a great day at the capital for hunters

retch sweeny
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Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:05 am

a great day at the capital for hunters

Postby retch sweeny » Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:25 am

"It's a great day at the capital for hunters "  [:)]

That is how Rep. Ann Hraychuck opened the joint hearing on deer population and hunter's concerns.

I got to Madison with a bus load of sportsmen and women that left from Buck Rub Archery in Pewaukee.

After an hour on the bus, talking hunting and deer issues, we hit the Capital.


And we were not alone. In no time, the chamber was filled to overflow status. Both hallways leading to the hearing room were also filled to capacity. I tried to get a picture that shows this but this was the best I could do without a flash. At one point, everyone was notified that the Capital Police said we were in violation of fire codes and that two additional hearing rooms that were wired for sound would be opened for anybody not registered to speak. I later visited one of those rooms after testifying and every seat was filled.

There was media set up in every corner that they would fit and then the Senators and Assembly-persons filled in to get the show on the road.

Rep. Hraychuck was the Chair. Seated to her left was Senator Holperin. Circled all around the room were various other members of both committees.


The first speaker was DNR Sec. Matt Frank. He presented his case well and when finished, took a lot of really tough question from the Legislators. Some he answered well and others he side stepped. Most notably was the question about the EAB threat map. Luckily there was somebody on hand who actually had the EAB threat map that Mr. Frank didn't seem to think existed and and handed it off to the legislators.  [;)]

After his testimony, in which Mr. Frank said that the DNR will be listening and paying attention to the proceedings of the day, He left, never to return. He did leave behind a couple of lower level DNR staff to take notes.

After that, was a series of very well done testimony by many passionate speakers. I was able to speak 5th and hopefully did some good in getting the point across that the Dept. has lost touch with the deer population and that the Insurance industry seems to have a better handle on the population than the Dept.

After I testified, I stepped into the hallway and spend time talking with hunters who thanked me and everyone else for showing up to testify. it asked by many people and even the head of the WI Wildlife Federation for a copy of my presentation. I have attached it to the end of this post.

I hung around until 2:45 pm when our bus was scheduled to leave. I was impressed at the number of young kids from 8 to 15 that took the day off of school and came with their parents to see the process in action. I was also impressed with the number of females that not only attended but also testified.

All in all, it really was a great day for deer hunters in WI. Somebody is finally listening. My guess is that a bill (or bills) will be the end result but we will have to wait and see. At the very least, this will have effected deer hunting regulations going forward.

retch sweeny
Posts: 565
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:05 am

RE: a great day at the capital for hunters

Postby retch sweeny » Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:26 am

You can view the entire day's testimony at this link.

http://www.wisconsineye.com/wisEye_prog ... .html#2011

then click on the "Joint informational hearing: Deer hunting" link

Matt Frank's Testimony begins at the 6 minute mark.

Kaz's Testimony begins at the 51 minute mark

At the 1 hour mark begins the testimony of Tom Meyer who has a Masters degree in Biology,

The Testimony from Ed Harvey of the CC begins at the 1 hours 12 minute mark.

My testimony begins at the 1 hour 21 minute mark.

at the 1 hour and 39 minute mark starts the testimony of Mark  Pils of the WI chapter of the Wildlife Society.

At the 1 hour 47 minute mark begins the testimony from Tony Ungerer from the Hunter's Alliance for Regulatory Communication.

At 1 hour and 53 minute mark starts the testimony of George Meyer from the WI Wildlife Federation.

Then Scott Meyer from the Bear hunters starts at the 2 hour and 5 minute mark.

Next was Jane Severt from the WI County Forestry assoc. at the 2 hour and 10 minute mark.

At the 2 hour and 20 minute mark begins the testimony from Dean Hamilton, President of the WI NWTF

At the 2 hour and 24 minute mark starts Mark Lovelands testimony. Mark is from the WI County forest admin.

At the 2 hour and 30 minute mark begins the words of Sarah Johnson , the UW rare plant ecologist/botany Dept.

at the 2 hour and 34 minute mark begins the testimony from two lawyers for the HRC. This was very interesting and worth listening two at least twice.

At the 2 hour and 25 minute mark you will hear the testimony of Jeff Gietner from the WI hunters Unites org and from the guy that started closing the lands in Marilbel. He brought his two children with him.

At the 3 hours and 9 minute mark begins the words of Jordan Austin from the NRA.

At the 3 hour and 15 minute mark begins Rep. Fred Clark.

At 3 hours and 21 minute mark is Terry Moulton, Archery shop owner.

From there on was a great deal of public testimony. In all, there was about 5 hours of testimony.

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RE: a great day at the capital for hunters

Postby buckhunter21 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:18 pm

Thanks for posting this info....Very informative! 

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RE: a great day at the capital for hunters

Postby wack » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:49 pm

 That was a positive learning experience for me personally and I hope for our reps. For those of you that have listened to the whole hearing from start to finish, what did you take from the hearing and what do you think the reps took from it?

 I personally think hunters really made the DNR look bad and Mr Matt Frank didn't have the answers the reps wanted to here. While Frank danced around questions, hunters came through with some very good answers backed up with a lot of facts and information.

 Wisconsin law, our constitution, DNR regulations, hunter ethics, economical impact, information about how other states do things, hunters did not leave 1 stone unturned for reasons to get rid of EAB, ideas on whats wrong and how to fix it.

Some of the discussion that I hope we keep pounding Madison about is first, the legality of EAB. Those 2 lawyers mad a pretty strong case for both getting rid of EAB and increasing the goals.

 Second, the NRA rep made some real good points about simplifying the regulations. I'd like to hear more about how other states do things and take a look at how we can make hunting easier. I saw more DNR tickets issued than tags filled on public land this past year. Some deserved it, others need a lawyer just to understand our rule book.

Third, deer car crash statistics are on our side. Other states use car deer crash statistics, there's no reason it can't be at least taken in consideration. I think this subject at the hearing really put EAB and DNR goals in question with our reps and held a lot of weight with them. Real, hard scientific numbers that tied in with other states and gave a good indication as to what hunters are saying is true.

 Forth, A lot of talk about SAK and how it should work with out EAB and Herd control, and how it doesn't work with these types of hunts. Tie in talk about predation numbers, I got to hand it to hunters, armed to the teeth, they took Mr Franks excuse of winter kill and made him look like the uneducated spoiled politician who has very little ground to stand on. The only way it could have been better is if he stayed and had to answer to each and everyone who testified. Hunters did tell our reps how we've been treated and presented a lot of DNR Quotes, but it would have been better to hear the arrogance in person, first hand. The reps did hit him with a few point blank questions but let him off the hook by letting him out of the room or at least not bringing him back at the end so the reps could question him after the hunter education they just received. I want to be there when they get that chance. lol

 The last thing that I noticed was the biggest pro DNR testimony came from the Forestry industry. Honestly, I think the reps were disappointed in lack of information and facts that the industry offered. It was mentioned that at one of the other hearings a forestry biologist testified opposite of testimony at this hearing so I got the impression that our reps weren't buying the forestry's claims on this day.

  I also noticed that the rep for the Dept. of Agriculture was a NO show. This was because they were better served by staying out of this. Like 2 brothers in trouble, DNR was taking it's whooping while the other guilty brother listened from the hallway and snuck away . Hunters didn't leave that stone unturned, as Ag tags were mentioned several times, but I do not think we won anything here, I don't think the reps really heard us here, more work is needed.

 April 15th, 2009 was a pretty good day for hunters getting there message out. I think we impressed our Government and I hope our government will in turn impress us. It will be very interesting as to what dirrection our reps will take and how it will make a difference in our DNR. Our reps seemed to have an attitude that amounted to we pay these guys (DNR) to make you (hunters) happy. I don't think they want to set DNR policy, I think they're more likely to fire people and rehire people who will get that job done. I'm thinking heads are going to roll or at least a few things are going to change. I think it's now very important to follow up and keep on our reps. We need to get them to take a look at ag tags, figure out if EAB is legal or not, and change the way we count deer. By that I mean fix SAK and use car deer crash info and other methods and info to double triple check every number so we have accurate data to start from and we need the goals returned to a more reasonable number.

 Good job everyone, but it's not over yet. Keep up the pressure and the good work.
American by birth, hunter by choice.

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