Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation: Farm Bureau urges DNR: Keep deer numbers in check

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Contact: Casey Langan, Director of Public Relations


MADISON – The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation supports proposed changes by the Department of Natural Resources that allow more hunting opportunities during the 2010 deer hunting season. However, the state’s largest farm organization wants to see the DNR keep its authority to implement ‘Earn-a-Buck’ hunts in areas where deer numbers swell.

That recommendation came as part of the Farm Bureau’s written comments to the DNR’s Bureau of Wildlife Management, following public hearings on revisions to the state’s deer hunting rules known as NR 10. WFBF recommends that language be included in the rule to allow the DNR to immediately implement an Earn-a-Buck program if deer number goals are not met.

“WFBF supports the additional hunting opportunities, however, due to hunter attitudes and traditions, we are concerned that history will repeat itself and we will quickly have an overpopulation of deer,” wrote Jeff Lyon, Farm Bureau’s director of governmental relations.

Farm Bureau warned the agency that an over population of deer will result in the need for more funding for the Wildlife Damage Abatement and Claims Program.

With respect to a proposed five-day youth hunt slated to begin on the second Saturday of October, WFBF recommends that the date of the hunt be changed to coincide with ‘teacher convention’ days off of school later in the month.

“As proposed, the youth hunt for all practical purposes is a two-day hunt,” wrote Lyon, who noted the change would accomplish both goals of giving youth more days to hunt and harvesting more deer.

The WFBF has had long standing policy supporting increased bag limits and increasing the number of permits being issued to reduce deer and other wildlife populations. When deer management units are above their over winter goal, Farm Bureau supports Earn-a-Buck or any other program with incentives to reduce the deer herd.

WFBF also supports banning deer baiting and feeding as a means to protect Wisconsin’s livestock industry from diseases such as Bovine Tuberculosis which is prevalent in Michigan and Minnesota. Livestock accounts for over half of agriculture’s $59 billion economic impact to Wisconsin.