February 12, 2016

Deer czar report overall pretty good

George Meyer, Executive Director Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, says he does have some concerns about the much-anticipated report from Wisconsin’s deer czar, but he says overall it contains some very positive aspects. “Overall I think it’s a good road map for improved deer management in the state and a better relationship between sportsmen and Department of Natural Resources on deer management.”

Texas deer expert James Kroll says wildlife management is evolving from an art to a science. The deer Czar issues several final recommendations in his 136-page report, including tossing out deer population goals. He also would focus on hunting regulations, predator studies, harvest data and deer herd health.

Meyer, former DNR secretary, says he’ll keep an eye on the recommendation that lets landowners hold hunting sessions on their properties. “How permits get issued to landowners will have to be very carefully done so it doesn’t create privatization of the deer herd. But I do not see the kinds of things that have been voiced earlier by Dr. Kroll in terms of deer management in Texas.”

There is one area about the report where Meyer has significant concerns; it has to do with the recommendation to consider a more “passive approach” to chronic wasting disease. Meyer says over all this is a good road map to increase confidence of sportsman in Wisconsin deer management, as long as hunters have a say.

Kroll was hired last fall by Governor Scott Walker to study the state’s much-criticized deer hunting system, and to suggest ways to improve it.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:51

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