Wisconsin Ends Earn-A-Buck

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After listening to hunter feedback and looking at new ways to manage Wisconsin's whitetail herd, the Natural Resources Board agreed unanimously to end the Earn-A-Buck program. However to the Journal Sentinel, the new regulations are skewed more to the "social rather than the biological" and there are doubts that the new regulations will properly manage the state's whitetail counts.

Hunters statewide, including those in the chronic wasting disease management zone, will be able to shoot a buck with their first tag. The season in the herd-control units will feature the traditional nine-day gun deer hunt followed by a 10-day muzzleloader hunt and a four-day December gun deer hunt. Herd-control hopes in 2011 are pinned on hunters voluntarily taking antlerless deer. The DNR will make an unlimited number of antlerless deer permits available for $2 each in the herd-control units. Board members openly expressed skepticism that the less aggressive regulations will keep the herd in check.


groovy mike's picture

Is it a CWD area?

$2 doe tags? Sign me up! Wow. Is that the price for non-resident
hunters too? I can only think of one reason why this wouldn’t be an EXTREMELY
effective herd reduction tool. That is if Chronic wasting disease would prove a
health hazard in the targeted areas. I can’t see why anyone would harvest those
deer at all – even for free.

But would not want a tag in any hunting area where Chronic wasting
disease has been found. Is that the reason that they are trying to reduce the
herd? Does anyone have the background on this. I mean heck if there is no
danger of chronic wasting disease and the herd is over crowding their range and
you can basically get a free tag, why would anyone not fill their freezer with
deer? Do we have any Wisconsin hunters on biggamehunt.net?

Can anyone tell us what the history of Chronic wasting disease is in
Wisconsin and what is happening there now with it ?

hunter25's picture

I was born in Upper Michigan

I was born in Upper Michigan and grew up in northern Wisconsin. Although I have not been back in over 20 years and the part of the state I grew up in was never known for having a ton of deer I do know that back then most hunters were very opposed to the killing of does as they believed the herd would collapse as a result. I even know of guys getting the doe tags and just throwing them away to save the deer and then only hunt for bucks. So I think they are referring to people being upset about being forced to kill a doe first so they could get a buck later. By offering 2 dollar tags to the hunters that don't mind killing does they are trying to keep peace.

The balance will be out of whack though as some guys will over harvest in some areas with unlimited tags I would think.

I could be wrong but that's kind of how I see it.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Interesting that some think

Interesting that some think this is more of a social thing.  I am not a proponent of QDM for the most part, but isn't bringing the herd closer to a 1-1 ratio part of their goal?

Unless they figure that QDM is a social idea.  Plus, they wanted to do this to help thin out the herd out of CWD concerns, so I would think that's scientific also, yeah>

Either way, I liked it.  Too bad it's going away.....