It is clear from the annual spring hearing voting results that the majority of Wisconsin deer hunters, along with other outdoors recreationalists, do not want major changes in the gun deer season. The 2020 season opens Nov. 21.
Those voting from the April 13 hearings basically said, “Are you kidding?” to things like a 19-day-season. That input came from more than 60,000 online voters.
Now is not the time for Wisconsin to ponder whether to make changes some Natural Resources Board members and others wanted considered. There is a bigger issue at hand. Will there be a season and if there is what kind of season could it be in light of COVID-19?
With turkey hunting and trout fishing, a season to reduce the population is not always necessary. Wisconsin could probably go without having a turkey season one year without turkeys overrunning the oak forests.
Deer? That’s another issue. Many regions need the deer population reduced every year or there are going to be even more problems in ecosystem and social upsets.
So without even addressing all the other factors relating to future deer seasons, how the 2020 season can be structured is paramount.
Address the other issues after the 2020 season.
Of course there will be a season in 2020. Most would have said the same for the deer expo in Madison in April or the ruffed grouse spring drumming survey in late April, but neither happened because of COVID-19.
Get on with the immediate problem at hand and then turn to the issue of seasons for 2021 and beyond, which will have to include the size of the deer hunting population.