Some Cry Foul, Say Too Much Promotion of Hunting

In the age-old battle between hunters and non-hunters, the latest cries of “They’re promoting that too much!” are coming from a midwestern state where both sides have battered the state conservation department for years.

Wisconsin’s wildlife agency and governor are the latest being pummeled by the non- and anti-hunters who say promotion of hunting in the last two years has eclipsed non-consumptive activities such as hiking, camping and birding.

“I don’t really understand why, instead of promoting all these things, why aren’t they promoting tourism or photography? They’re just not diversifying at all,” Melissa Smith, organizer of the group Friends of Wisconsin Wolves, said in this report by The Associated Press. “Can’t we encourage people to enjoy the outdoors without killing something?”

Wisconsin hunters beg to differ, though, saying it’s about time for promotion of hunting in their state. But the deer hunters aren’t necessarily lily-dipping with Gov. Scott Walker or the Wisconsin DNR; both have been praised for some moves, such as opening a wolf season, and also hit with haymakers due to radical changes or promotions in deer hunting regulations.

Among the more notable deer decisions, Walker hired an outside committee headed by longtime deer researcher James Kroll of Texas. As the “deer czar” for Wisconsin he supervised the group’s review of the Wisconsin DNR — seen by many as a slam on the agency by its governor — and proposed a Deer Management Assistance Program, among others.

Many of those didn’t sit well with Wisconsin hunters. Recently, proposals being considered for 2014 include a new check-in system via telephone or computer.

So there’s a mix of feelings. As governor, Walker definitely has made waves as a Republican in a Democratic state and survived a recall election. He vowed to make changes affecting hunting, and has. Click here now to read the rest of this story about the current debate among hunters and non-hunters.