Like everything else, deer hunting is changing. We long for the “good old days.” Deer are forest creatures. Then why aren’t there more deer in the north? Food – that’s why.
In farmland, deer make a good living most of the year. There are crops, food plots and bait piles to sustain them. Come winter, they’re forced to eat what’s in the forest. How quickly the forest will regenerate is the question. But how deer affect their own habitat will determine the size of the herd – more so than hunting will – no matter how many zones or bonus tags there are.
I do not believe Door County needs to be split into two or more management zones; it already is. Every landowner has his or her own plan. Some don’t and won’t kill antlerless deer; others will. There are parcels that don’t allow hunting and municipalities where deer thrive with no real way to reduce their numbers.
We, the hunting public, manage the herd according to where, when and how we hunt. If there are no deer or you don’t have access to where they are – no matter how many zones or bonus tags there are – the population has not changed.
Hunters are vocal and want to see deer – and lots of them, evidently. At what cost? The forest is quiet. I believe and trust that the County Deer Advisory Councils are doing the best they can with what they have the authority to do. They cannot change laws or statutes; they are not influenced by insurance companies. They are not the DNR, but are instead citizens who are volunteers. They trust us, the hunters, to do
what’s best for the resource. I thank them for doing a thankless job.
Next season, no matter the zone, offer me bonus tags, and I’ll make the ultimate decision.
Egg Harbor, Wisconsin