Deer population

Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:16 pm

This year in Wisconsin 195,000 deer were taken during the gun deer 10 day season. That is down from over 400,000 taken in 2004.

We have had the ridiculous "earn a buck" in place for several years now, and it has taken it's toll. It means you have to shoot a doe first to earn your buck tag.

Plus the DNR has admitted they have overestimated the deer population the last few years. they have been saying the herd is 1.8 million, but now saying they were wrong and it is half that actually. Hunters here have been arguing with them at public meetings that the deer numbers are way down from what they are claiming.

They are also re-introducing wolves into the area, and coyotes are on the rise. I think car insurance companies are in the government back pockets and won't be happy until the deer are wiped out. Considering all the revenue licenses and money out-of-staters bring in to hunt here, wiping out the deer population is not that good of a business decision if people quit hunting.

No one in are hunting party shot a doe this year, we let them walk in hopes of bringing numbers back up in our area. This year under tremendous hunter complaints the DNR suspended the idiotic Earn a Buck, but now they want to double the length of the gun season next year. I've already gave my reps in Madison my 2 cent opinion about that. Hope other hunters in Wisconsin do too.

Re: Deer population

Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:05 pm

Wish Illinois would adopt the " earn a buck " deer population around here is way too high. We have a lot of out of state hunters who shoot big bucks only, now they have become a menace.

Re: Deer population

Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:17 pm

10 days of gun season? ours started in october and ends in jan and they are more deer than you can shake a stick at . my buddy shot two in one morning outta the same stand and the hogs are a pest. my beautiful food plot was turned under by them piney wood rooters . but I'll pay em back after deer season :twisted: but hey dont feel bad politicians every where are STOOOPID!(most of them anyway)


Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:41 pm

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Department of Conservation says the November firearms deer season produced the lowest harvest in the state in 10 years.

The department says between Nov. 14 and 24, hunters killed 193,090 deer. Last year, hunters took 200,679 deer.

Department of Conservation deer biologist Lonnie Hansen says most of the deer are shot during the first two days of the season. But this year, the second day of the season was cold and wet, causing a drop in numbers.

An antlerless deer season in many northern and central counties and Cape Girardeau County continues through Sunday, followed by a statewide muzzleloader season Dec. 19 to 29.

Missouri's firearms deer season closes with the second portion of the youth season on Jan. 2 and 3, while archers can hunt until Jan. 15.


Information from: Southeast Missourian,

Re: Deer population

Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:49 am

My land in VT looked like I95 with deer going from my bottoms up to the top of the mountain in 1986 when i first purchased the land. As time went on there were yote tracks behind every deer track. Now there are very little deer tracks or deer being seen. Chances of finding a deer on my land is slim to none yet the state says the deer populations is high. Someone is counting them from behind the desk i think. Its time to hunt yotes. I've seen mountainlion(catamounts) there too and between the yotes and the mountainlions the deer don't stand a chance.

In CT there over populated, to me its due to the lottery system for hunting deer. I put in and put in applications and get nothing. Thats why i purchsed land in Vt so we could go hunting with no BS. I think more deer are killed in ct by cars than hunters. Then to make it even worse the state hires professional hunters/shooters to kiil off some trouble some deer in one populated area. Thanks CT.

Re: Deer population

Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:08 am

Right on Bill. There is even the sharp shooter DNR scenario going on here in many counties. Nearby my land it happened too.
We can shoot coyotes around here for no reason, at least I can give DNR credit for that no brainer.

Restocking wolf packs isn't a very good idea though.

In Wisconsin we are hearing the exact same thing you are in VT about the hunters not seeing much deer sign or activity, but state saying the deer are overpopulated. If they admit they are trying to reduce population, and also admit population is down, no one will want to waste money on hunting, then they loose millions.

The fireworks are going to fly around here when the hunter groups attend the upcoming state public hearings. That will be fun to watch DNR pencil-pushers squirm under pressure and ridicule.

Re: Deer population

Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:47 pm

Alot of hunters in IL are grumbling about reduced populations as well. My opinion is the root cause is slow response by the state agencies, Department of Natural Resources in IL. I remember when they were still trying to produce a large deer herd. They used to issue more antlered deer permits. That is what got the population up ... way up. The slow-moving DNR waited until the deer population was too big and folks were complaining about too many deer, hitting them with their cars, etc. Finally they switched to a kill-the-does policy to help curtail the deer numbers.

Now ... couple this set-in population reduction attitude, along with an explosion in the popularity of hunting, and you get different circumstances. It is time for a change (or it was time a few years ago), but these agencies are slow to react. They will react though.

Folks get very protective of their deer hunting. In another thread I posted a link to a site showing the biggest bucks reported in IL this year. If you read it, you might have seen the blogs at the end where a big debate started about resident vs. non-resident hunters. Embarrassing. Here is a link to a story about a Wisconsin State senator calling for the DNR to fire all their deer managers. :roll: And it was apparently just because he and his hunting buddies didn't have a good gun season. :twisted:

My opinion and thoughts: With a reduced deer population, you might not be able to sit on the edge of the field and just wait for the parade to walk by. I know alot of people who have been successful over the past several years doing just that. Not only are the numbers reduced, but in Illinois it was very warm during the first gun season and there's alot of standing corn because of all the rain. These factors reduce deer movement and can make for a bad season anytime. Also, as much as anything, the deer are getting smarter and avoiding these field edges, etc. The answer is to get deeper into the thick stuff. That's where wary deer are moving, especially after the shots start blasting. But try to tell this to someone who thinks the state should make sure they can shoot deer from their back porch. I'd tell that senator to get off his back side and hunt better/smarter. Is he trying to say ALL the deer are gone?

The worst part of it all is that the deer population, at least in Illinois, has become a very lucrative money maker for the state, in terms of license sales and the economic boost brought by traveling hunters. This is how deer hunting gets political.

Re: Deer population

Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:00 pm

Good article Trent. I think the senator makes more sense than the agency does. Firing them might be to extreme, but they need to listen to the hunters a bit more. If they get fed up and give up hunting in droves like many say they will, that will hurt the government income.
I own 40 acres in a brushy thick swamp. During bow there are not much hunters so they local deer do not feel the hunter "push". During gun it is a whole new story and the deer seem to hunker down tight.

After 3 days of gun with only seeing a few does, My brother and I drove through the thick stuff on a drive to kick something up. No horns to be seen. It was a bad year again weather wise, and very wet instead of snow. My cams show a few nice shooters 8 to 10 point, but they are al nocturnal. Now it's muzzleloader only, and I'll try again in the morning to see some horns.

"Wis. Senate leader demands DNR fire deer experts
December 03, 2009 at 02:30 PM
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A powerful state senator called Thursday for wildlife officials to fire anyone involved with deer management after hunters killed the fewest deer in years during Wisconsin’s traditional November hunt.

Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, D-Weston, said the Department of Natural Resources’ has draconian herd-control policies that have devastated the deer population, leaving hunters empty-handed. The experts who designed the regulations deserve to lose their jobs, he said.

“They’ve earned what they got coming. They’ve screwed us over too many years in a row now,” Decker told The Associated Press. “They got what they wanted. They wanted a decimated deer herd. I don’t think anybody trusts them anymore.”

DNR officials rejected Decker’s demand.

“We know there is hunter frustration, but the suggestion to fire staff is not a constructive proposal,” DNR Secretary Matt Frank said in a statement.

Wisconsin’s November deer hunt is as much a part of the state’s culture and image as cows, cheese and the Green Bay Packers. Hunters constantly complain about the DNR’s deer regulations, but Decker’s statements reflect a new level of anger over two years of anemic hunts.

At the heart of the issue are the DNR’s herd-control policies.

For much of the last decade the agency insisted Wisconsin’s herd had grown too large, creating more car-deer crashes and jeopardizing forest growth.

The DNR has imposed several herd-control measures, including multiple hunting seasons, more antlerless deer tags and earn-a-buck regulations, which require hunters to kill an antlerless deer before they can take a buck. The idea was to kill more does and cut the herd’s reproductive potential, but hunters dislike the requirements because it forces them to pass up trophy bucks.

Between 2004 and 2007, the November hunt netted anywhere from 320,000 to 350,000 deer. Last year that dipped drastically, to 2 85,240 deer.

The agency still estimated about a million deer roamed the state in February, about 300,000 over its target goal. But hunters insisted fewer deer were in the woods, and state lawmakers backed them up.

Bowing to pressure, the DNR this spring cut back on antlerless tags and suspended earn-a-buck rules across much of the state. But hunters killed even fewer deer over the nine-day November hunt - 195,650, according to preliminary figures - and now they say the herd is too thin.

DNR officials have acknowledged the population appears to have decreased. But they say it’s due as much to harsh winters and wet conditions this fall - which prevented farmers from harvesting corn, giving deer more cover - as their regulations.

Plus deer populations vary from locale to locale, they said. One area may be under goal while another may be over goal, they said.

Wisconsin isn’t alone. The deer kill in several Midwestern states appears down so far this year. But Decker still called the DNR’s explanations “horse hockey.”

He told the AP his group of 14 hunters in Lincoln County would spend days in the woods without seeing anything.

Decker insisted earn-a-buck, early season hunts and wolves have destroyed the herd in central and northern Wisconsin. He urged the DNR’s Frank or the Natural Resources Board, which sets agency policy, to sack the big game management team.

Natural Resources Board Chairwoman Christine Thomas didn’t immediately return messages Thursday.

Ed Harvey is chairman of the Conservation Congress, an influential group of sportsmen who advise the DNR. He said firing the DNR’s deer management team and replacing them with “greenhorns right out of college” isn’t the answer.

The agency should improve its population estimates, involve the public in setting population goals and keep earn-a-buck off the table.

“We’ve got an issue here,” he said, “that’s larger than just firing some people.”"

Re: Deer population

Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:46 pm

Another good article from today's paper... looks like a 30 year low when all numbers come in. :roll:

Gun deer hunt buck kill may fall to 30-year low after all the numbers are in

MADISON — The number of bucks killed during the 2009 gun deer season, with a preliminary total of 86,251, may turn out to the lowest buck harvest in nearly 30 years, according to DNR data.

Hunters registered 103,845 bucks during the 2008 gun deer season. The last time the buck kill dropped below 90,000 was in 1980. The all-time gun season buck kill was 171,891, set in 1995.

The buck kill is one of the better ways to gauge deer abundance, as the antlerless harvest depends largely on the number of antlerless permits issued for specific deer management units. While the availability of antlerless permits varies widely, every hunter receives a buck tag that can be used statewide.

Despite an overall statewide 16 percent downturn in the buck harvest, several counties reported a boost or little change in buck registrations when compared to the 2008 season.

Hunters in the 19-county west central region saw the overall buck kill dip 10.02 percent. Juneau (minus-29.38 percent), Wood (minus-26.16) and Adams (minus-25.73) counties propelled the decline.

Counties closer to the state's western border, however, experienced significantly better results. Pepin County (plus-18.65), St. Croix County (10.55) and Pierce (8.35) led an upward charge that provided the most positive results of any counties in the state.

The buck kill fell 15.82 percent in Portage County, while dropping 8.84 percent in Marathon County.

In the northern region, Douglas County noted a 2.12 percent increase in buck harvest, while nearby Polk (minus-.83) and Burnett (minus-3.31) counties recorded a slight decline.

A significant drop in the buck kill was observed in Florence (minus-44.70), Iron (minus-38.93), Vilas (minus-27.91), Ashland (minus-22.15), Price (minus-21.30), Lincoln (minus-19.62), Forest (minus-18.86) and Langlade (minus-15.78) counties. Overall, the northern region buck harvest fell 14.12 percent.

The 15-county northeast region saw the total buck kill drop 11.36 percent. The biggest declines were noted in Fond du Lac (minus-27.43), Waushara (minus-21.07), Marquette (minus-20.66) and Calumet (minus-20.9) counties.

Door County (minus-0.33) barely experienced any change, as did Brown County (minus-2.24) and Manitowoc County (minus-2.79). The buck kill in Outagamie County dropped 14.13 percent, while Shawano County reported a 7.55 percent decline.

The final 2009 deer harvest totals won't be known until January, when all gun and bow deer seasons have concluded for the year.

Re: Deer population

Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:49 pm

Any time you get the Government involved you are going to have trouble.They are looking for money and numbers.I wish there was a better way but there is not.Most of the times they don't listen at those meetings.Some of them do,but not the ones that should.We have standing corn around here and I have not seen a deer in my back yard.It is usally a "highway" between fields.Still have bow season and I know it should get better.I have not heard any gunshots during this season which is weird also. :shock: :shock: It has been mild here,finally getting chilly this weekend.Might get them moving.Kevin ps I think Ohio DNR does a pretty good job for the most part.It is a money maker!!!

Re: Deer population

Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:47 pm

Deer population around here is really low. State says the increase in coyote and bear has nothing to do with it. Right.

Re: Deer population

Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:53 pm

well yall it aint that good around here for hunting. last dozen times i been all i saw was coons. heard they were two panthers close to where i hunt and the ga dnr insists that no Florida panther live outside of southwest Florida. horse crap when you see grown men that would wade into a swamp after a hog think twice cause they saw a cat then it was a BIG cat.

Re: Deer population

Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:18 pm

Another article from Wisconsin. The deer biologists report that the deer population needs to be reduced due to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). It will be interesting to see who wins out in this debate ... the politician who gets mad because he (and his 14 hunting buddies) didn't see the numbers of deer they thought they 'should' ... or the deer biologists who know the future of the entire deer herd depends on controling the CWD present in the state. Hopefully the people who know what they are talking about will triumph, but I'm not so sure they will.

Re: Deer population

Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:36 pm

The problem the Wisconsin DNR faces is selling this plan is their own credibility, which they have done way to much over the years of destroying by their own hand. Overestimating the deer population ruined them as far as most hunters around here are concerned.
2 years ago they were adamant the herd was 1.8 million in the state, then sheepishly fessed up a year later they overestimated by ...give or take a million :roll:
There will be a lot of factors that go into this decision ultimately, and the politics of it will make me sick

Re: Deer population

Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:19 am

More news from Wisconsin. :lol: :lol: :lol:

NOTE: Don't get me wrong in this thread. I have nothing at all against people in Wisconsin and am only mildly concerned about their deer herd. You know ... wondering if they will continue to let Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) spread into Northern Illinois. This is just some news I read ... don't shoot the messenger.