Author Topic: WDFW offering up to $1K to encourage hunting on private property in San Juan and Island Counties  (Read 121 times)

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Online Elderberry

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San Juan Islander 7/16/2019

WDFW offering up to $1K to encourage hunting on private property in San Juan and Island Counties

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is working to solve a problem more than a century in the making--overpopulation of deer that is putting pressure on birds, insects, and native plants on island habitats.

“Humans largely extirpated the predators on the islands as far back as the 1860s,” said Ruth Milner, WDFW biologist. “And, with fewer people hunting the islands, deer are over browsing native vegetation, which means less habitat for other species.”

The stakes are high, including survival of the Island Marble butterfly, found nowhere except on San Juan Island. Thought to be extinct since 1908, the butterfly was re-discovered by biologists during a prairie survey in San Juan Island National Historical Park in 1998. The butterfly largely depends on tumble mustard. They lay their eggs on mustard flower buds, and their newly hatched larvae depend on mustard blossoms and leaves for food, said Milner. Deer eat the mustard when other plants have been depleted, and thereby threaten the butterflies with extinction, she added. One solution: encourage hunting to reduce deer populations through a private lands hunting access program.

“It is a win-win-win for the islands,” said Rob Wingard, a private lands access manager with WDFW. “If a property meets the criteria for a safe and productive hunt, we can work together with landowners to help native species, reduce islanders’ problems with deer and traffic hazards, and provide a unique experience for hunters seeking new places to find plentiful deer.”

Very little publicly owned land exists in in the islands, so for many hunters, finding a place to go hunting is a huge challenge, he adds.

More: https://sanjuanislander.com/news-articles/environment-science-whales/environment/29519/wdfw-offering-up-to-1k-to-encourage-hunting-on-private-property-in-san-juan-and-island-counties
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Offline GrouchoTex

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San Juan Islander 7/16/2019

WDFW offering up to $1K to encourage hunting on private property in San Juan and Island Counties

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is working to solve a problem more than a century in the making--overpopulation of deer that is putting pressure on birds, insects, and native plants on island habitats.

“Humans largely extirpated the predators on the islands as far back as the 1860s,” said Ruth Milner, WDFW biologist. “And, with fewer people hunting the islands, deer are over browsing native vegetation, which means less habitat for other species.”

The stakes are high, including survival of the Island Marble butterfly, found nowhere except on San Juan Island. Thought to be extinct since 1908, the butterfly was re-discovered by biologists during a prairie survey in San Juan Island National Historical Park in 1998. The butterfly largely depends on tumble mustard. They lay their eggs on mustard flower buds, and their newly hatched larvae depend on mustard blossoms and leaves for food, said Milner. Deer eat the mustard when other plants have been depleted, and thereby threaten the butterflies with extinction, she added. One solution: encourage hunting to reduce deer populations through a private lands hunting access program.

“It is a win-win-win for the islands,” said Rob Wingard, a private lands access manager with WDFW. “If a property meets the criteria for a safe and productive hunt, we can work together with landowners to help native species, reduce islanders’ problems with deer and traffic hazards, and provide a unique experience for hunters seeking new places to find plentiful deer.”

Very little publicly owned land exists in in the islands, so for many hunters, finding a place to go hunting is a huge challenge, he adds.

More: https://sanjuanislander.com/news-articles/environment-science-whales/environment/29519/wdfw-offering-up-to-1k-to-encourage-hunting-on-private-property-in-san-juan-and-island-counties

Back in my youth, somewhere in the early 70's I remember a teacher telling me about a similar situation that was in place in Wisconsin.
The deer became off-limits, and they over-populated, and got to the point of starvation.
This led to other health problems with the deer, and when they re-open deer season, it was so pervasive, that the health problems lasted for years.
PBS did a documentary on this 10 years ago, 3 decades after the fact.


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