Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Walker's DNR turns Deer Hunting into regulatory nightmare of borders and tags.

Sorry to say, but my bleeding heart liberalism no longer extends to areas negatively affecting conservative strongholds and issues. It will be hard to sit on the sidelines watching rural schools die and hunters participate in destroying their own recreational sport, but it’s what conservative voters wanted and I we have to respect that.

And for a party that convulses at the thought of over-regulation, from assistance to recreational hunting, they’ve got no problem with the Rube Goldberg mishmash of hoops and rules to do the simplest things. 
  
Case in point, the following editorial by State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout about the DNR’s new hunting guidelines:
Sen. K. Vinehout-Uppity Wisconsin: Deer hunters taking to the woods in Wisconsin are facing a slew of new hunting rules. Hunters will experience the long-talked-about rules of the Texan ‘Deer Czar’ James Kroll. In the DNR’s words, the new rules change the “season framework, management units and antlerless deer hunting permits.”

Gone are “management zones” setting deer overwinter population goals. Gone are free tags & $2 tags in highly populated or CWD areas; gone are landowner deer tags. Soon-to-be gone is registering your deer at the local bar or convenience store. Next year all registration will be on-line. Tags are more expensive (6 times more expensive), limited, and depend on whether you hunt a private or public area.

Many times Secretary Cathy Stepp repeated, “The rules have changed, but the tradition remains.”

Hunters whom I've spoken with wonder if all we’ll have years from now is the fond memory of what used to be Wisconsin’s very equal deer hunting tradition. Store owners are worried folks won’t stop for coffee and a doughnut if they register deer on-line.

Hunters tell me: change the rules, make it hard to get public tags, expensive to hunt in private land and leave folks on their own to register a deer? Isn’t this asking for trouble?
Here are a few responses to the guy who commented with the picture below, who by the way, said he wasn't a hunter. Brilliant:
Anon: Mark Bye nailed it. All those rural white male voters that voted for Walker are getting what they voted for. They just never cared to understand what they were voting for. Time to let the chickens come home to roost.

Mark Bye: Hell, I don't hunt and even *I* get it.

Steve Hanson: I'm not a hunter, but I own property on which others hunt. I have to admit to being TOTALLY bamboozled by how complex the new rules are. And the folks hunting here are just as bewildered. 
The most revealing was this comment showing the DNR's real influence:
lufthase: I just happened to catch the DNR's "Deer Hunt 2014" program because it came on right after the Milwaukee Bucks game (ironic programming choice), and I noticed that the host and a number of presenters chose to wear Safari Club International hats. This seemed a bit odd for a DNR-produced program. Safari Club International is a lobbying organization, and a pretty radical one at that-- they promote trophy hunting, canned hunts, hounding bears/wolves, and oppose endangered species protections. Stranger still, DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp appeared on the program wearing a vest that prominently featured the logo of Wern Valley game farm - offering canned hunts for which no hunting license is required (but a $1,195 annual membership is), according to their website.
Here's an edited clip of the show promoting the Safari Club International and the Wern Valley game farm (their ad too). Special thanks to lufthase for the help:



The DNR "doesn't expect you to remember all these changes," you know, making the hunting experience supposedly so much easier. But bigger problems should be addressed, as lufthase suggests in the comments:
Now, the question is will Sec. Stepp be held accountable? She was performing an official function as a state employee and promoting an interest group and a private corporation. And there's also the question of whether Stepp paid for the vest herself or received it as a gift, which would be a(nother) no-no.
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