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Rooting for Brewers, analyzing the hunt
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MILWAUKEE - Marilyn and I took in a Brewers game at Miller Park last week - a loss to the Minnesota Twins, unfortunately. But watching a good baseball game on a warm summer afternoon marks a tradition that takes us back to the days when Warren Spahn, Lew Burdette, Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews and Joe Adcock made the Milwaukee Braves a force to be reckoned with.

Back then, Adcock would occasionally visit the farm pond on the Gilbertson property just to the north of us to relax and net a few smallmouth bass. The pond still offers some good fishing, despite having lost much of its depth to decades of soil erosion from the nearby slopes.

It's been fun this year following the Brewers, parked precariously atop the National League Central Division, a couple of games ahead of the Cardinals. Watching the broadcasts on Fox Sports North with my rather disdainful baseball buddy is a stitch as she readily offers reasoned (at least to her) opinions regarding the technical aspects of the game.

Growing tired of watching guys getting thrown out at first, she comes up with a simple solution, "They need to shorten the distance," she complains. That rumbling sound is Abner Doubleday turning over in his grave.

Marilyn has other words of wisdom for Brewer players as they struggle on occasion. Trevor Hoffman, the Major League's all-time saves leader, finally blew one the other night.

She was right on it saying, "He's lifting his leg too high."

Other times, her soft, empathic side kicks in. "I hope his mother isn't watching," as a woeful effort on the part of one player or another draws a few boos from the crowd.

But I digress. The DNR's Big Game Hunting Summary for 2008 is now available. I always enjoy paging through the previous year's stats on the turkey, deer and bear season totals and the document makes for great reference material when some statistical comparison is in order.

The summary includes harvest numbers from the various gun and archery deer seasons, a black bear harvest report and info on the spring and fall turkey seasons. A hunting accident report offers data on the dozen or so incidents occurring during the various deer seasons.

There was also one accident during the 2008 turkey hunt. Historically, turkey hunting is an extremely safe sport with only three incidents per 100,000 permits. A recent proposal to allow everyone to start their hunt on the same date might change all that,


The report breaks down deer numbers by county, management unit and region. The bear data includes harvest totals by bear zone, county and deer DMU, as well as permit distribution info. The turkey harvest report includes the permit distribution and harvest by zone, plus historical data.

Hunters killed the 11th highest number of deer in 2008, more than 352,000, down considerably from the number one harvest total, approximately 528,500 in 2000. Bear hunters took approximately 3,000 black bears in 2008, up six percent from the 2007 kill.

A record total of 52,880 birds were harvested during the six periods of the 2008 spring turkey season in the state's 46 zones. The number of zones dropped to seven for the 2008 fall season and for all future hunts.

The fall turkey season was the longest on record, running 69 days from 13 Sept. through 20 Nov. Despite the longer season, the harvest dropped slightly from 12,010 birds in 2007 to 10,968 in 2008. While the number of fall permits increased, the success rate was down from 14.9 percent in 2007 to 14 percent in 2008.

To obtain a copy of the 85-page 2008 Wisconsin Big Game Hunting Summary, call (608) 261-7589. Or view it on line at
-Lee Fahrney is the Monroe Times outdoors writer. He can be contacted at (608) 967-2208 or