Does anyone know where to find the number of bow, crossbow and gun license sales so far in Wisconsin?
Deer license sales 2018
800,000 hunters x $24 per license = $19,200,000.
The annual budget of WI DNR is $550.3 million per Wikipedia.
Therefore, deer hunting license sales account for not more than 3.5% of the DNR’s annual operating lifeblood.
96.5% comes from somewhere else.
edit - spelling
The deer management strategy will never change unless the majority of hunters can agree with what they want, assuming that plan works with our other resources.
Things never change, everyone wants more deer but will fill every tag they can. Everyone wants to shoot bigger bucks but they fill both buck tags on young bucks each year. Everyone is jealous of the people who are trying to control their own hunting experience, whether it is leasing or private land. "Hoarding deer" "my buck" "what does it score?" All those terms are bullcrap, the majority of people who are leasing or own land are invested in their experience and want to preserve it. They have made choices along the way to allow them to do that.
Turds are present on private and public, greedy hunters are everywhere. If you can't find quality public land to hunt, afford a quality lease, or be disciplined enough to manage your own land, keep hunting the way you are and save your money treat yourself to an out of state hunt as often as you are able. This is the only way in the near future to solve all your personal struggles.
Just my opinion and certainly there are people and circumstances different than what I described.
I don’t know the percentage off hand, but WI deer hunters are the absolute life blood of our DNR. Not just the hunt/fish portion most of us are familiar with, but everything you can think of. Invasive management, restoration, land management plans, state wildlife areas, etc.
Unfortunately, at least in my opinion, out state agency has let WI deer hunters down. For the cash cow the license fees are for the state, we haven’t been getting the corresponding effort. WI was once looked upon as a model research and wildlife management agency in the US.
Today we base population density, age structure, and harvest goals/limits off of a phone call reporting your harvest,
We have garbage data going in and you can guess what the conclusions from that data are......garbage. People actually call in harvests that didn’t occur so they won’t be faced with mandatory doe harvests. On the flip side, some don’t report so they can have a viable tag for when they need it. How do you make sound management decisions with stuff like that going on?
Chuckar, I don't disagree with your comments. Only wishing to point out that deer hunters "finance" a large portion of the DNR budget above and beyond big game management itself.
Fee increases certainly require accountability for uses of the additional revenue.
I'm highly hopeful that new leadership in the DNR will bring with it better services and performance for sportsmen.
Regarding license fee increases for an improved quality hunt, I think most would go for that.
Issue is history shows fees increase but quality doesn’t always follow. WDNR has saved a ton of $ by doing away with paper tags and going to online/phone registration. I don’t know anyone that thinks those savings have transferred a better managed/ better quality hunt.
Those seeing an improvement are generally managing herds locally and investing in quality habitat projects.
If you want a better quality WI deer hunt, I wouldn’t wait for WDNR to fix it. It will be a long wait.
LB, maybe I missed the “destination” part of the conversation. My position is WI can and does kick out world class bucks like the other Midwest states.
It is not a destination hunt for the reasons mentioned, hunter density, fragmented hunting land, and lack of age structure selection at harvest.
Many hard core guys go to SE MN, NE IA, NE, IL, KS, Mo, or NE for trophy bucks because it is easier than in WI. It is easier due to less hunter pressure, and better age class structure.
I think we are almost agreeing on this topic, but saying WI doesn’t compete in trophy potential as the other states mentioned is simply not true. Also stating Western WI is the place to be is also not true. There is a reason Waupaca Co. is called the poor mans buffalo co. A lot has changed in the past 10-15 years.
When you have a goood number of people now passing 3 1/2s and sometimes 4 year olds, you get world class white tails that stack up with anywhere you care to travel.
Check out some of the maps from QDMA that color code county by county trophies. Those maps have changed dramatically on the past decade. Buffalo co still is exceptional, but not the only game in town by any means.
SLUG, sorry but you are talking out of your hind end. WI is NOT a prime destination to hunt big deer unless you are looking in western and even western is just average to other states. No one goes to shawano co to watch 1 and 2 year olds run around and hope to kill the 2 that are in the 150's on a 2 square mile section. stop dreaming.
Mad, spot on, quality takes time and money. i'm not all about worrying about recruiting more hunters. WI has enough. I say raise fees and hopefully 200k non hunters will drop out. that would be best case for WI deer quality.
Anybody who isn't willing to spend $30 on a deer license vs. $24 is pretty apathetic or at least doesn't prioritize the hunt in any way.
My kids are far from flush with cash but they willingly pay $160 for their NR license to come home and hunt with family on their own land for 2 days. Why? Because its important to them and the expense is justified by the fun and memories that result.
Quality outdoor opportunities cost money, pure and simple. Keep fees low and quality will continue to suffer.
I know raising fees gets people upset, but to me I realize there is inflation and when fees remain the same for years and years, something has to give. Either they go up or you dip into something else. It wouldn't have to be drastic, couple bucks would generate millions when you factor in all the different licenses sold within a year. I wouldn't gripe about paying $5 more, costs more to eat at McDonalds than that (hey there is something that increased with inflation). Heck could be $2 more.
Would be fine to find other sources of revenue though as well. State land access stickers, just like they have for the State parks. Trail fees, even if just $5. Can't ask a politician to promote it because they'll be ridiculed for saying it.
The DNR needs money how about fees for all these bikers, kayaker's, jogger'sand bird watchers. Oh silent sports can't touch this topic. All the people would go on the county roads instead of their fancy trails in Vilas. Oh wait they already do! Nobody wants a fee or more fees leave hunters and fishermen alone.