"The DNR and NRB are worried about the number of gun hunters dropping and DNR income dropping because of less license's being sold so the last thing they would do is pass a rule for "one buck". With more hunters shooting their bucks with a crossbow why would they buy a gun license if they can't shoot a buck with a gun ? That would cause an even bigger drop in gun license sales, so it will never happen!! There a so few hunters that shoot 2 bucks that it doesn't really make a difference anyway!!"
This is easily addressed with purchasing a simple buck tag. Easy to project the buck license fee to ensure no money is lost. Buy a buck tag for an extra $10/tag, choose the weapon and season you want. The cost difference makes up for the hunters that don't want to rifle hunt. Would reduce the crowded zoo of the normal gun season with hunters everywhere on public land, would allow more bucks to be shot by those who would have otherwise been unsuccessful, increase buck harvest success rates, and may even allow an extra few bucks to live another year. Issue doe tags for units with high deer numbers. The fee obviously would be more annually for those that either gun or bowhunt, but would be cheaper for those that partake in both sports....the state income would remain roughly the same.
It all makes perfect sense, but as usual, the greed of hunters shines through like the sun. This was proposed on a few county citizen resolutions, but shot down (be it not by much) again. Too many people in this state have a need to shoot 2 forkhorns every year...fairly common in my area. Many of these folks have never passed up a shot at a buck in their lifetimes.
At some point, if something is not done, rifle hunting will disappear the way things are going anyway and we are going to accelerate revenue loss. As more and more people switch to crossbows, more and more bucks are going to be shot before rifle season starts. Poor product = poor sales....that is what we are seeing with rifle hunting already.