Lake-Link Home

NRB Questions for spring Hearings

1/22/20 @ 3:35 PM
User since 12/14/12

The Department of Natural Resources board on Wednesday approved six questions for the Wisconsin Conservation Congress' April hearings. 


The questions ask if people would support extending the nine-day gun season to 19 days; eliminating the December antlerless-only season; prohibit hunting during the days before the nine-day season; eliminate management zones; limit the crossbow season to October and after the nine-day gun season; and invalidate bow and crossbow buck tags during the nine-day season.

2/3/20 @ 4:08 PM
User since 2/22/07

Great Info. If you dont get the WON  there are several links floating around out there for the 6 questions. The process that the NRB has used to get to the point of the '6' questions is more than disturbing. I've watched the board meeting myself and if these questions and the discussion around them are not  the definition of confusion at work I don't know what is. One board member actually suggested a choice "I'm confused" to the questions. One thing that I'm 100% certain of is Prehn and Kaz know exactly whats going on, and not in a good way. Right down to last minute additions to the agenda to limit public discussion. None of this passes the smell test. Regardless of where you fall on the crossbow question, do your diligence and look at all 6, they may impact you more than you think. In my personal opinion, the meat and potatoes of all this is the crossbow question, placed on the ballot by itself would would have the appearance as just another anti crossbow question. To be clear, Kaz commissioned last years crossbow study, a study that is probably the most comprehensive study ever done on the subject, and He and Prehn don't like the results. Nor does it support there position.

2/2/20 @ 12:11 PM
User since 6/20/13

BeerTown-  Thanks for the follow-up on how SAK is used and the overall CDAC process. I do appreciate folks like you who do make a personal time commitment to get involved.. On the topic of car/deer collisions I agree there are flaws to this metric and many accidents are not reported.. I know some guys have reported they feel their comments/feedback are not taken seriously so I hope they saw your comment on your experience "our CDAC has changed numbers several times from the preliminary number, usually to satisfy public comments".   I have also seen numbers change twice at meetings I have attended based on feedback..

I am still a big proponent of the CDAC process. Just imagine the number of potential "voices" if we could get 5%-10% of hunters to attend these meetings (40k-80k folks) to provide feedback..


2/2/20 @ 10:11 AM
User since 1/10/19

I have been to several cdac meetings.   Low to no turnout,,,but all those in attendance,, , few as they may be all seemed to be concerned hunters.   Never have i seen someone bring up anything tourism, or transportation, or agriculture, or forestry for that matter.   All hunter related inquiries is what i saw, and i wish more emphasis  would be on us hunters.  No i dont want to bend the rules to be on the cdac for tourism or transportation. I wish it was more HUNTER related.  In my county the decisions are made by three individuals, one doesnt hunt at all, one hunts gun and bow on their private land, and the 3rd hunts gun only on private land up north not in our county.   I  feel totally unrepresented as a public land hunter....supposedly cdacs were set up to serve us hunters, in our specific counties, but if the people on the board don't hunt there,and nobody is going to these meetings,,,,why even have them?  Let the dnr folk with biology degrees make the decisions please.

2/2/20 @ 8:43 AM
User since 6/15/01

Kona:  Yes, low turnout is an issue.  At our last meeting to finalize the quota, we had 0 members of the public in attendance.  Yup, none.  Our county isn't that far off others, either.  And no, numbers aren't already final at that meeting... our CDAC has changed numbers several times from the preliminary number, usually to satisfy public comments.

One of the metrics provided is herd size estimates, using SAK.  It's just another slide in the presentation, and really only was important for the 1st ever meetings.  Now the decision is more, less, or the same amount of deer based off the metrics and what the county is willing to tolerate.  It doesn't matter if there are 10 deer, or 10,000... if the negative effects become too much of an issue, then it's time to reduce.  If not, then keep it the same or grow the herd. 

There are 3 words/phrases that when brought up send every hunter into a tailspin to outer space... SAK/deer per square mile/carrying capacity.  Mention those, and any chance of a legit discussion flies out the window. 

Currently, car/deer accidents are one of the metrics collected and used.  I have to say, though, that it's more flawed than most other metrics.  I'll just start out by saying you are counting on people to report a car/deer accident to even begin with.  Second, in Wisconsin, an accident isn't reportable unless the damage exceeds $1000.  Car/deer accidents in most municipalities are self-reported to the DOT by the driver and an officer doesn't respond to the scene unless there are injuries, the deer needs to be dispatched, the vehicle is disabled, there is debris in the road, or there is damage to gov't property.  I would say, based on my experience in my job, that fewer than 20% of car/deer accidents get an officer.  It's good to know information, but like any of the metrics is only part of the picture... you are looking for trends.

Yes, the seats on the CDAC are for specific stakeholder groups and you need to fit certain qualifications to hold them... that said, the majority of CDAC's are open to interpreting these qualifications.  1st, get elected to your county Conservation Congress and you're eligible to hold either the Chair or Vice-Chair.  Join a local outdoor or sporting club and you are eligible for that seat.  Landowner?  Enroll in the DMAP program and you are eligible for that seat.  Drive for work?  You could be eligible for the transportation seat.  Work for a hotel/motel/restaurant/local gift shop?  The tourism seat could be for you. The possibilities are endless.  Of course, you can just show up at the meetings as a member of the public too... there is a public comment period at each meeting, and after the meeting most people hang around to talk and answer questions, including the DNR liaisons.

2/1/20 @ 1:03 PM
User since 4/1/05

The drone thing is interesting, except I see some problems as they are a more small scale review.  It would take literally hundreds, if not thousands of drones to really get somewhat accurate counts I would think.  In addition, you would have to pay staff to pilot these, and higher end drones are very expensive.  Some of the drones our company uses are >$10K each and they only are intended for GPS/survey.  Throwing on thermal imaging I am sure is very expensive.  

1/31/20 @ 8:17 PM
User since 6/20/13

I really liked the spotlight survey that Iowa uses as one of the tools to assess deer populations.. Imagine actually counting deer!! What a novel concept  They have been doing this since the 1970's and they log close to 5,000 miles each spring.. Looks like each county has at least 2-3 routes that are driven/measured every year.. They also count furbearers like coons, fox, coyotes etc to help develop population numbers for these animals..  I mentioned earlier that this may not be applicable for the Northwoods but I see deer right at dusk in spring when I visit my brother in Viroqua for our spring fishing trip..I know roadsides are one of the first areas that "green-up" in spring to attract deer.. At the minimum it would be effective in the farmland/mid-central part of the state.

The drone topic is also an interesting concept to actually count deer. It looks like Iowa used to do aerial surveys but the spotlight survey replaced it in the 70's. The DNR site just mentioned they thought this was more effective  

1/31/20 @ 7:51 PM
User since 2/16/17


I like the car kill metric along with the buck kill and trend gives an indication of what the population is doing. And other metrics. Fawn recruitment etc. Can look at the buck kill and see how it compares to historical averages.  The car collisions as stated are on the metrics page for each county and are compiled and reported I believe by DOT. Problem sometimes I was told the DOT doesn't always provide the data in a real timely manner. Supposedly they are getting better. I just talked to someone from USDA who helps in baiting and sharpshooting of deer in more urban areas of Wisconsin.  He said the drone he has seen used is amazing to count deer using thermal imaging.  He stated you can program an autopilot program to transact miles of land. Said the detail is amazing that you can see a squirrel tail. I think this technology could be very effective. The only drawback he stated is that if you have super thick pines in certain areas may be a little more difficult for the thermal imaging. I thought this could be a good method to show how inaccurate SAK by a check and real count. I mentioned this quite awhile back to dnr and I was kind of poo pood, because I wasn't an "expert". Or maybe they didn't want it to show how inaccurate SAK is . Because now SAK can suit an agenda to kill too many deer and try to extend seasons and sell more licenses. 

1/31/20 @ 4:31 PM
User since 4/1/05

I have always been a proponent of using car/deer crashes as a major metric in estimating or comparing deer populations on an annual basis.  DOT does keep track on number of cars traveling on most highways, and there should be a way to get the number of deer crashes reported through police reports or other means.  It would be fairly easy to compare annual data for deer crashes per vehicle mile traveled (VMT), and track that year to year.  Of course, you can't singularly look at the number of deer crashes itself.  Many things impact the amount people drive (recessions, price of gas, population increases/decreases, weather, etc.) - so you would need that for more reliable data. You would think someone much smarter than me has already tracked this data annually....does anyone know if this is available anywhere?  Probably in a vault at Progressive.    

1/31/20 @ 4:30 PM
User since 5/19/06

The problem with car killed deer/police reports is that there really is no possible way to calculate how many deer are actually hit. Just the ones that are reported. And reporting amongst counties is very inconsistent. Look at the car kill deer metric page in the deer metrics. Some counties you may find a correlation but in  many the reports in no way mirror populations trends. Iron county had one car killed deer in 2010. Hard to infer much from that. Not to say there’s no value in tracking car kills, but it would be a small part of another convoluted population model, like SAK. Really a good way would be to designate sections of road, main drags, and track car kills/impacts along those sections from year to year. Think highway 2, 51, 53, 45, 8, 70, 64, 29, 10, 12, etc and I94, I90, I43, etc. 

1/31/20 @ 11:25 AM
User since 6/20/13

BeerTown-  Appreciate the post about your personal experience with the CDAC process.. I have commented numerous times over the years that my biggest disappointment with the CDAC process is the low turn-out I see at meetings ( mine is Washington Cty).. I support the concept of local stakeholders meeting and then deciding on harvest goals etc.. I keep reporting on here that feedback at these meetings does matter!!! 

I was actually going to ask about the use of the SAK modeling process at the meeting this year.. I know you commented that SAK is rarely discussed at your meetings but can you confirm if the DNR provides initial population estimates to the CDAC as a starting point to set population/harvest goals??

You also asked on a previous posts about alternatives to SAK (good question).. Looked at other state DNR sites and it appears that in Iowa the DNR relies on vehicle/collision data..a detailed bow hunter survey and then also a spotlight survey the DNR does every spring as methods to look at population trends. Looks like they have certain routes they drive in every county and count deer and other animals to compare data from year to year. I know that would not work in the Northern Cty's but certainly would be an idea for southern counties. I get the premise behind the SAK method but like others am not sure it really is an accurate barometer any more of the true deer population. 

Advertise here
Advertise here
Please take a moment to visit our sponsors. Without them we would not be here.