I found out from a Sconnie friend of mine that, to my great astonishment, many Wisconsinites — particularly those living in prime hunting areas — don’t know about the beliefs and comments of Scott Walker’s hand-picked deer czar, Dr. James Kroll, who Walker imported from Texas:
As reported in Lodi Valley News, Walker has hired Texan Dr. James Kroll to serve as Wisconsin’s “deer czar,” a position that gives Kroll considerable power over Wisconsin’s deer management policy. Kroll is an outspoken proponent of game farms, and an opponent of public lands and public game management, which he is on record as describing as “the last bastion of communism.”
The public lands Kroll despises include the state parks, state and national forests, and other publicly held property that hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites—particularly in the northern part of the state—rely on for deer hunting. Hunters on public land may be surprised to discover that Walker regards their annual trek into a state forest as a radical left wing activity akin to marching in a May Day parade in Red Square. But so it is.
If Kroll gets his way, public land hunters will get the shaft. The deer herd no longer would be managed as a public resource, but as the private property of wealthy landowners. Wisconsin will become like Europe, where hunting is the privilege of the wealthy.
In Wisconsin and Minnesota, deer hunting in state forests is a way of life. Even for many city dwellers, going out and bagging your first deer is a rite of passage on a par with getting your driver’s license.
And James Kroll wants to take all of that away.
Worse, he wants to make the Wisconsin hunting experience so pricey and privatized that only the richie-rich types, our genteel overlords, can afford it. In other words, just like he apparently did for Texas:
Do we really want to follow the example of Texas? They started down this path in 2001, after heavy lobbying from the high-fence deer ranching industry. Now 95% of hunting is done on private land, and getting a lease to hunt costs around $2000-$5000 per gun. Is that really what we want in Wisconsin?
A Texas hunter I know complained recently that she and her husband can no longer afford to hunt in Texas, as even the cheap leases will cost over $3000 for the two of them. That’s not counting the cost of licenses, fuel, etc! And when you can’t afford to hunt, that means more money going towards groceries since you don’t have a freezer full of meat.
One of the things that you are taught if you grow up in a hunting household is that one of the most cherished and sought-after freedoms of our forebears was the right to hunt game — a very important right in a time when most people had to secure their own food and couldn’t just drive to the nearest Safeway for it. This was a right that in Europe and the British Isles was limited to the nobility or the rich, who wanted to keep the deer all to themselves. Scott Walker, for all his talk about freedoms, wants to take away a key freedom and birthright of all Wisconsin citizens and turn them back into mere subjects, the very fate their ancestors strove to avoid, just so a bunch of rich elites can — like the lords and ladies of yore — have all the deer to themselves.
Got any rellies in Wisconsin? Make sure they see this. Especially if they live in rural areas.