Where did the Wisconsin gun deer registration numbers land?
Some hunters thought a full bore deer e-registration for 2015 was too abrupt of a move in changing from the 72-year-old deer registration station system, but when the deer registration numbers started rolling in during the archery/crossbow season, all was forgiven.
Well, maybe most of it was forgiven.
Then came the early problem with the nine-day gun deer season, with a promise of hourly updates of registrations by county, sex and total. That didn’t happen, but eventually we were able to access a PDF file summary.
An indirect result of e-registration was that only half as many deer were sampled for CWD testing as was done in 2014.
Some registrations by hunters were failed attempts, resulting in deer being counted more than once. That was later corrected.
Even so, hunters have come to expect and accept problems with contractors being initially unable to meet the demand of floods of information, be it turkey tag counter sales or something else.
In hindsight, easing into the new system is a manner that former registration stations foresaw as a better way and 262 of them opened their businesses as volunteer stations with free computers or phones.
The worst part of this e-registration and reporting of the data was that some politicians and some upper level DNR folks added frosting to an already tilting cake.
Words like “perfect," "greater than expected,” and “smoothly" were used by some who got us into this rush to dismantle more of the traditions of Wisconsin’s deer seasons without completely thinking it through.
Sometimes fawn steps are better than buck bolts.
Those few glitches, some of them major and apparently still to be corrected, left a number of already skeptical hunters wondering if there is some sort of cover up.
The phrase, dead deer don’t lie, still rings true, but only if the dead deer is registered by an unbiased, uninvolved person who actually puts eyes on the dead deer.
When one loses the trust of public officials, it is difficult to win it back, particularly when there was prior mistrust.
Everything probably will be worked out, but public servants should admit along the way if things did not go perfectly. But even that is difficult when many folks are muzzled from speaking.