Northern Wisconsin cabins and resorts have seen decreasing rentals during recent hunting seasons, including the one that ended last weekend.
Heartwood Conference Center & Retreat in Minong say they weren’t very busy during hunting season, but did have a “buy one get one free” specials on rooms for hunters.
Gary Dalzell of Woodside Cottages of Bayfield says business has been dwindling the past couple years during hunting season.
“Three years ago, we had 24 hunters," he says. "Last year we had none and this year, we had two.”
Dalzell thinks poor management by the DNR is the reason for the small number of hunters.
“The numbers aren’t there you know up in the northern Bayfield peninsula," he says. "Increased number of wolves, predators, and also increased number of black bear that take a lot of fawn.”
Dalzell says they don’t advertise a special, but he gives hunters a special during the deer hunting season. Delta Lodge in Iron River has seen declining business over the years as well. Owner Andy Einstanier says it’s for a lot of reasons. He says decisions made in Madison have affected the north, including earn-a-buck, which was cancelled this year.
“So they started to shoot does," he says. "Still doing it. That has taken the deer population up here way down. We’re in the northern most county. We have winters of like 50 below. I’ve seen it once that cold. They make a mistake here the deer herd does not rebound very quickly.”
Another reason for the decline: Einstanier thinks a lot of young people don’t hunt. Ten years ago, Einstanier says he had a 20 person wait list to get a cabin. This year, he only rented four cabins out of 13. Einstanier also says he charged his fall rate, which doesn’t factor in heat or snow removal.