Walker’s ‘Deer Czar’ Proposes Privatizing Hunting, Wildlife

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

Each 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.

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13 Comments on “Walker’s ‘Deer Czar’ Proposes Privatizing Hunting, Wildlife”

  1. Lacuna May 17, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    Once the big corporations fence off their parcels of land, they’ll for sure raise the property taxes of all the surrounding plats. Long held family hunting land will go up on the auction block when people can’t afford to compete with big corporations when it comes to taxation. It’s a land grab for sure. If you think you’re safe because you have a small slice of Wisconsin to hunt on, think again.

  2. correo350 May 18, 2012 at 6:47 am #

    More class envy. More walker bashing.
    Under dems More land had been taken by the gov.than ever. Go walker!!!!!!!!!!

    • clackman April 22, 2016 at 5:51 am #

      really, you are one of the last 32% that approve of that douche

  3. Barbara With May 18, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    Correo350 you sound like one of the people I have been reading about. “The Goebbel Diaries” outlines how Joseph Goebbel, Minister of Propaganda under Hitler, was able to move the psychology of the German people. The basic premise was, lie lie lie and then lie some more. Walker bashing? Hardly. When a man is the subject of a John Doe investigation, when his staff is being charged with felonies, when he is never in the state because he is too busy collecting out of state funds from billionaires, and he has his own legal defense fund, anyone who thinks telling the truth is “bashing” has obviously fallen under the spell of the Lie Lie Lie philosophy he and his propaganda ministers espouse. Did you know that one of his top aides was caught texting underage boys? this is not bashing, this is reporting the truth through the propaganda echo chamber. Sorry, I am not sure what psychological disorder you might have the would prevent you from your own critical thinking of the facts, but I would advise you turn off the TV and stop listening to the “It’s Working” propaganda campaign. Seems to be turning your mind to mush. But then again, that’s what its suppose to do so I suppose in some twisted way, it is.

  4. DairyQueen May 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    Walker is SO IRRESPONSIBLE. These are our public lands and our publicly-managed deer herds. Dems, please publicize this widely. Walker will give away/sell public lands and privatize public assets just as he did in Milwaukee County (http://milwaukeecountyfirst.com/?p=3007). We elect people to manage our public resources, not to let them fall into neglect or sell them off to their political contributers. Wisconsin cares about deer hunting…Make sure the whole state knows about this.

  5. GruntBear May 23, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    This is wrong in so many ways. The net result will be to reduce the deer harvest very year…and we have way too many deer already. Depredations on farmers fields and the spread of CWD are sure to be accelerated. A Wisconsin tradition goes down the crapper – and even if this is reversed 5 years from now you’ll lose large numbers of hunters and be producing no young ones. Thousands of pounds of venison that now go to food banks, gone. Oh, and expect the game farms to introduce exotic species and if any get loose, the taxpayer will have to deal with the environmental impact.

    Just like turning down the train, when its gone its gone….and like the train it will end up costing way more than the $$ saved and we won’t have the resource we pissed away.

    He has to go!!!!

  6. Marv May 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Hey all of you Republican NRA people, please pay attention to this. Sure, you can have guns, but you’ll have to pay bigtime to hunt.

  7. superiorecotour April 20, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

    Reblogged this on SuperiorEcoTour's Blog.

  8. michael guest April 20, 2016 at 10:59 pm #

    Bad idea. Our public and federal lands should not be privatized. That would close national parks, forests, trails, and other natural environments. They are not for sale and they belong to all of us. He’s a fool! This proposal is unacceptable and wrong. Conservation is very important. Keep our public lands protected and preserved. Don’t let this happen. It has to be stopped. And this is very important.

  9. Dave Schultz April 21, 2016 at 8:45 am #

    Attention small business owners who rely on recreation isms as an income. Here it is in black & white. If this passes, kiss your business goodbye.
    Another repub. cut throat tactic. How does this in anyway help our economy !?

  10. Fuck you April 21, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

    Yeah well he can get ducked because that man, the state or the DNR won’t stop me from hunting deer.

  11. PAUL MARX April 21, 2016 at 10:13 pm #

    Surprise, surprise! How do you Second Amendment rights, “stick it to everyone but me,” Walker supporting hunters feel now??? News flash….Walker is a self-serving asshole who has sold out our stats to the highest bidders! Hitting home for you? This new licensing scheme is a JOKE! How does a law-abiding hunter affix a piece of photocopy paper to a deer in the SNOW and get out with a tag on a deer???? Oh, the redneck trash will love this system…make ten copies, don’t call in the kill, shoot a dozen on one tag! This will be my last year of buying a license. What a joke Walker has turned this state into!


  1. Privatizing Wildlife: Dangerous Trend or Economic Necessity? - October 18, 2016

    […] few years ago, the governor of Wisconsin tried to privatize deer hunting by transferring the management of the state’s deer herd to private corporations. While we’re […]

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