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Post-season analysis raises plenty of questions

Post-season analysis raises plenty of questions Post-season analysis raises plenty of questions




It’s over. The hunting season was what it was, nothing more nothing less.

The grouse season was less than something to write home to mom about. So was the waterfowl season. Some of that was related to weather. The bear season had happy hunters and unhappy hunters.

I personally had a great deer hunt, but the state as a whole had, well, let’s just say, most are not happy. And saying “it is what it is,” isn’t satisfying too many out there.

The sabers are being rattled and the war drums beaten.

It’s not going away, especially since that little report put forth by the Wisconsin Wolf Facts group saying that wolves killed more deer in a few counties than hunters.

Just a question I have here in all this: Where do the wolves register their deer kills? Oh, it’s an estimate.

Well, why should we believe the estimates of wolf kills by county based on the estimates of wolves in that county if we don’t believe the estimates of wolves in that county? And, especially if we don’t believe the estimated deer population. Just a few things that make you go hmm.

Not that I’m pro-wolf. But the report said the numbers of deer killed by wolves and hunters were just about equal in Vilas County. But I can tell you that, in one day of driving through Vilas County this September, I dodged more deer there than I saw darn near all year in Marathon, Clark and Taylor County, combined. Things that make you say hmm.

But the saber rattling doesn’t end in redneck bars and ice shanties on bad ice. The head of the Natural Resource Board is weighing in. He wants a less complicated system at least for tagging, in our paperless system, for deer hunting.

He wants the DNR to look to the future – at least 10 years out. He’s got some commonsense ideas too, which leads me to believe that’ll never happen.

He sees a lot of the problems too. Like problems with the County Deer Advisory Councils (CDACs). Those of us who understand CDACs understand that no system or organizational group is perfect. And CDAC’s are no exception.

Mr. Prehn, the chair of the Natural Resources Board, cited a DNR report that 73 percent of you faithful readers don’t know what a CDAC is or what it does. And, nope, I’m not getting into it here today. Next time we’ll talk CDACs; you ought to know and participate in the committee meeting, or interact with yours in some way, if you hunt deer. Prehn would like to see a longer gun season and the muzzleloader season incorporated into it. That would be bad for muzzleloader hunters, but good for bow and gun hunters tired of competing with the semi-automatic muzzleloader hunters. Cuz that never happens around here. He would like to see an adjusted archery season due to increasing success by archery hunters on buck harvest. I say, the water’s warm — start archery hunting. We don’t need to discourage the increasing number of archery hunters, which will hopefully make up for the decreasing number of gun hunters. Gun deer season pays the bills, yet the archery licenses cost the same.

Others want back tags and registration stations brought back. Whoa, I say, didn’t a number of hunters tell me they missed the registration station while talking about the gun hunt?

Some are going after the Dr. Deer changes. Well, he did one thing right. He pointed out the elephant in the room about the disparity of hunting quality on public land compared to private lands.

And he correctly stated that if that doesn’t change deer hunting in Wisconsin will be seriously hurt. He was dead on.

And maybe the decreasing number of gun hunters has something to do with the fact that a lot of public land still hasn’t recovered from the decimation of the deer herd from the last kill-off and the winter of 2014. And the last two winters weren’t anything to sneeze at either. Things that make you go hmm.

Or, how come, with two years of the Speaker of the House being a representative from Wisconsin, did he not put forth a bill that would delist wolves and turn the management of Great Lakes States wolves back to the states?

How come none of the senators and representatives from those states are sponsoring bills now? Things that make you go hmm.

Stay safe on the ice out there!