Hunters letter to the Powers That Be

highview72
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:50 am

Hunters letter to the Powers That Be

Postby highview72 » Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:48 am

[font="times new roman"]December 3, 2008[/font][/b]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Mr. Robert Cowles - Wisconsin Senator Senate District 2[/font]
[font="times new roman"]Capitol 319 South[/font]
[font="times new roman"]Madison, WI[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Phil Montgomery - Wisconsin Representative Assembly District 4[/font]
[font="times new roman"]Capitol 129 West[/font]
[font="times new roman"]Madison, WI[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Chairman, Wisconsin Conservation Congress
[/font][font="times new roman"]N3635 Timberview Rd
Waldo , Wisconsin 53093[/font]

[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Dean Bortz – Editor, Wisconsin Outdoor News[/font]
[font="times new roman"]125 Kettle Moraine Drive South[/font]
[font="times new roman"]Slinger, WI 53086-9702[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Congressmen, Chairman and Fellow Deer Hunters,[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]This letter will serve to inform all who read it as to my discontent with not only the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources but also The Department of Agriculture and all other appointed/elected political groups or persons who are directly responsible for the management of our deer herd in Wisconsin. Although a bit long-winded, I hope you take the time to read this letter in its entirety. [/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]I base my points not on lack of success in any given year, but as an overall view of what I have been witness to in my 23 years of hunting Northeast Wisconsin. Particularly in units 45 and 80B, in which I have no doubt deer numbers have been down for the last 5 years. In this time I have had successful hunts. And others in which the deer have won the season. However, based on what I have seen during the last 5 seasons, I am compelled to offer the following insight from someone with 23 years of hunting knowledge.[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Point #1: The inaccuracy of the herd estimate.[/b] Based on comments in the media, the WDNR seems to have no idea what the actual herd size is. I've seen or heard everything from the age, sex, kill ratio being skewed by the EAB and T-zone hunts, hard winter conditions this year, wolf kills, bear kills, poor fawn recruitment, to weather etc… etc… [/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]This brings me to the problem; If the WDNR is not taking all the above things into account in determining deer population and not adjusting them prior to the deer season, then exactly what is it that they are doing? Please don't tell me that the only method being used is on paper with age, sex, kill. Nobody at the WDNR lived in Wisconsin this winter and thought it may be hard on the deer? Nobody thought to include bear and wolf kills in the estimate (much less have and accurate count on the predators)? Nobody thought this may be a poor fawn recruitment year? Ask any hunter in the woods and they could have told you all these things. Again, what is it that the taxpayer and license buyer is paying for at the WDNR? And what checks and balances are in place to ensure an accurate count?[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Action Point #1: Bring in an outside resource to judge the accuracy of the deer population in each management unit.[/font][/b]
[font="times new roman"] [/font][/b]
[font="times new roman"]Point #2: The "Social Tolerance" of the white-tail deer[/b]. While not a conspiracy theorist, I am also not naïve enough to assume that no pressure is brought to bear (no pun intended) on the WDNR by private and political groups/organizations, especially those involved at the Department of Agriculture and insurance lobbyists who pay money as a result of a large deer herd. [/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]In the past few years we as hunters have heard new terms used by the WDNR to try and explain non-hunting views. A prime example would be the term "Social Tolerance", of the deer herd. The question becomes, Who exactly is responsible for determining the "Social Tolerance" of deer? [/b]If "social tolerance" is determined by those paying out crop damage and insurance claims, then one would assume that their "social tolerance" is going to be much lower than that of a deer hunter like myself and 625,000+ others like me.[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]The WDNR has been swayed too far by "social tolerance" and should stick to what they are suppose to do; manage the herd based on biology. The "politics" which makes up "social tolerance" is not for the WDNR to decide. That battle should be left to the Wisconsin State Legislature. In this way, hunters and special interest groups can all voice their views, with the transparency of the Wisconsin State Legislature, what the "social tolerance" of the white-tail deer is to "ALL" the people of Wisconsin and not left to the opinion of the few currently deciding this most important issue.[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]By dealing with the issue in this way, hunters will know which congressional members are being sensitive to their wants and needs and vise versa. Let us decide this issue in a democratic way and let the people of Wisconsin decide what "social tolerance" is and not rely on the opinion of the WDNR.[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Action Point #2: Accept comments and inputs from hunters and special interests alike. Introduce a bill in the Wisconsin State Legislature outlining acceptable deer densities in deer management units and put it to a vote. Thereby ensuring "by the people, for the people" and not "by the checkbook, for the well funded". [/font][/b]
[font="times new roman"] [/font][/b]
[font="times new roman"]Action Point #3: Task the WDNR with these deer density goals.[/font][/b]
[font="times new roman"] [/font][/b]
[font="times new roman"]Point #3: The Math: [/b]I apologize for the length of this section up front but, I fear many hunters, because of ignorance or lack of understanding the terms used, have no idea what the actual intent or goals of the WDNR are for the deer herd in Wisconsin.[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]The WDNR defines acceptable "deer range" as woods or marshes 10 acres and larger and then the first 330' of field bordering these areas. Now as any person who hunts the farmland of unit 80B (all of Kewaunee and Southern Door Counties) can tell you, deer apparently didn't get the WDNR book on where they should live.[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]I've done the math based on the WDNR deer density goals, square miles of "Deer range" etc… for unit 80B. Of the entire land area of 584 sq. miles, only 198 sq. miles, or 34% are deemed "deer range". On a side note; in 1986, 45% was considered deer range. I'm not sure what changed, but suspect the definition of "deer range" more then urban sprawl has affected this number.[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]There are 640 acres in a square mile or (16) 40 acre parcels, multiplied by 198 sq. miles gives us about 126,720 acres of "deer range", as determined by the WDNR. The goal for unit 80B is 20 deer per sq. mile of "deer range" after hunting. [/b] This is the goal set by the WDNR and determines things such as Earn-a-Buck and T-zone status of a unit. This number includes (from above) "social tolerance" and "biology" and "carrying capacity" of the "deer range"[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Let's assume Grandpa has a 40 acre parcel in the family that is considered 100% "deer range" (all woods). 20 deer per 640 acre (or 1 sq. mile) divided by 16 (number of 40 acre parcels in 1 sq. mile) equals about 1.25 deer left on Grandpa's 40 after hunting. That's the goal! 1.25 deer per 40 acre parcel "deer range" after the last shot is fired from bow, gun or otherwise in 2008.[/b][/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Now let's assume the WDNR ever achieves these goal numbers. There are 198 sq. miles of "deer range" in 80B multiplied by 20 deer per sq. mile of "deer range" equals 3,960 deer after hunting season is complete. Let us make the following assumptions: all the remaining deer survive the winter (not likely), there are no predator kills (not likely), there are no car deer kills (not likely), all the does where impregnated during the rut (not likely) and there is a 50/50 doe to buck ratio. [/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Based on these assumptions, 3,960 after-hunt deer divided by 2 (or 50% doe/buck ratio) equals 1,980 remaining does which may[/b] have been fertilized during the rut. Assuming each doe has 2 fawns the following can be derived: 1,980 does multiplied by 2 (fawns) equals 3,960 fawns plus their mothers (1,980) equals 5,940 deer (mothers and fawns) plus 1,980 remaining bucks equals 7,920 deer for the following year hunting.[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]The following year deer hunt then can be calculated. 7,920 deer divided over 198 sq. miles of "deer range" equals 40 deer per sq. mile "deer range". 40 deer per sq. mile "deer range" divided by 16 (40 acre parcels per sq. mile) equals 2.5 deer on each 40 acre parcel of "deer range".[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]This also assumes all the deer are dispersed evenly in the woods ("deer range") and not in the fields!!! Where the WDNR assumes or requires they shouldn't be by design or otherwise. [/font][/b]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Let me put this in a more real world perspective. Regardless of what the WDNR defines as deer range, the deer have 584 sq. miles of fields, fence-lines, pot-holes, woods, marshes etc… to roam in unit 80B. My guess after hunting these critters for 23 years, is that they are not playing by the rules and only staying in woods and marshes 10 acres and larger. 7,920 deer divided or spread across 584 sq. miles equals 13.5 deer per sq. mile. 13.5 deer divided by or spread across 16 forty acre parcels is 0.85 deer per forty. [/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Fellow hunters, what do you think the odds of even seeing a deer are going to be at that deer density? And also at that density, what will a severe winter or increased predator population do to this smaller heard?[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]This is exactly what happened this year during deer hunting. Coincidentally, it is also what the WDNR has done with the perch population on Green Bay. Over-estimated, over-harvested and then try to find "scientific" excuses as to why the numbers are wrong and the species isn't seen in abundance and longer. Hunters are beginning to see the results of the WDNR over-estimation and over-harvest of the population, period.[/font][/b]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Government agencies "react" to public outcry. Sadly, it is after the damage is done that "We the People" demand better from our elected/appointed public officials.[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]I will leave you with the following questions/comments: [/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]With all the talk in the hunting community and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, on the declining and aging hunter numbers, how will I, as a father, get my children interested in hunting with the odds of seeing deer at this low of a level? How many times will we bring our sons and daughters into the woods to get cold feet and be[/font]
[font="times new roman"]disappointed to the point of hanging up their hunting tradition? And what affect will that decline in hunters do to the budget of Wisconsin? Not to mention that of local economies.[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Sincerely,[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Jason Tlachac[/font]
[font="times new roman"]Green Bay, WI[/font]

ReflexHunter
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:02 am

RE: Hunters letter to the Powers That Be

Postby ReflexHunter » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:07 am

I feel your pain and thoughts exactly!  I have already sent a letter to my state reps.  I hope something will be done SOON!  With the way politics are run its hard to say what will get done when.  It's just a shame that the WDNR has acted the way they have and allowed our Wisconsin family tradition to become so endangered.

Jawbone
 
Posts: 123
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RE: Hunters letter to the Powers That Be

Postby Jawbone » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:00 pm

Amen brother!!!!!!!
Let em Go & Let em Grow !!!! (Jefferson Co. , WI.)

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Goose
 
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RE: Hunters letter to the Powers That Be

Postby Goose » Wed Dec 03, 2008 6:22 pm

Great letter and thanks for writing it.
 
I do have disagree with you on the social carrying capacity view though. They as a management tool have to look at the dvc's and crop damage if they didn't take that into consideration they would not be doing there jobs.
They just have to start taking other things into consideration as well not just the social carrying capacity.
Jake

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

highview72
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:50 am

RE: Hunters letter to the Powers That Be

Postby highview72 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:27 am

I have to admit it is not my letter but a very good friend and hunting partner. We have discussed this issue for years. I thought the letter was very well thought out and well written so I asked if I could post it here. If we all get together and just keep writing and sending letters like this, we have a chance to accomplish something. If we wait for others to make all the noise then we will be sitting here next year complaining about the same things. This is OUR hunting heritage and OUR deer herd. They work for us! Let them know how you feel. And dont forget to let our Governor know that you are not happy with his appointed people in charge of this mess. Unlike the people he put in charge at the DNR, his job is at stake every election.

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Fish
 
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RE: Hunters letter to the Powers That Be

Postby Fish » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:41 am

Highview72, see my post on "hunters sound off" regarding the United Sportsmen of PA.  We are not the only state with problems with our DNR

highview72
 
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RE: Hunters letter to the Powers That Be

Postby highview72 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:44 am

I did read that. Maybe we need to use what they did as a model.


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