Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

highview72
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby highview72 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:15 am

I am going to have to totally disagree with you. Although I do not have as many years in the woods as you, this year was far from the good ol days. In my 24 years of hunting, I have never seen fewer deer while hunting. This year I hunted the first 3 days in unit 45 (N. Oconto Cty) and never saw a deer. Not one. We sat most of the time but got desparate enough to make some small drives and saw nothing. For the first time in 15 years our camp got skunked. I then went home and hunted in Brown County in the metro unit where i can get as many tags as I want and the seasons are extended. In 3 days of hunting i caught a glimpse of 1 deer as it walked alone 100 or more yds away. I then moved up to unit 80B in S. Door County. We made drives and sat the mornings and nights. Our group saw exactly zero deer. So that made a total of 1 deer for the whole season. None shot in our whole group. During bow season it was much of the same. I saw a group of 4 does one evening and a small buck one morning. That was for the entire bow season and I took vacation to hunt so its not that I dont put the time in. Im far from just a weekend warrior. If these are the good ol days, I dont want to see the bad ones! And as far as the DNR, they are at fault. They set regulations that forced hunters to overharvest the deer herd and set the estimates way to high. The carrying capacity goals they have set are ridiculous also. You can put your faith in them if you want but I have been fooled too many times. (ex. deer population devastated, bear population out of control, wolf population out of control, turkey population exploding, and the perch population they did such a good job with) Those are just a few examples off the top of my head. I WAS a big supporter of the DNR and I HAD faith in what they told us was the right thing to do but no more. I still would like to know what was so bad about the deer population 3-4 years ago. I dont remember seeing massive die off from winter or disease. Why all of a sudden 5-6-7 years ago did everything change that we had to get rid of all these deer? Those were in fact the good ol days of deer hunting in this state. Now the DNR has gone into full panic mode about CWD even though they dont know much about it and it has been here and in other states for who knows how long. Now as for baiting. I am not a big pro baiting hunter. I havent done it in many years but when I first started it was very common for most hunters i knew to throw out some corn or apples. Now if you bait, the deer are going to get a disease because they are congregating but yet they wont from feeding under an oak tree,apple tree, bird feeder or spillage from a farmer? Feeding causes deer to become nocturnal and you wont see anything they say. But yet we have a 4 day t-zone hunt before gun deer season and during the bowhunt. Will that not make deer go nocturnal? I dont disagree with those that are against baiting or eradicating CWD. I just think some of the reasons are bogus and that the DNR has gone way overboard.

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buckhunter21
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby buckhunter21 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:13 am

I would have to disagree as well...The good 'ole days are in the past.  Try 4 or 5 years ago (minimum at that).  The deer herd has been declining ever since...Much the the Dept. of Ag's choice.  Sure, there are hunters like Washburn that have had exceptional years maybe, have seen a ton of deer, and that'll happen.  But we're talking as a whole here...If you took a survey of every hunter in the state you'd see this.  One thing I can't believe is that Warnke is saying that 'we are heading towards where we want to be,' even with all these hunters contacting him, and him being able to see the numbers.  In my opinion, numbers don't lie!  The whole state is down 20% on average, with like some people have said, some areas are down as much as 40%.  Now, if we had a 9 day blizzard with constant white-out conditions this might be believable.
QDM!

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Washburn
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby Washburn » Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:05 pm

Let me clarify my "the good old days are now" comment. I don't necessarily mean literally this past/current season. I take a longer view. The 90's and the first 8 years of the 21st Century are now, in my way of looking at things. Look, I don't have the insight into the Dept of Ag and don't know what influence they have; Fish makes compelling arguments.

I will say this, though. I know a few career DNR people. I think that they are representative of many if not most who work there; smart, dedicated, devoted to public service. I simply don't buy that Keith Warnke or any other major DNR decision maker is acting with malice when it comes to managing the Wisconsin deer herd. Certainly they make mistakes. I make mistakes at my job. Everyday. How about you?
I'm not excusing these mistakes, and agree they should be held accountable. I bet most of them would agree. But to suggest that there is some conspiracy, or gross negligence...well I personally don't believe that. What possible motivation would there be for such actions? And don't say money. License sales are a major source of funds. Why would you alienate the very folks (us/deer hunters) who fund your department...who pay your salary?

Perhaps we are spoiled by recent "good old days." Who says 20 deer sightings are "normal" or to be expected? I am not pointing fingers, but consider this. How skilled are today's gun hunters? How hard did the guy who didn't see any deer hunt this past season? Did he manage his scent? Did he place his stand with care? Is his neighbor baiting? What were his expectations? Were they realistic?

For me, deer hunting is hard. I learn new things almost every time I step into the woods. Seeing one deer remains a thrill. Shooting one remains an awesome experience. I hunt to see wildlife...to see deer...behave naturally in the wild. Yeah, I'd love to see 20 deer a day...10 deer. But some days, some years, it doesn't happen.


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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gunther89
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby gunther89 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:46 pm

I realize that everyone makes mistakes and i'll be the first one to admit that i've made mistakes.  But when the DNR keeps coming out with excuses as to why there are lower deer harvest numbers get me mad.  They say that the harsh winter and late spring led to low fawn birthing.  Then they say that the cold kept hunters from getting out on opening weekend, also they say that there weren't as many big groups of hunters and that hunters were only out 3 or 4 hours a day and that there aren't as many youth hunters and not as many deer drives going on.  There excuses to a mistake that they have made.  If they would just come out and say to everyone that they made a mistake and that there won't be EAB in as many areas and no t-zones it would make hunters alot happier and stop yelling at the DNR.

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Washburn
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby Washburn » Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:10 pm

ORIGINAL: gunther89

I realize that everyone makes mistakes and i'll be the first one to admit that i've made mistakes.  But when the DNR keeps coming out with excuses as to why there are lower deer harvest numbers get me mad.  They say that the harsh winter and late spring led to low fawn birthing.  Then they say that the cold kept hunters from getting out on opening weekend, also they say that there weren't as many big groups of hunters and that hunters were only out 3 or 4 hours a day and that there aren't as many youth hunters and not as many deer drives going on.  There excuses to a mistake that they have made.  If they would just come out and say to everyone that they made a mistake and that there won't be EAB in as many areas and no t-zones it would make hunters alot happier and stop yelling at the DNR.

gunther89
Your points are all good; I like 'em. Many of the factors you site can only be gathered in-season. In my way of thinking they really aren't "excuses"; they're just what happened. My guess(hope) is that all of those factors will be taken into consideration for the '09 framework.

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 4:18 pm

Awesome discussion here guys. Why have we been lied to? Why the dramatic loss n deer numbers? Fish  has come to many of the same concussions that I have.
As I mentioned earlier, I'm supporting RMEF because of the effort and money they've invested in our state already.. Looking at there web site I ran across something called
" The Seven Sisters for Conservation."
  http://www.rmef.org/Hunting/HuntersCons ... /Model.htm
Well worth reading and it's not real long or hard to understand.
American by birth, hunter by choice.

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Fish
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby Fish » Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:20 am

In a previous thread, I somewhat defended Warnke for the position he's in.  I even wrote him an e-mail.  I told him I felt sorry for him as he is the "poster boy" of WI DNR and deer herd management.  But I also told him when everything comes down and the stuff hits the fan, he's going to be the "fall Guy".  Yep, sure did say that...never got a response though.  He isn't calling the shots, others above him are.
 
I've talked to many wardens and staff of the DNR.  General "off the record" is that enough is enough(this was 3 years ago).  Most of the wardens and lower level DNR staff are Sportsmen/women, they don't like it either.
 
I agree everyone makes mistakes, but don't be to nieve on their admission.  It does seem like these are very convienent mistakes. Too much information was in their hands prior to getting on TV and stating 1.7 million deer.  They had th fawn numbers, they knew 1.7 million was a lie.
 
As for conspiracy theories, I doubt the DNR has an "area 51".  But what I do know from communications with elected officals, there has been much behind the scenes fighting on this subject.  5 years ago when I lived in Appleton, I wrote the State Senator in my district, his exact words where, "We are in complete disagreement with the DNR on how they are managing the deer situation, we would like to get legislation through dissolving the current structure of the DNR and start new".  Then a few communication with several reps this year,  of which were made off the record.  I wish I could post the response but I have to respect his wishes.  Basically, we are up against forces much more pwerful than just the DNR and their "mistakes".
 
All I can say is, if you want answers, start writing elected officials.  Sooner or later, you'll get a response and the answers your looking for.  Don't be shocked on what you find.
 
Oh, deer hunters don't pay for the DNR, tax payers do.  Hunting license pay for much more than just DNR, eliminate that revenue and there still will be a DNR. 

crownie
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby crownie » Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:50 am

Great thread! 
 
I just finished emailing the DNR and state reps and senators with the FACTS from detailed logbook records over many years.  Sure it's a focused snapshot of one small area but there's thousands of these snapshots that add up to a grim big picture if we all respond.  I encourage everyone to do the same- - start making some noise for cripes sake before it gets worse.  This was the WORST season in my 36 years- - less deer seen then when our unit didn't even have party permits for my first eight seasons.  Seeing ten deer per day- - I wish- - less than that for a whole season and most saw none or one for the season.  Try over 30 hours hunted for every time a deer was sighted- - and yes we do hunt hard and do practice scent control, hunt the wind direction, etc.  The hunters in this state didn't get 40% sloppier in one year.  24 hunters in our neck of the woods harvested on lone spike- - if a four percent success rate is what the DNR wants then they should be disbanded.  If we ever look on this as the good old days the future will be one sad place.  Opportunities as far as seasons are one thing but it would be nice to SEE deer even if one is not able to get a shot.  We are the customers and this is not acceptable. 
How about DDH publishing some detailed report cards on the WIDNR, grade their performance by zone?  How about some journalistic investigation and disclosure of DNR job performance.  I've been a loyal reader since 1980 and I'm also getting a bit fed up with all the patronizing articles on "kill the does or you're not an ethical hunter".  We're not all hunting the farm belt, some of us have wolves and coyotes and bears and bobcats and real winter weather and not a corn cob within 30 miles.  Yes we choose to hunt big woods but nobody asked us if we wanted all the predators and nobody seemingly accounts for the fact that the population doesn't rebound quickly under that environment.  Anyhow, enjoy the thread and the magazine and the chance to vent. 

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Goose
 
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RE: Wisconsin Hunters Sound Off!

Postby Goose » Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:48 pm

Crownie- Its good to have you join, please keep on posting with your insights. All good and passionate people here, welcome.
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 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:54 am

Has anybody heard how the meeting went.  Has the DNR realized they have made a mistake.  wccvicehair can you in light us on how the meeting went. 

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