Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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Wisconsin letters to the editor: Emus, deer and thoughts on Outdoor News columnists

Commentaries and letters are the opinion of the writers; not necessarily that of Wisconsin Outdoor News.

What in the world is this thing? Am I looking at an … emu?
WON reader Steven Buckoski, of Shawano, was surprised to see an emu standing in his yard as he moved snow. (Contributed photo)

I read Dean Bortz’s comments in the recent State Roundup on Page 3 about the escaped emus and thought I’d send this picture. Imagine my surprise, when after I had just cleared the snow from our driveway Nov. 16, I looked up and saw this bird walking through our yard.

I called the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department asking if they had any reports of an ostrich on the loose and they told me about the escaped emus. They notified the owner’s parents. The parents and her brother came to my house and followed the bird’s tracks in the snow, but were not able to catch up to it. It was headed toward its pen, which is about a mile through the woods from our house.

Their biggest concern was that it was only a few days before the gun deer season and they were hoping to get all three emus that were still on the loose home before then. As it turned out, all of the emus made it home safely, though not necessarily before the deer season started. It’s good to see the story has a happy ending.

Keep up the good work in Wisconsin Outdoor News.

Steven Buckoski Shawano

DNR cannot grow deer herd in timber wolf country without does

The 2022 deer season was a big disappointment.

I know better than to listen to the numbers the DNR spews as to the size of the deer herd. I have to wonder if the DNR’s research people, biologists, and technicians ever leave their offices.

They use the numbers from their flawed deer registration system to quantify the fictional deer herd size.

A fictional herd size will always enable the DNR to sell an inflated number of antlerless tags so the greed for money can be maintained. The DNR’s idea of managing the deer herd comes down to how much money can be made from these deer.

We hunt on a large portion of county land in Onieda County from Hwy. G on the east to Hwy. 17 on the west, and from Hwy. Q on the south and Lassig Road to the north. I consider this to be well managed property. There is a proper amount of timber management to allow the deer herd to survive, but the number of deer probably averages just five to seven deer to square mile of habitat. The DNR manages it like its 15 to 17 deer to a square mile of habitat.

This past fall while scouting I came upon three wolf-killed deer – at least I believe them to be. We felt that even with the wolf presence, we saw the most sign in that area, as compared to other areas, and decided to hunt there. Over the whole season we saw six deer. The experts at the DNR decided to sell 1,000 public land antlerless tags in Onieda County. I’m sure that many were destined for the area near us.

Our party of three always counts the number of shots we hear. All told, the three of us agreed on less than 20 shots all day, with nothing even remotely close.

I believe our suspicions on the deer herd count are more accurate than the DNR’s.

The DNR wonders why license sale keep dropping by 2% to 3% every year. If you ask me, the reason is quite simple. Start letting some does survive. You can’t have bucks if you continue to kill off the does. If the DNR needs money, then raise the price on licenses. The DNR sold 3,500 antlerless tags in Oneida County where hunters registered 714 does. That’s less than 21% of tags sold.

Their numbers for next year should say a reduction of a significant number of doe tags.

Lastly, we all saw the DNR’s commercials pertaining to CWD. They preach that every hunter should have their deer checked. We can do that, but why can’t the DNR stop the sale of deer bait at every gas station, bait shop, and other stores.

That may have an impact.

Reduce the amount and reduce the occurrence.

I’ve been deer hunting for more than 50 years and have seen many changes. It’s time to protect the does in wolf country or deer hunting will fold like a house of cards, if it hasn’t already.

Tom Ehren Rhinelander

More columnists like Christine are needed

I’ve been a quiet subscriber for years to the Minnesota and Wisconsin newspapers. I was a bit behind on reading your publication, so had just picked up Vol. 29, Issue No. 17 for August to do catch-up.

I don’t respond often, but after reading Patrick Durkin’s scribble regarding his dislike of James Kroll and deer report to Wisconsin, I found myself disgusted.

Several times in the past I have read one of Patrick’s columns and quickly tired to his very obvious slant on politics, which he finds a way to inject into his writings and slander or slam somebody or legislation he is opposed to.

Patrick, I don’t know who you are, but it seems to me that your opinionated B.S. would be better suited to some liberal rag like the Washington Post.

In the meantime I’ll resort to looking for columns that Christine Thomas writes. They are entertaining, without politics, and just downright enjoyable to read.

It would help immensely if you understood your market, Patrick. Now, we can wait for an overeducated and sarcastic response from Mr. Durkin.

Scott Wondrow Ramsey, Minn.

Online Opinions

This issue’s question ————————————————— Are you satisfied with the overall job done by retired DNR Secretary Preston Cole?

Yes                                   No

Online results from last issue’s question ———————- Are you going to file comments on the DNR’s draft wolf plan?

Yes 57%                          No 43%

Vote @ Discuss @

Attention Readers

Wisconsin Outdoor News invites letters from its readers. All letters must have the writer’s name, complete address and phone number. (Phone numbers and addresses will not be printed.) Letters should be under 250 words. Wisconsin Outdoor News reserves the right to edit. Address letters to:

Letters to the Editor, Wisconsin Outdoor News:

PO Box 2180, Woodruff, WI 54568.



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