Wisconsin's bow deer season starts this weekend, but a group of hunters is urging people to stay home. A Marquette County man is leading a petition drive for the Department of Natural Resources to loosen its restrictions against baiting. Todd Mascaretti says he's collected more than a thousand signatures.
"I haven't missed a deer season since I was 12 years old," Mascaretti said.
Now he's setting it aside. "This is one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make in my life."
In order to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis, the Natural Resources Board banned baiting and feeding deer in 22 counties, including Marquette. It was a compromise with lawmakers, who promised to knock down a ban in all 72 counties. Calumet, Manitowoc, and Waushara counties are among those included in the new, five-month-long ban.
Mascaretti's group argues the ban should not include 15 counties where no deer tested positive for CWD or tuberculosis.
"Their implementing this ban is actually limiting and hampering our efforts," he said. "We need to make a stand. We're just as concerned and care about the deer herd," he added.
"We're asking them to boycott until a concession is made," he said.
The DNR says a boycott would be counterproductive. "I hate to see folks not yet out there. Long before baiting became an established activity in the state of Wisconsin, bow hunting was still fun to do," DNR Wildlife Director Tom Hauge said.
There's no telling how many people will actually sit out the hunt-- the DNR reports sales of hunting licenses is up 16 percent for the bow hunt-- but Mascaretti hopes it's enough to convince the DNR to change its strategy
What a pile of crap, anyone who needs to hunt over bait to shoot a deer should stay home!
The truth will set you free, or get you banned!
I agree Coyotebandit!
When I was back in '01, I was completed surprised by how many corn piles I found. This is a REAL BIG NO NO out here in CA. Good luck to all this season.
A man's footprints in life are only as deep as the ones that follow in his steps.
Never have........never will (bait deer)!!
>>--- Stalk softly and carry a quick stick! ---->