With whitetail herds struggling or holding their own in some areas of the Upper Midwest, one of the questions being raised: Have hunters been shooting too many does? I suspect we have been killing too many in places, as I talked about in this post last year:
For the last 20 years, state game agencies encouraged us to shoot more and more deer, and especially does. Hunters obliged; some guys killed 5, 10 or more. Personally I have never understood why a person would want or need to shoot more than 5 deer in a season; surely that is enough to fill your blood lust and your freezer, and donate a couple of animals to the food bank. But the agencies had designed those seasons and limits to reduce the herds…
Now the tide is turning.
Michigan had considered closing the deer season this fall in the U.P. due to a plummeting herd, but word is that the season is on for now. In Wisconsin, the DNR will recommend no antlerless hunting in 2015 in Douglas, Bayfield, Sawyer, Ashland, Iron, Vilas, Price, Oneida, Langlade, Forest, Florence and Racine counties, and a portion of Jackson County “in an effort to regrow the herd.”
What to make of this? For all these years, many DNRs have told us to whack and stack does in an effort to manage and reduce the herds, but now they want to stop or limit doe hunting cold turkey to build the herds back up? Is this type of yo-yo deer management best, or do we need a more moderate and measured approach to bag limits and season lengths?
The latter makes sense to me, what about where you hunt?