Northwoods hunter takes quest to save deer hunt to Madison - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Northwoods hunter takes quest to save deer hunt to Madison

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By Heather Sawaski

TOMAHAWK (WAOW) -- This season's gun deer hunt went down as one of the weakest in recent history. Numbers were down 29% from last year alone.

In December, we first told you how one Northwoods hunter is trying to do something about it. Kevin Grenzer started the group, "Save Wisconsin's Deer Hunt," calling on other concerned hunters to petition the DNR for answers. Now he's now taking his quest to the capital.

Nearly 700 unfilled tags and more than 200 letters full of complaints. It's the response Kevin Grenzer received since starting his pursuit to save the deer hunt.

"It's pretty much all the same," Grenzer said. "Everybody's pretty upset with the lack of deer. And it's not just the fact that they're not shooting the deer, they're not seeing the deer. I think that's what people really miss the most is that the deer aren't there anymore."

After another disappointing season, Grenzer wants to emphasize to state DNR leaders that something needs to be done to save the sport. He's heading to Madison Wednesday, to personally deliver the letters to the Chief Biologist, and offer up some suggestions to beef up the state's deer population, like ways to stop predators, like wolves and bear, from getting to deer and eliminating doe tags altogether.

"I think that's a big thing, the does," said frustrated hunter Don Tinker. "If you take a doe this year, how many does that count for down the road?"

Another local hunter says 2009 was the worst harvest he's ever seen.

"I only saw 3 deer in my field," said Bill Voigt. "It's a large track, probably about 650 acres of private land, and I only saw 3 deer during gun season. A few years back, I saw 16, 17 deer a day."

DNR leaders are aware of the problem. In December, the capital was packed full for a listening session on how to rejuvenate the deer population.

Grenzer says, it's a start.

"Are we going to see a lot of dramatic changes? I don't think so at this time," he said. "But I think they're going to listen. They have to listen for our deer herd to recover."

DNR leaders say they are working on ways to fix the problem. But deer populations go in cycles, and it's going to take a few years to get the harvest back up to numbers past.

Online Reporter: Heather Sawaski

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