Griping about the DNR may seem like a tradition after the end of the deer season. This time hunters may have extra ammo with an approximate 18% harvest reduction from the year before. With the lower numbers, sportsmen and women are second guessing the agency's deer management ability. Tim Van Deleen, Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology at UW Madison, believes the DNR does a good job with conservation.
"You can argue that the DNR has one estimate and the hunters collectively have another estimate and the truth is somewhere out there," says Van Deleen
He says Wisconsin has a more "transparent process" that the neighboring states regarding deer population.
The DNR has to engage in a "balancing act" with satisfying hunters recreational needs, while making decisions to protect farm crops, curtail disease and sustain the ecology, according to Van Deleen.
Some outdoorsmen have accused the agency of damaging the deer population, by relaxing rules and encouraging more hunting.
Meanwhile, the state DOT says deer crashes made up 15% of all traffic accidents over the last decade. It used to be just 5% in the 1970's.
The final hunting numbers will be out in a few weeks.