2009 hunt expected to be better, but herd numbers remain lowerAccording to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, hunters can expect more deer in the woods this year than last, but the herd is still down overall.
By: Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, hunters can expect more deer in the woods this year than last, but the herd is still down overall.
Wisconsin’s nine-day gun deer hunt begins Saturday. Early population estimates show deer are highest in number in the central regions of the state and are still down in the north as a whole.
In the DNR’s hunting forecast, Mike Zeckmeister, wildlife supervisor for the DNR northern region, said the 2008-09 winter season does not appear to have impacted the herd as the 2007-08 season did. However, fewer yearling bucks will be seen this year due to the lingering effect of the 2007-08 season.
“Our strategy going into this 2009 season will be to rebuild the herd in areas where we saw a significant decline in the deer herd. In other areas, we believe we can provide adequate pressure on the herd with a bucks plus quota season to keep the units closer to healthy over winter goals,” Zeckmeister said.
Nearly all of the northern deer management units are under a regular season structure this year. Locally, only the area around the city of Superior, unit 1M, will remain as a herd control unit.
Under regular season rules, bucks and a limited number of antlerless deer per unit may be harvested. A set number of permits are issued for each unit. Unit specific antlerless permits cost $12 each for residents and $20 each for non-residents.
For those without a permit, it is bucks only during the gun season. The herd control antlerless tag that comes with each gun and archery deer license is valid only in Herd Control or CWD Earn-A-Buck units.
Harvest numbers were down substantially in 2008 for the 18 counties in the northern region of the state. The total number of deer taken was down about 30 percent overall.
Douglas County reported a 40 percent decrease in bucks taken for the 2008 deer season.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources contributed to this report.