Deer council says reduce herd
CDAC meets in Manawa
By Greg Seubert
County Deer AdvisoryCounty Deer
Reduce Waupaca County’s white-tailed deer herd and don’t change its Deer Management Unit boundary.
Those are the preliminary recommendations the county’s Deer Advisory Council made Aug. 29 in Manawa.
Council members voted 3-2 to reduce the county’s deer herd, although by how much remains to be seen.
Lance Penney, Ben Knaack and Brian Haase voted in favor of the reduction, while Bill Krostue and Hugh McAloon voted no.
The council also voted 5-0 in support of designating the county as a Deer Management Unit.
Nonvoting members on the council are Jim Binder and Scott Bestul, county delegates on the Wisconsin Conservation Congress; and state Department of Natural Resources representatives Jake Fries (wildlife management), Ben Baumgart (forestry) and Mark Schraufnagel (law enforcement).
Much of the discussion at the meeting centered on the county’s deer herd.
“There isn’t a township out there that doesn’t have issues with deer browse,” Knaack said. “You should not be asking for grant money to put up a fence to get a tree to grow. If we continue at this rate right now, we’re going to be hunting fields. As far as a deer quota, it’s a definite decrease.”
“I think what we’re going to have to do is we’re going to have to look at the tools and see what fits best,” Binder said. “In order to establish those certain guidelines, we have to say how it’s going to help decrease the deer herd. The numbers show that our deer herd’s gone up 20 percent in the last three years. I think what we need to do is get more hunters to harvest more does. That’s the answer.”
Binder owns land near New London.
“There aren’t any deer standing out in my 40-acre cornfield in January,” he said after the meeting. “They’ve all moved into the swamp, where the food is. We only have 2 percent public land in Waupaca County (open to hunting) and that’s an issue. Maybe that’s a tool. Maybe we could get some Pittman-Robertson (Act) dollars or something for acquiring more land or at least access to more land.”
No DMU change
DMUs give state wildlife managers a framework for gathering data. DMUs were previously areas of similar land use bounded by major roads or rivers, but boundaries were changed to county lines three years ago. Waupaca County used to include five DMUs: 62A, 62B, 63A, 65B and 66.
“I thought the move to Waupaca County was great,” McAloon said. “It’s only been three years. Let’s maintain the existing boundaries and look at it later.”
“I feel we should decrease the herd somewhat and keep the boundaries the same,” Penney said. “I would have a hard time splitting up the county.”
“We get better data out of big units,” Fries said. “Larger units are more appropriate for measuring deer metrics and quite frankly, it’s cheaper.”
Binder encouraged people to check out the CDAC page of the state Department of Natural Resources’ web site.
“The unfortunate thing is I think we as deer hunters get in a rut and we think one way,” he said. “That’s why I really encourage people to go on the CDAC website and give some ideas. Every so often, there’s that little kid that says, ‘Let the air out of the tires and you can drive the truck under the bridge.’
“We need to change some mindsets,” he added. “There’s still that faction that believes you’re less of a hunter if you shoot a doe. You would think that would change by now with people being more knowledgeable about management, but we’ll see what happens. I shot six does last year. I shot two bucks because I had two nice bucks come by. I shot one with a gun and one with a bow. I have gone several years without shooting a buck with a bow or a gun and still shot my does.”
A public comment period will be held Sept. 11-22 and CDACs around the state will meet in early October to develop final recommendations that will be forwarded to the state Department of Natural Resources and state Natural Resources Board.
The Waupaca County council’s next meeting is tentatively set for 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, at the Manawa City Hall.
About 30 people attended the Aug. 29 meeting.
“I would have liked to have people standing in the back of the room,” Binder said. “I would like to see more people here. Hunting season is just around the corner.”