Wisconsin deer hunters will have a chance to weigh in on the sometimes controversial Earn-a-Buck program, when the Wisconsin Conservation Congress holds is annual regional meetings in April. The group will ask hunters if they want the state to end the program, which was created to reduce the deer population by forcing hunters to shoot a doe before a buck. The Conservation Congress will then present the results to the DNR.
Many hunters dislike the Earn-a-Buck restrictions, and after a 2008 gun hunting season that saw a 20 percent harvest decline from 2007, some hunters are saying they won't buy a license in 2009. “I've heard that, and I quite frankly don't believe it, says Dick Kerner, who serves on the Conservation Congress' executive council. Kenner doesn't think hunters would actually sit out a season, but that anyone interested in the issue should speak up at their local meeting. “You're part of the problem if you don't do anything, says Kenner. “If there is a problem, we need people to speak up and be heard.” He says hunters are concerned: “they don't want to shoot every last deer, but they do want something to shoot at.”