UPDATED ON: May 1st, 2015
Last month, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker announced to the deer hunting world that Dr. James Kroll would take on the position as the state’s new deer trustee. The position, which has been often referred to as ‘deer czar’, gives Dr. Kroll full authority to utilize the latest scientifically-proven methods to manage the state’s deer population. With over 30 years of herd management experience, there is little doubt that the state was taking a huge leap forward with the news of his hire.
However, on October 18th the state assembly passed a bill that could hinder Dr. Kroll’s position entirely. The new bill prohibits state wildlife managers from using the Earn-A-Buck regulation and limits even further the use of October firearm deer hunts.
“We listened to the hunters here in the state of Wisconsin,” stated Rep. Tom Tiffany, co-sponsor of the bill, AB99, which passed 64-33, with only six democrats voting in favor of the bill.
While the action drew cheers from many hunting groups like the Wisconsin BowHunters Association and the Wisconsin Hunters Rights Coalition, it also drew its opposition as well.
Chairman of the federation’s wildlife committee, Ralph Fritsch, said that while their group did support the state’s temporary postponement of the Earn-A-Buck program he feels that, “a permanent ban on DNR’s use of these tools is not responsible deer management. History shows that without these management options, in just two or three years, the deer population in certain deer management units will not be controllable with the remaining management options available to DNR.”
Wisconsin hunters will no longer have to wait to earn-a-buck tag. The state eliminted the regulation permanently on October 18th.
Other opponents of the bill included the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, the Wisconsin Paper Council, the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association, the Wisconsin County Forests Association, and the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.
Wisconsin’s deer herd is estimated at 1.16 million, with the state legislation trying to continue to bring that number down further to the management goal of 796,000.
The Hunting Network is very interested to hear from Wisconsin hunters on this new bill eliminating the often unpopular Earn-A-Buck regulation.
Are you in support of the passing of bill – AB99? Do you believe this will ultimately hinder Dr. Kroll’s ability to successfully manage the state’s deer goals?
Please log-on to our Facebook page and tell us what you think.