Thursday, May 31, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Save Wisconsin Hunting Group Is Based In Berkeley, California

A few days ago I wrote a post about the Facebook group "Save Wisconsin Hunting" and the political firestorm surrounding it.  At the end I noted that we didn't know where the group was located but judging by the hunting photos used, it probably wasn't Wisconsin.  None of the hunters were wearing backtags.  Sure enough, today I find out the website The Daily Kos is behind it.  I would like to ask you, the deer hunter, do you think a website based out of Berkeley, California really cares about deer hunting in Wisconsin?

I would say the Daily Kos is left leaning, but that would be a huge understatement.  Their sole mission with this issue is to use it to garner votes from hunters against Governor Scott Walker.  It's yet another case of an organization trying to pit hunter against hunter to advance a cause that either hurts hunters or has nothing to do with hunting.

If you disagree with Governor Walker's politics on issues like collective bargaining, vote for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.  I'm not saying Governor Walker is "the" choice for governor.  I'm saying deer hunting should have nothing to do with who you vote for on June 5.  This "controversy" is a hoax.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Save The Wisconsin Deer Hunt... It's A Lie

There are a few new groups that have put their hat in the ring when it comes to fueling the Wisconsin recall efforts.  They have grasped on to an “issue” that is rarely used by them.  Wisconsin has a rich tradition of deer hunting and the over 600,000 Wisconsinites who hunt deer are a passionate crowd.  Polling data is showing Governor Scott Walker has a six to eight point lead over his challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.  That is certainly not insurmountable, but it doesn’t look good for those looking to oust the Governor.  What they need is to swing a few of Walker’s votes their way.

For the full background of this story, read Making Sense of The Dr. Kroll Controversy.  The short story is the Governor pledged to hire an outside consultant to look at Wisconsin’s deer management strategy in 2010.  Dr. James Kroll got the job.  Some people were critical of the hire but in my opinion it was generally lauded.  Kroll has over three decades of deer management experience.  He is quite possibly the most well known deer biologist in the country, certainly in the Top 3.  However, he does have ties to high fence operations(he owns a small operation and does consulting work for others) and that is the major hang up for most who disapprove.   But Kroll also does a lot of consulting work for organizations who hunt in much the same way Wisconsinites do.

This entire issue was almost exclusively a deer hunter issue until the past few weeks.  As the June 5 recall election drew near, these groups started getting desperate.  So they’ve brought forth a series of lies in attempt to garner support from deer hunters.  Sure, there are plenty of deer hunters who may be voting for Mayor Barrett anyway.  But it’s fair to say most of the deer hunting set are going to vote for Governor Walker.  The intent of these scare tactics is to get some of those people to swing over.

They have made claims about Wisconsin selling off hunting land and deer hunts that cost over $2,000.  The fact is neither Governor Walker, DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, or Dr. James Kroll have the ability to sell public hunting land.  The funny thing is, it’s obvious these groups don’t know much about Wisconsin deer hunting.  Look at these photos.  They are screen shots from a face book page and a website.  Notice something missing with these hunters?

All of the hunters in these photos would have expensive Wisconsin deer hunts.  Not because Scott Walker made them pay $2,000 to hunt deer.  Because they would be in violation.  None of them have backtags.  These hunters obviously aren’t from Wisconsin.  Because of the way the groups are structured and their late entry into the game, we don’t know who these groups are.  But it will be interesting to find out.  It probably won’t be  a surprise.

On another note, Wisconsin is about to make the biggest public hunting land purchase in state history.  Pretty cool huh?
Thursday, May 10, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Lost And Found: Trail Cam Photos

The last time I was at the hunting cabin back in February, I set out a trail camera. It was the first serious attempt at getting an idea of what wildlife passed through our woods. I knew I would get some deer photos. The camera was placed on a prominent trail. Due to chronic wasting disease, using bait or mineral blocks is against the law in our area. I was forced to use woodsmanship to select a good camera site. I know deer bed in the area and there are several trails in and out. I was confident I would get some photos.

 A few weeks passed and my dad headed out to the woods to retrieve the camera. After searching for an hour or so, he couldn't find it. A few weeks later, he tried again, this time with a friend. Still no camera. I was back in camp in late April, two months after placing the camera. I figured I would walk right out there and find the camera. I was wrong. After an hour of searching, the idea that someone stole the camera was feeling more and more like a reality. Three more guys were due in camp the next day and I decided to stay positive until we could form a four man search party.

 As a weekend of turkey hunting(which I'll document in a later post) came to a close, the four of us lined up and started walking in to the section of forest the camera was in. The walk didn't have much suspense. After walking less than 100 yards my buddy yelled, "found it!" I popped open the camera and pushed the tell tale button. The meter read 1467. I had the camera set for a three shot burst so that meant it was triggered almost 500 times. I couldn't wait to get back to the cabin to see the pictures and they didn't disappoint. The highlight of the photos was a nearly 80 shot sequence lasting about an hour and 45 minutes. A buck bedded down right in front of the camera. I put together a time lapse video of all the photos that lasts just over a minute. Pretty interesting stuff.

A few days later, another buck sprinted past the camera. There were also numerous photos of does looking around and bedding in front of the camera. I use a Primos Truth Cam Blackout. There is no sound or flash. But many of the deer were looking right at the camera. It was set on a tree that is directly on a trail and I'm sure this peculiar looking box captured their attention.
Deer were not the only visitors to the camera site. Plenty of turkeys also stopped by to say hello. In early March, the birds were still in their winter flocks. In late March, I got several pictures of lone gobblers making their way through the woods. This was nowhere near a field. Yet, gobblers passed by in full strut on numerous occasions.
There are deer and turkeys in a few of the photos. This one is a favorite. Here's a jake showing a yearling whitetail who is boss. I believe he is swearing at him in Turkish.
It wasn't just deer and turkeys looking for a meal in this spot. There are countless raccoon photos and one sequence with a coyote walking down the trail.
I have never hunted this spot but losing the trail camera for a few months gave me a great snapshot of all the activity in the area. This spot definitely will have a treestand hanging there this fall!

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