7/13/2012 8:05:00 AM
Wisconsin wildlife officials should scrap local deer population goals, let landowners hold mini-hunts on their property and establish better connections with the public, Gov. Scott Walker’s deer trustee wrote in a report released Tuesday.
Texas researcher James Kroll’s 136-page study focuses largely on the DNR’s shortcomings but takes hunters to task too, saying they expect the agency to maintain a herd so large the landscape can’t support it. His plan offers the two sides a chance to compromise and save Wisconsin’s hunting traditions from disappearing, he said.
“What this plan represents is a ‘get out of jail free’ card. It’s a reset button,” Kroll told The Lakeland Times in an interview after the report was released.
His report recommends that the DNR make a final decision on baiting outside of chronic wasting disease-management zones. He noted that hunters at town hall meetings expressed concerns that baiting creates public-land conflicts and deer that are increasingly nocturnal.
Ben Loma, a Wisconsin Conservation Congress delegate from Oneida County, doesn’t think that most hunters are attached to baiting.
“They’re doing it because their neighbor is baiting,” said Loma, who hopes the DNR addresses the issue once and for all.
He also expressed concern about the growing wolf populatioon, an issue Kroll addressed in his report.
He recommends managing wolves to a level acceptable to society, rather than establishing “a goal to sustain some specific number of wolves.”
Vilas County conservation congress Vice Chairman Steve Budnick said he’s wary of a deer report from a Texan.
“Obviously, deer hunting in Texas is a lot different than in Wisconsin,” Budnick said. “It seems some of the stuff he’s been pushing might work better where there’s more private land — might be more suited for Texas.”
Read more at The Lakeland Times.
WUPN: A good read on explaining parts of the Wisconsin deer czar report.
- Report: Wisconsin DNR should drop local deer goals (superiortelegram.com)
- WCC leader praises deer report (fox11online.com)
- Wildlife Federation leader lauds deer report (lacrossetribune.com)
- Deer report: Involve, listen to hunters (lacrossetribune.com)