Click here to view the report.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker's deer trustee says Wisconsin wildlife officials should quit establishing local population goals, let landowners hold site-specific hunts on their property and establish better connections with the public.
Walker's administration hired Texas researcher James Kroll to evaluate the Department of Natural Resources' deer management. The administration released Kroll's final report on Tuesday.
The study found the DNR's population estimates aren't precise enough for individual management zones, site-specific hunts would give the state valuable biological information on kills and better DNR outreach would help restore the agency's credibility with hunters.
He concluded the report by taking hunters to task too, saying they want a deer herd so large the landscape can't support it.
Statement on the deer report from DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp
“Today we received the Wisconsin deer herd report from Deer Trustee, Dr. James Kroll and his team Dr. David Guynn and Dr. Gary Alt.
A comprehensive report such as this will take several weeks to review, but the Department of Natural Resources is ready, willing and eager to roll up our sleeves and get started. We look forward to working with the public, the Natural Resources Board, Governor Walker, Dr. Kroll, Wildlife Management professionals, Legislators and the Conservation Congress to find ways to make deer hunting even better in Wisconsin.
I want to thank Dr. Kroll and his team for their efforts. All along we’ve had the same goal, to make sure Wisconsin leads the nation in deer management and that our rich deer hunting tradition remains strong.”
Statement from Governor's office
Today’s report marks the conclusion of an independent study aimed at evaluating our current deer herd management practices. Moving forward we need to act on the report to enhance Wisconsin’s rich hunting tradition.
While DNR staff has worked hard, we need to do more to ensure hunters and conservationists have confidence in the department’s ability to manage the deer herd. Dr. Kroll and his team have gone through an exhaustive process to receive and evaluate comments from the public. The input incorporated into this report from hunters and conservationists will help us restore trust in the DNR’s ability to enhance Wisconsin’s hunting heritage as we move forward with implementation.
I look forward to working with Secretary Stepp and her team to follow through on Dr. Kroll’s report.
Last year Governor Scott Walker signed Executive Order #44, which created a Whitetail Deer Trustee position to independently and objectively review and evaluate Wisconsin’s deer herd management practices.
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