MADISON (WSAU) The D-N-R is indefinitely delaying a decision about expanding the gun-deer season from 9 to 16 days. Under an earlier proposal, the change would have started next fall.
In a letter to the Natural Resources Board, D-N-R Secretary Matt Frank says the idea is tabled indefinitely while his agency studies the data from the just-completed 2009 season. The number of deer harvested was below 200,000, and nearly 30% less than a year ago. Many hunters have claimed the D-N-R's deer population estimates are off, and that has led to mismanagement of the deer herd. Senate majority leader Russ Decker called for the firing of the D-N-R's deer management staff.
The state had been considering a longer gun-deer season as a replacement for the unpopular earn-a-buck program.
By delaying a decision now, it's unlikely that there would be any changes for the 2010 gun season.