November 30, 2010
By Brandon Wikman
The official 9-day, 2010 Deer Gun Season ended this past weekend. The hype of tradition, heritage, and deer camps across the northern state lost another breath of air. For many hunters across Wisconsin, it will be a bleak final month of late season hunting before realizing their tags won’t be used any time soon.
The blaze orange barrage of Wisconsin’s finest deer enthusiasts hoped to witness a better firearm season than last year’s gong show. The state’s firearm season deer kill was down nearly 30 percent in 2009 as mass numbers of deer were killed thanks to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The WDNR licensed and issued stacks of freebie doe permits. Many hunters took that opportunity to eradicate every fur-bearing critter that roamed the Dairy State. This was a shocking outcome and conclusion for many hunting families.
In some parts of Wisconsin, hunters had to shoot a doe before legally killing a buck. This was called, “Earn-a-Buck.” The entire concept of the WDNR was to exterminate mass numbers of deer that apparently suffered from the Chronic Wasting Disease scandal. At the end of the day, there was no real winner.
This year’s opening weekend firearm season kill was up a smidge at 6%. That ultimately means the average deer kill was still down around 24%. Many hunters have called it quits after seeing more wolves, coyotes, and mountain lions in their woods than whitetail deer!
As for myself, firearm season lacked just about everything… for not only me, but also my family. Opening weekend for me was spent overlooking a large field in the middle of the woods. This was a perfect hot spot for food, travel intersections, and putting my tag on a deer. I sat the spot for two long days and saw three does and one yearling buck. However, I did spot a few coyotes.
As for my family, it wasn’t good. Our farm in central Wisconsin used to be a deer mecca. Farmland mixed with woodlots made for an ideal hunting location. Although, after the last few years of the WDNR eradicating our deer herd, my family saw four does.
It seems that there are several instances of real-life problems that have hit the state of Wisconsin. Our deer herd is not what it used to be and quite frankly, I don’t know if we’ll ever have it back. The days of seeing piles of deer across the Dairy State for many farm families are now only fond memories.