Hunting groups disagree on expanding gun deer huntDeer hunting groups in the state are at odds over a proposal to expand next year’s gun hunting season from nine days to 16. Public hearings are underway.
By: By Mary Jo Wagner/Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Deer hunting groups in the state are at odds over a proposal to expand next year’s gun hunting season from nine days to 16. Public hearings are underway.
At issue is how to control the state’s deer herd. The plan in place, until it was suspended this year, required hunters to earn a buck by first getting an antlerless deer.
The owner of Buck Rub Outfitters in Waukesha is glad the Earn-a-Buck system is gone. As a member of the Hunters Rights Coalition, Greg Kazmierski said Earn-a-Buck took the fun out of hunting. Kazmierski said last year, he shot a doe and for the first time in 40 years of hunting, had regrets shooting a deer. He said the deer population in the area he was hunting was down, but shot the doe anyway because of the threat of Earn-a-Buck the following year.
Kazmierski served on the committee to find a workable “alternative” to Earn-a-Buck. That proposal now includes a longer gun season — 16 days instead of nine — that begins earlier. That has riled up another hunting group.
Mark Toso is a Roberts resident and president of the Wisconsin Deer Hunters Association. He feels giving hunters a choice of which deer to shoot isn’t the way to manage the deer herd.
Toso said private landowners who won’t shoot deer are driving up population estimates, which has led to the 16-day season proposal. According to Toso, Earn-a-Buck targets land and helps bring the deer population down.
But Earn-a-Buck is not up for debate at the public hearings. What is, besides the longer gun season and how early it should start, is a longer archery season, new seasons for muzzleloaders and a 10-day late December hunt that has other snow sports groups up in arms.