We have become an impatient species.

A month is a long time to us. A year is forever, it seems.

But we need to get over our impatience when viewing
environmental changes and results from our manipulations of the
ecosystem.

I’m talking about the mix of season structure, winter severity,
forest maturity, hunting season weather, hunter attitudes, hunter
recruitment, and a host of other variables that are part of the
equation.

Hunters, and others, can already view the recently completed gun
deer season preliminary kill figures.

Temptation is to look at the bottom line, the total preliminary
figures, which tells us that hunters killed about the same number
of deer in 2011 as in 2010. The total does show a 3.6 percent
increase in 2011. The split between the two types of deer is a 1
percent increase in bucks and a 6 percent increase in antlerless
deer taken.

But for hunters, those numbers are just a glimpse and really
doesn’t tell us much. Hunters need to look at county totals and
later deer management unit totals.

And here, too, changes in season structure within these smaller
units are the figures that may begin to tell us why something is or
isn’t happening.

It will take a few years of having the same type of season to
draw any conclusions as to population changes, changes in what
hunters want to kill and how willing they are in accepting these
changes.

Let’s live with this for a while, watch for significant changes
that may be pushing populations in the wrong direction, or the
right direction, before we start tinkering.

And most of all, let’s try to keep Wisconsin’s white-tailed deer
a wild species, not a partially domesticated animal with the use of
all types of supplements. Some of these supplements may be the very
things wreaking havoc in parts of the population since who knows
when.

The deer has been the state wildlife animal since 1957. And
being wild is part of the mystique this animal brings to the
state.

 

 

Categories: Wisconsin – Jerry Davis

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