Proposal to Hunt White Deer –Summary of Board Member Comments

Here are notes taken by Amy Sprecher during the December 12, 2017 meeting regarding Larry Bonde’s proposal to allow the hunting of white deer and the subsequent Board Member responses and comments.  An archived webcast of the actual conversation is available at this DNR website (the discussion starts at 1:58:50 and goes through 2:21:00).

Larry Bonde read a prepared speech which claimed that because the white deer have been protected the white bucks are becoming very aggressive and dominant (as well as the females), creating problems for hunters.  He never gave any numbers of white deer in each county nor named all the counties he was hearing issues from.  He said it was more than just Wood, Clark and Marathon and that it wasn’t about trophy hunting, it was about meat hunting. 
Larry stated that our information (Protect the White Deer website) is not accurate nor has the media information been accurate.  What information he was talking about he never made clear.  He said color shouldn’t matter–a whitetail is a whitetail and they come in all different colors, as he worked in a deer processing plant and they could be darker colored and we have no protection for them.


Dr. Fred Pehn (Marathon County):  He had the most to say and was very vocal that the board take no action on this.  He stated, “We just went through this a couple years ago and it needs to be left alone.”  He asked Eric Lobner (now the Chief Wildlife Manager) how long it had been.  Eric stated it was 3 years ago with the Deer Trustee Report.

Greg Kazmierski (Waukesha County):  “Do you really want to put this on the CDACs?”

Dr. Fred Pehn:  Fred asked if the DNR had any white deer number counts and Eric said, “No, they have just heard of pockets around the state.”  Fred pushed Larry on the numbers–what counties he was hearing from, and got no answers.  He also told Larry he didn’t believe his facts were accurate either and he also told him these guys aren’t meat hunters, it’s all about the trophy on their wall.  He said, “I live in Marathon County and I’ve never seen one.” 

Greg Kazmierski:  “Maybe we should go back to the (WCC) spring hearings to get an idea of how many people want it in each county.”

Dr. Fred Pehn:  “NO, the only ones that go to those meetings are hunters!  This is a social issue and the people that want them protected would never go to those meetings.”

Gary Zimmer (Forest County)  “We already have the numbers from the other meetings where they failed.  This is a social issue.  Remember how many people came to the board meeting wearing ‘protect the white deer shirts’?  And we already have a number of letters against Larry’s presentation.  We had a white buck in Forest County and everybody talked about him, where they’d seen him, how he was doing, and then he got hit by a car and everyone was upset.  They had him mounted and put into a business so people could go see him.  This needs to be left alone and they need to stay protected.”

William Bruins (Dodge County):  “Overpopulation will never happen due to the genetics, so there isn’t anything to worry about.”  He said he hadn’t seen one (a white deer) and that “the board should take no action on this and leave them protected.”