This week, two all-white deer were killed near Leland, Wis. One was a buck. Amy Sprecher, a local, had named him Spunky. Interviewed by Channel 3000, she said, "I just can't understand how people can be so selfish and not think about the beauty for everyone to share."
I can't understand why 90 percent of the public puts up with selfish destruction of the beauty of any of our wildlife.
Another local male hunter said, "It is a moral issue … this is too special."
All hunting, trapping and hounding are moral issues. All life is a miracle.
Newspaper articles written a few years ago claimed that albino deer in Wisconsin are protected. Apparently not all of them.
Jeff Richter, a Wisconsin photographer, published the book "White Deer" with John Bates. Bates, who did the research, found a professor of genetic studies at the University of Minnesota who describes the pale blue eyes of these white deer, not necessarily pink eyes, as characteristic of albinos with pink noses and pink ears. One in 20,000 deer are albino, so there may be 75 of them in the state.
Some may remember the nine-day deer slaughter endured while giving thanks over one of the 50 million turkeys slaughtered for Thanksgiving week. One week of human exultation in slaughter. Now bowhunters dominate the woods with a four-and-a-half month deer season, from Sept. 15 through Jan. 31, with regulations as confusing as the federal tax code. Yet just a decade ago, it was a hot debate whether to extend the deer kill from nine days to 16.
Cathy Stepp, DNR secretary, wrote a fawning letter appealing to new recruits and her base: "We are doing all we can to provide great outdoor opportunities to first-time hunters just like you, and I hope you have a hunting experience that has you hooked for life." She continues: "We heard loud and clear that hunters want to see more deer, and we are accommodating that wish in many units in the north where there is room for the herd to grow. … Those of us who work for the deer resource do it all for you."
That "you" is the 10 percent who kill, and the rest of us can hike in our basements to avoid bullets.
There is no "need" to hunt deer at all. When hunted, deer produce 38 percent more babies. Annually, 1.5 million deer/car collisions in the U.S. cause 150 human deaths and $1.1 billion in property damage.
As long as the DNR is funded by killing licenses, it will continue to prioritize killing on public lands and recruitment of more killers, even as the "resources" dwindle. Quail, sharp-tailed grouse, wolves, bobcats and cougars are gone across the entire country, yet the seasons continue. Wisconsin's DNR has promoted genocide on beavers and bears. And trappers set hundreds of traps per trapper daily under the ice to kill out our waters, for unlimited take, all winter, for private profit. Can the rest of us pluck trees and plants from public lands for our profit?
I am baffled that the public is putting up with our $1.67 billion tax dollar "Stewardship" land investment being used in the murder of the last of our wildlife.
The exploiters, snowmobilers, ATV riders, hunters, trappers and hounders have long used the state DNR to organize against the general public and are steadily eroding our access and destroying wildlife and refuge. Nothing is sacred. Everything is commodity for their personal take. One can hardly compare killing in public lands with walking as equal usage. If we owned a house together, and I deliberately blew it up, would that equate?
The nonkilling public is just waking up because now hunters are taking the state and county parks and trails. Ignoring the suffering and death of millions of animals is coming home to roost. People are getting a dose of what wildlife have experienced all along — displacement, fragmentation of habitat, and threat to their safety and lives. It is telling that the general public has not cared about the hundreds of thousands of traps set annually to torture and kill animals that are as individual as our pets.
Guns can kill from hundreds of yards away without warning. Suffering and death all across Wisconsin is coming to the park near you, and now it is not just a threat to defenseless wildlife, but is a hidden, random threat to you, your pets, your child, your life.
Or you can stay out of the parks. Some friends of state parks groups are considering disbanding.
Organize to boycott state parks and trail passes and repeal Act 168 at www.wiwildlifeethic.org. Hunters are always yammering about their rights. Fight back for your own.