Thursday, February 14, 2013

Who Killed Wisconsin Deer Hunting

2013 Wisconsin Deer Hunting
In our recent Wisconsin deer hunting seasons, we have witnessed the ups and downs of harvest numbers, DNR thrashing and  a Kroll report.

The debate that seems to follow is, are we hunting to preserve a tradition, or have we gone to far to preserve a large inflow of income to a sport that requires large racks, lots of points and spreads that make hunting magazine readers go absolutely crazy?

We have yet to determine what is the best way to manage our whitetail herd and yes, we have made strides to fighting back against the "numbers" game where more tags sold means more money.

More money did more than just devastate a herd, it killed the sport from those who use it as a management game. Land owners that had over 100 acres once worked their land to manage and cultivate large whitetail bucks for the sport along with increasing the joy of the hunt.  Now, with the so called slimming herd, land owners all the way down to those who manage 5 acres are taking care of their "precious." 

So what do we have now?  We have deer no longer moving because they are being fed, baited and controlled by land owners vs nature controlling the herd along with a government backed entity to ensure the game does not get overran.

I open this for this comments, but my question remains: Is the DNR responsible for the deer herd decline or are we the hunters at fault for the smaller deer herd because we just created a micro managed deer herd?


  1. It's a little of both. I know property owners who would shoot everything moving back in 2001-2004 just because the DNR gave them the tags. They now have some pretty good hunting on their property but went through a four or five year stretch where they didn't see much. We have always killed the same amount of deer despite more liberal tags. Like a lot of other things in life, you have to take responsibility for yourself. Just because the government allows you to do something doesn't mean it's a good idea.

  2. I've noticed changes in the herd at my place in Marquette County, but it hasn't been too drastic. I think the DNR is responsible for the decline, but hunters are as well. It seems like there are "dead zones" that really tip the scales. Some areas are just hit way too hard and a single season of hunting sets the herd back years while in other areas no one shoots anything but trophy deer and there are too many.

  3. I agree with Chris, the DNR may issue the tags, but they can't make anyone squeeze the trigger. The hunters need to be able to recognize what's going on in their hunting area. At some point we have to take ownership of our resource.

  4. In my area (Marquette County), Christmas Tree Farms are shooting every deer that walks on the property. Why these people are allowed to shoot unlimited numbers of deer, I don't know. Why on earth are these people not fencing their tree farms in. It's really been a bad deal for us in the area.

  5. Deer will be moving to find food that has been buried under the snow and will be easy to spot. Consider hunting from a ridge as the usually well camouflaged deer will now stand out and be easy to see. Deer Scent