December 4, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Representative Scott Gunderson (608) 266-3363
Representative Dean Kaufert (608) 266-5719
Lawmakers Call For Suspension of the December Antlerless Hunt
Action by Natural Resources Board Imperative to Protect Deer Herd
MADISON… In a letter to the Natural Resources Board, state lawmakers, today, requested that the Board take immediate action to suspend the 2009 December antlerless deer hunt. During the 9-day deer gun season, hunters registered the fewest deer in 27 years and 29 % fewer deer than just last year.
“In light of the historic declines in deer harvest over the past two seasons and the overwhelming sentiment by the hunters of Wisconsin, a suspension of the 2009 December antlerless season is crucial to safeguard our deer herd,” said Representative Scott Gunderson (R-Waterford). “It is absolutely imperative that the Board takes swift action to protect Wisconsin’s deer heard from further harm that may take generations to recover from.”
Representative Dean Kaufert (R-Neenah) continued, “We have heard from countless discouraged and frustrated hunters from all across Wisconsin who do not believe the Department’s deer herd estimate because they are not seeing deer out in the woods, especially antlerless deer. We need to listen to our hunters when they report fewer deer sightings; mild weather and areas of fog cannot explain the drastic reduction in the number of deer registered.”
While hunters across Wisconsin continuously report the lack of deer in the woods, there is significant evidence that their experiences in the woods are consistent with the actual number of deer. The number of deer carcasses removed by state contractors has plummeted for seven consecutive years, and is currently at the same levels as the late 1980’s. Predation by an underestimated bear population and an ever-growing wolf population has decimated the deer herd in vast areas of Wisconsin.
“The nine-day deer gun season is, not only steeped in tradition, but it also has an economic impact of over $1 billion for the state of Wisconsin,” stated Gunderson. “A 29% lower deer harvest this season is cause for concern, but on top of last season’s 26% total deer gun season harvest reduction; we have reached a critical crossroads for our deer herd in Wisconsin.”
“Because of deep tradition and the economic impact deer hunting has in Wisconsin, it is imperative that we act now before there are long-lasting and devastating effects on not only Wisconsin’s white-tail population, but also our economy,” concluded Kaufert.
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