Thursday, December 17, 2015

Dr. Deer Gives us the Wrong Prescription

After having a very successful deer season on my private land I thought it might be worth re-printing my letter to the HTR editor.  It seems that the rest of the state didnt fare so well.  Could it be that the hunters are simply not being allowed to hunt?

While running for Governor in 2010 Scott Walker made a number of assertions that somehow the drop in the deer harvest from the record high of the 2000 hunt was somehow the result of DNR mismanagement under then Governor Doyle. Now, for the third year in a row since the “Dr. Deer” changes were implemented the harvest has plummeted to below thirty year lows, down three fifths from the high in 2000. This despite the introduction of more lethal means of taking deer like statewide use of rifles and crossbows. If the goal was to increase hunter's chances of taking a deer this does not sound like success.

The rise of harvest over 90 years.
At the same time licenses have gotten more complicated, expensive and discriminatory. We have gone from a simple universal $2.00 antlerless tag to a $12.00 tag that is only good in one county and then either on public or private land severely limiting hunter mobility. Public land tags were sold out early in most counties. All the more disturbing is Walker's plan to sell off 10,000 acres of those public lands. Not surprising since “Czar” Kroll described public land hunting as “Communism”.

Drop in harvest continues under Walker. 
With all the waling and gnashing of teeth Republicans made a great deal of political hay when the harvest fell below the 2000 high of a half million shouldn't we expect a better outcome? With fewer hunters having family connections to private lands it is not the herd that is dwindling it is access to the herd. The Kroll program has accelerated that and the frustration has resulted in more and more people giving up the sport. The Legislature's response has been to allow women to wear pink while hunting. They may find themselves all dressed up and no place to go.
Read it online

At the same time, the Legislature is considering a bill to reduce regulations on  game farms.  This when a new outbreak of CWD has occurred at yet another canned hunt emporium in Three Lakes.  The discovery will not radically alter hunting in the affected counties as baiting will now be banned in order to stop the spread of the disease and baiting is the primary method of hunting in the unpopulated woodlands there.

See jsonline artice here:

Three Lakes Game Farm is the same sort of operation run by Deer Czar Kroll in Texas and imported deer from Canada and the west which brought the disease to our state.  They charge between $5000 and $7500 for the "experience" of shooting a trophy buck in a fenced enclosure....

Apparently shooting Canadian genes is a bigger rush than Wisconsin genetics offer.

After three years of gross mismanagement the legacy of Walker and his quack doctor will affect the hunt for decades.  When will we begin the walk back to sanity and science and the public interest?

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