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chucker34

Bud's View of Deer Hunting in Wisconsin

9 posts in this topic

Anyone see this in Sunday's Strib?

http://www.startribune.com/anderson/story/1556654.html

Interesting opinions - and, no, not just because of who he is. Cause the celebrity status doesn't influence which way I think. I just thought he was fairly vocal and put it out there on the line in this piece. Should generate some interesting discussion.

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I would agree with him. This was my first year and when I went to public land it was like Baghdad going off around you. Wait for a good shot, don't just shoot out in the woods at sound.

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Quote:

Wait for a good shot, don't just shoot out in the woods at sound.


I've taught you well, Grasshopper!! J/K!!!! Next year we'll go to the cabin for deer hunting. That way, we'll actually get something. Oh, not to get you excited too early or anything, Dad shot a buck Sunday big enough to mount. You've seen the mounts on the wall, so you have an idea of his standards.

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Here's the story cut and pasted (with full credit to writer and publication), so we can always find it after the STrib takes it off their Web site and you have to register to access the story.

By Dennis Anderson

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Vikings coach Bud Grant first hunted deer in Wisconsin more than a half-century ago. Never were deer numbers, statewide, as high as they are today -- a fact perhaps also true for Minnesota. Yet Grant says more deer, while producing more hunters, hasn't in many cases produced better hunters. Some are "shooters," not hunters. And some bag deer by baiting. Despite high deer numbers, then, these aren't necessarily the "good old days" of whitetail hunting -- not for everyone.

On the role tradition plays in managing deer and deer hunting:

It's very difficult for deer managers to change philosophies and strategies, in part because hunters won't let them. This is true in Minnesota as well as Wisconsin. I think Wisconsin has had the same nine-day firearms season for 50 or 60 years, and scheduling it over Thanksgiving week is the way it has always been, and probably the way it always will be. It's tradition -- like going into the cabin at noon on Sunday to listen to the Packers play.

Hunting traditions play a role at the personal level as well. When I was a kid, the highlight of deer hunting every year was the Friday after Thanksgiving, when I had a turkey sandwich and piece of cold mincemeat pie packed in my lunch.

Rising deer populations have produced more hunters -- for better and worse.

When I hunt deer in Iowa, among other states, I usually don't encounter a lot of hunting pressure-- at least not compared to what I see in Wisconsin. On opening day in Wisconsin, gunfire is nearly continual. In Iowa last year, it was 8:30 or so in the morning before I heard someone shoot.

I love deer hunting so much it's difficult for me to be critical about it. But in states where deer populations are generally high, hunter numbers are also high, and that's not necessarily a good thing.

On the notion that fewer deer and tougher conditions produced better hunters:

For much of my life, conditions were tough while hunting deer in Wisconsin. We didn't have snow machines, of course, or four-wheelers. All of our hunting was done on foot. I could tell story after story about dragging deer through deep snow.

Compare that to today. The weather is milder. And thanks, I think, to rising deer populations, we've raised a generation of people for which deer hunting has become deer "shooting."

Some of these guys shoot at anything. I was in the store the other day and a guy said he had shot 37 times while hunting. Thirty-seven times! For many of these people, "if it's brown, it's down" sums up their hunting style. Hunting for them is not about following a track, or figuring out where a deer crossed a creek, or figuring out, in retrospect, what led you to get a deer. It's about shooting.

Different rules for different times:

When I was a kid, no one shot does. It was tantamount to a major crime. And you had to hunt from the ground. There was a law saying you couldn't be up in a tree stand the way you can today. Hunting from the ground wasn't as effective for harvesting deer, perhaps, as using one of today's high tree stands. At the same time, I think it forced you to learn how to be a deer hunter.

On the changes baiting and trophy hunting have brought to Wisconsin deer hunting:

I love Wisconsin and have hunted deer there all my life. But it's become my least favorite place to hunt deer.

This is a result, I think, of the fact that I've been able since retirement to hunt deer in many states. Last week I was in North Dakota. Earlier this fall I shot a 258-pound buck in Ontario. I'll also hunt in Iowa. And of course this weekend I'm hunting in Wisconsin.

But Wisconsin is not the state it used to be for deer hunting, and legalized baiting, I think, is a big reason. You can't learn to be a deer hunter if you bait. Hunting deer is about walking through the woods and reading sign. Not about baiting.

The politics of baiting in Wisconsin? It's beyond me. I just don't understand it. And these are intelligent people, many of them, who support baiting.

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I like his point about more hunters, not better hunters. I remember a bunch of seasons in Nebraska with a buck-only permit. We'd see dozens of does, and maybe a couple of us would get a buck. The success rate was a lot lower, but I became a better hunter because of it. I scouted more. I watched deer a lot more. And I spent a lot more time on stand. Nowadays, I'm happy to shoot a doe (and not willing to spend $500 on a buck tag), so my season typically doesn't last as long.

The warzone sounds that happen on opening morning are precisely the reason I don't hunt with a shotgun in Minnesota or Wisconsin. Too many shooters, not enough hunters. Anyone with a gun can be a shooter. It takes a little more to be a hunter.

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This is why archery hunting is so awesome. Not as many hunters afield and it comes down to you against the deer. if you beat that deer you really did your job and usually no one else in the woods to mess things up for you.

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I agree with him on points but I love how any time people don't do very well filling a tag, shooting a duck, catching a walleye, they automatically assume the DNR's numbers are way off ("The area we hunt -- and I know there are other areas -- in Wisconsin doesn't have anywhere near the deer the DNR says it has, or says exists generally in the state."). That's my only bone to pick. He is right about certain things WI does in managing their deer herd and how it makes management difficult. Talk about a tough crowd to please, no matter how you manage deer, the season is so short that somebody is left unhappy.

At least in fisheries one has 9-12 months to get what you're after and can appease one's self.

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I think you only got half of it catfish.

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How many guys are shooting mature bucks over bait? I've never baited, but the baiters I new when I hunted in Wisconsin didn't see much in the way of mature bucks.

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