Wild Things: Tupa Remains Sound Supporter of Science

Door County’s Wisconsin Conservation Congress open house is set for April 3

by KEVIN NAZE, [email protected], Peninsula Pulse contributor

David Tupa has served as a member of the Door County delegation to the Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) since 1995, and he’s seen a lot of changes during that time.

“I’m not sure how many more years I will serve on the WCC,” Tupa said, “but as long as I am our county chairman, I will continue to facilitate and encourage the public-input process, as well as request that we use real scientific data to manage our natural resources.”

He taught environmental science and biology at Gibraltar and Southern Door High Schools for 33 years.

“I’ve always been a supporter of collecting sound scientific data to use as a management tool,” Tupa said. “Unfortunately, it seems as though we have been collecting less data – and less reliable data – to manage our natural resources.”

He encourages all who want to learn more about the Wisconsin Conservation Congress to attend a spring fish and wildlife open house April 3, 7 pm, at Sturgeon Bay High School. An election for local delegates and alternates will take place. The WCC is an independent organization of citizens that advises the state’s Natural Resources Board and Department of Natural Resources on how to responsibly manage Wisconsin’s natural resources.

Citizens may introduce resolutions of a statewide impact until March 1. The concern must be practical, achievable and reasonable, and within the mission and vision of the WCC. Learn more at

Final Deer-Harvest Count

Nearly 6,700 whitetails were registered by hunters in Door and Kewaunee Counties during the 2022-23 seasons. The preliminary final Door County count is 1,730 bucks and 2,080 antlerless deer, for a total of 3,810. Kewaunee County hunters registered 1,202 bucks and 1,680 antlerless, for a total of 2,882.

Statewide, hunters tallied the most antlered bucks in a decade, though still far below historical highs. The preliminary count was 162,359 bucks and 171,016 antlerless deer, for a total of 333,375 whitetails.

That’s the most bucks since hunters registered 165,457 in 2012, but well below the record of 212,332 during the 2000 hunting season. The antlerless count is within the 10-year average, but far from the all-time mark of 402,961 in 2000.

At the time, the 615,000-plus whitetails registered in person during the 2000 deer hunt across Wisconsin were thought to be a national record, and most certainly were the most whitetails ever physically registered in person. Texas later revised its estimated kill higher.

During the 2022-23 Wisconsin deer hunts, Marathon was the top county in total harvest (11,758) and antlered bucks (5,745). Rounding out the top 10 counties in registrations were Clark (10,635), Waupaca (10,220), Shawano (10,192), Marinette (9,744), Polk (8,942), Vernon (8,636), Oconto (8,429), Monroe (8,037) and Dunn (7,905).

Rounding out the top 10 counties for antlered bucks were Marinette (5,707), Clark (4,653), Shawano (4,628), Waupaca (4,539), Oconto (4,244), Polk (3,851), Vernon (3,630), Monroe (3,616) and Dunn (3,474). 

The updated harvest figures showed 205,162 deer during the nine-day gun hunt (99,161 bucks); 60,432 with crossbow (34,804 bucks); 37,844 with archery gear (21,351 bucks); 8,365 during the four-day December antlerless hunt (17 bucks reported); 8,291 in the youth gun hunt (4,010 bucks); 7,091 in the muzzleloader season (2,999 bucks); and 6,190 in the nine-day holiday antlerless gun hunt (17 bucks reported).

It’s Tournament Time

As of Tuesday, the Little Sturgeon Lunkers Fishing Club was still planning to run its seventh annual fishing derby on Saturday, Feb. 25, 4 am – 3 pm. Tickets – available at Rouer’s Roadhouse or the Stevenson Pier Mini Mart – must be purchased before the event begins. 

There are cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25 in the categories of whitefish, walleye, perch and northern pike for this luck-of-the-draw contest. All registered fish have a chance, but an angler may win only once in a category. 

Meanwhile, the Baileys Harbor Brown Trout Tournament is set for April 13-16, with fishing open to all Door and Kewaunee County waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan.

More information will be posted soon on the tournament’s Facebook page, as well as on the Baileys Harbor Community Association website at

Kewaunee County Banquets

The Algoma-Kewaunee Area Great Lakes Sport Fishermen’s annual dinner is set for March 11 at the Rendezvous near Luxemburg. The ticket cost of $40 includes a family-style prime rib and chicken dinner, annual membership and a chance to win prizes.

Tickets are available at the Rendezvous and Packer Stadium Lounge, or by calling Ryan at 920.737.6921, Mark at 920.609.9575 or Tony at 920. 217.7670.

Meanwhile, the Ring-Neck Pheasant Club’s annual fundraising banquet, raffles and silent auction are set for April 1 at JW’s Place in Slovan. The cost for the family-style broasted chicken and pork chop dinner is $35. Learn more by calling Dan at 920.559.2980.