The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is considering a proposal to expand the gun deer season from 9 to 16 days. It’s not the first time officials have eyed a longer gun season, but this time is a little different. Having recently gutted it’s unpopular Earn-A-Buck program, Wisconsin managers are looking for another way to keep the overall population in check. A longer gun season might indeed do the job. On the other hand, Wisconsin’s historically short gun season almost certainly contributes to the Badger State’s status as one of the country’s best states for big whitetails. What’s more, its basic long-bow/short-gun season structure represents a larger model that many would argue is at least partially responsible for making the Midwest today’s trophy-whitetail Heartland.
All of which brings up a fundamental question: In your own state, would you rather have a short gun- (and longer bow-)season structure focused on trophy deer, or a long gun season focused on more opportunity to bag any deer?
For more on Wisconsin’s particular situation, click here.