Walker to Deer Hunters: Pay Up or Get Lost

May 17, 2012 by Barbara With

Deer hunting may soon join open government and good schools on the pile of Wisconsin traditions trashed by Scott Walker.

WhitetailDeer_77-InForestEach November, hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites take to the woods to hunt, thinning our large herd of white tailed deer. A love of the hunt crosses all social and economic boundaries. Indeed, in the politically polarized environment of present day Wisconsin, deer hunting is one of the few activities that stirs passions strong enough to make many of us set aside our differences and share a few days with our fellow citizens, without regard to their political opinions.

If Walker gets his way, all of this will change.

As reported in Lodi Valley News, Walker has hired Texan Dr. James Kroll to serve as Wisconsin’s “deer czar,” a position that gives Kroll considerable power over Wisconsin’s deer management policy. Kroll is an outspoken proponent of game farms, and an opponent of public lands and public game management, which he is on record as describing as “the last bastion of communism.”

The public lands Kroll despises include the state parks, state and national forests, and other publicly held property that hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites—particularly in the northern part of the state—rely on for deer hunting. Hunters on public land may be surprised to discover that Walker regards their annual trek into a state forest as a radical left wing activity akin to marching in a May Day parade in Red Square. But so it is.

If Kroll gets his way, public land hunters will get the shaft. The deer herd no longer would be managed as a public resource, but as the private property of wealthy landowners. Wisconsin will become like Europe, where hunting is the privilege of the wealthy.

Kroll’s view fit in nicely with those of DNR secretary Cathy Stepp, a Walker appointee who already has suggested that public lands be sold.

What this means for hunters is that the management of the state’s deer herd could be sold or contracted to management corporations like Johnson Timber, who already owns Summit Lake Game Farm on the southern edge of the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation, and vast tracts of timber land. Joe Hunter would have to buy his hunting tag (and perhaps make a bid on it) from a private game management firm for his deer, grouse, turkey, wolf, berry picking permits, etc.—in a monetized way—in order to exact the highest commercial value. The Game Management Unit, which encompasses timber company and other private, county and state park lands, would profit. They would also have their own Game Managers police force issue your license. In this way, the State would reap the benefits by taxing the net Income after expenses and be out of the business of managing the fish, deer, and other resource gathering rights.

To people who do not own land, or who cannot pay for access to other people’s land, Walker and Kroll’s message is simple: tough luck.

[Editor’s note: A rebuttal to this article has been published here]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

141 Comments on “Walker to Deer Hunters: Pay Up or Get Lost”

  1. Aaron Paul May 24, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    Ha, this story is absolutely ridiculous garbage. All I see is a bunch of made up stories and speculations to drive a political uprising in hunters.
    First off, they cant sell the largest public lands in the state, the WI government does NOT own them. Second, hunters are doing the state a favor by killing the deer, not the other way around and Walker and Kroll as hunters know this. The $24 we pay for a license is to fund the shotty job the DNR does now and to keep a control on the hunters in the field. And by that, I mean hunter safety, If you didnt pass it you dont get to hunt, its about safety. Third, congrats to our state for getting someone that can actually control the DNR and their messed up herd counts which in some parts of the state destroyed deer populations a few years back.

    To the author: ‘You are the true sense of a literary moron and should be ashamed of yourself for the lies to tout around”

    Everyone else: Read Krolls statement your self not this morons liberal slander! http://www.ultimateoutdoorsradio.com/where-i-stand-dr-james-c-kroll-wisconsin-white-tailed-deer-trustee/outdoor-news/

  2. c schneidewind May 25, 2012 at 6:56 am #

    I can see where doing this would be good,too many people do go out and shoot anything that moves reguardless of size or age. How many of us see that guy with a spike and a four pointer along with a few small does. Private farms would increase the deer herd, but also the quality of deer. I see where it is a bad thing as well. I must say though with all the public hunting lands over hunted most of the deer worht shooting are already on private land.

  3. Hematite May 28, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    I can only hope that my death is as quick and uncomplicated as those of the deer I have killed. I hunt for meat and I do enjoy it. But I do not enjoy killing. There is a big difference.

  4. Chris May 29, 2012 at 2:08 am #

    This entire story is a lie. Want to know the truth? Read this: http://bit.ly/LNYQR6

    • Hematite May 29, 2012 at 9:59 am #

      The truth, Chris, is that Walker has convinced most sportsmen in the state that he is their friend on the basis of nothing more than some easy pro-gun posturing, at the same time he has been steadily working against their interests. Kroll’s views on public lands and public game management are well known, and are why Walker hired him. Kroll will report directly to the governor and the legislature, who will implement whatever parts of it they like without consulting any other scientists, and without the opportunity for public input. If you trust this governor and this legislature with your hunting rights, you are a fool.

  5. Kevin May 30, 2012 at 12:23 am #


    Wisconsin DNR Set to Buy Largest Land Acquisition in the State’s History

    Credit: Wisconsin DNR

    Black Fox Lake, in Douglas County, north of Hwy. A in the rule-St. Croix Legacy Forest.
    May 17, 2012 Updated May 17, 2012 at 11:51 AM CDT

    Brule, MN (Northland’s NewsCenter) — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is set to buy over 67,000 acres of land from the Lyme St. Croix Forest Company in the largest recreational and forest land acquisition in the state’s history.

    The land, which will be named the Brule-St. Croix Legacy Forest, is located at the headwaters of the St. Croix and Bois-Brule rivers in the state’s northwest sands area in Douglas, Bayfield, Burnett and Washburn Counties.

    News Fast. News First. Subscribe for text alerts, e-news & more.

    This proposed piece of land includes 80 small lakes and ponds, 14 miles of streams, and a globally significant pine barrens habitat.

    About 20,000 acres of the purchase are located within the Brule River State Forest boundaries.

    DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp says that this purchase will open up more area for hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, skiing, bird-watching, and ATV and snowmobile trails.

    “At the same time, the land remains in private ownership, on the tax rolls and will be managed sustainably for forestry purposes,” added Stepp. “It’s a win-win for everybody that will help maintain the celebrated forested character of the north.”

    The DNR will review the proposed purchase of the 67,000 acres and once approved, will send the proposal to the Wisconsin legislature and the Governor for the final approval.

    The DNR plans to purchase all 67,346 acres of land in two phases. In the first phase, the DNR will purchase 44,679 acres of the forest as a working forest easement. This first phase will cost $11,260,000.’

    In the second phase, the DNR will purchase the remaining 22,667 at a price of $6,007,000, also as a working forest easement. The second phase transaction won’t happen until 2014.

    The entire 67,346 acres will cost $17,267,000.

    A working forest easement allows the purchased land to be open to the public while the property remains under private ownership, keeping property on the tax rolls, allowing sustainable timber harvest practices and minimizing state costs with the low easement versus full ownership cost.

    • Hematite May 30, 2012 at 8:43 am #

      This deal for land access (really not “land acquisition”) was in the works long before Walker came to power. Walker and Stepp are simply taking credit for other people’s work. The money used came from the Stewardship Fund, which Stepp has derided as a “Visa card” and would like to get rid of. The fact that the public has access to this land has nothing whatever to do with the issue of hunting privatization, nor does it show that Stepp has no interest in selling off public lands. In fact, it shows just the opposite: selling public lands to commercial interests while retaining an easement to allow some public access is exactly how privatization would work.

  6. dave w May 30, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    This article is as ridiculous as the Recall of Scott Walker . Whats next do we Recall SANTA brcause we didn’t get what we Wanted?Dr. Koll or Dr Deer as we call hi is a highly Qualified Biologist that specializes in deer management throughout the U.S. Scott Walker made an excellent choice choosing Dr Deer to analyze Wisconsin Deer Herd and I look forward to reading his completed report Not this Biased B.S . Wisconsin Citizens Media Co op has tried to promote……. All of the work Dr Deer and his 2 colleagues have done to date has been excellent to date and I have gone to his public meeting s as well as 3 of his seminars on deer managemeny. Don’t Be Fooled

    • Hematite May 30, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

      Some mighty fine reasoning there, Davy. But I think the “don’t be fooled” advice comes a bit too late for you.

  7. Jim Jensen July 18, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Unless I hear otherwise I will interpret this article to be a slam against Gov. Scott Walker. Sour grapes by his opponents.

  8. Richard Demello July 24, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    Great post. Thanks posting such nice post. 🙂

  9. Anthony August 6, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    Wow!!! What an effective way to p&@$ off oh, about 90% of the state of WI!  Remember what Lincoln (fellow Republican!!!) said, “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” This one isn’t just dead… it’s on the side of road stinking like a road kill deer!  How do you people put up with this??! Maybe spend less time in front of your TV watching FOX news??!? Just a thought…

  10. brian March 24, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

    Are u kidding me this is how are ancestors hunted the way we do!! Worry about terrorist issues, we as hunters pour millions of dollars into the syestm, the government ruins hunting in wi, its not all about money and power!! U take away are rights you ruined wi, kids will be hooked on drugs and video games and will not learn about history or Faimly traits. Back in the 80’s and 90’s when u had to apply for a hunters choice there were ton of deer and it was fun, now you see 1-3 deer in a week stop destroying are rights and nature, some day you people will understand how bad you destroyed Wisconsin outdoors for everyone!!!


  1. Scott Walker Declares War on Wisconsin Deer Hunters – Wants Them to Pay Up | - May 24, 2012

    […] For more – Click HERE […]

  2. Under Walker’s Deer Czar, Hunters Will Lose | - May 30, 2012

    […] Deer Czar and the fencing lobby. The Deer Czar thinks that public game management is “the last bastion of communism.” If you can’t pay what a deer is worth, then shut up and hunt rabbits. People who […]

  3. “…of thee I sing.” - June 5, 2012

    […] Walker has taken steps toward privatizing deer hunting and selling off public lands, such as state […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: