Some Wisconsin businesses attempt to maintain deer hunting camaraderie
With all of the angst swirling around changes in Wisconsin's deer registration system, a compromise has germinated without credit being necessary to anyone in particular.
It just happened. Some, now former, registration station operators decided to continue to help out. They’ll give these hunters what they want – a place to register deer.
So now there are 166 volunteer registration stations across Wisconsin who will provide a phone, or computer, and a little help to the hunter to tell the state that they shot a deer.
It was about camaraderie. It was about getting all the data the DNR so much needs. It was about getting some CWD samples taken. And yes, it was about drawing a few hunters in to buy a soda or beer, a lunch or something to go, a tank of gasoline or free air for a tire.
But mostly it was about continuing a 73-year-old tradition.
All of that changed with the arrival of Dr. James Kroll, who proclaimed he knew more than the hunters. Go modern. Go electronic. Go with e-registration, we were told. There was no budging and the folks in between were not willing to say no or to compromise.
So the Department of Natural Resources did what Kroll said, even though there is a cost involved that may have come close to the cost of the old deer registration system. Computer programing does not come cheap these days. And neither does hiring a consultant.
Now most people may be happy. Someone with the knowledge, a cell phone, or laptop computer can use the new e-registration system from the field, forest, vehicle, or home. Other hunters who like the old system of registering deer, may still drive their deer to one of these 166 volunteer stations and ask for help. That system is also e-registration, but it comes with the same camaraderie that hunters have been experiencing for 73 years. It comes with social networking face-to-face. It may even come with a photo on the shop wall of the hunter’s deer.
Most important, there should be no reason to forego registration. There never has been that reason, anyway, and as long as there are volunteer deer registrants who know more than Kroll, all should still be fine in Badgerland.
All fine, that is, until someone decides to strip away another long-standing Wisconsin deer hunting tradition that, for many of us, takes fun away from deer hunting and not put fun back in – which is what we were promised by the DNR in the first place.