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'Deer Czar' Says WI Whitetail Management is Broken

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March 29, 2012
'Deer Czar' Says WI Whitetail Management is Broken - 7

Governor appointed "deer czar" James Kroll recently issued a report stating that the Wisconsin whitetail management plan has some major malfunctions.

This from the Associated Press

" 'The WDNR has placed an inordinate emphasis on estimating population goals and establishing population density goals (which commonly are not met), while giving much less emphasis to habitat and people," the report said.

The report doesn’t go into extensive detail, but said the DNR’s credibility problems with hunters stem from population overestimates and concluded the estimates are indefensible. Some of the data that goes into the estimates is decades old, the report said, citing as an example deer ranges based on 1993 satellite imagery. It said DNR biologists spent little time in the field studying the ranges and assessing herd health.

'The DNR also hasn’t conducted adequate studies on the state’s wolves and the role the play in Wisconsin’s ecosystem. The agency also lacks data on how bobcats, coyotes and bears affect deer and their habitat.' "

Understandably, the WI DNR is downplaying this report. Officials admitted they were facing some challenges, but stopped short of declaring a system-wide breakdown.

In the WI DNR's defense, the Boone and Crockett club did just release a report announcing the Badger State as the number one trophy whitetail producer in the last few decades.

But on the other hand, the WI DNR did face some heat three years ago when a University study found that there were about three times the number of black bears in the state than previously estimated.

So what do you think WI deer hunters? Is the DNR asleep at the wheel?

Comments (7)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Bob Hansen wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

Hi...

Well, let's see...three times the amount of black bears than was believed...a high incidence of CWD...deer hunting successs rate has decreased by huge numbers...!!

Boy, if that's all true, apparently someone DID drop the ball.

What's the answer...starting a new game, or getting new refs?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

Welcome to the forum WI Bowhunter 95, I'm honored you chose my comments as your first and so far only comment, hope it is not your last.
It is unfortunate that so many policy debates degenerate into red vs. blue team, liberal vs. conservative, this makes it very hard to solve problems. Each side then falls inline opposing whatever the other is proposing.

You brought up liberal being better. Why? What resources are being sold off? Who is proposing the selling?
I see the newly elected officials in the state are making very positive changes in the WDNR. Magic wand? Hardly, a lot of hard work ahead.
WDNR has been mismanaged or if you prefer had other priorities for many years.
For example taking PR funds which by law are earmarked for only game animal habitat and study and using them for-
Brown bat studies
Rattlesnake reintroductions
Blue Karner butterfly studies
Butler's gartersnake
And oh let's not forget the HSUS / WDNR joint public relations campaign.
The list is long but you get the idea and these may very well be good causes; however not what PR funds or our hunting license money is meant for.
Now the grand daddy of them all-
WDNR has spent $43 million to slaughter all the deer in the CWD zone. When the Deer Trustees asked for the pathology reports from years of this effort. The WDNR produced one and that deer died of EHD not CWD. All these years of eradication all this money spent and they only have one pathology report?
If true a scandal of major proportions.
Even worse the WI outdoor media and all the state's conservation watchdogs have been asleep at the switch for a very long time.
Now we have new people at the WDNR at all levels many due to retirements and some because of appointments by the new administration. It is good that the curtains are opening to let in the sun.
later,
charlie

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JakeT_little.Racks wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

Wisconsin's deer hunting success rate has decreased by huge numbers in the last few decades. This is because of the poor mangagement by local hunters and the DNR officials in the state. People are still shooting big deer, because lets face it, WI is the best. But QDMA is not relevent in many parts of the state, creating flaws in our system.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WI Bowhunter 95 wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

It's like anywhere else, a story of haves and have nots, with some of the best hunting in the country on private tracts and some spots overhunted and not as good, both private and public. There are also some great public spots in the north that see little bow pressure and only moderate gun. charlie elk, that's a common misconception about dnr workers in every state, that they need to get out of the office. There are plenty of field guys and ladies who hunt every chance they get when not on the job. They know the natural resources as good or better than you and I. There is no magic trustee that can wave a wand and make hunting great where the habitat isn't and the hunters aren't. I've hunted Wisconsin for more than 20 years and have seen a lot of things change, most of it hunting methods and some of the hunters are their own worst enemies making deer nocturnal than they would be. Also charlie, some of the best hunting I've ever had was under liberal environmentalist leadership, so don't be too quick to judge politicians by whether they hunt or not. I would rather have a nonhunting leader who saves the wild lands than a hunter who sells off the resources to the high bidder.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

BTW, Alex Dr. Deer is the WI Deer Trustee not a Czar. There is big difference.
A czar is a supreme ruler or one appointed with the same powers as the supreme ruler.
Trustee is a person appointed to manage the affairs of an institution.
later,
charlie

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

I just finished reading the entire report and it is right on the mark. One of the main recommendations is the DNR staff needs get out of their offices and into the woods to see what is going on. Wow, now that is a novel idea. There will be recommendations for change forthcoming and after reading the well researched analysis I am optimistic the changes will be positive.

Finally the WDNR management from the Secretary on down are hunters rather than the political hack lawyers of past administrations who never hunted or fished in their lives. So perhaps we will actually get the changes enacted.
Of course all this assumes the recalls are unsuccessful. The candidates running to replace Gov. Walker are all the non-hunting lawyer types and they will surely put us back to square one.
later,
charlie

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

Probably out of whack. I hunt there with relatives and in my opinion the earn a buck system is of little value as a management tool. I believe they would be better served with special antlerless seasons. In addition there is a DeerEradication zone NW of Madison that had a high incidence of CWD. The fact is no matter how hard you hunt an area you cannot kill every deer there. I believe that area is still earna buck. Why would you have that if you want as many deer killed as possible? Yup, out of whack!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

Probably out of whack. I hunt there with relatives and in my opinion the earn a buck system is of little value as a management tool. I believe they would be better served with special antlerless seasons. In addition there is a DeerEradication zone NW of Madison that had a high incidence of CWD. The fact is no matter how hard you hunt an area you cannot kill every deer there. I believe that area is still earna buck. Why would you have that if you want as many deer killed as possible? Yup, out of whack!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

I just finished reading the entire report and it is right on the mark. One of the main recommendations is the DNR staff needs get out of their offices and into the woods to see what is going on. Wow, now that is a novel idea. There will be recommendations for change forthcoming and after reading the well researched analysis I am optimistic the changes will be positive.

Finally the WDNR management from the Secretary on down are hunters rather than the political hack lawyers of past administrations who never hunted or fished in their lives. So perhaps we will actually get the changes enacted.
Of course all this assumes the recalls are unsuccessful. The candidates running to replace Gov. Walker are all the non-hunting lawyer types and they will surely put us back to square one.
later,
charlie

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

BTW, Alex Dr. Deer is the WI Deer Trustee not a Czar. There is big difference.
A czar is a supreme ruler or one appointed with the same powers as the supreme ruler.
Trustee is a person appointed to manage the affairs of an institution.
later,
charlie

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WI Bowhunter 95 wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

It's like anywhere else, a story of haves and have nots, with some of the best hunting in the country on private tracts and some spots overhunted and not as good, both private and public. There are also some great public spots in the north that see little bow pressure and only moderate gun. charlie elk, that's a common misconception about dnr workers in every state, that they need to get out of the office. There are plenty of field guys and ladies who hunt every chance they get when not on the job. They know the natural resources as good or better than you and I. There is no magic trustee that can wave a wand and make hunting great where the habitat isn't and the hunters aren't. I've hunted Wisconsin for more than 20 years and have seen a lot of things change, most of it hunting methods and some of the hunters are their own worst enemies making deer nocturnal than they would be. Also charlie, some of the best hunting I've ever had was under liberal environmentalist leadership, so don't be too quick to judge politicians by whether they hunt or not. I would rather have a nonhunting leader who saves the wild lands than a hunter who sells off the resources to the high bidder.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Hansen wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

Hi...

Well, let's see...three times the amount of black bears than was believed...a high incidence of CWD...deer hunting successs rate has decreased by huge numbers...!!

Boy, if that's all true, apparently someone DID drop the ball.

What's the answer...starting a new game, or getting new refs?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JakeT_little.Racks wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

Wisconsin's deer hunting success rate has decreased by huge numbers in the last few decades. This is because of the poor mangagement by local hunters and the DNR officials in the state. People are still shooting big deer, because lets face it, WI is the best. But QDMA is not relevent in many parts of the state, creating flaws in our system.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

Welcome to the forum WI Bowhunter 95, I'm honored you chose my comments as your first and so far only comment, hope it is not your last.
It is unfortunate that so many policy debates degenerate into red vs. blue team, liberal vs. conservative, this makes it very hard to solve problems. Each side then falls inline opposing whatever the other is proposing.

You brought up liberal being better. Why? What resources are being sold off? Who is proposing the selling?
I see the newly elected officials in the state are making very positive changes in the WDNR. Magic wand? Hardly, a lot of hard work ahead.
WDNR has been mismanaged or if you prefer had other priorities for many years.
For example taking PR funds which by law are earmarked for only game animal habitat and study and using them for-
Brown bat studies
Rattlesnake reintroductions
Blue Karner butterfly studies
Butler's gartersnake
And oh let's not forget the HSUS / WDNR joint public relations campaign.
The list is long but you get the idea and these may very well be good causes; however not what PR funds or our hunting license money is meant for.
Now the grand daddy of them all-
WDNR has spent $43 million to slaughter all the deer in the CWD zone. When the Deer Trustees asked for the pathology reports from years of this effort. The WDNR produced one and that deer died of EHD not CWD. All these years of eradication all this money spent and they only have one pathology report?
If true a scandal of major proportions.
Even worse the WI outdoor media and all the state's conservation watchdogs have been asleep at the switch for a very long time.
Now we have new people at the WDNR at all levels many due to retirements and some because of appointments by the new administration. It is good that the curtains are opening to let in the sun.
later,
charlie

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

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