Council to meet April 19 in Waupaca
By Greg Seubert
The County Deer Advisory Council voted at its March 22 meeting in favor of antlerless-only bow and gun seasons in 2016 as a way to control the local deer herd population.
As a result of that 6-0 vote, Scott Taylor of Waupaca introduced a resolution April 11 to bring back earn-a-buck regulations on a county-by-county basis.
He also called for using mandatory in-person deer registration to monitor compliance.
State lawmakers decided in 2011 to eliminate earn-a-buck as a deer management technique. The regulation required hunters to harvest and register an antlerless deer before using an antlered buck tag.
Taylor said he drafted the resolution, which will be forwarded to the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, after learning of the council’s recommendation.
“Waupaca County has a CDAC goal to maintain deer populations within the county,” Taylor wrote in his resolution. “Significant growth of the herd has been experienced, resulting in a recommendation by CDAC to limit hunting to antlerless-only in 2016. CDAC lacks significant additional management tools beyond antlerless-only seasons to effectively manage the heard to objectives, resulting in an unprecedented season recommendation.”
The council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, in the Waupaca High School Performing Arts Center to give the public an opportunity to comment.
Taylor said he will attend that meeting.
“Presently, counties don’t have sufficient management tools to control deer populations to the objectives they established,” he said. “The CDACs provide more of a focused management I would call it for areas. They are evaluating their management against population objectives annually. I think the potential for overharvest, which was obviously an issue with earn-a-buck before, is minimized because of the local stakeholder involvement.
“(Earn-a-buck) worked too well,” he said. “The populations crashed and hunters, rightfully so, felt there were too few deer on the landscape. I don’t think we’re as likely to repeat that scenario with CDAC management. Deer populations can be kept closer to management objectives.”
Taylor hunts on property he owns in the county.
“In the area that I own property, the population is reasonable,” he said. “It’s not overpopulated, it’s not underpopulated. I don’t have issues with overbrowsing on my property or anything like that.”
Taylor said he was surprised with the council’s vote.
“Maybe it’s necessary to wake people up to the reality that something has to be done about deer populations,” he said. “There aren’t a lot of management tools available to our deer managers to control the population. Maybe we need to be looking at some other things. They really had no other choice in terms of what could be done to try to get the population stabilized in the county. There’s nothing else they could do at this point.”
Taylor hopes something good comes out of the council’s upcoming meeting.
“I hope it will, but I don’t know if it will,” he said. “I have no idea, but it should be very entertaining one way or another.”