The numbers prove it. Realtree fans north, south, east and west live and breathe deer hunting. These guys do, too. Hansen’s from Michigan, Brantley’s from Kentucky, and chances are their version of hunting whitetails is a lot like yours.
Dr. Deer: Public Land Hunting Is Communism
What happens when you mix passionate deer hunters, deer management and politics? Headlines like these:
So here's what this is all about.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker hired James Kroll, a Texas-based deer manager known as "Dr. Deer" to serve as the state's "deer trustee." Kroll is to conduct an analysis of the state's deer management program and provide recommendations to Gov. Walker. To help him, Kroll brought on notable whitetail minds Gary Alt and David Guynn, Jr.
Let's pause for just a moment here and digest nothing more than these facts:
Wisconsin is home to one of the largest populations of deer hunters in the nation.
There is nothing that stirs the pot in all of the outdoors more than a discussion about deer hunting methods amongst passionate deer hunters.
James Kroll hails from Texas. Wisconsin is certainly not Texas.
Gary Alt was last seen publicly when he made dramatic changes to Pennsylvania's deer management program, liberalizing doe seasons and implementing statewide antler restrictions -- actions that led to Alt receiving death threats from disgruntled hunters and turned the world of deer management on its ear.
Did anyone really think that this situation would be anything other than a big, controversial mess?
Now add in the facts that Gov. Walker is facing a recall vote on Tuesday, June 5 and that an article in a Texas publication quotes Kroll calling public wildlife management a system of communism, describing national parks as "wildlife ghettos" and calling hunters looking for more public hunting opportunities as "pining for socialism."
After Kroll released his interim report on Wisconsin's deer program, talk quickly ramped up about the possibility of Walker and Kroll conspiring to sell off Wisconsin's public lands and adopt a European, pay-to-play model of wildlife management.
Daniel Schmidt, editor of Deer and Deer Hunting magazine, lives in Wisconsin. I don't know him personally but I have had conversations with him and found him to be a pretty regular guy with a passion for hunting deer. And he's done more than his share of public land hunting. His views on Kroll's preliminary report are not glowing and he's wondering what, exactly, the state is getting for the reported $150,000 fee paid to Kroll.
Kroll said his statements about socialism and public land management and ownership were taken out of context and provided an explanation on his position here.
I can't even begin to analyze all of the details of this and there's little doubt that much of what is being reported is fueled by politics. So take a look at it for yourself and let me know where you think this is all headed.