Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

The victory of the hooved rodents


Not a good year for the deer hunters this year.

WAUSAU (WPR) Wisconsin’s nine day gun deer season is over, and although official numbers haven’t been released yet, hunters are calling this one of the worst seasons in recent memory.

Pat Zillman owns Zillman’s Meat Market in Wausau. He says the number of deer brought in by hunters for processing is only about half of what it was last year. He says the season started bad, and didn’t improve. Zillman says opening weekend had warm, foggy weather, and he’s seen a 45 percent drop in business.

Opening weekend numbers were down about 25 percent from last year according to the Department of Natural Resources. And although numbers for the entire nine day season won’t be available until mid- week, Zillman says many hunters are complaining. He says big groups of hunters that would normally get eight to ten deer, only harvested two or three deer this year.

WPR reports some hunters are blaming the DNR for keeping the herds too low. One hunter is doing something about it.

TOMAHAWK – Tomahawk man, Kevin Grenzer is the creator of a campaign called “Save Wisconsin’s Deer Hunt.”

Grenzer says through this movement he’ll take hunters letters and comments to DNR headquarters in Madison.

Kevin Grenzer has been hunting in the Northwoods for more than 20 years, but he says the 2009 gun deer hunt was not pretty, “I saw one doe on Monday and I hunted every day all day long.”

Grenzer says he’s not the only one who had bad luck, many hunters report seeing few deer this season and Ron Eckstein, a wildlife biologist for the DNR in Rhinelander says there’s a reason for this, “Overall the population is down.”

Grenzer says hunters need to work with the DNR to get the deer numbers back up. So he started the “Save Wisconsin’s Deer Hunt” campaign in hopes of voicing the concerns of hunters up north, “The back tags and letters I do accumulate I will take down to Madison personally and hand over to the DNR.”

The nice part about the governor vetoing an attempt to take away his power to appoint the DNR Secretary is that hunters can take the issue directly to Doyle or his successor. Hunters won when Doyle decided to keep the appointment process as it currently stands rather than let the DNR Secretary be appointed by the Natural Resources Board.

As for this year’s hunt, the indispensible Tom McMahon’s 4 Block world sums it up pretty well.

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