Deer hunters have a chance to sound off on longer hunt
By: Gil Halsted, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Hearings begin this week on a proposal to lengthen the traditional November gun deer season by starting it one week earlier. As Gil Halsted reports many hunters are opposed to the plan.
The earlier start and longer season is an effort to reduce the deer herd. One opponent of the longer season, Greg Kazmierski, says historical data show the deer harvest has been the largest when the season starts closer to Thanksgiving. While shooting a buck is often the hunter’s goal, targeting the doe population helps thin the deer herd. Kazmierski says if bucks are more active earlier in the fall and a hunter shoots a buck, the chances are he won’t shoot a doe. Kazmierski says moving the gun hunt a week earlier doesn’t make sense from a biological herd control standpoint.
But Department of Natural Resources wildlife ecologist Keith Warnke says there are good reasons for the earlier start and the longer season. He points to statistics on car deer collisions that show there are more deer on the roads in early November than later in the month. Warnke says more deer movement results in more deer being seen by hunters and a greater chance the deer will be harvested during a hunting season.
Warnke says it’s not clear whether the longer season will really result in later deer harvest because it’s never been tried before. These and other arguments pro and con will be debated during the statewide hearings that begin on Oct. 14.
According to the DNR Web site, meetings will be held at the Ashland AmericInn Conference Center at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21 and the Spooner High School Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28. The hearings will begins with an informal presentation and overview of the proposed rule followed by a time for public comments beginning at 7 p.m.