Thoughts on this?
WTH IS GOING ON!!
I agree with Sqeezer, if some stop buying gun tags for the nine day season and go during the muzzleloader season instead, great, less people in the woods at one time.
Along the same line if gun sales go down and more take up archery, great, more time to spread out activity in the woods with the longer season. The problem with that is some of the archery group doesn't want to share their time in the woods with others.
I think if you want to really spread it out and make it simple sell a plain deer license, fill your tag/tags any way you'd like between September 15 and December 15th.
How about banning baiting during the month November, especially north of hwy 8.
We didn't have any issues with deer herd or hunter numbers in the pre 2000s.
When I started hunting (pre 2000’s), there were literally 4x8 sheets of plywood hung on trees that said if you post your land stay off mine. Not making that up. Everyone had their opening day spots and off to the races from there. Those eventually got replaced with QDM signs, the farm we were in got sold (tore the family apart) and off to public for us. The issue now is access, not nearly as much back then. It’s no surprise hunters are giving up on gun season and going with crossbows and muzzleloaders. Again, why is that bad? Most public guys looking for the quality experience won’t necessarily find it during the nine day. Other than “tradition,” why does it have to be nine days? I’m not necessarily for or against a 19 day, but it really pretty much is already when combined with muzzleloader. Most are done by Sunday afternoon opening weekend. You wouldn’t see a real significant increase in harvest if someone takes out their .30-06 as opposed to the Thompson center. The biggest mistake they made was trying to manage by county, where habitat, land type, land use can vary significantly.
Its always about money. Deer have CWD, Fish have VHS, Grouse have West Nile Virus. No real solutions but they all need research money.
When DNR feeds these groups errant information on deer herd population estimates, they are the driving force behind NRB and CDAC decision making. They have made their own bed, and now will be sleeping in it as funding dries up due to license sales reductions. My prediction will be they ask for license fees increase to make up for lost revenue - not realizing many will quit - economics 101.
19 day rifle season? What a complete joke. If anything, it should be shortened because there simply aren't enough deer in many parts of the state to handle the increased hunting pressure (new weapons, new seasons, longer seasons, more tags, etc.) or the increase in predation (wolves).
I know everyone loves to blame the DNR, but the majority of their decision making power was taken away and handed to the NRB and CDACs. If you want change, start with those two groups.
FishSqueezer - MONEY. gun tag sales. that's the louder voice of the hunters. WIDNR = MONEY HUNGRY.
amen, FarNorthBadger. I applaud that and am right behind you.
We didn't have any issues with deer herd or hunter numbers in the pre 2000s. Why would going back to those rules be such a bad thing? I bow hunt as well. I'd rather the bow season actually be the bow season and gun season be the gun season. It worked. The last 20 years have been nothing but trying to fix a problem that did not exist.
It’s pretty much been a 19 day gun season for the past couple decades anyway ever since they allowed magnifies scopes. Modern in-line muzzle loaders are basically single shot rifles. Vertical bow harvest was up 2.2% despite fewer licensed hunters, xbow harvest was up 8.3% and muzzleloader harvest was up 16.6% from last year statewide. It’s pretty apparent hunters are going away from the nine day and taking advantage of all “these five months of special seasons.” Why is that such a bad thing? Why is the nine day gun season the be all end all of hunting? A lot has changed the last twenty years. Private land access is very hard to come by. Why would average joe six pack waste time trying to harvest a deer on public land during the nine day with scores of other hunters in the woods when he could go out with his bow in October or his Thompson center in December and have it all to himself (“quality hunt”). I just don’t see the hunting effort being spread out a little more as a bad thing.