Friday, August 04, 2006

INDIANA NEWS: Tag Prices Reduced for Antlerless Deer

To better maintain a balanced deer herd, the DNR has encouraged the taking of antlerless deer during hunting season. Yesterday, the Natural Resources Commission ratified a proposal by the DNR that will reduce the cost of certain bonus antlerless deer tags.

Under the new proposal the cost of the first bonus antlerless deer license remains $24 for Indiana residents and $150 for non-residents. But to encourage the taking of additional antlerless deer, the cost for the second and subsequent bonus antlerless tags falls to $15 for Indiana residents and $24 for non-residents.

“Since the whitetail deer was re-introduced into Indiana in the 1950s, deer hunting has been both a sport and a biological necessity,” said Kyle Hupfer, DNR director. “Man has always been the primary predator for whitetail deer so hunting is important in maintaining Indiana’s deer herd population at a proper biological level and a size more acceptable to the human population.

“The new fee structure established yesterday will help with herd management while also reducing the financial burden on hunters who assist the state in regulating the deer population.”

Copyright Tri-State Media 2001-2006.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

IRELAND NEWS: Government Cost-shares Deer Fences for Foresters

THE SCOURGE of deer to farm forestry is to be addressed with the introduction of a new grant to meet 80% of the costs of deer fencing. With an increase in the population of deer over the recent years, farmers have complained that it was growing increasingly difficult to establish broadleaf or diverse conifer species in areas populated by deer.
They also complained that with the explosion in population, deer were spreading into parts of the country they had never been seen in before and were browsing on young broadleaves and some conifer species.

The new grant, which was introduced by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Mary Wallace, has been welcomed by Carlow IFA forestry chairman, Dan Galavan.

“This grant will make a huge difference to many farmer foresters,” Mr Galavan said. “The grant will be available to farm-ers who are establishing new plantations and to growers who wish to upgrade fencing on existing forestry.

“The cost of deer fencing at around •10 per metre has been prohibitive for some forest owners prior to the introduction of this assistance.”

Mr Galavan said that it didn’t make sense for farmers, the Government or the EU to invest in forestry and then for deer to make a meal of it. He pointed out that fencing was one of many control measures that can be used to protect forests from deer.

“The relevant authorities must also look at means of controlling the population to sustainable levels if we are to get on top of a situation which already is out of control in many parts of the country,” he added.

Farmers who wish to avail of the grant should contact the Approvals Section (Deer Fencing) of the Forest Service in Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford.

WISCONSIN NEWS: Deer population at 1.7 million

By Jim Mense, Outdoor Columnist, Dunn County News

Wisconsin’s white-tailed deer population is projected to be 1.5 to 1.7 million this fall, which figures to be 12 percent higher than last fall. According to Keith Warnke, big game ecologist for the DNR, that projection is well above established population goals, but better than biologists expected or ever hoped for. Given the limited herd control seasons last year and the extremely mild winter in northern Wisconsin, hunters did a fine job limiting projected herd growth to 12 percent. But, he continued, you can see by the amount of herd control and earn-a-buck units this fall, of which 59B is a part, that hunters really need to step up to the plate this fall and harvest antlerless deer to keep the deep population within the carrying capacity of the land and reducing crop and garden depredation. And last but not least, vehicular collisions.

No four-Day October Hunt

Hunters are reminded there is a not 4-day October antlerless gun hunt. A moratorium on October gun hunting of deer will be implemented on a two-year trial basis with an option to reinstate the October antlerless hunt after one year if deer harvests in herd control units such as 59B, drops below a 1.4 to 1 antlerless to buck ratio. The October herd control hunt, we know as the Zone T hunt was effective at reducing deer populations. But, according to Warnke, it was unpopular with hunters who felt that it interfered with the very best time for archery deer hunting. Not only bow hunting but pheasant, grouse, turkey and even waterfowl hunting.

Warnke is asking hunters to harvest two anterlerless deer for every antlered buck. If that is accomplished, it has the potential to resolve some of the conflict in deer management. What to do with multiple deer carcasses? Can you think of an easier way to help feed the hungry among us? The Dunn County Fish & Game Club will again be coordinating the program along with area food pantries, meat processors and the DNR that will be happy to accept every deer you harvest if you want it that way. You shoot it, and hungry folks will be happy to eat it.

Monday, July 31, 2006

PENNSYLVANIA NEWS: Unified Sportsman Sues for More Deer

By Bob Frye
Monday, July 31, 2006

Hunters unhappy with the Pennsylvania Game Commission's current deer management program won at least a partial victory in court last week.
Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson said in a ruling last week that the Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania can proceed with a lawsuit against the Game Commission and its deer program.

The suit centers around deer populations. The Game Commission has lowered deer densities in many areas of the state through a program biologists say is meant to bring deer into balance with the available habitat.

The Unified Sportsmen, however, allege that the program is based on faulty science and has decimated deer populations needlessly, thereby threatening hunting and deer.

The commission -- being represented by the state Attorney General's office, as required by law -- tried to get the case thrown out of court. Their attorneys had argued that the commission, as the agency responsible for managing deer in the commonwealth, "owned" the deer, so no entity such as the Unified Sportsmen could sue it over its deer plan. In his ruling, Simpson disagreed with that opinion.

"Because the Game Code clearly recognizes the interests of sportsmen and protects an adequate opportunity to hunt and trap the Commonwealth's wildlife resources, standing is conferred by statute," Simpson wrote.

"In other words, the judge soundly rejected the idea that the Pennsylvania Game Commission is not responsible to sportsmen, and he further rejected the idea that sportsmen have no right to sue them," said Greg Levengood, chairman of the Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania. "This in itself is a major victory for sportsmen."

Simpson did, however, did dismiss the portion of the lawsuit that targeted the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Gov. Rendell, two entities Unified had targeted because of their support for the deer program. Simpson said neither are directly responsible for deer management,

Simpson said the Unified Sportsmen must now clarify its complaint before it can move forward.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

TENNESSEE NEWS: No deer baiting this hunting season

There will be no deer hunting over bait in Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission. At their meeting last week the TWRC considered the pros and cons, finally siding with the TWR-Agency's recommendation against it. The TWRA spent two months studying data from 15 states, seven of which allow hunting deer over bait.

The primary concern was the deer's increased susceptibility to disease; the next concern was powerful toxins that develop in the feed grains, especially corn. Studies also indicated that deer became more nocturnal when feeding on bait. Finally, in a survey done by the TWRA, more than 60 percent of hunters and non-hunters were opposed to baiting deer. Huzzah.

Tom Wiest is an outdoors writer. Write to him at: Tom Wiest, c/o The Daily Times, P.O. Box 9740, Maryville, TN 37802-9740 or e-mail to