DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp says, "A comprehensive report such as this will take several weeks to review, but the Department of Natural Resources is ready, willing and eager to roll up our sleeves and get started."More >>
DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp says, "A comprehensive report such as this will take several weeks to review, but the Department of Natural Resources is ready, willing and eager to roll up our sleeves and get started." More >>
MADISON (WKOW) -- The man Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) put in charge of Wisconsin's deer management says sweeping changes are needed.
Dr. James Kroll released a lengthy report Monday on what the Department of Natural Resources needs to be doing differently.
All of changes revolve around more boots on the ground from DNR biologists so they can reach the goals with the help of hunters and landowners.
Citing a growing dissatisfaction among Wisconsin deer hunters, Gov. Walker appointed Dr. Kroll, from Texas, to the new position of Deer Trustee last fall.
Dr. Kroll says his first recommendation is for the state to stop establishing deer population goals and estimates.
"The problem's been, its not accurate," explained Dr. Kroll. "The goals have never been achieved. Its created frustration among everybody, from the DNR and the public as well."
Dr. Kroll says working with hunters and landowners to create population and harvesting goals for smaller, more specific hunting lands is a much better approach.
"If you get people collecting data, and you get established goals that you worked out with them one-on-one and they know you and you know them, then you've got trust and you've got feedback and with data its a win-win for everybody," said Dr. Kroll.
But Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison), who is also a hunter, disagrees.
"We just have too many landowners in Wisconsin to say, 'On your plot of land we're gonna get three does and one buck,' I mean, that just doesn't work," said Rep. Hulsey.
Rep. Hulsey agrees the goal of more specific deer management is good, but he disagrees with Dr. Kroll's opinion that it can be done with the DNR's current staff size.
"That's almost impossible to do, unless Governor Walker is willing to spend tens of millions of dollars to implement this plan, and I'm all for investing in game management," said Rep. Hulsey.
Dr. Kroll's other major recommendation is to stop the state's efforts to eradicate Chronic Wasting Disease in the two affected areas of southern Wisconsin, and focus more on future preventative measures.
The recommendations are all very preliminary.
DNR staff will spend the next several weeks reviewing Dr. Kroll's report and many of the changes would require action by the state legislature.
But Gov. Walker says he looks forward to working with the DNR to follow through on Dr. Kroll's report.
MADISON (WKOW) -- Gov. Scott Walker's deer trustee says Wisconsin wildlife officials should quit establishing local population goals, let landowners hold site-specific hunts on their property and establish better connections with the public.
Walker's administration hired Texas researcher James Kroll to evaluate the Department of Natural Resources' deer management. The administration released Kroll's final report on Tuesday.
The study found the DNR's population estimates aren't precise enough for individual management zones, site-specific hunts would give the state valuable biological information on kills and better DNR outreach would help restore the agency's credibility with hunters.
He concluded the report by taking hunters to task too, saying they want a deer herd so large the landscape can't support it.
In a statement, Walker says, "Moving forward we need to act on the report to enhance Wisconsin's rich hunting tradition."
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