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Sen. Kedzie: Hunters’ Voices Heard

This guest column comes from State Sen. Neal Kedzie in the absence of Gov. Scott Walker, who was at the Republican National Convention.

The state partnered with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association to produce and distribute a brief radio address from Gov. Scott Walker once a week.  Audio files and a written transcript of this radio address can be accessed on http://www.wi-broadcasters.org and http://walker.wi.gov/Weekly-Radio-Addresses.  The radio address this week can be accessed at: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/sen11/news/.  To download an mp3 file, you can right click the radio address link and click “save link as.”

Taking the place of Gov. Scott Walker this week is State Sen. Neal Kedzie:

Hello, this is Senator Neal Kedzie.

Deer hunting in Wisconsin is an honored tradition, which my family and I have shared for generations.  Like many other hunting families, we’ve traded stories of our successes, and our failures. 

I have also heard those stories in my role as a state legislator, and Chair and member of the Senate Natural Resources Committee.  Unfortunately, I’ve heard fewer success stories in recent years, as many believe over-burdening and confusing regulations are harming the sport they love.

But

In 2009, I conducted a statewide deer hunt survey on my Web site, asking hunters to share their concerns with me – and the response was overwhelming.  More than 10,000 hunters responded, many of whom made comment of the state’s mismanagement of the deer herd due to the discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease. 

Hunters were fed up with the new regulations, the multiple seasons, and the many restrictions placed on them.  Many pondered hunting in another state, while others were on the brink of quitting altogether. 

Besides the tradition of hunting, Wisconsin benefits greatly from the economic boon the sport provides, more than one billion spent annually.  We cannot afford to lose either. 

That is why I applaud the efforts of Governor Scott Walker to seek the advice of deer expert, Dr. James Kroll and his recently issued deer management report. 

The report made many recommendations to improve deer hunting in Wisconsin, one of which was recently implemented by the governor to completely suspend the October four-day antlerless hunt in the CWD zone, and return to a more traditional hunt.  

That action, along with the elimination of the unpopular Earn-A-Buck program by the Legislature this past session, are two very positive steps forward which finally give the Wisconsin deer hunter a voice in state government. 

We listened, we responded, and we will continue to respond to ensure hunting in Wisconsin remains the proud tradition we know it to be, and passed from generation to generation. 

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