Wisconsin going backwards?

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Mike Foss
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Re: Wisconsin going backwards?

Unread postby Mike Foss » Thu Feb 08, 2024 5:26 am

Freelance Bowhunter wrote:
Tim H wrote:Low harvest numbers could be looked at several ways. If it takes 10 years to get a kill tag, a hunter probably isn't going to shoot the first 100 pounder that comes through. In my eyes they'd probably wait for something bigger. Just because they aren't filling their tags, it doesn't mean the bear numbers aren't there.


My experience in communicating with a LOT of bear hunters would lead me to believe the opposite. Most people are thinking it took so long to get this tag that they aren't going to take a chance on not getting a bear. They may wait for a mature bear, but not for long, and at some point they are going to shoot that yearling rather than not shoot a bear at all. Hunters who wait many years to draw a tag are more likely to shoot a smaller bear not less likely.

(Most people are thinking it took so long to get this tag that they aren't going to take a chance getting a bear) That way of thinking has always been the norm in Wisconsin and other state where it takes you years to draw tags, only experienced bear hunters with a few bears under their belt might think differently.


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Re: Wisconsin going backwards?

Unread postby Ol Split ( ) Toes » Thu Feb 08, 2024 6:27 am

Zone D is the primary reason for less tags this year. Zone D is the reason they restructured the zones a few years back . They wanted to greatly reduce the population in that are of the state because of crop damage. Previously that zone was zone a and took 8 to 9 years to draw, when they switched it a few years back to zone d people were drawing with 1 or 2 pts. They must have the population where they want it in zone d now so they reduced the tags.
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Re: Wisconsin going backwards?

Unread postby Freelance Bowhunter » Thu Feb 08, 2024 7:01 am

Mike Foss wrote:Bear population has been slowly declining, you have to ask yourself why the DNR lowered the Bear permits, it’s not because of the huge acorn crop last year.


Mike this article doesn't attribute it to any long-term trends. It's all about the low harvest of 2023.
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Re: Wisconsin going backwards?

Unread postby Freelance Bowhunter » Thu Feb 08, 2024 7:06 am

One more funky thing about this article and the numbers: Reducing from 4575 to 3850 is not a 10% drop. It's about a 16% drop.
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Re: Wisconsin going backwards?

Unread postby ihookem » Thu Feb 08, 2024 11:45 am

I have heard several reports of bear hair all over a bear bait sight, and we all know wolves have learned to frequent bait sights. Therefore , we all know wolves are killing the cubs, if it cant get up the tree fst enough. Howver, I am sure sometimes , big boar will kill a cub too. However, I think there is still a very healthy population in Price and Sawyer co., despite me not getting one and only seeing one bear .. I posted , i put up some left over bait on August 29th last year , , and a bear was the the next afternoon... It is an established bait sight however.
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Re: Wisconsin going backwards?

Unread postby Mike Foss » Thu Feb 08, 2024 3:25 pm

Last bear season I talked to 4 different hound groups (Northern Bayfield County) and every group complained that it was the worst season ever and continues to get worse, one guy said if the bears are there, we would eventually find them. Once again, the DNR just doesn't lower the number of tags because of a natural food source (acorns), there's a bigger problem out there.
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Re: Wisconsin going backwards?

Unread postby Mike Foss » Fri Feb 09, 2024 3:49 am

ihookem wrote:I have heard several reports of bear hair all over a bear bait sight, and we all know wolves have learned to frequent bait sights. Therefore , we all know wolves are killing the cubs, if it cant get up the tree fst enough. Howver, I am sure sometimes , big boar will kill a cub too. However, I think there is still a very healthy population in Price and Sawyer co., despite me not getting one and only seeing one bear .. I posted , i put up some left over bait on August 29th last year , , and a bear was the the next afternoon... It is an established bait sight however.

I do not know if it was wolves or a mature boar attacking a sow with cubs but I came into one of my bait stations and the top of a poplar tree was laying next to the bait station, upon further inspection you could see all the cubs and I assume sow climbed to the top where it broke off and they fell to the ground, I didn’t see any evidence of a kill but the sow did venture back a week later with one less cub.
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Re: Wisconsin going backwards?

Unread postby Nolte » Fri Feb 16, 2024 2:32 pm

Mike Foss wrote:Last bear season I talked to 4 different hound groups (Northern Bayfield County) and every group complained that it was the worst season ever and continues to get worse, one guy said if the bears are there, we would eventually find them. Once again, the DNR just doesn't lower the number of tags because of a natural food source (acorns), there's a bigger problem out there.


We hunt in Zone D and the bear population is as poor as I can remember. Some older guys that hunt with us said its not quite to when they shut the season down in the 80s but it's getting closer. There was a good acorn crop but bear numbers seemed down quite a bit well before acorns would even be available. This reconfigured zone D needs to be revised. If there is ag damage, let them harvest them where it occurs. We used all sorts of tactics with the dogs, baits, track checking, rigging, free casting and walking oak ridges, same with corn fields, cameras set up on crossings. We even stopped checking baits as they werent being hit in weeks. There just weren't any bear around and we have seen the numbers trending downward.


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