Wisconsin Hunters May Have Fooled Themselves
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Wisconsin deer hunters convinced the Department of Natural Resources to move the antlerless deer hunt to December from October stating that it would be a better time and more effective. Although DNR officials don’t have exact figures, most people believe the hunt, which just concluded, was a bust.

The DNR uses the antlerless deer hunt as a mechanism to control deer populations in wildlife management areas. If the timing of this hunt proves to be less popular, then the DNR may be forced to move the hunt back to October.

Tom Remington

Wisconsin Faces Problems With Illegal Activities Surrounding Deer Baiting/Feeding
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The problems that are beginning to surface in Wisconsin, are mostly indirectly related to the baiting and feeding of deer. There are no laws banning the feeding or baiting of deer in Wisconsin except during the deer gun season when hunters are restricted to using two gallons or less of bait food.

Randy Stark is the state conservation warden chief and he has just submitted his end of the year assessment of this year’s deer hunt – 43 pages total if you count the separate report he filed just concerning issues of deer feeding and baiting.

Stark says there are four ingredients needed to continue having a deer hunting season in Wisconsin and the problems arising from baiting are going to cut into those four things.

“We need four things to have a future in deer hunting: a healthy deer herd, hunters, access to a place to hunt and a public that accepts hunting,” Stark said.

He also believes now is the time to get the conversation going to work to address some of the problems. He gives some reasons why he thinks now is as good a time as any.

# Researchers recently confirmed that chronic wasting disease can be transferred by saliva.

# Repeated placement of corn, apples and other foods can concentrate deer on private property and reduce normal daylight deer movement.

# Feed outside cabins and residences creates vulnerability for opportunistic poaching at night, with trophy bucks often the targets.

# Conflicts between adjacent landowners and hunters on public lands spawn unethical and sometimes illegal conduct.

22% of all citations issued were the result of issues dealing with deer baiting. Here is a look at some of them.

Some wardens told Stark that the $530 fine for illegal baiting and feeding didn’t seem to faze those who were caught, and they recommended higher fines and a mandatory license suspension of at least one year.

Numerous complaints of illegally-cut shooting lanes, ATV use and permanent tree stands on state land were made. Stark said bait piles are involved in most of those instances.

Also as a result of baiting activity, wardens reported significantly more late shots heard as people stayed in stands after shooting hours closed waiting for deer to come to their corn pile.

One landowner with several excessive baits was contacted by Lincoln County warden Fred Peters. The hunter expressed annoyance with the DNR for their ability to count deer.

“I pointed out the deer sign in and around the bait stations and explained that he had several fat and happy deer that would gladly wait until after dark to eat the corn,” Peters said.

Many ATV users are dumping excessive baits before the opener and hoping that the baits will be eaten down to the legal limit of two gallons or less by the opener, he said.

This is the type of hunter that allowing the practice of baiting is creating. Instead of becoming a knowledgeable hunter and learning how to read the signs, do some scouting, use some strategy and change methods of hunting, it’s much easier to dump a pile of food and wait for the biggest deer to come along and eat.

When hunters are allowed to run ram shod through the woods dumping bait here and there, it has become clear that the ethics in hunting are disappearing and being replaced by law breaking and disrespect for the sport and the land and landowners. I agree with Stark. It’s time for some changes.

Tom Remington

The Cyberspace Bear Story That Wouldn’t Die
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It all began so innocently. Little did I know that all of cyberspace would be enthralled with a bear in a corn field story!

I had just returned from my annual Maine deer hunting trip and as one would expect, I was swamped with work. A friend had forwarded me an email with some pictures and a brief description of a bear that had become trapped under the wheel of a combine tractor. The email didn’t say where it happened, the story looked intriguing enough to pass on to readers and I didn’t have the time to investigate the story. I posted it asking readers to enlighten us all.

Slowly, the comments began coming in from readers everywhere of where they believed it happened. I was amazed at the interest as well as the diverse opinions and what was presented as “fact” of where and when it all happened. When I got comments from readers with links to the actual story of Troy DeRosier in Wisconsin, I thought that would put an end to the story. It didn’t. Readers were still submitting comments of where they thought the story happened. (If you click on this link to the original story, you can read all the comments.)

The talk began expanding until finally, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources issued a statement saying it didn’t happen in that state – Illinois being one of the front runners as to where readers thought it happened. As a matter of fact, they said it was a hoax.

Yesterday I got an email from J.R. Absher, The News Hound at ESPN Outdoors, with a link to another news story about the bear. It seems that the owner of the DeRosier farm, Troy, couldn’t believe all the hoopla over this bear story.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press ran with the story, again only this time with what has transpired with the DeRosiers since the event took place back at the end of October. The DeRosiers became inundated with phone calls and attention. Here’s what happened according to Troy DeRosier and his wife, Nancy.

“To me, it was kind of a big deal, but not that big a deal, I don’t think,” DeRosier said.

While combining 40 acres of corn Oct. 26, DeRosier’s machine tipped into a deep hole.

“Right up to the axle,” he said. “It couldn’t move at all.”

He assumed it was an empty badger hole — he’d come across them before — but then he heard breathing and pawing.

“I didn’t want to be anywhere on the ground when that badger came flying out of the hole,” he said.

DeRosier called his father, Don DeRosier, to come pull him out. He told his dad to bring a gun, just in case. His mom came, too, thinking it would be funny to take pictures of their son, cowering from the animal.

But it wasn’t a badger that started climbing out of the hole.

A wheel on the combine had driven into the 5-foot-deep den of a black bear, and the nearly 300-pound animal wanted out.

“We didn’t know what kind of mood he was going to be in,” DeRosier said, “so we did shoot him there.” They called the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for permission first.

Camera in hand, Nancy DeRosier started snapping photos.

“I just sent them to friends of ours down in Mesa (Ariz.) and a few of my brothers and sisters up here,” Nancy DeRosier said. “But as it went along, the stories got changed.”

What surprised me was to see the the Black Bear Blog was mentioned in the story as being the one place on the Internet looking for answers.

The author of the Black Bear Blog, part of the Maine Hunting Today Web site, asked readers in mid-November to identify the source of the photos. Bloggers guessed anywhere from Rushford, Minn., to Macon, Christian or Woodford counties of Illinois.

One poster was so sure it was none of those places, he wrote: “THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED IN ROLLINGSTONE MN. GOT AN E-MAIL FROM A CUSTOMER WHO LIVES NEAR WHERE THIS TOOK PLACE.”

It appears that the Internet, including the power of email, news, blogs, readers and the instant access to information, has created quite a stir that I’m sure the DeRosier family never would have dreamed would come out of getting stuck in a hole in the middle of a cornfield in smalltown USA.

As an end note to this story – I think it’s the end – I want to thank all the readers who took part in this interesting journey. I’m not exactly sure the DeRosiers would be so eager to thank you but it was enjoyable and it has expanded all our worlds just a bit more.

Tom Remington

Deer Hunters Need To Do Their Part…..Shoot Some Does
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I grew up and hunted my entire life in Maine. Maine doesn’t have a deer problem – at least meaning it doesn’t have too many deer in the majority of the state. There are some areas in the southern section where numbers are getting a bit out of hand but over much of the state and in particular the western mountains and northen Maine, too many deer aren’t a problem.

In contrast, take Wisconsin. They have too many deer. Most state wildlife experts use the issuing or antlerless deer permits to regulate herd numbers. In its most simplistic form, an area that has too many deer, authorities will issue more permits and vice versa for areas with too few deer. In Wisconsin there have been times when they ran a program called “Earn a Buck”, where a hunter had to first tag an antlerless deer before they could shoot a buck. This forced hunters to shoot antlerless deer and hunters complained.

A healthy deer herd is essential to the future of deer hunting. We all like to see deer when we go hunting afterall, that’s why we go but too many deer can present a host of problems – disease, depletion of habit that leads to starvation, to name a couple.

The sport of deer hunting has evolved for one reason or another into one of shooting the trophy deer. I’ll admit, I’m as guilty as the next guy in that I would much rather be able to sit down to my keyboard and pound out a story about the monster buck I got. This desire by more hunters to pass up does in order to take the trophy is part of the equation that has led to the rise in deer populations. Some hunters now will not even tag a deer unless it is a trophy.

Wisconsin ditched its “Earn a Buck” program and instead replaced it with a late season antlerless season. According to the Ironwood Daily Globe, DNR official Bruce Bacon isn’t expecting the woods to be full of hunters.

“We expect a few people who didn’t get any venison during the gun-deer hunt to go out,” said Bruce Bacon, Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist from the Mercer office.

Wisconson needs some herd culling, this is the reason for the antlerless hunt.

The hunt is being held because DNR wildlife officials say more than 100 of Wisconsin’s 130 deer management units have deer populations that need strong hunting pressure to reduce herd size.

Any antlerless tags that hunters have left over from the regular season are still good for the December 7 – 10 antlerless hunt. If you used yours up, you can purchase any number you want at $2.00 each. How many have been sold?

Iron County Clerk Mike Saari said Monday most hunters still have unused antlerless permits from gun-deer and archery seasons. Asked how many $2 antlerless permits his office had sold as of Monday afternoon, Saari said, “I haven’t sold any.”

Hopefully this trend isn’t holding true all across the state.

Have we become a breed of trophy hunters more than meat hunters? If this trend continues, there could be some real serious issues we’ll all have to deal with. Hunters need to become actively involved and work more closely with their state’s management people and help out with herd management by harvesting some does.

If you have enough venison in your own freezer, just about every state now has some kind of program to feed the hungry. I realize there are many factors to control whether or not we hunt and if and when we tag deer but if we all did just a little more, this would work toward improving the deer herds in those areas that need reduction. This in turn will help to ensure a better future for the sport.

Tom Remington

Bear Trapped Under Combine A Hoax Says DNR
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The email story that has been traveling at cyber speed around the Internet and one of which I posted the photos, showing a bear trapped under the wheel of a combine, is a hoax according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. WJBC AM Radio has a short item.

If you’ve seen an email that shows a large black bear trapped under a combine in a cornfield, the state Department of Natural Resources says it’s a hoax. In some versions, the email claims that the incident happened in rural Illinois. Others say it was in Wisconsin. The email references DNR, but the agency says that incident of a bear being trapped did not happen in Illinois.

So, it didn’t happen in Illinois. Does that mean it might have happened in Wisconsin? According to some of my readers, it happened in Wisconsin.

The location is Farmington, Wisconsin near the border of Wisconsin-Minnesota (about 40 miles to the Twin Cities in MN)

This bear was near Osceola (Farmington), WI, at the Troy DeRosier farm in NW Wisconsin. The man holding the bear’s head in one of the photos is Troy.

The photos were from the Troy Derosier farm in Farmington WI. A story about it was written by my wife for The Country Today newspaper. www.thecountrytoday.com

If you would like to read the story that appeared in The Country Today, click here.

Tom Remington

Wisconsin Hunters Bag More Deer, But……
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Unofficial numbers are coming in from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources stating that the deer kill numbers for this year’s nine-day gun season are 336,211. That’s up 7% from last year. The big BUT here is officials don’t know until all the numbers are tallied, including the present ongoing muzzleloader season that runs through December 6 and the antlerless season that will begin on the 7th and run for four days, whether the harvest is sufficient enough to not revisit opening the October antlerless hunt again. The number of antlerless deer taken was up by 18% over last year.

On a trial basis, Wisconsin officials opted this year to cancel the October hunt. Hunters claimed that by having the antlerless hunt after the regular and muzzleloader seasons, more deer would get harvested, which is what officials want to help control a blossoming deer herd.

Tom Remington

Wrestlemania Or Something Peculiar With This Story?
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The story goes like this. Three Sheboygan, Wisconsin men were out taking a walk in Evergreen Park along with a dog when all of a sudden a deer attacked them.

Anthony Lee, 20, was with his cousin, George Lee, 19, and father, Tou Moua Lee, 47, in Evergreen Park about 12:45 p.m. Wednesday when an injured 6-point buck stepped suddenly onto the trail, Anthony Lee said. The animal, which they later found had been shot with both a gun and an arrow, blew air through its nose several times and charged.

The three men claim that they took turns wrestling this 170-pound, 6-point buck. When one man got tired hanging on to the antlers and keeping the wounded deer at bay, another would step in a take his place. At times one would go into the woods and bring out branches, logs, etc. and commence to beat the deer over the head with them.

“I must have broke like eight, nine logs on the back of his head,” said George Lee, laughing as he recalled rushing into the woods in search of weapons. “If we didn’t fight back we would’ve gotten torn up.”

The article states that the deer was wounded when it came out of the woods and that later on they discovered the deer had been hit with a shotgun slug as well as an arrow. Is this consistent with hunting seasons in the area? I’m not sure but we can’t dismiss the possibility of poachers.

The three men eventually tired the deer out and was able to get the deer down on its side and they sat on it. They then called 911 to report they were being attacked by a deer.

“I’m at Evergreen Park right now and there’s a deer trying to attack us,” George Lee can be heard saying at the start of the 911 call, which authorities said came in at 1 p.m.

The men also claim that they tried, unsuccessfully, to videotape the attack. This while the men sat on the deer for 20 – 30 minutes while police tried to locate them in the park.

This is of course a bizarre set of circumstances.

“I’ve never heard of anything like that in my career … (someone) holding a deer down,” said Lt. Jim Veeser of the Sheboygan Police Department, adding that two officers responded to the scene.

Dale Katsma, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Natural Resources, said such brazen attacks are a “real rare thing,” and attributed the deer’s aggression primarily to the mating season.

“It could just be related to aggressiveness during the rutting period, and then maybe complicated by being injured as well,” said Katsma. “You hear about this occasionally when people have deer in game farms or pet situations. Usually you don’t hear about that kind of thing in the wild.”

There is one sentence in the article that has me scratching my head just a tad.

Anthony Lee said Wednesday night that they found a slug in the deer’s side and an arrow tip in its hind leg, both of which were bleeding when it attacked.

Does this statement imply that at some point after the attack, Lee found a slug and arrow tip – like they took the deer home and while making a closer examination discovered two wounds? Or is this just the writer noting that it was Wednesday night when he interviewed Lee about the story.

Due to the rarity of such a thing happening, combined with a story of three men wrestling a deer, wounded or not, sure leaves me with a few questions. The biggest question I would have to raise has to do mostly with anyone wrestling a 170-lb. antlered deer – wounded or not. Did I mention that Anthony Lee, who may be the biggest of the three men, weighs 130 pounds?

Tom Remington

Loving Whitetail Deer Is One Thing But This Is Going Too Far
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A Wisconsin man has been charged with having sex with a dead deer carcass. Yeah, no kidding. This is a true story. His lawyer is claiming that even though Wisconsin law states that it is illegal to have sex with animals, once it is dead it can no longer be considered an animal – according to Webster’s dictionary.

So lets get this straight. From the perspective of the lawyer, having sex with a live deer is a no no. Having sex with a dead deer is not breaking the law – so I guess that would be considered okay to do.

Doesn’t anybody get it? Doesn’t this guy understand that having sex with animals, dead or alive, is not considered an activity that has any social redeeming values? Give me a break! People are sick!

(Hat tip: Desert Rat)

Tom Remington

Wisconsin’s Learn To Hunt Program
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You can learn more about Wisconsin’s Learn to Hunt Program. The program is designed to recruit new hunters, young and old, through a mentor program. Wisconsin is having some difficulties retaining and recruiting hunters. Presently statistics show that for every 100 hunters lost only 53 are being recruited.

Learn more about the Learn to Hunt Program.

Tom Remington

Wisconsin Youth Won’t Have To “Earn-A-Buck”
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There seems to be some confusion about the rules that will govern this coming weekend’s youth hunt in Wisconsin. Kids ages 12-15 have this Saturday and Sunday to go deer hunting with a gun and a mentor but confusion is making for some unsettling times.

Wisconsin has what are called Earn-a-Buck deer zones. In efforts to better control the deer herd, officials began this program to force hunters to take an antlerless deer before taking a buck.

Because of the confusion about whether the young hunters this weekend had to abide by the Earn-a-Buck program, officials have waived the restrictions simply to bring clarity to the issue.

“This hunt is all about introducing youth to Wisconsin’s deer hunting heritage,” said Randy Stark, chief DNR warden.

‘We don’t want complexity and confusion. We want kids and their mentors to have a fun and memorable experience.”

Tom Remington

Infolinks 2013