Folks: I am at Pheasant Fest in Madison, where the crowds have been unbelievable. You’d never know we were in a recession to see the people here spending money! I’ll try to post again after the Expo, but I need to get some sleep so I can function tomorrow.
A young hunter who listens to my radio show, Caleb Pearce, has a blog: huntingwisconsin.blogspot.com. Check it out. Here’s a note I sent to him in response to a message he sent me.
Caleb:I have read your blog posts with great interest. I think it is wonderful that you want to help wildlife conservation. DU is a good organization, but there are others that could use your help also. For instance, here in WI Lake Delton drained last summer when the floods took out Highway A. You should take a look at Lake Delton Fisheries Restoration Project. A friend and I helped get this project started. Now people are contributing funds to help create fish habitat and stock fish in the lake. I read your comments and your readers’ comments about deer and wolves. You are right to say that there are several reasons why deer numbers have declined in WI. There have been too many deer in many areas of the state for years. The DNR encouraged hunters to kill more deer to help bring the herd down to levels that will not damage the remaining habitat. Now that we have fewer deer in parts of the state, some hunters are looking for someone to blame. They are forgetting that when there are too many deer, the ecosystem is out of balance. WI cannot support an ever-increasing deer herd indefinitely. As for wolves, you are right to say that they returned to WI on their own. The DNR did not reintroduce wolves anywhere in the state. All the wolves we have here came here on their own from MN or MI or they are the offspring of wolves already in WI. We have around 550 wolves in the state now. Biologists tell us a wolf might eat 10-20 deer per year. Lets assume they eat 20 deer per year. Do the math – that means that wolves might kill around 11,000 deer per year in WI. If that is the case, then wolves are not eating all the deer. Keep up your wildlife observations and keep hunting and fishing. The more time you spend outdoors paying attention to what you see around you, the more you will learn and the more you will be able to share with your readers. BTW, I am going to post this response on my blog and encourage people to visit your blog. You also might be interested in joining the rabbit hunters group on Flickr.com.