Do you deer hunt? Kroll says, "You are a socialist"

This from James Kroll the man Scott Walker hired to manage Wisconsin’s deer herd.


“GAME MANAGEMENT …is the last bastion of communism.”

Which side of the fence are you on? – article by Joe Nick Patoski

February 2002

Why did Walker import James Kroll all the way from Texas to manage Wisconsin’s deer herd?
Walker’s decision to hire James Kroll to recommend changes to Wisconsin’s system of deer herd management left many people scratching their heads. Why Kroll? Why import a person completely foreign to the Wisconsin deer hunt?

Now, the reasons become clear as we hear the philosophy of Kroll regarding the deer hunt.

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.

Many Wisconsin hunters who, may stand with Walker on union and budget issues, take offense at being tagged communists and socialists and are pulling the “Stand with Walker” signs out of their yard. Many who have been hunting deer with their fathers and grand-fathers strongly disagree with the Walker-Kroll vision of privatized deer farms. Wisconsin hunters do not buy into the pay-to-play deer hunt modeled in Kroll’s Texas deer ranches.

Walker/Kroll vision of Wisconsin Trophy Hunters? Is this Wisconsin? Are you a “deer queer?

“IF YOU HANG AROUND HUNTERS long enough, you are certain to hear the term “deer queers.” They represent a growing subgroup of deer hunters who eat, drink, and sleep trophy bucks.”

Jerry Johnston started Texas Trophy Hunters almost thirty years ago. But it has been only in the past five years that interest in trophy hunting—as opposed to plain old deer hunting—has blossomed, according to Johnston.

Though Johnston insists that his main objective is to improve the “quality” of the deer, the message being conveyed through those media is, It’s not about the meat anymore, or the chase, or the man versus beast struggle. It’s all about large, multipoint sets of antlers that you can mount over your fireplace. “Back in the old days, in a deer camp, when the hunting season opened, the hero of the camp was the one who got the first buck,” explains Johnston. “It didn’t matter if it was ten points or not. We didn’t think of management for quality. That kind of thinking has changed.”

His organization is the most visible advocate for high fences and for the right of the landowners behind them to manage their property as they wish.

The buck stops here – pull the sign

The scenario might be great for Texas, but it ain’t Wisconsin. The buck stops here. If you want to preserve Wisconsin’s wild deer hunt you best go pull the “Stand with Walker” sign from your yard or face the Walker/Kroll future. You and your blaze orange dressed son or daughter will buy a ticket, if you can afford it, from a private deer farm for the right to hunt trophy deer.

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