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Getting Ready For The 2009 Season

Posted by Chrud , 20 July 2009 · 310 views

It has been way too long since my last blog entry.  Here is a little update on how things are coming along for the 2009 Wisconsin whitetail season.

For food plots, we are going with a pretty similar setup that we used in 2007 and 2008.  We already have my brother's peas planted and they look decent.  We also created a new clover/chicory plot this year (I will include an updated aerial photo later on).  The new C/C plot is looking pretty good, but there are a few weeds that still grew.  With as dry as things have been in Wisconsin, we are not going to mow that clover this year.  Much like our clover road, we expect it to be a year or two before this plot really takes off.  Our Buck Forage Oats food plots will be planted the second weekend in August.

I think we'll have a great improvement on the fields.  After a couple years of sick looking no-till corn, and the farmer not paying the rent money for using the fields, we have decided to find new farmers for our fields.  Luckily, the farmers down the road from us (long time family friends) will be farming the fields this year, and will also open a new field that was plowed but never planted several years ago.  It is very late, but it will likely be winter wheat or winter rye that they plant.  That will be great for late season and a winter food source for the whitetails.

We've gotten quite a few trail camera pictures.  However, there is only one buck we've gotten on camera that I would consider hunting.  Everything else looks like they'll get a pass from me.  And that could mean going without a deer in 2009.  More on that below...

And now for my rant.  It is a good thing my brother caught this early on.  The structure for the 2009 whitetail season in Wisconsin is a huge disappointment.  The Earn-A-Buck (EAB) units are gone.  They are now either a regular unit or a herd control unit (excluding the CWD units).  When purchasing  your licenses, you get one buck tag and one antlerless tag with an archery license and one buck tag and two antlerless "herd control" tags with a gun license.  Unfortunately, the unit we hunt is a regular unit that has zero bonus antlerless tags available.  So this year I can only kill a buck and a doe with archery equipment and only a buck with a firearm.  And I cannot participate in the so-called "statewide antlerless gun hunt" in December because the unit I hunt does not have any antlerless tags available.  I'm sure of three things...

1. There will be a lot of angry hunters, especially the gun-only hunters.  I think there are about 14 units or so that do not have any antlerless tags available.

2. There will be quite a few violations and fines this gun season for hunters who do not understand the rules of the tags this year.  I'd be willing to bet that the majority of gun-only hunters that are in a unit that doesn't have any antlerless tags have no idea they can't shoot a doe or take part in the "statewide" antlerless gun hunt in December.

3. The woods will be scary quiet the opening morning.  It will be very strange to not hear the sound of shots being fired every few minutes.

I'm not really looking forward to the gun season at all.  Based on my Cuddeback pictures, I don't have a long list of bucks I'd shoot this year.  I've always had the same plan for gun season, and that was to shoot the first doe I can so I have one for the freezer.  It is very likely I will be skunked, yet again, this gun season.  And I'm sure this will be the year I'm covered up in does every day.  And should I shoot a buck during the 9-day gun season, I then will not be able to hunt the muzzleloader season as I would not have a tag left.  What really gets me is that I have standards when buck hunting.  But, I don't strictly "trophy" hunt.  I am more than happy to shoot a doe.  In fact, I'd much rather shoot a younger doe than a so-so 2-1/2 year old buck.  Because of the pressure of the surrounding land during the gun season, it is pretty unlikely I will see what I consider a "shooter buck" after the first morning.  If I want to shoot a deer with a gun, something I haven't done since 2001, it looks like I would have to lower my standards.  The two "herd control" tags are useless to me.  There isn't much for low-pressure public land within a reasonable drive in a herd control unit.  To be honest, I wouldn't mind taking the gun season off.

It is certainly going to be an interesting season.  I'm not too concerned about the archery season as I won't be effected much by there not being any antlerless tags available (except that I can only shoot one doe with a bow).  Gun season is my concern.

I will have an updated aerial photo with some new stand locations in a few weeks.  I will also get an updated list of what equipment I will be using this season.

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