What a doe-only deer season would mean for the economy in Buffalo County

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Buffalo County (WQOW)- Buffalo County is known for its bucks. It’s the destination spot for people to hunt their trophy deer.

Officials in Buffalo County have proposed having a doe-only deer season to help bring down the deer population, and local businesses aren’t happy about it.

People come from near and far just to get the chance to hunt down a trophy buck in Buffalo County, and that tourism is what keeps some businesses going.

Outfitter Joel Artis helps hunters bag the buck of their dreams. He says without that tourism, he would be jobless.

“In the long run it would basically devastate me personally,” Artis said. “I would probably end up going bankrupt, and the reason I say that is because I would have zero income coming in. I make my living off of my business.”

It’s the big bucks that lure hunters to the area.A doe just isn’t as prized.

He’s also worried about other operations like farms, hotels, lodges and local meat markets.

“We will not make anywhere near as much venison sausage and that will be an effect on the business,” said Jon Seipel, the owner of Gunderson Foods in Mondovi.

Seipel said they typically process 600 deer a year, and that amounts to about 12 percent of his business.

Mark Noll is the chairman of the Buffalo County Deer Advisory Council, and while the council recommended the doe-only deer season, he hopes the DNR doesn’t approve it.

He said they wanted to make a point of how dire the situation is, and bring attention to the problem, hoping hunters would make changes themselves.

“Maybe with the threat of this hanging in their recent mind that maybe people will do the right thing,” Noll said. “Don’t shoot them. If you don’t have enough deer in your area, don’t shoot them. If you’re sitting there and looking at 25 deer every night in your deer stand you’ve got a problem.”

The DNR will have a meeting on May 22 to talk more about the doe-only deer season proposal and make a decision.

Shannon Satterlee

Shannon Satterlee

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