Home | Harvest | Links | About | Contact 

Earn - A - Sticker?

by Jeremy Forst 2006

The idea of taking a heavy horned whitetail starts to loom in the back of hunters minds this time of year. Rarely do we think about taking a fat doe, but with Wisconsin's DNR constantly restructuring the Deer Management Unit (DMU) restrictions we are left thinking about just that. Last season our first priority was to shoot a doe so that if see a nice buck we can legally take it, and our last priority was making sure we took another doe so we could focus on a buck the following season. With all that to think abut we were more worried about hunting does and hunting bucks was a second thought.

Well this season the hunters of DMU 51A can focus on the buck because this year 51A is a "Herd Control" unit not a mandatory "Earn-A-Buck" unit. Yes, just a heard control unit! Did those of us who shot our does just earned the right to carry a purple sicker in our wallets for the last year? Or did we earn something more? Even though we took more does than we have in past hunting seasons we may have helped ourselves out by creating a even buck to doe ratio on our hunting grounds. With the narrowing in the sex ratio we could be doing ourselves a favor by intensifying the movement of bucks during the rut and keeping the bucks chasing well into the post rut which is when the majority of Wisconsin's gun hunting season take place. Only the season will tell what effect the changes have had , but if the above statement is true then we should be encouraged to shift a small pat of our focus to managing our herd's sex ratio and for maybe a moment thinking of taking that fat doe.