February 8, 2012 – MADISON – Today the Wisconsin’s Hunters Right Coalition (HRC) applauded Governor Walker’s announcement of new deer management initiatives that will be featured in his 2013-14 budget proposal. The initiatives will be aimed at successful implementation of the 2012 Deer Trustee Report, something HRC member organizations have supported since the reports publication.
“Deer hunting in Wisconsin is part of our DNA. It feeds traditions and fuels a huge economic engine for the state,” said Governor Walker in a statement released earlier today. “My budget provisions create the infrastructure needed to implement the Deer Trustee Report to the fullest extent possible, ensuring Wisconsin’s standing not only as a national destination for deer hunting, but also a national leader in deer management.”
Governor Walker appointed Dr. James C. Kroll to be the state’s Whitetail Deer Trustee in 2011, and commissioned him for a scientific evaluation of Wisconsin’s deer management practices. The Deer Trustee Report was released in July of 2012 and included many recommendations that were immediately supported by Wisconsin’s hunting community.
“We have supported implementation of the Kroll Report since its publication last summer,” said Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association Vice President Carl Schoettel. “Today’s announcement from Governor Walker shows us how serious he is to make these necessary changes to keep Wisconsin’s deer hunting strong.”
“We need to take this package as a whole and give it a try. It’s the only way to restore trust with the Wisconsin hunter,” said Joe Koback, Legislative Chairman for Wisconsin’s Chapters of Safari Club International.
Among the report’s key recommendations that will be budget provisions a new program – Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP). It would start by providing management assistance to land owners so they can maximize the potential habitat of their parcel. The concept then spreads to the county and regional level, in essence replacing the top down, numbers based management system we now have with a local consensus driven process balancing the needs of hunters, farmers, woodlands owners, and local communities.
“We need to get away from an SAK-based system,” said Koback, “The Kroll report is a blueprint for major reform of deer management in this state. We should move as quickly as possible to full implementation.”
HRC has been advocating for an overhaul of Wisconsin’s deer management system for several years and has been in the forefront in the development and implementation of the 2012 Deer Trustee report.
The Hunters Rights Coalition is Wisconsin’s only group 100% dedicated to advancing hunting opportunities and protecting the rights of Wisconsin’s hunters. The Coalition is made up of several groups including: The Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Wisconsin Chapters of Safari Club International, Whitetails of Wisconsin, the State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Wisconsin Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs, and Educators Inc, and the National Rifle Association.