“Public Game Management Is The Last Bastion Of Communism” Dr.James Kroll-Walker Appointed Deer Trustee!!

by Free Speech on April 17, 2012

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

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According to Wisconsin’s White-Tailed Deer Trustee Dr. James Kroll, people who call for more public hunting opportunities are “pining for socialism.” He further states, “(Public) Game management is the last bastion of communism.”These are just two insights into the man who has been asked to provide analysis and recommended changes to Wisconsin’s deer management program. Kroll’s insights are from an article entitled “Which Side of the Fence Are You On?” by Joe Nick Patoski for a past edition of Texas Monthly.

If nothing more, the article gives an unabashed look into the mind-set that will be providing the Wisconsin DNR with recommendations on how to change their deer management practices. James Kroll (also known as “Deer Dr.”) was appointed to the Wisconsin “deer czar” position last fall. He was hired by the Department of Administration and instructed to complete a review of the state’s deer management program.


Here’s a sample of the article:


“Game Management,” says James Kroll, driving to his high-fenced, two-hundred-acre spread near Nacogdoches, “is the last bastion of communism.” Kroll, also known as Dr. Deer, is the director of the Forestry Resources Institute of Texas at Stephen F. Austin State University, and the “management” he is referring to is the sort practiced by the State of Texas. 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.


Kroll, who has been the foremost proponent of deer ranching in Texas for more than thirty years, doesn’t mind the controversy and certainly doesn’t fade in the heat. 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.


A trip to South Africa six years ago convinced Kroll that he was on the right track. There he encountered areas of primitive, lush wildlife-rich habitats called game ranches. They were privately owned, privately managed, and enclosed by high fences. He noticed how most of the land outside those fences had been grazed to the nub, used up. “Game ranches there derive their income from these animals — viewing them, hunting them, selling their meat,” he says. “There are no losers.” At his own ranch Kroll has set up a smaller version of the same thing. His land is indeed lush, verdant, with pine groves, an abundance of undergrowth, wild orchids, New Jersey tea, jack-in-the-pulpits, and other native plants. He has also set up a full-scale breeding research center and is one of twenty Texas deer breeders using artificial insemination to improve his herd. “We balance sex and age ratio,” he says. “We manage habitat. We control the population and manage for hunting. I want to leave the deer herd better than it was before we came.”


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.


“That has given landowners more freedom,” Kroll told Texas Monthly. “(However,) You still have to let the state on your land to get a wildlife-management permit.”


The key difference here is that 98 percent of Texas is comprised of private land.


Wisconsin, on the other hand, consists of approximately 34.8 million acres of land, and 25.5 percent of the state’s 638,000 gun-hunters reported hunting on public land at some point during the season (2010, Duey, Rees).


According to the Wisconsin Realtors Association, more than 5.7 million acres of this land, or 16.5 percent, is publicly owned and used for parks, forests, trails, and natural resource protection.  [Note: these statistics do not include the public land used for roads, government buildings, military bases, and college/school campuses.] This 5.7 million acres of public land is owned as follows:


Federal government owns approximately 1.5 million acres (4.4 percent of the state’s land area).  Almost all of the federal forestland in Wisconsin is located in Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.


State government owns approximately 1.6 million acres (4.6 percent of the state’s land area).  The land is managed by two agencies, the Board of Commissioners of Public Land (who manages lands granted by federal government) and the DNR (managing land owned by the state).


County government owns approximately 2.6 million acres (7.5 percent of the state’s land area).


Public land is located in 71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, with the most public land located in Bayfield County (464,673 acres). [Note: Menominee County does not have any public land, but 98 percent of the land is held in trust by the Menominee Tribe.] Twenty counties have more than 100,000 acres of public land, while only 12 counties have fewer than 10,000 acres.


What does this all mean? My initial reaction, which is one that I predicted when Kroll was named to the state’s deer trustee position, is that his team’s final recommendations — if implemented — will be heavily skewed toward the state’s larger landowners (500+ acres) and folks who own small parcels in areas comprised mostly of private land.


It is also my prediction that the final recommendations (again, if implemented) will do little, if anything, to improve deer herds and deer hunting on Wisconsin’s 5.7 million acres of public 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.”

I do, of course, hope these assumptions are wrong. As with all things in life, we should maintain an open mind to change. Life is all about change. However, change for the sake of change is usually a recipe for disaster. Especially when that change is driven by something more than a sincere desire to manage public resources for the greater good.

Reposted with permission  from Daniel E. Schmidt editor of Deer & Deer Hunting Magazine.

Kroll is conducting deer management listening sessions around the state this week concluding Friday April 20th at Mt Horeb High School from 7 til 10 pm.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kim June 4, 2012 at 2:38 PM

So, what’s next, privatizing public waterways, public fishing grounds, so people like me won’t be able to fly-fish, because I won’t be able to afford it. How about privatizing State Parks, so no one won’t be able to afford to go camping or go hiking. Hey, let’s privatize all the rail trails that people go biking on. Where will it stop? I know, when the wealthy own everything, and we the people are left with nothing.

2 John In Conover June 2, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Wow, complaining about the above article from a Madison liberal is useless. if you people would look beond your extreme lib views away from madison you would see how the DNR has screwed up the deer hunting in this state. Most of the land down by you is private anyway. the deer in the northern part of Wisconsin has been desimated by DNR policy in the last 10 to 15 years. I’m sure that Wisconsin and the Feds are going to privitize all the public land . Fat chance. If you really read about Texas, most of the land is private to begin with.

3 Thomas Kavanaugh Sr. May 28, 2012 at 11:17 AM

I bothered to google Dr. Kroll. The only referance that was listeds was the high fenced in area that was for his latest study of white-tail movements in a controled enviroment. They have remote cameras to observe deer movement and cameras attached to deer to see what the deer see. They have a web site (www.deerchanel.com) for people to see for themselves what this study is about.
Dr. Kroll was not appointed as the deer czar. He was appointed as the trustee of a committee with Dr. Guynn ( a professor of biological and humans demensions research), and Dr. Alt ( a wildlife biologist).
They were comissioned to: Evaluate the mehtodology and accuracy of population estimating of the deer herd. The effectiveness of the policies used for CWD control. The effects of the Timberwolf on the deer herd and what effects that has on the deer herd management programs. The structure of the deer hunting periods and the efficiancy of the current hunting policies. I found no referances to selling public hunting grounds.
I did find however a discussion with the state dairy farmers to sell back land for agriculture purposes. This could not be done without the approval of the Natural Resources Board.

4 Randy Faber May 25, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Seems to me hunters need to organize. As hunters we need to do what is right for land owners and public land hunters.
We need to take back our rights that the DNR took from us. Our voice needs to not only be heard but applied!
Everyone knows the deer population needs to stay in check. The deer hit by cars and the disease issue caused by unchecked populations in specific areas will need to be addressed. That said, as a hunter I expect to see MORE deer in the wild. I believe I speak for the majority when I say I want less DNR influence in my life. The power given the the DNR to Lord over us has gotten out of control. In other words, leave us alone to make the right decisions as hunters to control the animals we love to hunt and eat!

5 bmarshall May 25, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Not being a hunter or coming from a family of hunters this issue was not on my radar until today. This reminds me of the story of when Dick Cheney shot his buddy’s face full of buckshot when they were “hunting” on a private reserve. Are there really men in Wisconsin who would call paying for the right to shoot domesticated dear on private land a sport. Do they really think that Scott Walker is in any manner shape or form right on this issue? Is Scott Walker a man that they can respect and support?

6 Bill May 24, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Wow! I take it that none of you hunt!! Right now the DNR controls all hunting regulations. They have made several bad choices in regulating hunting in Wisconsin for several years now. The population is less than what the DNR say and the way they change the rules and hunting dates leaves your head spinning!! What Kroll is hired to do is get the management under control, get real population counts and make suggestions on how to keep our state up to it’s high standard of hunting. Please educate yourselves before making accusations.

7 sane john May 23, 2012 at 11:31 AM

The whole bases for Walker’s thinking,”Krools the puppet”, is to completely subvert the original notion of the conservation movements founders that the ordinary person was to be guaranteed access to public hunting lands. This was in the face of exclusive european elitists control of all hunting rights. This goes back to the days of robin hood.
We wanted things to be different in this country; therefore public access was on the front burner. Also texas is the “king” of canned hunts – no fair pursuit, no wildlife ethics, guaranteed kills, totally monetarily derived thinking, the antithisis of decent moral traditional hunting values. This indeed paves the way for a totalitarian government to take back liberties and freedoms from the ordinary person, that have been worked for over the past several centuries.

8 chuck May 22, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Nothing says sporting more than fat guys sitting in a heated deer stand waiting for farm raised deer to come to a deer feeder.

9 rizzo May 22, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Wow, yet another schmuck that doesn’t know what socialism or communism is and that national parks are neither…go figure. If we stop paying attention to them will they go away?

10 Tim May 22, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Has Kroll never watched Jurassic Park? Chaos theory will prevail.

11 jeff smith May 22, 2012 at 2:04 PM

he screwed up Texas deer hunting so now he’s after Wisconsin to screw it up our deer hunting.
public lands is a real big thing in Wisconsin you can’t find public hunting in Texas. Unless you pay a exorbitant amount of money to hunt a game farm or lease land your not deer hunting in Texas. now he moves to Wisconsin

12 scotch May 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Please inform me which of Kroll’s suggestions Walker has actually put into action. thanks

13 RW May 22, 2012 at 11:50 AM

I live in Texas, this man has destroyed any public hunting in the name of profits, the ONLY place to hunt is on a pivate lease, in the beginning these leases were affordable, now $10,000 buys a substandard lease that you share with others. Hunting will soon be impossible for the “non -nobility” in Texas. Thanks again “CONservatives”.

14 Jay May 22, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Many centuries ago peasants were not allowed to hunt on the King’s land without reprisal.

History surely seems to repeat itself.

15 Michael May 22, 2012 at 10:28 AM

What I took away from the story, which the author COMPLETELY missed… even though he actually SAID it…. Was that this guy did what was best for Texas when asked to get involved with Texas’s hunting. That tells me he’s smart. I say… we give him a chance and see what his RECOMMENDATIONS are for Wisconsin BEFORE we start bashing him and bashing Walker and Republicans. Our deer hunting has SUCKED over the past decade and getting worse. So it’s not like we can say anything good about the program Doyle and the Democrats gave us.

16 John May 22, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Is he a big land owner here looking to profit by this idea?

17 Kyle May 21, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Well said John Regenauer, couldnt have said it better….

18 Jim May 21, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Hah – trickle down on your poor peasant behinds by Walker right-wing crazies

19 Jefferson Roosevelt May 21, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Our founders believed in the common right of all to the natural bounty of the earth. This conviction arose from reflection on the plight of impoverished, dispossessed classes in Europe (though tragically it resulted in a blind spot to the rights of continents’ original inhabitants). They were perfectly explicit that private property can only be instrumentally justified. Jefferson was explicitly critical of private gaming reserves in France. By the end of the 19th century there was a strong movement in America to conserve some of our natural heritage for public use and recreation, as well as for the intrinsic value of nature. I think that Walker’s appointment of Kroll goes to show just how far the Republicans have gone in their ideological drive to replace the pursuit of happiness with the pursuit of property.

20 Jim May 20, 2012 at 9:10 PM

The only thing the average hunter has gotten from private game farms is CWD in the herd! We need to head this Texas Czar off real quick! This far right wing nut fits right into Walker’s philosophy. Get ready to see him privatize the state parks as soon as he gets the deer all fenced in for the wealthy pot shot boys.

21 Roger May 20, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Yep. Here ya go Walker supporters–he doesn’t care about your rights.

22 Roger McIllwraith May 20, 2012 at 7:54 PM

This isn’t good news for hunters that get 1 or 2 deer a year to help feed their families, like my cousins do. Deer hunting is something Wisconsinites have always done, it’s important to us. For many deer provides valuable food.

Paying to hunt on private lands? That’s absurd. The government is going to take over all deer hunting now? Do we have any rights left?

23 fishskicanoe May 17, 2012 at 9:36 PM

What Kroll has done is transform a wild animal into a semi-domestcated one. And then he sits down and shoots these caged animals for jollies. I think he’s a pervert.

24 Frederick W. Seybold May 9, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Gov. Walker, Please take the time to listen to other important views. I don’t know why we need some guy from Texas telling us how to manage our deer herd. Seems to me like he is only looking at the profit to be realized from game farm hunting. I am really put off as an exhunter by the controlled game farm hunting concept. If his ideas are implemented it will seriously impact deer hunting in WI and it’s tourism industry. Thanks for listening. Frederick W. Seybold, Madison, WI

25 John regenauer May 9, 2012 at 10:14 AM

What, about, my last comment, requires moderation?

26 John regenauer May 8, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Your point is well put, however this clown dr. deer, has power because the brain dead republicans put walker into office. These self rightous conservative think they can have their cake, and eat it too. All you right wing upper middle class fools are getting screwed. Ya- go “stand behind walker”. O, wait a minute, your “not” wealthy enough to own your own private deer hunting land? Thats ok, I am sure walkers rich buddies will let you rent time on their “game farms” …

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