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Wisconsin. State Conservation Committee (1915-27) / Biennial report of the State Conservation Commission of Wisconsin for the years 1915 and 1916
(1916)

Deer,   pp. 53-56 PDF (897.4 KB)


Page 53


BIENNIAL REPORT
53
mission has framed a refuge law which we are submitting to this legisla-
ture for passage, which, if passed, will equip us to carry on this work in
the manner it should be. The coming of the automobile has opened the
remote districts where seclusion was found, and settlement is encroaching
more and more upon their habitations. This condition demands that
broader protection must be given for these creatures, which is best afforded
by a generous supply of refuges.
                               DEER.
  The immediate danger of exterminating our deer was overcome by the
passage of the one buck law by our last legislature. Thisis a proven method
of conservation. Sixteen other states have tried this method prior to
the passage of the one buck law in Wisconsin. Something had to be done
to save our deer, as settlements are fast encroaching on the wilderness and
the fast increasing population is narrowing the area of their habitation.
Consequently we must throw around them the necessary protection to
retain them as an abundant game animal. In the light of experience,
we know that no animal responds more readily to protection and encour-
agement than the deer, for our first year's trial of the one buck law has
resulted in producing more fawns this year than have been seen in the deer
territ6ry in any previous year. Nothing is more reasonable if we exercise
common sense, than that by retaining our female deer we will perpetuate
the specie. The farmer, rearing his domestic cattle or other animals, keeps
his females and sells off the males, thus providing against depletion of
his
herds. The one buck lawi is a common sense law and it needs no scientist
or prophet to figure out the benefits that must surely follow its enforce-
ment. Every sportsman who desires to leave to his posterity the inher-
itance that God ordained to the children of men will support this law with
his very best efforts.
  This law, we realize, is an inconvenience to the hunter who cares for
nothing only to satisfy his desire to kill. He is angry when he sees the
white tails bounding through the brush and he is obliged to restrain his
passion to shoot until he can see the antlers. We admit there are hunters
who will take the chance and shoot regardless of the consequences, but
such men are not sportsmen. They belong to that class of hunters that
should be denied a citizen's right to secure a license. We believe that a
majority of our hunters are frue sportsmen who are out for the sport,
and their red blood demands the antlers.
  To prove the efficiency of the one buck law to increase the supply of
deer, we quote the experience that the state of Vermont has had with
this law, itbeing the first state to adopt the law and consequently having
had the longest experience:
  "Forty years ago, as a result of persistent hunting the deer were
ex-
terminated in the state of Vermont. In 1878 twenty sportsmen raised a
fund and purchased from the Adirondack section of New York seventeen
deer which were released in Turland and Bennington counties and pro-
tected by a closed season which continued for nineteen years. In 1897 an
open season was again given, and has been continued each year since that


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