Outdoor Notebook: Many changes on the horizon for hunters
Change. Change is an ongoing process. Some change is good and some change is not so good. Change may be good for a portion of the population and may be detrimental to another portion of our population.
As we look at changes in the outdoors arena, we do not have to look very far. At a recent meeting of the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, a package of changes were approved. The first of those changes was the raising of the bear quota by 70 percent. Perhaps this year I will finally get a tag. Presently I have nine preference points.
Many area hunters applaud this change and hope that this trend will continue for some time in the future. In several studies relating to the mortality of fawns, it was learned that many fawns are preyed upon by bears.
Another change is a downward trend in the fall turkey kill. The 2013 fall turkey kill was down by approximately one third from the 2012 season. Again change enters into the discussion. The past two years hunters did not have to register harvested turkeys in person. This change in itself may be the cause of the lower registered numbers. Also the on-again, off-again spring we had last year caused some mortality in turkey poults. If we saw a lower harvest last year one may wonder how low those numbers may go following he winter we are presently “enjoying”.
Another place where change entered into hunting is a series of changes for deer hunting regulations. The 2014 archery season will begin Sept. 13 and will end Jan. 4, 2015. The one change from last year is that there will be no closed archery season the day prior to the nine-day gun-deer season. The archery season is open during the entire gun-deer season.
Another change is that antlerless permits will not automatically be issued with archery licenses for the Northern Forest or Central Forest regions.
The youth hunt will run Oct. 4 and 5. That does not represent a change from last year. Also, the deer hunt for hunters with disabilities will be the same as last year; Oct. 4 to 12.
The nine-day gun-deer hunt will run from Nov. 22 to 30 with no changes from last year.
The muzzleloader hunt will be from Dec. 1 to 10. The December antlerless hunt will be from Dec. 11 to the 14. There are no changes in the dates but the hunt will only be offered in the Central Farmland Zone and the Central Forest Zone for antlerless deer. With the changes approved by the Natural Resources Board the holiday hunt is not open in State Parks for gun-deer hunting.
It appears that in 2015 successful deer hunters will not have to take their deer to a registration location. Registration will take place by phone or on-line.
It also appears that a good share of the recommendations offered by Dr. James Kroll, (Dr. Deer) will be accepted. Kroll lives and owns property in the state of Texas. Keep in mind that in Texas more than 90 percent of the hunting area is privately owned.
In all likelihood, in the future, what we look at as Deer Management units will be set aside and deer managers will work with counties as deer management units.
The time has come to research what changes are in the pipeline and help to cause some of those changes to work.
The time of change has arrived.
Longtime Northwoods outdoors personality Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column for the Star Journal.