Is the WDNR really that bad?

lumberrick
 
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Is the WDNR really that bad?

Postby lumberrick » Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:37 pm

I know the deer population is a hot topic.  It obviously is not what it used to be. Coupled with a late Firearms season at the very tail end of the rut, and some very cold weather and unpredictable wind directions, it was a tough year, no doubt.  I am not associated with the DNR, although I taught hunters Ed. here in Wisconsin for ten years.  I am a Sawmill owner and work in the woods several months a year, cutting logs and pulpwood.  Whitetail deer hunting is a religion in Wisconsin.  And when it is messed with in anyway, it gets a lot of press.  But, what does'nt get a lot of press, is the amount of damage this animal can do to the forest if the population is not controlled.  Many areas in Oneida and Vilas county have been severely overbrowsed for many years. I was walking a timber sale several winters ago with a forester, and he was showing me all these red oak trees that were about 1 inch in diameter and 3 feet high, and he told me they could be 25 years old already.  They just did not get a chance to grow above the browse line so they could mature. This can be said for many other species except Fir, Spruce and Balsam.  The Dnr gets tugged in every direction to try to maintain a balance.  The balance between adequate forest regeneration and the Whitetail population has been out of wack for decades.  And which one of these things actually helps out the economy more and provides us all with a better enviroment?  Our
Forests. Not to mention that a smaller herd has less of a chance of catching desease.  I agree that we should have a more traditional gun hunt and eliminate all these bonus seasons. But, keep in mind that "us" hunters are actually the ones that have controll of the population.  The DNR is not in the deer killing business.  They really on us to get the job done.  Each individual has to take the responsibility to know his/her deer numbers and make an intelligent choice on what to harvest, if at all.  Just because we purchase a license, it should'nt come with a garantee that you will have venison to eat. That is why it is called hunting.  I think the Predator situation is out of hand.  Along with baiting and feeding.  And I do think that the DNR definitely needs our feedback.  But, they definetly are under funded and shorthanded to balance all the prioritys.  Especially with the invasive species problems at hand.

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Washburn
 
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RE: Is the WDNR really that bad?

Postby Washburn » Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:21 pm

Welcome lumberrick.

To answer your topic question, my response is a resounding "No."

As you likely will soon read, most others here will answer in the affirmative.

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

highview72
 
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RE: Is the WDNR really that bad?

Postby highview72 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:02 am

Good post. I understand that the DNR is being pulled in many directions. My problem is that the current DNR has relied way too much on theory, not enough on actual info from the field, and done a very poor job managing many species of wildlife. For years people have been talking about the huge increase in the bear population but because it didnt match what they saw on paper, they did nothing and ignored what the people in the field were saying. For years we have been complaining about EAB and t-zone. Their population models on paper said "too many deer" so they ignored us and basically gave us very little choice but to keep shooting does. Look what happened this year! Look at the wolf population. Look at what they did to the perch population. Yeah, I know its easy to sit back and grumble when you dont have to make the decisions. The problem comes when they ignore the people they work for. We as hunters, fisherman, trappers, farmers..... we are in the field. We may not have that Madison biology degree but we know what we see. Sportsman are the very best stewards of the land because we want to be able to have success in the future as well as today. In order to do that we must conserve the resources and do what is best for the animals and the land. Once again I come back to the population goals the DNR has set for deer in the area I hunt. You cant tell me that reducing numbers to 1.2 deer per 40 acres of deer habitat over winter is needed for a healthy forest and deer herd. That is a ridiculous number with absolutely no basis behind it. And yet on that same 40 acres they have no problem with 30 turkeys! Why? Why is it that all of a sudden in the last 6 yrs or so that the deer population is a huge problem. 15 yrs ago they werent forcing us to slaughter does but yet the population was fine. What changed? Why all of a sudden did we have to go away from what was working. Every year the DNR has asked us to shoot more and more does and the following year they wanted more. How does that work? Well this year you saw how that worked. I surely dont have all the answers but our current Doyle DNR sure gives us enough questions.
A man only has so many hunting seasons. Make the most of them.

Spurred
 
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RE: Is the WDNR really that bad?

Postby Spurred » Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:06 am

In my opinion, WDNR is one of the best in the country. However, it also has one of the toughest jobs in the country and certainly isn't perfect. This season is a good example.

The shear number of hunters and the lack of public land in the southern half of the state make things very difficult. Then throw in CWD.

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Fish
 
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RE: Is the WDNR really that bad?

Postby Fish » Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:24 am

Welcome lumberrick,  I do not feel the DNR is evil or bad.  I believe the lower rank, or from Warnke down have a good understanding.  In my conversations with them, along with some state politicians, their hands are tied.  The NRB appointed by the Gov is part of the problem, the Dept of Agri and other Dept in our state are the other.  If you take the time to ask your local warden, you'll find he/she is a sportsman and "off the record" agree with many of our thoughts.  We are in a political battle here.
 
You definately have much more experience in forestry than I, but in discussions about our land in Marinette Cty, a few loggers had told us prior to selective cutting, we should have done it 10 years ago.  Hunters are emotional, they have their traditions and the landscape of the land means o lot.  I. for one, had a real hard time logging off our land because it would never look the same(in my life time).  It needed to be done.  I'm sure there is a large percentage of us that feel the same.  I'm not sure the deer are mostly to blame, proper land management would allow for more undergrowth for the deer and better hardwood.  Again, I'm probably wrong but that's my take

highview72
 
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RE: Is the WDNR really that bad?

Postby highview72 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:39 am

ORIGINAL: Spurred

In my opinion, WDNR is one of the best in the country. However, it also has one of the toughest jobs in the country and certainly isn't perfect. This season is a good example.

The shear number of hunters and the lack of public land in the southern half of the state make things very difficult. Then throw in CWD.

 
Ten years ago I would have agreed whole heartedly. Since the Doyle DNR has been in place, they have lost my respect.
 
A man only has so many hunting seasons. Make the most of them.

highview72
 
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RE: Is the WDNR really that bad?

Postby highview72 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:06 am

ORIGINAL: Fish

Welcome lumberrick,  I do not feel the DNR is evil or bad.  I believe the lower rank, or from Warnke down have a good understanding.  In my conversations with them, along with some state politicians, their hands are tied.  The NRB appointed by the Gov is part of the problem, the Dept of Agri and other Dept in our state are the other.  If you take the time to ask your local warden, you'll find he/she is a sportsman and "off the record" agree with many of our thoughts.  We are in a political battle here.

You definately have much more experience in forestry than I, but in discussions about our land in Marinette Cty, a few loggers had told us prior to selective cutting, we should have done it 10 years ago.  Hunters are emotional, they have their traditions and the landscape of the land means o lot.  I. for one, had a real hard time logging off our land because it would never look the same(in my life time).  It needed to be done.  I'm sure there is a large percentage of us that feel the same.  I'm not sure the deer are mostly to blame, proper land management would allow for more undergrowth for the deer and better hardwood.  Again, I'm probably wrong but that's my take

 
I dont think you can give Warnke a free pass. He is advising the board as the head deer biologist. In fact I think he is a major part of the problem. Below him are some good people but even some of the wardens are out of hand. Not that they want to reduce deer numbers or anything like that but with the way they enforce the laws. I realize they have a difficult job and some sportsman out there should not have a license but there are a few wardens out there that dont use common sense when handing out citations. As far as the undergrowth in the forests, I am confident there are areas where the deer overbrowse areas but mother nature will eventually take care of that on her own without decimating the herd for 50 sq. miles. No more food, no more deer. Too many deer in an area, then they will either run out of food and die, or does wont have as many fawns, or disease will come in and reduce the numbers. That is one thing knowone talks about. If the deer herd was so overpopulated that we need to reduce them by almost 1 million deer, where was the damage and disease and die offs. Wouldnt you think if they were actually that over populated that we would be seeing something.
A man only has so many hunting seasons. Make the most of them.

lumberrick
 
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RE: Is the WDNR really that bad?

Postby lumberrick » Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:23 am

Highview72, I agree that much of actions of the DNR are based on theory.  And Doyle is a total baffoon.  When you interject liberal views into hunting and fishing issues, you can bet there is going to be a major FUBAR.  This is what is happening all over the country.  Society is turning more and more Liberal and away from conservative values.  These political pressures are going to shape our hunting future if we don't supply feedback.  The bear population is a perfect example.  There is'nt a group of hunters that get more bad press than the Bear hunters. Because of the Bait issue.  Training season.  And running them with dogs.  I think it is a totally neccessary way of hunting, and must be accomadated.  But, Liberal minded non-hunting and anti-hunting peolpe eat this issue up.
 
Fish, it sounds to me you know what is needed for good deer habitat. Don't sell yourself short.  I know.  It hurts bad to cut your own trees.   But, it really helps the wildlife.  You also have good insite about this being a political issue.  Low level DNR employees are shaking there heads most of the time.
Don't forget to wear your Obamaflage

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Fish
 
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RE: Is the WDNR really that bad?

Postby Fish » Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:27 am

Boy, I hate to see my name on the last reply side all the time,  Maybe I spend too much time on here and better get back to work.
 
I'm not giving him a free pass but I feel he has way to much pressure from people higher than him.  I think he's the scapegoat, in a way.
 
Lumberrick, not to go all bear in a deer hunting thread but since you brought it up.  Per a few wardens, the liberals are not just eating up the ethics of bear hunting, their eating up tags too.  There are so many non hunters applying for bear tags, it's throwing off the harvest and eliminating chances of getting a tag.  It is supposed to be a 6-7 point system, now people with 9 points still don't draw a tag.
 
I've said it before and I'll say it again.  the attack on our deer herd is not the biggest problem here.  The liberals are attacking, in a round about way, our heritage and tradition.  Good way to get gun control, eliminate the amount of sportsman with gun needs.  Great way to end hunting, have the younger generation lose interest and shove a video game in front of them.  We are at war here(in a matter of speaking), write your elected officials.

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Goose
 
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RE: Is the WDNR really that bad?

Postby Goose » Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:16 pm

Welcome Lumberrick, it's good to have you on board and I'm looking forward to hearing your side of things. Your profession is well respected by me.
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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