Letter from Rep. Danou: Deer Hunter need to know proposed plansOne witnesses a sea of green and gold any time the Green Bay Packers play at Lambeau Field.
By: Rep. Chris Danou, Pierce County Herald
One witnesses a sea of green and gold any time the Green Bay Packers play at Lambeau Field. Some have joked to me that during cold games at Lambeau, the Packers adopt a third color that is very familiar to hunters across Wisconsin; blaze orange.
I know the football season is months away and so is deer hunting, however, I believe we need to be mindful of any, and all possible changes that could be made to deer hunting in Wisconsin.
As you know, Wisconsin has a proud tradition of deer hunting in communities across the state. Deer hunting is in our culture and is an outdoor activity that has been passed down from father to son for generations. Hunting land in Western Wisconsin is not only some of the best in the state, but is also considered to be desirable to hunters across the country.
Last October, Gov. Walker appointed Dr. James Kroll of Texas to be Wisconsin’s “Deer Czar.” At the price of $125,000 a year, Dr. Kroll’s job is to make recommendations about management of the deer herd in our state. Even though he was appointed in October 2011, he was absent from last year’s deer hunt. Further, it seems there is little knowledge about his plans for deer hunting in Wisconsin. I believe we need to have a public hearing so deer hunters from communities across Wisconsin can get to know him better and hear what his plans are for deer hunting in our state. Our tradition and culture deserve it.
In an article from the February 2002 issue of Texas Monthly, Dr. Kroll calls people who call for more public lands "cocktail conservationists" who are really “pining for socialism.” He also says game management is “the last bastion of communism" and calls national parks "wildlife ghettos." As an avid outdoorsman and a member of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, I would appreciate the opportunity to ask questions and gain some clarity about these remarks.
I truly hope these statements do not imply that Dr. Kroll envisions a plan for hunting in Wisconsin that mirrors hunting in Texas. The vast majority of hunting land in Texas is private and people have to pay large amounts to hunt behind high fences. This not only drives up the cost for the average hunter but also takes away the fair chase aspect of hunting.
Privatizing hunting is not keeping with Wisconsin’s hunting traditions. By making it more expensive to hunt deer, deer hunting will become the sport of the wealthy few instead of the sport that is available to all.
I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle agree that the public deserves a chance to ask questions and hear Dr. Kroll’s vision for deer hunting in Wisconsin. Deer hunting is an important part of Wisconsin’s culture and the white-tail deer herd has a significant impact on Wisconsin’s landscape and ecology and so it is important for the public to always be informed to any, and all proposed plans prior to implementation.