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Wisconsin’s deer biologists are kindly asking hunters to fill another antlerless tag or two this fall.
Sorry for saying tag and not “authorization,” since we no longer use carcass tags. But the idea is the same, regardless of whether we call it a tag or authorization.
The DNR’s worthy, 47-page “2019 Wisconsin White-tailed Deer Hunting Preview” gives us, for the first time in quite a while, an estimate of the state’s deer population.
Between 1.8 and 1.9 million deer, it says.
The idea is to alert hunters so they come to realize there are a lot of deer out there, particularly in southern Wisconsin.
Beyond that, look at the number, look at the regulations, and look at the CDAC recommendations and hunter recruitment. The system is not likely to keep pace with deer population recruitment.
Hunters have to become deer managers in their minds and maybe then more can put the numbers together and decide if decreasing numbers of hunters, having more inflexible rules, and the number of deer a family can use are all pointing out that the formula is flawed.
One thing currently wrong with the antlerless tag (oops) system is that a hunter from Dane County might on a whim head to Green County to fill another tag (authorization) or decide to move from hunting private to public land. That means purchasing another antlerless tag is necessary.
For the moment, plan ahead, consider a formal legal donation of a deer if another can’t be used.
And begin thinking like a wildlife manager.
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