Wisconsin Governor Earmarks $2 Million for Deer Management

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker recently issued a budget proposal in which he plans to designate $2 million for improving the state's deer management. This proposal follows a full review of the Wisconsin's deer management practices. The review was was conducted last year by whitetail gurus James Kroll, Gary Alt, and David Guynn.

Walker's budget includes:

1) Forming a Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) to improve the partnership among hunters, landowners and the DNR in managing deer on private land.

2) Updating technology to gather information on land cover to better inform decisions (satellite imagery for assessing habitat and a statewide trail camera monitoring program).

3) Adopting a more passive approach to chronic wasting disease management where the disease exists while providing the public improved access to deer testing.

The budget proposal is intriguing because it suggests that in a time of fiscal duress, Wisconsin is investing in hunting as a way to drive the state economy. The managment changes could also set trends for other big-time deer states. Hopefully the strategy of giving hunters more input in the managment process catches on in more states.