Editors Blog

Wisconsin to Replace Deer Managers with Lapdogs?

A mass exodus of biologists have the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources scrambling to find replacements.

A mass exodus of wildlife biologists have the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources scrambling to find replacements to help manage the state’s prized wildlife populations.



Prerequisite for reading today’s blog post: a strong dose of sarcasm.

Have you ever dreamed about combining your love for deer hunting with an occupation? Perhaps you’ve thought about developing management programs that will balance the herd with the habitat. Rewarding work, no doubt.

Your dream could become a reality in short order — if you possess the skills and desire to relocate to Wisconsin, which is seeking applicants for more than 15 newly opened wildlife biologist positions.

Experience and schooling are obviously necessary. It won’t hurt if you also possess a strong desire to be undercut by a governor and political folks who hire outside consultants from 1,800 miles away to give you ideas on how to do your job. It’s a bonus if you also enjoy getting your brains bashed in by a hunting public that always “knows better.”

With all that in mind, here’s the actual press release issued by the WDNR earlier this week:

MADISON – Persons interested in applying to become a wildlife biologist with the Department of Natural Resources have until Feb. 18 to complete an online application and exam.

“We currently we have more than 15 vacancies, and we expect that number to grow in the next year,” says JoAnne Farnsworth, management systems chief for DNR’s Bureau of Wildlife Management. “The register from this exam will be used to fill positions for at least a year.”

Wildlife biologists develop and implement wildlife management programs using an integrated ecosystem management approach. This includes habitat improvement and coordinating and conducting wildlife monitoring surveys. Biologists’ responsibilities include establishing and maintaining partnerships with both public and private wildlife interest organizations.

Incumbents also will implement a public outreach and education program promoting outdoor skills and the future of hunting and trapping in Wisconsin. Wildlife biologists also oversee and conduct property management activities such as land acquisition, infrastructure development and maintenance, and wildlife habitat protection and enhancement for assigned properties.

Farnsworth said DNR cannot provide exact locations where biologists would be stationed at this time because there is a lateral transfer process going on for existing vacancies.

“I’d suggest any candidates able and willing to work anywhere in the state mark “statewide” on their county selections. If not, only choose the counties of interest.”

As DNR proceeds to the interview and recruitment exercises there will be more information on position locations.

The goal is to begin interviews in May and have job offers occurring in the second half of the calendar year.

People interested in applying for the positions should visit the Wisc.jobs website and search for wildlife biologist.

The exam closes at 11:59 p.m. Feb 18, 2013, with no exceptions to this deadline.