Old News

For a background on deer baiting and politics in Wisconsin prior to 2002 Read this.

August 10, 2004 - Hearing Set For New Bait/Feed Rules

The DNR will hold meetings to explain and take public comment on the emergency deer baiting and feeding regulations scheduled to take effect this fall at two public hearings. They will be held at MacKenzie Environmental Education Center in Poynette at 7 p.m. on Aug. 25, and at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau at 7 p.m. on Aug. 26. They also have information on the emergency rules on their website.

April 19, 2004 - Governor Doyle signs AB519, the so called "2 gallon" compromise deer baiting and feeding bill. Everyone knows this bill bill have little effect, but the legislature tied his hands. Read the WDHA press release here.

March 17, 2004 - WDHA press release on 23 day gun deer season proposal by the Natural Resources Board. Read it here.

February 5, 2004 - WDHA along with other conservation and agriculture groups meets with Governor Doyle's office and DNR secretary Hassett about AB519, the deer baiting and feeding bill. Read the WDHA press release here.

October 23, 2003 - A Wisconsin Public Radio interview we did can be found here.

August 1, 2003 - If you heard our radio ads and just recently tuned into our web site, more information on the deer baiting, feeding and CWD rules are here.

July 31, 2003 - A possible link between CWD and Wisconsin's Dairy Industry? Read this letter.

July 24, 2003 - WDHA News Update - One man, Senator Joseph Leibham, will decide the future of deer hunting. Read more here.

July 9, 2003 - The Assembly Natural Resource committee once again objected to the deer baiting and feeding rule the grounds that the proposed rule is arbitrary and capricious, and imposes an undue hardship. Voting in objection were Gunderson, Pettis, Bies, Krawczyk, Williams, Gronemus, and Steinbrink. By objecting to the rule, they assured that there will be no way to control the spread of CWD even inside the eradication zone. Read the WDHA press release here.

June 4, 2003 - Ever wonder what the group Voices of Wisconsin (VOW) is telling legislators in Madison? Read this letter to Senator Kedzie from Casey Edwards. Besides the assertions of a cover-up it almost sounds like the Senate vote was a foregone conclusion. How would he know that unless a deal was worked out? Read his email here.

May 29, 2003 - The Senate and Assembly Natural Resource committees voted to send a compromise back the the Natural Resources Board. This is basically the same compromise they just rejected, 2 gallons for baiting (statewide) and feeding (North of Hwy 29). The legislature is clearly using every political trick they can to force the DNR to compromise. Meanwhile feeding is now legal even in the CWD zones. So basically legislators such as Grothman, Kedzie, Gunderson are willing to intentionally allow CWD to spread just to get their way. This is the most politically motivated irresponsible act to come out of Madison that I have ever seen. By making false and misleading statements the radical group VOW was able to sway the legislature. We intend to investigate how this happened. Our press release is here.

May 5, 2003 - Who to call and write on the Senate and Assembly Natural Resource committees by the May 14th hearing to voice your opinion on the baiting and feeding bans. Click here.

April 23, 2003 - The Natural Resources Board voted 4-3 to pass the permanent CWD rule package, including the statewide baiting and feeding ban. The next and hopefully final step is review by the Senate and Assembly Natural Resource committees on May 14, 2003 at 10:00 am in Madison. If neither committee objects then the rules become effective on September 1, 2003.

April 1, 2003 - WDHA Responds to Rep. Gundersons comments. Read the press release here.

March 29, 2003 - The legislative committee JCRAR illegally ordered the DNR to change the proposed CWD rules to allow baiting and feeding. A former ally, Rep. Scott Gunderson lead the committee to ignore the science behind the rules and publicly blackmailed the DNR by saying if they failed to comply, they would strike down all the CWD rules. Read the WDHA press release here.

March 11, 2003 - A WDHA editorial about the true motivations for the group VOW. No matter what your view on the baiting and feeding issue, you owe it to yourself to learn more about this group. Looks can be deceiving. Read it here.

February 13, 2003 - The DNR has released the Environmental Impact Statement for the permanent CWD rules. This is the most comprehensive research survey of information on how CWD can be spread by baiting and feeding. Detractors can no long say there is no evidence. Also be sure to read the appendixes for additional information. The EIS can be found on the DNR web site here.

February 13, 2003 - The Wisconsin Dept. Of Agriculture endorses a permanent statewide deer baiting and feeding ban to protect domestic livestock. Read the press release here.

January 31, 2003 - A WDHA editorial on the absurd statement that there is no evidence that deer baiting and feeding spread CWD. Read it here.

January 20, 2003 - The WDHA issues a challenge to a new group formed to repeal the baiting and feeding rules. They claim there is no proof that baiting and feeding spread disease. So lets have a televised debate so we can present our case to the public and let them decide who's right. Read the press release here.

November 7, 2002 - We dodged a bullet as the legislative committee JCRAR extended the DNR emergency rules to April 1, 2003. They made it quite clear that the only reason they did so was because of CWD. This completely ignores the other harmful effects of baiting and feeding documented on this site. We have a lot of work to do if we want any chance of a permanent ban. The DNR should have permanent rules ready for public comment by next summer. We also are waiting with baited breath to see who Governor elect Doyle appoints as DNR secretary.

June 25, 2002 - WE DID IT! The NRB approves a statewide ban on deer baiting and feeding. Despite the fact it appeared to be a landslide margin passing on a 6-1 vote, it was a close vote as we expected. Tiefenthaler proposed a 2 gallon limit as an amendment that was defeated 4-3. However, it was only the battle and not the war. The emergency rules are only good for 1 year. We need permanent rules, but at least we get to enjoy a deer hunt like we haven't seen in a long time! And after this year's hunt the concerns about the lack of hunters and success rates should be a thing of the past too.

The DNR is expected to bring permanent rules back to the NRB next year. But for that to be a reality the legislature will have to grant the DNR feeding authority beyond the 2004 sunset date. We still have a lot of work to make that a reality. And we have a long way to go to eradicate CWD.

June 17, 2002 - The DNR released the proposed emergency rules for the Natural Resources Board meeting, which is in Racine on Tuesday June 25. Note that it calls for a complete ban on deer baiting and feeding statewide! This is meeting is going to be too close to call. If you want to go, the meeting starts at 1:00pm. Details can be found on the DNR web site.

June 3, 2002 - The Rocky Mountain News has published perhaps the most comprehensive article of CWD yet. It's long, but very worthwhile reading.

May 23, 2002 - The Conservation Congress endorsed a 3 year statewide moratorium on baiting and feeding at the May 22 Natural Resources Board Meeting. The executive council took action on a resolution presented at the spring hearings. Big news, but we are not out of the woods yet! One only has to look at the last Congress baiting issue brought to the board from the Deer 2000 fiasco last year. The NRB didn't like the 6 gallon reduction and threw it out.

May 16, 2002 - Whitetails Unlimited Supports Ban on Baiting and Feeding in Response to Chronic Wasting Disease. This is a big step for them and demonstrates the seriousness of CWD. Read the press release here.

May 1, 2002 - The Interagency Taskforce - The DNR, Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and Health and Family Services has called for a statewide ban on deer baiting and feeding. Read the memo here.

April 28, 2002 - Quotes and comments by Senator Shibilski and others from last years NRB special committee on deer baiting and feeding. They said they would take action in the event of a disease, so why haven't they?

April 26, 2002 - A very disturbing summary of a computer simulation on the fate of deer in Colorado when infected with CWD that predicted, without taking drastic measures, CWD would wipe out the entire deer herd in 50-80 years.

April 11, 2002 - The smoking gun linking CWD to feeding was in the Journal Of General Virology in 1999.

April 9, 2002 - Immediate action is required to keep the language in the budget bill to give the DNR the power to regulate deer feeding to prevent the spread of CWD. Please contact Senator Chuck Chvala and tell him to stop Senator Shibilksi and protect our deer herd! Time is critical!

March 28, 2002 - In response to the somewhat conflicting facts on CWD being reported we decided to ask one of the world leading experts, Professor Val Geist from the University of Calgary for a statement. Read his rather unnerving letter here.

March 24, 2002 - Perhaps the best place for information and up to date press releases on CWD across North America is the Organic Consumers Association. We may not agree with all their views, but the information they gather is very good.

March 21, 2002 - The Wisconsin Farm Bureau calls for a statewide ban on all deer baiting and feeding. This is a huge endorsement. Read the press release here.

March 12, 2002 - The undisputed expert on bovine TB, Dr. Hickling, states that Michigan will never eliminate bovine TB until they completely eliminate feeding. This would apply to CWD as well. Read the article here.

March 8, 2002 - Representative DuWayne Johnsrud has called for a total ban on all deer baiting and feeding and to close the state's borders to all deer and elk movements. Read his press release here.

March 7, 2002 - Please contact your state senator and representative and tell them to give control of wildlife back to the DNR! The DNR needs immediate legislative approval to institute actions to stop the spread of chronic wasting disease. You can find their phone numbers and email addresses here. Also please contact Senator Kevin Shibilski and tell him to quit threatening the DNR and let them do their job (see below). He held up the captive wildlife bill for 6 years! Let him know as deer hunters we will hold those who allowed this to happen accountable!

Chronic Wasting Disease found in Wisconsin!

March 1, 2002 - See the WiDNR web site for the latest official results. However if you really want to know how something this devastating happened in the first place, read below. These people repeatedly argued against baiting and feeding by saying we don't have to do anything until a disease occurs here. They said we needed to do more on disease surveillance, and to beef up game farm regulations. But they have done NOTHING since then, as their only intent was to keep deer baiting legal and NOT give the DNR the right to regulate baiting and feeding. If fact Senator Shibilski has held up the captive wildlife bill in his committee for the last 6 years! It all there in black and white in the NRB Special Committee Report.

Want to know what the real problem is with banning deer baiting?

NOTE - this information is clearly out dated, but it gives you an idea of how political meddling by the legislature and not science often guides actions at the DNR.

February 18, 2002 - Hunting deer with bait has always been legal in Wisconsin. Until fairly recently this has not been an issue with most people because it was not widely practiced. However today deer baiting is so prevalent it is having a tremendous impact on deer hunting, habitat, and herd health.

The DNR has the authority to ban deer baiting, as they do for any game animal. However this hasn't stopped baiting supporters from spreading misconceptions about the DNR. The fact is the entire DNR wildlife division is against deer baiting. Unfortunately there are a few key individuals who stand in their way.

The Natural Resource Board (NRB) ultimately controls the DNR. The NRB chairman Trygve Solberg is a die hard deer baiting supporter. He owns 1000's of acres of land in Oneida County where he reportedly baits and feeds deer year round. Mr. Solberg also owns a chain of grocery stores in northern Wisconsin where he sells deer corn. Because of his influence as Chairman Mr. Solberg controls the NRB on baiting issues. So far the NRB has refused to let the DNR enact any rules or restrictions on baiting. They even went so far as to form a "special committee" on deer baiting because they were dissatisfied with the Deer 2000 committee recommendations. The report issued by this special committee clearly demonstrates the degree with which they will defend baiting even in light of overwhelming scientific testimony. And if they do this on deer baiting, how can we trust them to make correct decisions on other issues?

State Senator Kevin Shibilski of Stevens Point is another adamant baiting supporter. Senator Shibilski is on the powerful Senate Joint Finance Committee which controls funding for the DNR. Even though Senator Shibilski claims the DNR has the authority to ban deer baiting he has made it perfectly clear if the DNR were to do so they would have their funding slashed. It appears that Senator Shibilski and NRB chairman Solberg have a close working relationship, as he was chosen by Mr. Solberg to be a member of his special committee. You can read some very interesting quotes by both these gentlemen in the NRB "special committee" baiting report.

The Deer 2000 baiting and feeding subcommittee was an orchestrated fiasco from the beginning. The co-chairs, Jerry Aulik and Dave Nowak are avid baiting supporters. They were selected by the Conservation Congress leadership. Thus the make up of the committee was stacked in favor of baiting, which obviously guaranteed the outcome at each voting opportunity. Despite the designed bias the committee did recognize there was opposition to deer baiting and actually recommended reducing the limit from 10 to 6 gallons. They also recommended placing restrictions on the number of baiting sites per area, and baiting near highways. As previously mentioned NRB Chairman Trygve Solberg was not happy and rejected the Deer 2000 recommendations and formed his own "special" committee. Obviously this committee was even more biased than the Deer 2000 committee. Their recommendations dismissed the findings of the Deer 2000 committee and endorsed leaving the current 10 gallon limit and suggested that the State look into more regulations for game farms to prevent to possible importation of diseases. In this process they completely ignored all the other issues with deer baiting, not to mention the advice of the entire DNR wildlife division.

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