The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resiurces promises a review of deer management practices. There are calls for a change in the way the DNR manages Wisconsin’s deer herd, after this year’s hunt produced the smallest kill in 27 years. But big game manager Keith Warnke of the agency says there’s a re-evaluation EVERY year. He says the low numbers from the November gun-season were not unexpected.
“Overall, the state’s deer population is lower than it has been in several years,” says Warnke. “That we knew was coming. That was a result of herd reduction in some units. It’s also the result of herd reduction efforts. It’s the result of Earn-a-Buck efforts as well.”
So, Warnke says, they cut way back on the number of anterless permits that were available. “With the reduced deer population, we adjusted our permitting system and our season structures, which resulted in fewer antlerless permits being available,” says Warkne. “Much less antlerless hunting opportunities, so fewer antlerless deer are harvested, and that is indeed what we saw this year.” All the DNR’s explanations aren’t cutting it, though, with state Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker. The Wausau-area Democrat wants the department’s deer management team fired. DNR Secretary Matt Frank says he realizes hunters are frustrated, but firing staff is not the answer.
WIBA’s John Colbert (:37) AUDIO: John Colbert reports (:37 MP3)