Nutrition and Herd Quality — Wild Wisconsin 2019 Bonus

Nutrition and Herd Quality — Wild Wisconsin 2019 Bonus

October 19, 2019 1 By Ewald Bahringer


Hey everyone, I’m out here today with
Eric Canania of the Wisconsin DNR. You’re a deer biologist here in the state, and
we’re talking about herd health and deer habitat. How do those two sort of mix
together. So, you know, I think it’s important to note that as a deer
biologist or deer managers that we’re all hunters too. Yeah, us, as well as the
general hunting public. We all like to see a lot of deer while we’re hunting. We
like to see healthy deer while we’re hunting and we like to see big deer
while we’re hunting. You know, antlers are a byproduct of nutrition. Age, genetics and
nutrition all play into antler growth, and really, nutrition is that keystone
aspect. When you take nutrition out of it, you can have quality genetics, you have a
good age structure but without that nutrition, you know, the deer isn’t gonna
have optimal body growth, antler growth or, you know, even herd population growth.
So how does that play into each other? We do know that nutrition is reflective of
quality habitat and at a high deer population, can adversely affect that
quality habitat turning into a poor quality habitat, and then can adversely
affect herd growth, fawns survival, antler, body size growth. Any of those any of
those things. So it’s really important to keep the deer population in balance with
what the habitat can support. So as public and private landowners and
hunters, what can we do to help? I think it’s important to note that to have
hunters get involved. Attend their local CDAC meetings so they can see what’s
going on with herd and habitat health in their particular counties. They’ll
know what the season structures are and what the antlerless quotas are, and I
think it’s really important for us as deer managers and the general hunting
public, to strive to hit those antlerless harvest quotas. And they’re developed to
keep the deer in balance with the habitat. Because after all, when you have
a balanced deer … deer population with the habitat, we’re gonna have optimal deer
hunting, optimal deer growth. It’s a win-win for everybody and them. It’s a
win-win for everyone. Yep.