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Letter: Deer fiasco was predictable, writer says

Dear Editor,

I hate to say "I told you so" but I told you so. Referring to articles I submitted to this very paper in '06 and '07. With the 2008 deer season under my belt (my 64th opener), I think I can say I'm qualified to make the following observations, not just as a weekend hunter, but one who is in the woods and on our waters day after day throughout the year. Herein, I must make the following comments on the pathetic performance by DNR officials that are slowly robbing us of the game and fish that is dear to our hearts. As one who believes in calling the shots before they happen (not after the fact), I wrote in this very paper the last two years, warning hunters not to take advantage of the ridiculous number of permits the DNR was advocating, stating it was threatening the future of deer hunting. These words have quickly come to fruition in Zone 15.

I will quote from one of those articles titled "Don't Kill Breeding Stock" and I quote, "Once again hunters will be asked to destroy the remaining deer that the nine day gun season has spared (referring to the upcoming '07 December doe season). Don't play into the hands of incompetent decision makers, instead use your good common sense and let your conscious be your guide before shooting the remaining doe, many who are now carrying twin or triplet fawns. Always think about next year and always contemplate this: just one bad winter can set us back a decade."

You can't get any more explicit than that. I begged and pleaded for hunters to show more restraint, but it falls on deaf ears. To further quote from my letter, "I'm imploring hunters to use restraint and don't try to fill every tag. Zone 15 does not contain a big share of the 1.7 million that Madison claims the population to be." Additionally, I wrote... (referring to the deer left after the '07 season). Good luck if you are fortunate enough to have an antlered adult deer pass your stand in the fall of 2008."

Quoting further from my writing, "It is absolutely unconscionable to allow more deer ('07 December doe hunt), to be shot at this time, actually removing breeding stock for the next two years ('08 and '09)... Biting the hand that feeds you, so to speak. Let us show restraint to insure that low numbers do not confront us in 2008."

If I saw this coming two years ago, why didn't the DNR? I'll tell you why... either incompetence or they were lying to you. Truth is DNR officials seldom actually get out in the field and I will put my experience against any of them any day of the week.

So, as we approach 2009, there is just one answer... do not participate in the DNR's lunacy. When the flood of permits that are sure to come forward, refuse to kill the deer they will ask you to kill in 2009, thereby insuring this resource for those that will come after us. (Stay tuned for a future letter that I will submit to this paper detailing the mismanagement of ruffed grouse, northern pike and large mouth bass).

Michael J. Murray

New Richmond