Walker calls off October deer hunt

Walker cites recent deer study
Walker calls off October deer hunt

Gov. Scott Walker has ended the four-day October gun antlerless deer hunt in Wisconsin’s chronic wasting disease zone.

The governor announced Friday he won’t approve the season even in an emergency capacity this year. He referred to Texas deer researcher James Kroll’s a report, which found hunters are upset with the agency’s complex season structure and the department should re-evaluate the October CWD hunt’s effectiveness.

At the North Bristol Sportsmans Club, the Friday night fish fry brings diners and hunters out for a good meal.  Longtime members and deer hunters, for the most part, seem to agree with Walker’s decision.

“I don’t think it had to happen at all,” hunter Tom Viken said. “I think he did exactly the right thing, no questions asked,” he added.

“Some people might not think it’s fine, but I do,” hunter Charlie Dunn said about taking away the October season.

Viken and Dunn agreed that the early fall hunt limits the population for the big Thanksgiving season. Plus, they mentioned it can be too warm to shoot down deer and keep the meat if you try for it before November.

“I would rather have this October hunt in later months when it’s colder,” Dunn said.

“I’d like to see somebody show me a deer with CWD because I haven’t seen one yet,” Viken said.

Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources released a statement Friday saying, “We understand the governor’s interest in being responsive to hunters and we hope hunters that haven’t had a traditional opener in a number of years in the CWD management zone will take advantage of this, as well as the bonus buck opportunity.”

The October hunt has been around since 1996, but Walker signed legislation last year that eliminated the hunt outside the disease management zone in south-central Wisconsin. The measure included a provision permitting such a hunt in the CWD zone only if Walker approves it by emergency rule beginning this year.

Wis. gov. ends 4-day October hunt in CWD zone