The Walker administration hopes the following denials and weak excuses will make sense to their diehard true believers. Like saying deer hunting itself is not declining in popularity...or that hunting is more spread out now. Ah, show us the numbers? WPR:
How did we get here? A short history:
Democratic Sen. Kathleen Vinehout-Nov. 2014: "The Texan ‘Deer Czar’ James Kroll the DNR’s 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, gone is registering your deer at the local bar or convenience store.The response to the comment above?
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?"
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.
Deer hunters left the sport in droves after chronic wasting disease spread through Wisconsin like a California wildfire. Wisconsin State Journal Nov, 2015:
Fear of eating CWD-tainted venison initially scared many hunters and made owners of hunting land in southern Wisconsin concerned that their property would lose value if the hunt died off, said Jeff Schinkten, national president of Whitetails Unlimited.But instead of fighting the disease like neighboring states, Scott Walker hired a Deer Czar who couldn’t wait to play down the threat with massive defunding and anti-science opinions.
Fast forward to now. Guess what?
JS: Hunters registered 195,738 deer for the 2017 Wisconsin gun deer season, down about 1% from 2016 and the second-lowest total in 35 years, according to preliminary data released Tuesday by the Department of Natural Resources.Here's the latest on the problem with CWD, from WPT's Here and Now:
Hunter participation also was down. The agency sold 588,387 gun licenses, a drop of 10,420 from 2016 and the lowest in 41 years.
It was just the second time since 1976 that fewer than 600,000 licenses were sold for the nine-day season.
With deer hunting season underway, Ron Seely, a freelance journalist and lecturer at UW-Madison, discusses the issues arising from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). According to Seely, new research shows that the diseased can linger in soil. Over the years, DNR-led efforts to monitor and manage CWD have seen a dramatic decline in testing, and have yet to provide a clear picture of how prevalent the disease is overall. Yet even limited data points to a growing problem — as the state tests fewer deer over time, it finds more and more animals infected with this always fatal disease. At the same time, evidence is mounting that CWD, caused by infectious proteins called prions, could jump the species barrier to humans.Gaming the System? You bet, and it looks like a few deer hunting mentors attributed deer kills to babies and kids under 5:
On the heels of a law change that eliminated the state's minimum hunting age, 10 Wisconsin hunting licenses were sold this month to children under the age of 1, according to data released Tuesday (Nov. 28) by the Department of Natural Resources.
It's not known whether any of the infants actually participated in any way in the hunt ... they could have been used to register a deer killed by another hunter. The low-priced, first-time mentored hunting licenses carry all the harvest authorizations of a similar adult license. One deer was registered to a 4-year-old hunter, and seven deer were registered to 5-year-olds, according to DNR records The harvest records don't indicate who killed the deer.
In all, 52 hunting licenses were purchased this month for hunters ages 5 and under, according to the DNR.