Jerry Davis’ DeerTrails: It’s good time to re-examine deer hunting rules

November 25, 2018

Editor’s note: Jerry Davis writes daily DeerTrails 11 times during the nine-day, gun deer season. This is the 11th and final column.

Sunday, Nov. 25 marks the closing of Wisconsin’ s nine-day, gun deer season.

We now can wrap up the loose ends, put the venison in jars or freezer, and thank those who helped make the season possible (and do we dare say traditional?).

With a new state administration in the wings, probably including a Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources, now’s a good time to discuss suggestions and rethink some changes to the deer season structure, particularly how Wisconsin’s wildlife animal is hunted, registered, and managed.

We can encourage and hope that the DNR will be transparent, particularly in allowing employees to express their opinions when it comes to changes in legislation, rules, and regulations. We need them to be able to testify as bills are discussed. They need to be able to tell how it will work if applied to the deer, hunters, and landowners without being dismissed.

Many regulations are in place to help make the activity be as safe as possible. Some recent changes may have done the opposite.

Wouldn’t it have been wise to at least get the opinions of field wardens when it came to casing firearms? Or tagging deer? Or registering deer? Or having backtags to inform the public that the person is licensed?

While we’re still attempting to manage, fight, deal with and learn more about chronic wasting disease, it would be great if there were more in-person registration stations to deal directly with health issues, age deer, and take samples when necessary.

Volunteer stations do help out, but…

During the past decade, Wisconsin has implemented some very questionable rule changes with regard to deer hunting. If rules can be changed, they certainly can be reviewed, improved, eliminated or

whatever it takes to make this business of hunting deer more appealing, safer, and more open in terms of telling the public what’s happening and why?

The easy part of some reviews is that transparency is a mindset, not a law. Let’s talk about it.

Season Snippet: Blaze orange clothing was required starting in 1980.

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