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CDACs Up North Not Using Metrics or Science To Justify Increase of Antlerless Tags

5/20/21 @ 2:45 PM
USER SINCE 2/16/17

I have been following cdacs in some northern counties especially Eau Claire county central forest and they are not using metrics or science to justify big increases in anterless tags. Just using some anecdotal statements from the forestry rep and dnr biologist.  These tags are not necessary and are ruining deer hunting especially on public land. The Natural Resource Board needs to override these unjustified increases.  Is any one else noticing these ongoing trends with the cdacs and dnr?


8/5/21 @ 10:46 AM
USER SINCE 2/16/17

Amen Fin Bender,

The NRB did what was right for the deer herd as well as the hunter and looked at real science, metrics. The board is protecting a resource and listening to the people unlike the DNR. Unfortunately some cdacs are getting influenced way too much by the DNR and forestry reps to issue too many antlerless tags with no justification.  Some cdacs are making bad decisions or not pushing back. But cdacs are still way better than letting the DNR solely call the shots to issue too many antlerless tags. The DNR wants the cdacs to fail so they can regain power and manage deer in their failing ways of the past and present. I have never hunted in a state as well as Canada who doesn't care about the hunter or hunter satisfaction like Wisconsin DNR. And I have hunted in quite a few states. The DNR just doesn't give a darn about the hunter.  They just want your cash.

Thank you very much again Kaz, Doc, and other board members for doing the right thing to protect a resource and represent the hunters.

8/4/21 @ 8:56 AM
Fin Bender
Fin Bender
USER SINCE 9/16/11

Tag numbers were released today. Preston Cole did not follow through with his threat to ignore the NRB's order to reduce does tags in 7 northern counties. A rare victory for hunters.

As much as the CDAC sucks, and caves to forester's and DNR's desire to decimate the deer heard, I think the system would be worse without it. Hunter's would have absolutely no voice without CDAC. It's clear that today's WI DNR doesn't give a rat's *** about hunter's.

Thank you Fred Prehn and Kaz. It's good to know at least someone still cares about Wisconsin's hunters and sportsmen.   

7/18/21 @ 12:59 PM
USER SINCE 2/16/17

Agree Farnorthbadger,

Have been saying for a long time public land up north should have zero antlerless tags for at least five years or more. With deer populations at or near all time lows, high predation from wolves, coyotes, bears, and bobcats it is extremely difficult to grow the deer population.  Now throw in some severe winters and even more difficult.  


If you admit sak has many flaws, is highly inaccurate, how can it be useful to an extent? Not to mention sak is responsible for crashing the deer population in many areas and is detrimental to deer management in the state period.

7/17/21 @ 8:49 AM
USER SINCE 12/7/13

Thankfully I don’t have any complaints about my Florence County SAK recommendation this year. If I’m correct I think our antlerless numbers are set at almost zero. It was a historically  bad deer season in western Florence county and the deer population was proven to be decimated as planned using flawed SAK metrics along with absolutely clueless forestry recommendations. Remember the excuses used for fall 2019  of bad weather limiting deer harvest ? Those 2019 low harvest excuses of bad weather and lazy hunters were  proven to be completely false .It was horrible deer management on every level  double proven by the 2020 harvest figures. We have a very fragile deer herd recovery happening in the eastern farmland of Florence county , the big woods south and west might take generations along with a wolf bounty to ever recover. We also don’t have an overbrowse issue , we have a canopy problem , little trees don’t and won’t grow when mature trees aren’t cut .

 Deer management in the Northern third of the state is not hard , zero antlerless for good would be  the starting point until proven otherwise. 

7/15/21 @ 9:04 AM
USER SINCE 5/19/06

I agree SAK has many flaws but it is still useful to an extent. I’m all for finding a better population model that works better on a local level. But no matter what it is replaced with, there still will be wide confidence intervals. Reading CDAC minutes, it seems most are using buck kill as one of their primary metric and this can work. I think things would work a lot better if we scrapped counties as management units. The highways 29, 64, 8 and 70 counties that transition from ag to forest are where most of the problems lie, along with counties with large swaths of public forest surrounded by mostly ag and a little suburban (Eau Claire, Jackson). It’d be easy if deer distributed equally on the landscape. Realigning management units based on habitat offers a much better opportunity to effectively and responsively manage deer populations. 

7/14/21 @ 7:32 PM
USER SINCE 2/16/17

I guess we just keep using sak  then even though it has ruined deer hunting in this state by highly inaccurate population estimates.  I haven't ever bought the garbage the dnr was saying about deer populations for last 20-30 years, not that naive. I have too much logic and common sense and under stand science.  Being a person of science for many years I know, science, data and statistics.  I know when I am trying to be sold bs by dnr.   I will never just believe someone because they are claiming to be a supposed "expert". 

7/14/21 @ 7:13 PM
USER SINCE 5/19/06

Just pointing out the uselessness of using car deer kills as a metric. And yes, forestry interests need to be at the table. The timber products industry is a multi billion dollar industry in this state, dwarfing the economic impact provided by the deer hunting industry. 

7/14/21 @ 6:51 PM
USER SINCE 10/3/12

Statewide there were more reported car collisions in 2019 than there were in 2007, there must be more deer now, right?  

Are you assuming that policy makers assume the deer population is up. You cant assume people believe that. 

which really pisses people off when it’s a industrial forest receiving them (Florence County).

food and lumber are both crops that require good management, expensive land and expensive equipment to process. No reason to assume one has less value than the other. Young white pine and young cedar predation is a real economic issue that affects more than just the landowner. 

7/14/21 @ 6:38 PM
USER SINCE 5/19/06

Buck kills are real numbers. 

Agreed. Basis of SAK

Fawn doe ratio is a real number based on actual counts,

Based on summer deer observations by department employees, grouped in nine county groups and averaged out over three years, extrapolated to fawns/100 does. An estimate, not a count.  Critical component of SAK. Highly variable thus the three year average. 

 crop damage complaints or applications are real numbers.

Highly variable from year to year, not very useful when trying to set quotas at a county level. If anything, crop damage complaints/payments should include depredation permits, which they do, which really pisses people off when it’s a industrial forest receiving them (Florence County).

  Car deer collisions are real numbers.  

Utterly useless. Iron county 1 reported car kill in 2010. There’s no way to know how many deer are being hit since an unknown fraction are actually reported. All kinds of factors play in like the current economic conditions, road construction, pandemics. It’s not a reliable statistic that can be compared from year to year. Statewide there were more reported car collisions in 2019 than there were in 2007, there must be more deer now, right?

Winter severity index is a real number based on real measurements.

It’s actually a model based on a couple assumptions. One point for below a certain temp one point for above a certain snow depth. But no one really knows what they mean. The timing of spring is much more important than winter severity. Late springs are probably the most detrimental factor when it comes to deer production. 

 So don't know what you're saying when you say these are guestimates

That was your word

or estimates. They are counts real numbers.

Nothing is count, they’re all estimates, even buck kill has error. Counts are finite, estimates are not. Any replacement model would have the same problems, unless we’re going to just throw it all out and proceed by gut feeling, which seems to be the answer. 

7/14/21 @ 3:50 PM
USER SINCE 2/16/17

Buck kills are real numbers. Fawn doe ratio is a real number based on actual counts, crop damage complaints or applications are real numbers.  Car deer collisions are real numbers.  Winter severity index is a real number based on real measurements. So don't know what you're saying when you say these are guestimates or estimates. They are counts real numbers.  Unlike sak which is a flawed model saying how many deer you think or may or may not be out there.  History has shown in many areas the deer are not there and nowhere close to what sak says should  be there. Sak does use buck kills but a lot of other stuff is built into the model that has a lot of room for error and statistical issues.  The dnr so called science and data "experts" have been trying to change, adjust build in fudge factors to make sak more accurate for years to no avail. It's like trying to put lipstick on a pig. The reason why none have worked is because sak has been inherently inaccurate and flawed from the beginning especially when used at the local level. DNR people have admitted it. Why are people (including dnr) so obsessed with a flawed population model that has failed for decades and is the big reason why deer hunting is pathetic in northern Wisconsin especially on public land. Time to put sak and all its tweaked versions out of its misery once and for all.

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