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Certainly the litany of Scott Walker's sins is long and varied: Gross mismanagement, worst in the nation Job numbers, union-busting, billionaire toadying, and good old fashioned political corruption  and criminal activity.  But the fact is, anyone upset about these things is already voting against him, and many polls still have the race tied or ahead.  So to win this thing,  we need a wedge issue that peels off some of his support, particularly in his Northern WI base areas.   Fortunately Scott Walker has just handed us just such a wedge on a sliver platter in his appointment of Dr. James Kroll as the State's "deer Czar".  You see Dr. Kroll considers allowing hunters to hunt for free on state-managed game lands, "the last bastion of communism" and want to do away with  it altogether.

Even if you think this issue doesn't matter because you've never shot an animal with anything other than a camera, if you want the Dems to win the recall election you need to spread this story as far and wide as possible. Because, trust me, there are people in WI for who this will REALLY matter, and they're precisely the people we need to reach.  Let me explain:

The first thing you need to understand, is that for a significant number of people in WI, deer hunting is less of a sport and more of a religion.  I've spoken to a lot of people who grew up in WI, particularly the northern part of the state, who told me that growing up, most high- and even Middle-schools managed to make sure that the first day of whitetail season was some sort of school holiday, since they knew that huge percentages of their students wouldn't be there anyway.  It is a time when contractors turn down business, people take days off of work, shifts go unfilled and deliveries are delayed, because, hell, it's deer hunting time.

And this is not merely some sort of blood-lust on these enthusiastic hunters' part either.  There are a lot of lower-middle and lower income people, especially in rural areas for whom successfully  "shooting for the table", or freezer can make all the difference in their family's food security for that winter, or even over the whole year.  The 50-75 lbs of usable meet that a good-sized deer will yield goes a very long way to making up for the protein deficit many of these hunter's families might otherwise face.  It is also a generational tradition for these folks that helps bond families, an activity that helps give them a connection to the land that borders on spiritual, and powerful symbol of what they believe to be their independence and self-reliance.  

 Therefore anything that threatens that tradition or looks like it might take it away entirely, is likely to put them "up in arms", almost literally.

Guess What Dr. Kroll wants to do?

Yep.  He's pissed off that people might be enjoying this activity (which also benefits the state since the excess deer population is a huge hazard to motorists and cause massive damage to forests. Since we kinda wiped out all the natural predators that pretty much leave hunters to take of the problem) without SOMEONE getting fabulously wealthy as a result and squeezing every penny out of the hunters first.

Really, even the guys who come up with cartoon super-villians couldn't make stuff like this up:

Walker has hired Texan Dr. James Kroll to serve as Wisconsin’s “deer czar,” a position that gives Kroll considerable power over Wisconsin’s deer management policy. Kroll is an outspoken proponent of game farms, and an opponent of public lands and public game management, which he is on record as describing as “the last bastion of communism.”

The public lands Kroll despises include the state parks, state and national forests, and other publicly held property that hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites—particularly in the northern part of the state—rely on for deer hunting. Hunters on public land may be surprised to discover that Walker regards their annual trek into a state forest as a radical left wing activity akin to marching in a May Day parade in Red Square. But so it is.

If Kroll gets his way, public land hunters will get the shaft. The deer herd no longer would be managed as a public resource, but as the private property of wealthy landowners. Wisconsin will become like Europe, where hunting is the privilege of the wealthy.

Yes, how DARE those free-loading, tax-paying citizens of WI expect to be able to use some of its natural resources without paying wealthy Land owners for the privilege?

and understand this is not merely a theorectical idea for him, he's actually done this in Texas

It is interesting to note that, in 2001, the State of Texas shifted its deer management strategies toward the same leanings that Kroll has suggested for Wisconsin. In Texas, the change was brought about via heavy lobbying from the high-fence deer ranching industry. This pressure helped convince the Texas Parks and Wildlife to change their regulations and allow private landowners to select the own deer biologists.

 The 55-year-old Kroll is the leading light in the field of private deer management as a means to add value to the land. His belief is so absolute that some detractors refer to him as Dr. Dough, implying that his eye is on the bottom line more than on the natural world.


He just cannot abide the idea that people might want to own land collectively as part of public trust when a wealthy landowner could have it all to himself instead.  It's just flat-out un-American to him
 People who call for more public lands are “cocktail conservationists,” he says, who are really pining for socialism. He calls national parks “wildlife ghettos” and flatly accuses the government of gross mismanagement. He argues that his relatively tiny acreage, marked by eight-foot fences and posted signs warning off would-be poachers, is a better model for keeping what’s natural natural while making money off the land.
Where does this leave the public-land hunter? “It will suck to be you,” said one deer manager who asked to remain anonymous out of fear for his job. “The resources and efforts will go toward improving the private land sector. This is all about turning deer hunting away from the Public Land Doctrine and more toward a European-style of management — like they have in Texas.”
So in a nutshell, Walker has once again repeated his pattern of screwing over the majority of WI citizens to reward a tiny pool of wealthy landowners.  And since many of the people he's screwing over are his own loyal base, and they tend to be nigh-fanatical about this issue, the specter of somebody messing with their hunting right could enrage them to point that it could end up handing Dems the election gift-wrapped in a bow.

But ONLY IF People find out about this, and fast.  The source for this article is one tiny newspaper re-printing part of deer-hunting magazine's article.  That's a spark.  We need a Bonfire.   Many of the folks in the demographic likely to react most strongly to this are not called "low information" voters for nothing, you know.

Therefore, this needs to be BLASTED over any and every communication medium possible.  IF you know decision makers at PACS or other airtime buyers, shoot them a link.  If you are a hunter and participate in online discussions about hunting, BRING THIS UP on every online forum you can.  Are you a Twit? Then Tweet it with a few OMGS and WTFS  thrown in (OH my poor abused mother tongue, I weep for thee).  Throw it up on your wall at facebook (and if you and your friends couldn't give two shits about hunting, get them pissed off by pointing out what this could mean for all of WI's gorgeous state parks, particularly because  this guy's appointment compliments that of  with This lady who wants to sell off WI's State parks.  )

Hell it might be obnoxious but Send it out Reply All to the e-mail list of that crazy conservative uncle of yours who is always sending you emails about Obama's birth certificate with subject lines that start off  FW: FW: FW Re: Re: Re: Fw:

The point is this story need to be a topic of furious statewide discussion and we've only got two weeks to make it happen.   This story is a gift from heaven, an equalizer in a race heavily skewed by floods of billionaire support for their mascot Scotty Walker.  But all the money in the world can't un-piss off a voter that thinks he's about to take their deer huntin' away.  But it is up to us to make sure they know that's what's going on.  As they say in hunt country around here: Release the hounds

Originally posted to Magorn on Sun May 20, 2012 at 02:21 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and German American Friendship Group.

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