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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 55


                        BIENNIAL REPORT                            55
time. During the eighteen years which have since elapsed bucks only
have been killed, with the exception of the years 1909 and 1910 when an
open season for does also was granted. This open season in 1909-10 was
given solely for the reason that deer had become too plentiful and it was
deemed wise to reduce their numbers.
  "During these eighteen years official figures show that 23,265 deer
have
been killed by sportsmen. During the first half of the period, or from 1897
to 1905 inclusive, 2,855 deer were killed. During the second half 20,410
deer were killed, an increase of over 800 per cent. These figures prove
* * * that under a buck law the deer increase in the woods at the same
time that greater numbers are being taken by the hunters. The state-
ment seems paradoxical, but there can be no denying the figures.
  "It is interesting to note also that during the first four years of
the open
season, or from 1897 to 1900, inclusive, only 460 deer were killed, an
average of 115 deer per year. This was the best that could be done after
a nineteen year closed season. During the last six years the number taken
averaged 2,763 deer per year. The great increase in Vermont deer there-
fore has taken place not under the protection afforded by a closed season,
but under the buck law.
  "Vermont, as stated before, is the state which has given the buck
law
the longest test. It is the only state in the Union today which complains
with reason of having too many dear. In proportion to its hunting area
more deer are killed under a buck law than in any other state under any
kind of law. The deer are also the heaviest and finest specimens of the
Virginia deer to be found in the United States. Hunting accidents are
characteristically infrequent and the kind of accidents in which a man is
shot at by mistake for a deer are almost unknown."
  The one buck law has its friends and its foes-both equally pronounced
in his praise and condemnation of the law, but viewing it from the stand-
point of a conservation law, both as to humanity and deer, its first year's
trial has demonstrated that it has conserved both. There was not a single
fatality last winter from one hunter shooting another, mistaking him for
a
deer. A very unusual circumstance, for this is the first year in a score
that
several hunters have not lost their lives being shot to death by a reckless
hunter that did not stop to see what he was shooting at. This law has
demonstrated that the hunter stops and looks before he shoots. He
looks for the horns, and does not shoot at the first sight of a moving object.
It has made the hunter more cautious, and has added much to the sport
for the hunter feels that his life is not in constant jeopardy. With all
of
the points favorable to this law, it should have but one amendment to
make it complete. The law should specify that no deer may be taken
without horns at least six inches long.
  We refer those who believe that the one buck law is not a conservator
of deer to the following schedule which shows the total number of deer
shipped from the various counties during the years 1913, 1914 and 1915.
This gives only the number of deer shipped and does not include those
that were taken by private conveyances, which were many:
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