Hayward (WQOW) - Frustrations over the DNR's management of the state's deer herd reach a new level. Wisconsin's so-called 'Deer Czar', Dr. James Kroll, has been traveling the state this week to get hunters input on solutions. Hunters voiced their concerns at last night's meeting in Hayward.
A sign at the entrance to Wednesday night's meeting asked hunters to leave their personal agendas at the door. Instead, they were asked to bring solutions.
Despite that sign, many of the 160 hunters in attendance, targeted the DNR:
"We would not be in this mess if they had done their job properly," said one hunter.
It was a common sentiment:
"It's a sin, it's sinful what they have done to the deer herd in Northern Wisconsin," said another.
Many in the crowd complained of not seeing many deer anymore, and its obvious they don't believe the DNR's estimate that the herd is over a million animals strong.
Some blamed wolves, bears and other predators for declining deer numbers in northern Wisconsin. One hunter said he saw more bears than deer while hunting last fall.
There was also apparent skepticism about Kroll's recent study of the state's herd and management practices. Not once did Kroll or his team of experts receive any applause. Still, he told us he's encouraged by what he's heard this week:
"The people have been ...its amazing how much thought they've put into this and how many good ideas we've heard so far. Most notable is the willingness of people to realize that they are responsible for the management of these deer"," said Dr. Kroll.
Kroll's possible solutions include requiring all private landowners to meet with DNR wildlife biologists to work on improving deer habitat. He also calls for simplifying bag limits and hunting seasons. Kroll says he has other strong recommendations but warns, the problems won't be solved overnight.
Kroll's final recommendations are due to state legislature in June. There are a few more deer hearings in the state.
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