The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is reporting that some deer hunters are apparently playing loose with the state’s “earn-a-buck” program rules in order to acquire a tag allowing them to shoot a whitetail buck.
And they’re using road-killed does to facilitate their deceitful act.
For the past several hunting seasons, the Wisconsin DNR has operated a hunter incentive program aimed at reducing excessive whitetail doe populations in certain regions of the state. In selected units, a hunter must first shoot and check-in a doe in order to qualify for a buck tag.
Tags are issued directly to the qualifying hunter at the state-authorized deer-registration stations. Hunters who shot and checked a single doe in 2006 automatically qualify for a buck sticker in 2007.
On paper, the earn-a-buck (EAB) program sounds like a sure winner, right?
Well, the DNR evidently received reports from some of the state’s deer registries that they have seen a few does brought in that appear like they’ve received more than a broadhead to the brisket, let’s say.
This year, as part of its training program, the DNR is instructing registry staff to be on the lookout for “damaged does,” or female deer that have likely met their demise from a run-in with an Accura rather than with an arrow.
“Hunters have been out in force, particularly in earn-a-buck units taking antlerless deer in order to qualify for buck stickers,” says DNR warden supervisor George Protogere.
But, Protogere warns, it’s strictly illegal to substitute roadkill for a hunted doe. Doing so can result in a fine and revocation of hunting privileges.