seen so far, it might be better to save my last $15 of gas money and give it to my wife to spend on food. If this winter turns out to be as bad or worse than last winter, we may all be sitting out next years hunt. So far, this winter has started out worse than last year. A lot of deep snow already.
 I've been deer hunting since the mid 70's and started bow hunting around 2000. Supossedly we are still above the DNR's deer population goal. If deer numbers were at todays level back in 2000 and 2001, my 1st 2 years of bow hunting probably would have been my last 2. I had so much fun my 1st 2 years I'm hooked for life. These past 2 years have been just plain crappy. I got 12 deer the 1st 2 years, 1 deer the last 2 years. The "Good ol days" are gone, but that doesn't mean we can't make a few changes and creat a brighter future. What's it going to take to get young hunters hooked? More than what we had this year. If in 20 years a young hunter can go out with a chance to take a deer, an elk, a wolf and a bear, maybe even a buffalo, then we've secured hunting for many years and generations to come and put our best days ahead of us instead of behind. We can do much better than the good ol' days by changing 2 million deer into a variety of big game if we'd just stop making excuses and put forth a little effort. Saving the wolves put mother nature on the tree huggers side, returning elk back to the mix may put mother nature back on our side. If we put elk back, maybe mother nature will let us keep deer too. Otherwise we are destine to repeat history which doesn't look good for our hunting future. It took about 30-40 years for deer to go from 0-2 million. The DNR biologist's plans were to bring the deer down to 700,000 and have a huntable population of elk and maintain a huntable population of bears.. By time the politicians handed over the plan, the elk part of the plan vanished. Without the elk, and with out delisting of the wolves, the biologists plan falls apart. We are already 6 years behind on the DNR elk program, more elk should have been added in 2002. Time is running out. Because of the wolves and lack of elk, the biologists have no choice but recommend that we now reduce the bear population. That will speed things up for hunters who have a few bear points now, but it will make the 9 year waiting list even worse for the future. In other words, we've robbed Peter to pay Paul. We've reduced our deer herd, reduced our bear population, abandoned the elk and now we have to feed the wolves.
American by birth, hunter by choice.

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Fish
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby Fish » Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:24 am

Washburn, I remember the party tag and remember times when one deer out of 8 hunters was an expected hunt.  I also hear stories from our group about hunting back in the 40's and 50's.  Yes, back then there wasn't as many deer but hunter's(as conservationist) and the DNR(with proper regulations) help build the deer herd of the late 90's.  In those days, you could hunt everywhere....fences and "no trespassing" signs weren't common.  Hunter's were also not as educated as they are now.  Yes, comparing those days to right know, hunting is better minus the lack of areas to hunt.  But hunting now isn't as good as it was in the late 1990's or early 2000's.  It is in fact gettin worse.  I do believe the number then were a problem, I don't expect to see 20 deer a day but one deer during a 9 day season, would be nice.  Is this an emotional issue, sure it is and some of our statements are just that.  As for factual information, here you go.  "You want the truth?, you can't handle the truth!"  LOL...
 
Fact: Biologist hire by the DNR to study the SAK model agreed that the population could be off 60% because of the use of T-zone, EAB and small hunting zones.
 
Fact: The DNR biologist knew two months before the gun season, last years fawn crop was so low, many areas should never have had EAB and herd reduction but since the quotas were set in March, they let it go.  Why did they continue to lie about 1.7 million deer if they knew it wasn't true?
 
Fact: They want the population down to 700,000 deer.  That's 1.25 deer per 40 acres of deer habitat, not total acres in WI. 
 
Fact: The Dept of Agriculture set the deer quota.  Just this year, the DNR finally let us know about the State's worries about TB in WI and what it would do to the beef and Ag industry.  MI lost 180 million in 7(ish) years.
 
Fact: CWD was first found in WI in 1999 but in April 2003, they came out with the eradication zone.  Ironically, our current Govenor was sworn in in Jan 2003.
 
Fact: WI Senators and Assembly have fought the current regulations since 2004 but have lost via veto and to the special interest groups in WI.   Fortuanately, they were able to add into the State constitution the right to hunt.
 
Fact: After the last election and the turn over in our Government, we have lost all checks/balances with the DNR and the Dept of Agri.  They will do what they want and are heavily influenced by the special interest groups.
 
Fact: Since 2003, the Conservation Congress, hunting groups and even committees set by the DNR have asked to ease up on the deer but have been ignored.
 
Fact: Legislation set before our Assembly and Senate to take back some of the regulatory power was denied because because other agencies put major pressure on our representives.  So much pressure, supporters of the bill recanted their position.
 
And I could go on.  How do I know these fact?  Not only have I written just about every elected official the last 5 years, the DNR and Dept of Agri, I have recieved correspondence back from them.  I also talk frequently to a good friend, who is also Pres of WU.  They sit in just about every meeting. I've been in contact with biologist, G&F and other sportsmen agencies from other states.  Check out PA and the issues they have there with their Gov.  Why do I do this?  Because I care, I love deer hunting.  Not just the kill, but everything from getting ready in the morning to wrapping up the last back straps in freezer wrap.
 
Are we complaining about not seeing deer, yes.  But I think most on here believe is we're on the downward slope.  We've been lied to, population estimate are not true and with the current structure of seasons and government, our deer population is in a downward spiral.  I, for one, do not want to go back to the days of the 40's and 50's. 
 
The big picture here is not current structure of our deer harvest or population.  It is the attack on our tradition and heritage.  Don't believe me, check out our elected officials view on gun control and hunting.  Take away deer numbers, our youth will lose interest in deer hunting; less hunters, less guns.  Sure they want deer but for viewing purposes, kind of like our Elk.  So the way I look at it is this.  We can remain to be passive, turn a blind eye and let everything go, status quo.  Or we can voice our opinion and be heard, fight and protect our rights, and just maybe make a few hunting buddies along the way.
 
I, for one, cherish the day I can follow a good blood trail with my son and daughter, hopefully with my grandson/granddaughter someday.
 

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