Extended Deer Seasons
When is enough gun deer hunting enough?
Should I deer hunt in southern Wisconsin during the Holiday Hunt, which closes Jan. 8? And during the landowner season, which continues through March 31?
Or is it best to be a traditionalist and hunt during the nine-day season and then stop; maybe just hunt the first weekend of the regular gun season and then put the gun away?
Here are some reason to say yes and reasons to say no.
I'm going to hunt whenever I have an opportunity.
I need more venison in the freezer or more canned venison.
I simply enjoy deer hunting and this is a chance to hunt with sighting and safety snow. It can be a different hunt with snow, an experience often not possible during the nine-day season.
Maybe the hunter believes in the cause of reducing the deer numbers in the chronic wasting disease management zone. The venison donation stations are still open, too.
A few minor, but important, reasons to continue hunting could be to begin educating a new hunter, trying out a new rifle or reducing the number of deer that are damaging a forest I'm trying to establish.
If the answers are no to continuing hunting, it's time to clean, oil and store the rifle until shooting practice begins next spring.
I fear the reasons for not continuing to hunt are such reasons as I'm afraid I am going to be shooting next year's buck. Or, I might be killing a fawn along with a doe. Or maybe, my neighbors will be upset with me if I hunt even though I didn't get enough hunting or venison during the other seasons.
It's not necessary to hide behind someone else's excuse. It's not necessary to be a martyr and say I'm not going to hunt because of something the DNR, the Conservation Congress or my senator or representative politician did or didn't do.
Make your own educated choice, based on biology, your needs, and the ecology of the area you typically hunt.
But don't say no, or yes, because of someone else. There are precious few times when we can hunt, so don't toss any opportunities aside quickly.
Take a clue from Wisconsin's archers, who had a 114-day season in some parts of Wisconsin. Their season in the CWD-MZ began Sept. 17 and closes Jan. 8, 2012.