Wisconsin May Repeal Earn-A-Buck Program

Send by email Printer-friendly version Share this

A Wisconsin hunting law makes it mandatory for a hunter to first shoot an antlerless deer before harvesting a buck. Hunters have opposed the Earn-a-Buck program, since it required hunters to pass on a trophy buck if the hunter had not had the opportunity to shoot a doe first. Some legislators that passed the Earn-a-Buck program believe it is only inconvenient for hunters who are looking for that trophy buck, and that by having this program, it helps with the deer population management.

Hunters are eager for the repeal to take place. Tuesday it passed through the assembly and just needs a signature from Governor Scott Walker for final approval.

Rep. Kelda Roys, D-Madison, strongly disagreed with the Legislature’s decision to end the Earn-A-Buck program. According to Roys, it is not up to the Legislature to make decisions regarding natural resources, and these decisions should be left up to DNR professionals.

DNR professionals say that deer hunting is a Wisconsin tradition, and brings a lot of money into the economy. They determine the deer population by annual hunting harvest numbers of the deer. One deer hunter is excited for the repeal, saying it will make it easier to get a buck, and more fun. With a sport that seems to be losing popularity, it may be smart to make it fun and simple without too much political involvement. From The Badger Herald.


hunter25's picture

I never agreed with these

I never agreed with these programs either. I know the guys were always upset that only really wanted to kill a buck while other guys didn't mind at all. When I was a kid up there before this started many guys would get a doe tag and then throw it away as they always thought that hurt the herd. I would say just let the guys that want to kill does have as many as they want or is felt they should get and the balance should still work out nicely. I know if I was there I would hunt and kill as many as they would let me have and donate meat to friends and others when my freezers were full.

SGM's picture

I have heard about this

I have heard about this before and it is a stupid idea. This is not management, this is politics! As stated time and time again, the DNR and wildlife folks need to make the rules and laws bases on sound managment practices and the politicians need to stay out of it.  I have read some on this before and recall someone posted that it was started because the auto insurance companies owned the politicians and wanted to get more deer taken out so claims would go down. Not sure if that is 100% true but does make sense as we all have seen how special interest groups get things passed for their benifit. Also recall reading about the decline of hunters in Wisconsin. Have a feeling this program hurt way more than it helped. The good news is that it looks like it is going to be repealed so hopefully in 2012 hunting will get back to a more normal hunt. I am sure plenty of folks will still buy tags and take out does to help control the deer population.

numbnutz's picture

I have never been a supporter

I have never been a supporter of the earn-a-buck program. There are many other states out there that allow one buck and how ever many does as you want with the purchase of additional tags. Those states seem to be doing fine with population control. I agree with the sportsman and hunters in WI on being upset on having to pass on a trophy buck due to not harvesting a doe yet. That to me is a load of BS and should have never been put in place to begin with. In Oregon legislaters don't make the hunting and harvesting laws it's the Game commision that does and that group has one politicain and a few ODFW appointed members and a few members of the public. I do not agree with politicians making hunting laws what so ever as they have bigger and better things to do with their time. The Govener just needs to repeal this stupid law and start over fresh, maybe look at how some other states have done things. I like the idea of per day limit of does with the purchase of additional tag that cost next to nothing. that way hunters can take the buck of their dreams if they see it first and still can hunt as many does as they want to. Heck it could be like my state where I can take one deer(buck) a year unless I draw a doe tag. I wish I could take more deer every year but it takes antwhere from 3 to 6 years to draw a darn doe tag.

Retired2hunt's picture

  Give me a brake!  I love


Give me a brake!  I love how this representative (who is most likely not an outdoor person) is saying that legislature should not be making decisions pertaining to natural resources.  HELLO!??!  Who made the law in the first place?!?!?!?!  So recind it and start anew!

I agree that the DNR should determine best WITH hunter (payer of their wages) input.  Now they can do so.

Also - this law that is being repealed has nothing to do with determining harvest numbers - just a bad means to try and force population control.  Many states have a one-buck-and-done regulation and the rest harvested must be doe's... but not in any specific order.  Maybe that is the answer.

Good for Wisconsin and wish them well in their future deer hunts!



Ca_Vermonster's picture

Man, now the politicians are

Man, now the politicians are even dipping into our hunting laws and rights?  That's a tough one to swallow.  Out here in California, the only time it seems that the politicians want to get involved is when they need money for some sprcial interest program, so they will raid the coffers of the Fish and Game a help themselves.  I have never seen a state that claims to be so animal friendly, yet takes so much money away from the people that control it.

Anyway, I can see the complaints of the hunters as being legitimate.  I am not a supporter of the earn a buck program, since I do not really agree with the whole buck to doe ratio stuff.  However, if they want to increase numbers of doe permits, in order to kill more does, then so be it. More chances to put meat on the table.  However, if places like Wisconsin want to mandate that people can't shoot a buck, and thus potentially takes away an opportunity for a trophy deer, or even for a first time or youth hunter to get their nice little spikehorn, then I think it's wrong.