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Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Should Wisconsin extend the deer hunting season?

News you can use


The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board wants public input about a proposal to extend the deer gun hunting season from the current 9-day hunt to 16 days. The season would begin one week earlier.

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is searching for new ideas to reduce Wisconsin’s whitetail herd since DNR Secretary Matt Frank announced during April 2009 that a one-year moratorium on the controversial Earn-a-Buck program would be imposed outside the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) zone during the 2009 deer hunting season.

Deer populations were lower than anticipated during the fall of 2008 due to a rough winter and a late, cool spring. The deer kill was down 19 percent during 2008, and hunters generally opposed to the Earn-a-Buck program blamed the DNR for its projections of the deer population that were too high. The Earn-a-Buck program was quite unpopular.

During January 2009, the Wisconsin Outdoor News reported, “The Earn-a-Buck program forces hunters to shoot antlerless deer before taking a buck. It’s designed as a population-control measure, but many hunters despise it because it forces them to pass up trophy kills.”

The Earn-a-Buck program has been scrapped, and the DNR believes a new method to thin the herd would be an extended season. Thus far, reaction has been as chilly as deer hunting weather

Jon Gafner, owner of Jon's Sport Shop in Oshkosh, told the Oshkosh Northwestern he has yet to hear a positive comment from his customers about a 16-day hunt. Russ Ref told the newspaper, “I think the deer herd has already been decimated by the Earn-a Buck and antlerless deer seasons. I'm opposed to any change that is going to reduce the herd more."

Several public hearings are planned. The closest location to Senate District 28 that I represent is a hearing October 28, 2009 at Pewaukee. Here is the complete schedule of public hearings that all begin at 6:30 p.m. with an informational presentation about the proposed rule followed by public comment at 7:00 p.m.:

 

    • October 14, Crivitz - Crivitz Village Hall, 800 Henriette Ave.
    • October 15, Onalaska - Onalaska High School Field house, 700 Hilltopper Place.
    • October 21, Madison - Lussier Family Heritage Center - Main Level, 3101 Lake Farm Road.
    • October 21, Rhinelander - James Williams Middle School, 915 Acacia Lane.
    • October 21, Ashland - Ashland AmericInn Conference Center, 3009 Lakeshore Drive E.
    • October 26, Appleton - Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton Campus, Room C190, 1825 North Bluemound Drive.
    • October 26, Eau Claire - Chippewa Valley Technical College auditorium, Room M103, 620 W. Clairemont Ave.
    • October 27, Sturtevant - Natural Resources office building, 9531 Rayne Road, Suite 4.
    • October 28, Pewaukee - Waukesha County Technical College, Room C051/C057, 800 Main St.
    • October 28, Spooner - Spooner High School Auditorium, 801 County A.
    • November 3, Stevens Point - Portage County Courthouse Annex, Conference Room 1, 1462 Strongs Ave.

 

Written comments can be submitted until November 3, 2009 to:

Keith Warnke
Bureau of Wildlife Management
P.O. Box 7921
Madison, WI  53707

Here is more information about the proposed rule.

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