Bob Haase’s Another Can of Worms

Privatizing Our Deer Hunting

Will deer hunting in Wisconsin become a sport for the rich?  When Governor Walker hired Dr. James Kroll to do a deer study, there were rumors about privatizing our deer hunting in Wisconsin.  The question was raised because this was something that Dr. Kroll was pushing in Texas about ten years ago.  Even Tom Barret in his campaign against Scott Walker accused him of wanting to privatize deer hunting and sell rights to hunt on public lands to the highest bidders. 


So far, the selling of rights to deer hunt on public lands is not part of the plan, but there is a plan to privatize deer hunting in Wisconsin as a result of Dr. Kroll’s report.  The Legislature has just approved spending  nearly two million dollars in federal money from Pittman-Robertson grants to get the program started.  The grants are funded through federal taxes on firearms.


Dr. Kroll seems to be against public hunting lands and has in the past called public game management such as by the DNR “the last bastion of communism”.  He also stated that “people who call for more public hunting lands are cocktail conservationist who are really pining for socialism.  He also calls national parks “wildlife ghettos”.  It seems pretty clear that Dr. Kroll does not like deer hunting the way we have it here in Wisconsin.  Maybe the reason is that you can make more money by privatizing deer hunting and charging large sums of money for people to hunt.


The plan would be to allow private citizens the right to hold mini deer hunts any time they want  and charge people for the right to hunt the deer on their lands.  They would put in large food plots to attract the deer onto their property, pulling them off of public lands and other private lands.  The state would charge fees for the right to do this and people would pay large sums of money to hunt any time they wanted instead of during the deer season like the rest of us.


Again they did not do this through the normal channels which would involve going through the Conservation Congress, the Natural Resources Board, and the WDNR.  They did not make this a resolution for the spring hearings because they did not want to give people a chance to vote on this and voice their concern. They knew that most hunters would not want this.  Instead of going through normal channels, Governor Walker made this part of his budget bill. 


It looks like everything is for sale in Wisconsin…. even our deer hunting the way we presently know it.  What the people want does not matter.  If it did it would have been presented at the spring hearings rather than sneak it in the budget bill.  If you agree with privatizing our deer hunting in Wisconsin just save up a lot of money so you can join in the hunt.  If you disagree, you better start calling your representatives and let them know what you think of what just happened.  All the details are not in yet on how the hunts will be managed, but quality deer hunting in Wisconsin should be for everyone, not just for those with a lot of money!

Bob Haase is the host of “Outdoors Thursday” heard Thursday mornings at 9:10 a.m. on News-Talk 1450 KFIZ.