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.