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Opinion: Is Earn-A-Buck Really So Bad?

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April 30, 2009

Opinion: Is Earn-A-Buck Really So Bad?

By Dave Hurteau

From the Wisconsin State Journal:

Many smart, concerned deer hunters are pleased the Department of Natural Resources suspended Earn-a-Buck rules for two-thirds of Wisconsin. . . . . [L]et’s not forget [however] that herds in roughly 25 percent of the state were below goal last fall, yet we killed 453,480 deer. . . . Not only was that the No. 10 kill in state history, it ranks No. 33 in our nation’s history, according to the “2009 Deer Hunters’ Almanac. . . .”

The fact is, many people don’t like EAB because it works. It shoves the herd closer to state-mandated goals, and it’s only used when lesser efforts fail. By attacking EAB, they ignore bigger problems facing the herd.

More Whitetail Headlines
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Michigan Mulls Two New Deer Management Units
New York To Start Citizen Deer-Management Task Force

Comments (18)

Top Rated
All Comments
from steve182 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I don't hunt in a EAB zone, but if i did, I'd be ok with it. I don't usually shoot does, though i know i should. It would be heartbreaking to see a monster buck and not be able to shoot'm though.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Quote from the above article, "The fact is, many people don’t like EAB because it works".

I'm sorry but that's the dumbest sentence I've read in quite awhile. While people may not like eab because it forces them to kill a doe before they can kill a buck (and thus it's a pain in the a$$), I hardly think they hate it because "it works".

Continuing to educate hunters on the reasoning behind killing adequate does, making does tags as cheap as possible and trying to gain access for hunters on private ground to help reduce these deer populations are the keys to long term herd management, IMHO.

Jim

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from joshd wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

"it works" means it lowers deer numbers. a lot of people want to see a lot of deer, and don't want to shoot their does because they think having more does on thier place raises their likelyhood of seeing a big buck. reality is different, but that's the mindset of many.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BuckTheSystem wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I don't like EAB because it takes away the freedom of choice. Suspension of the program allows the DNR to scientifically test "success" of the program. Make doe tags cheap and accessable, and people will choose to go after them. I don't know if one season is enough to gather adequate data, but it is a start. If truely beneficial after scientific testing, then I would respect the decision to put it back in place.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Josh,

I get your point but the sentence reads "The fact is, many people don’t like EAB because it works".

It's not that they hate the fact that eab works by lowering deer numbers If you ask hunters the number one reason why they don't like eab, I'm positive you would find the answer to be, "Having to pass on bucks until I can kill a doe". I can't believe it would be "I hate to shoot does to lower the herd numbers because then I can't see 50 deer everytime I hunt".

If that's the case, then they deserve eab.

Jim

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I've never hunted where EAB is in effect, but like my Grandaddy used to say "Their pretty to look at, but ya can't eat them horns". I'd probably go for it because as jjas said if it helps me see more deer then I'm all for it.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

You don't need to pass any legislation to get me to drop does. I'm all over it. They taste good, and the more deer you kill, the better you get at it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjismokin wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Well I dont know how many of you actually hunt an EAB Zone or even hunt in WI for that matter, but I do and I can tell you this...I was jumping for joy when they suspended it!

I dont know what the auther was thinking when he wrote "people dont like it because it works"...he must have had his head somewhere else when he was researching for this.

While in EAB, you have everybody and thier uncle in the woods, shooting anything brown and its down! They just want the chance for the buck and they will do WHATEVER it takes to get that chance as early as possible.

I mean I can see why they say it cuts the herd down, its a bloody massacre on deer!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I am lucky to not have this kind of problem where I live. However, I don't have the luxury of killing any record bucks where I live either. But, I am all for killing does as long as it is whats best. Meaning that does need to be taken and that there is an over population of deer on the land as well as needed more competition during the rut. I am up for whatever makes a healthier heard. Since I am deffinantly not in it for the records, meat is meat... whether it comes from a buck or a doe.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dances with Deer wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Cheap doe tags have been available for years in Wisconsin. One year they gave out two free with each gun and bow license and they still give one free with each plus you can buy extras at only $2 each (for what they call herd control areas with populations well over goal). So that's not the problem. Hoarding deer mentality is. So many guys think you should be seeing 10 to 15 or more deer a day and pick the biggest target. The only thing I didn't like about earn a buck was that it was used a little too many years in a row. I'd like to see it only every so often, maybe once every 3 or 4 years. It saves a lot of bucks that in turn get a whole lot bigger in subsequent years. Wisconsin allows pre-qualification too so you can earn a sticker a year in advance, lessening any perceived "pain."

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I believe a better method than eab is to require the hunters first tag to be an 'any deer' tag, and this is the most expensive tag so use it wisely. After the puchase of said tag the hunter has an option of buying less expensive doe tags. These tags may be used first if the hunter encounters a doe first, and he keeps his 'any deer' tag for the buck later. It works well in Mo.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MNhunter23 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Like benjismokin said, I dont think many of you actually hunt in Wiscosin. The EAB had turned into madness. In some areas it was simply a pain because you had to pass a nice buck if you hadn't shot a doe yet. In other areas however there truly is a lack of deer. People were picking up road kill does and bringing them in in order to get their EAB stickers. My dad and I have not resorted to this, however we have not seen any does in the past two years and we have had to pass on 4 nice bucks

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from secglaiz01 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

thanks for sharing this interesting blogs in here, here is another thing that i would like to share to u, more interesting more interesting of what i have learned in and read in here, just visit this site for more information. http://www.huntfulltime.com/

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 19 point buck wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

yes, eab works, in fact, it works so well that last gun season, i couldn't have earned my buck until the 4th day of the season... the dnr has misrepresented the number of deer, misleading hunters into thinking there are way more deer than there actually are. i don't think i should be seeing 10 deer on ever sit, but at least 1 or 2 a day isn't asking too much!!!! the reason we don't want eab, is because we'd like to have some deer to hunt!!!!!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 49 weeks ago

if i have a tag for a buck and a tag for a doe, i dion't need the div. of wildlife telling me which one i can take first. sounds too much like the obama administration!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Devil_Dog wrote 4 years 49 weeks ago

I like the earn a buck concept, but I can sympathize with those hunters who see a monster at first light on opening day and are foced to pass. That's not right. But the endstate of any management program needs to be in the best interest of the species and habitat.

If hunters want to be taken seriously as a conservation oriented group, we need to be a functional arm of both conservation and wildlife management. If the biologists say you need to shoot more does and less bucks, then that's what has to happen.

I grew up hunting in PA and I know that the older generations of hunters expect to be saturated with deer. This mindset and the internal friction it creates will only serve to hinder our hunting image and reduce our credibility as a viable management asset. We need to raise our new generation to accept the fact that you don't always make a kill, and may not even see a deer every time you go out.

Finally, large antlers is not the endstate of QDM, point restrictions, and earn a buck programs. However it's generally a positive second order effect of selective buck harvest.

And no I don't hunt on private land, I hunt on military bases and compete with a hundred other hunters for about half that number of deer. If only they'd open up the back yards of on-base housing...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buck hunter wrote 4 years 49 weeks ago

Earn a buck isn't that bad but one of my friends recently told me that the state of wisconsin is only going to let you shoot bucks on three weekends out of the whole season. If this is true I ain't huntin here no more.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunter315 wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

eab hasn't done anything in wisconsin. Most people here already shoot plenty of does. Some of my family and friends have also had to pass on some nice jaw dropping bucks.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Big O wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I've never hunted where EAB is in effect, but like my Grandaddy used to say "Their pretty to look at, but ya can't eat them horns". I'd probably go for it because as jjas said if it helps me see more deer then I'm all for it.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Quote from the above article, "The fact is, many people don’t like EAB because it works".

I'm sorry but that's the dumbest sentence I've read in quite awhile. While people may not like eab because it forces them to kill a doe before they can kill a buck (and thus it's a pain in the a$$), I hardly think they hate it because "it works".

Continuing to educate hunters on the reasoning behind killing adequate does, making does tags as cheap as possible and trying to gain access for hunters on private ground to help reduce these deer populations are the keys to long term herd management, IMHO.

Jim

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Josh,

I get your point but the sentence reads "The fact is, many people don’t like EAB because it works".

It's not that they hate the fact that eab works by lowering deer numbers If you ask hunters the number one reason why they don't like eab, I'm positive you would find the answer to be, "Having to pass on bucks until I can kill a doe". I can't believe it would be "I hate to shoot does to lower the herd numbers because then I can't see 50 deer everytime I hunt".

If that's the case, then they deserve eab.

Jim

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

You don't need to pass any legislation to get me to drop does. I'm all over it. They taste good, and the more deer you kill, the better you get at it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjismokin wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Well I dont know how many of you actually hunt an EAB Zone or even hunt in WI for that matter, but I do and I can tell you this...I was jumping for joy when they suspended it!

I dont know what the auther was thinking when he wrote "people dont like it because it works"...he must have had his head somewhere else when he was researching for this.

While in EAB, you have everybody and thier uncle in the woods, shooting anything brown and its down! They just want the chance for the buck and they will do WHATEVER it takes to get that chance as early as possible.

I mean I can see why they say it cuts the herd down, its a bloody massacre on deer!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I am lucky to not have this kind of problem where I live. However, I don't have the luxury of killing any record bucks where I live either. But, I am all for killing does as long as it is whats best. Meaning that does need to be taken and that there is an over population of deer on the land as well as needed more competition during the rut. I am up for whatever makes a healthier heard. Since I am deffinantly not in it for the records, meat is meat... whether it comes from a buck or a doe.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dances with Deer wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Cheap doe tags have been available for years in Wisconsin. One year they gave out two free with each gun and bow license and they still give one free with each plus you can buy extras at only $2 each (for what they call herd control areas with populations well over goal). So that's not the problem. Hoarding deer mentality is. So many guys think you should be seeing 10 to 15 or more deer a day and pick the biggest target. The only thing I didn't like about earn a buck was that it was used a little too many years in a row. I'd like to see it only every so often, maybe once every 3 or 4 years. It saves a lot of bucks that in turn get a whole lot bigger in subsequent years. Wisconsin allows pre-qualification too so you can earn a sticker a year in advance, lessening any perceived "pain."

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 19 point buck wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

yes, eab works, in fact, it works so well that last gun season, i couldn't have earned my buck until the 4th day of the season... the dnr has misrepresented the number of deer, misleading hunters into thinking there are way more deer than there actually are. i don't think i should be seeing 10 deer on ever sit, but at least 1 or 2 a day isn't asking too much!!!! the reason we don't want eab, is because we'd like to have some deer to hunt!!!!!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 49 weeks ago

if i have a tag for a buck and a tag for a doe, i dion't need the div. of wildlife telling me which one i can take first. sounds too much like the obama administration!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Devil_Dog wrote 4 years 49 weeks ago

I like the earn a buck concept, but I can sympathize with those hunters who see a monster at first light on opening day and are foced to pass. That's not right. But the endstate of any management program needs to be in the best interest of the species and habitat.

If hunters want to be taken seriously as a conservation oriented group, we need to be a functional arm of both conservation and wildlife management. If the biologists say you need to shoot more does and less bucks, then that's what has to happen.

I grew up hunting in PA and I know that the older generations of hunters expect to be saturated with deer. This mindset and the internal friction it creates will only serve to hinder our hunting image and reduce our credibility as a viable management asset. We need to raise our new generation to accept the fact that you don't always make a kill, and may not even see a deer every time you go out.

Finally, large antlers is not the endstate of QDM, point restrictions, and earn a buck programs. However it's generally a positive second order effect of selective buck harvest.

And no I don't hunt on private land, I hunt on military bases and compete with a hundred other hunters for about half that number of deer. If only they'd open up the back yards of on-base housing...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I don't hunt in a EAB zone, but if i did, I'd be ok with it. I don't usually shoot does, though i know i should. It would be heartbreaking to see a monster buck and not be able to shoot'm though.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from joshd wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

"it works" means it lowers deer numbers. a lot of people want to see a lot of deer, and don't want to shoot their does because they think having more does on thier place raises their likelyhood of seeing a big buck. reality is different, but that's the mindset of many.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BuckTheSystem wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I don't like EAB because it takes away the freedom of choice. Suspension of the program allows the DNR to scientifically test "success" of the program. Make doe tags cheap and accessable, and people will choose to go after them. I don't know if one season is enough to gather adequate data, but it is a start. If truely beneficial after scientific testing, then I would respect the decision to put it back in place.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I believe a better method than eab is to require the hunters first tag to be an 'any deer' tag, and this is the most expensive tag so use it wisely. After the puchase of said tag the hunter has an option of buying less expensive doe tags. These tags may be used first if the hunter encounters a doe first, and he keeps his 'any deer' tag for the buck later. It works well in Mo.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MNhunter23 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Like benjismokin said, I dont think many of you actually hunt in Wiscosin. The EAB had turned into madness. In some areas it was simply a pain because you had to pass a nice buck if you hadn't shot a doe yet. In other areas however there truly is a lack of deer. People were picking up road kill does and bringing them in in order to get their EAB stickers. My dad and I have not resorted to this, however we have not seen any does in the past two years and we have had to pass on 4 nice bucks

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from secglaiz01 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

thanks for sharing this interesting blogs in here, here is another thing that i would like to share to u, more interesting more interesting of what i have learned in and read in here, just visit this site for more information. http://www.huntfulltime.com/

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buck hunter wrote 4 years 49 weeks ago

Earn a buck isn't that bad but one of my friends recently told me that the state of wisconsin is only going to let you shoot bucks on three weekends out of the whole season. If this is true I ain't huntin here no more.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunter315 wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

eab hasn't done anything in wisconsin. Most people here already shoot plenty of does. Some of my family and friends have also had to pass on some nice jaw dropping bucks.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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