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?