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?
CDACs Up North Not Using Metrics or Science To Justify Increase of Antlerless Tags
Several area's of comment.
CDAC process as mentioned before: CDA's make recommendation to Local Biologist. They accept or make a modified recommendation to DNR Head Big Game Biologist who reviews and forwards their supported Recommendation to the NRB. NRB votes to endorse or modify recommendations. NRB is the final authority, they are the oversight, policy deciding panel on all things under the DNR's umbrella. DNR Secretary Preston Cole implements Policy set by the NRB.
IMO, Pat Durkins piece in the Outdoor News should have been identified as an opinion piece. Very little of it contained any actual reporting. Several statements made about individuals without any facts to support statements.
CDAC's are supposed to used the metrics contained in the CDAC Governance. Public comment is also contained in the Governance as a factor in the decision making process.
72 Counties in Wisconsin, all but six recommendations were accepted by the NRB, I wouldd say, overall good work by the CDAC's.IMO, it is not an acceptable excuse that a CDAC's recommendation can't be changed because it hurts their feelings.
I understand the CDAC members volunteer their time, so does the NRB, so do all those take time to attend the meetings, submit comments, emails, make phone calls, and do the surveys.
Paul Smith with JS is even worse and a disgrace to public land hunters.
Durkin is often unprofessional in his writing which is another reason I dropped that publication. Some of his articles start off very well and educational but then he meanders into sentences which seem to be sarchastic so its hard to figure out what he is trying to accomplish in his writing. Assuming he went to some kind of college to gain discipline and credential? Its hard to tell.
It is some of the cdacs and the dnr that is failing in the process. It is their job to look at all the metrics and science to justify their decisions to significantly increase antlerless tags especially on public land. They don't have the metrics, data. and science to justify their actions. I and others have called them out on it and they are silent and ignore what people say just like all the hunter comments that say there is no deer and too many tags are issued. The process is supposed to be cdacs and dnr look at all the metrics and justify decisions which isn't happening. The cdacs make recommendations to dnr can agree or disagree. Next step goes to higher up in dnr then the nrb has their say. Sounds like the nrb is following the process and disagreeing with the cdacs and dnr having no justification to significantly increase antlerless tags. The nrbs job is to represent the citizens, set policy for dnr, protect a resource, make sure dnr and cdacs don't run roughshod and make poor decisions that affect the resources and hunters in the process. Where does it say the nrb has to go through process with cdac and dnr when these people keep ignoring metrics and input from citizens. Likely would ignore what nrb says or decides. The nrb is the final answer to make changes to protect a resource and do what's right, do their job and they get crucified for it. Dnr and cdacs do your job so nrb doesn't have to make changes. Amazing how people including Durkin who shouldn't be published hate one man who is trying to protect a resource as well as impove hunting. Everyone should be for that. One of the SAK audits is Evaluation of the SAK model as applied to Wisconsin February 2007(Millspaugh) states right in there accuracy plus or minus 121% accuracy at local level and other problems with sak. There are other audits I think in 2000, 2003. Have to look on my archives. The deer trustee and deer 2000 reports may reference them or Google.
I just read the pat durkin opinion piece, not very professional. Nothing more than a personal vendetta against someone who is sticking up for the public land hunters.
I am also disappointed in Marcy West. I emailed the NRB a few months ago, saying the CDAC's increased the public tags in Vernon County for no reason. There was several public comments about decreasing the number of public tags, but none in support. CDAC, influenced by the local DNR biologist, increased them anyway.
I got an email from Marcy West saying she would like to setup a meeting with locals to discuss the deer herd in the area. Never happened.
I also got a email/ phone call from the local DNR biologist. Someone in Madison must have passed my email on to him. I believe he has a major conflict of interest and should recuse himself from making recommendations to CDAC's for public land tags. He told me multiple times on the phone he almost exclusively hunts public land and harvests at least 4 deer per year to feed his family, so he supports more opportunity to harvest deer. No wonder he made the recommendation to increase antlerless tags. I told him if everyone had the same mindset as him (harvesting 4+ deer/ year), we would be in serious trouble.
Changes are needed the way WI manages the deer heard. CDAC's are not the answer when 5/7 seats should theoretically be in favor of a lower deer herd. The only seats on a CDAC that would theoretically support a higher deer population are hunting and tourism. Forestry, agriculture, transportation, local urban govt, and DMAPs all want lower populations.
The solution other states use is to give more power to the states DNR/ Fish & Game to have the ability to make changes as needed, in some states even through emergency order without any NRB or legislative approval. That will not work in Wisconsin with the current DNR staff. Changes need to be made, and they start at the top. The culture and way the DNR view deer needs to change.
"Anytime Kaz starts throwing or challenging numbers out there, I'd be suspicious. His track record for distorting data is legendary."
No truer words spoken.
Check out the recent edition of Wis.OutdoorNews article by Pat Durkin. No love for Kaz there.
LL, I acknowledge your concerns about the northern deer herd. I believe them to be totally legitimate. What I object to is the "process" by which these changes are being made as it undermines the whole concept of deer management for our entire state. If the deer management model for the state is broken (which it appears to be at least for Northern WI) then the model needs to be changed.
Can you point me to the audit that shows SAK is as highly inaccurate as you claim? I'd definitely like to read it. Thanks.
the sak model works fine is laughable. Audits have shown it to fail miserably especially at the local county scale. use a model that is plus or minus 121% of the population. Yep sounds fine to me real good "science". If the cdacs and dnr up north would do their jobs and look at all the metrics the nrb wouldn't have to override the cdacs and dnr. I guess we should keep managing deer by just looking at a garbage sak formula and ignore all other metrics that tell the real story. Keep issuing tons more antlerless tags with no justification so you can decimate the herd even more on public land. Yep that is sound management of a resource. Obviously some people don't follow what the cdacs and dnr are doing up north using no metrics or science. And obviously some people don't hunt public land up north otherwise they would know the real story and commend the nrb for doing what's right for the resource as well as for the hunter.
The SAK model works fine and there is no suitable replacement for it.
The data Greg Kazmierski shared was not available to staffers or the Conservation Congress prior to the meeting.
Is the data accurate ? No R value was provided with the data to prove the validity of his hypothesis.
Input from NRB members is fine. But it should be shared with the CDACS early in the process so it can be assessed by CDAC members when reviewing all the other data.
Introducing new data at the last step of the process is not beneficial.
If the NRB feels that CDAC's work, they should accept the recommendations CDAC's provide. If the CDAC process is problematic, then it should be changed.
Deer hunting is pathetic on public land in many counties up north. Buck kills are at or near historical lows. The natural resource board looks at the metrics including hunter feedback and decides to reduce anterless tags. They are trying to protect a resource and improve deer hunting and people are against this. Really? Newspapers in this state ripping on board members for doing what's right for the resource. I just don't get their mindset. Maybe they want there to be absolutely no deer in the northern part of the state. Or they want people to quit deer hunting and have wolves be the only ones hunting the few deer that are out there. People that are against what the nrb is doing could be falling right into the anti-hunting agenda.