Mar 11, 2001
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Deer kill incentives on table

DNR eyes tax breaks, bounties

By Bill Novak, Capital Times (Madison)

June 25, 2002

The Department of Natural Resources is considering a sales and marketing scheme in the chronic wasting disease zone that would reward landowners with tax breaks and cash bounties for number of deer killed and towns with computers and firefighting equipment.

The aim would be to get more landowners to allow white-tailed deer to be killed on their land.

The "community management plan" is detailed in a DNR memo sent on May 28 to CWD Operations Chief Carl Batha from DNR field personnel working on the deer eradication plan for western Dane County and parts of Sauk and Iowa counties.

Steve Miller, DNR administrator of land, said the community management plan was still on the drawing board, no part of it had been implemented, and no cost estimate had been developed.

According to the memo, the DNR would use a "hierarchical sales network," a marketing technique where a sales manager engages others to help market products, who in turn engage others, and so on, to get as many landowners in the 361-square-mile eradication zone involved in killing up to 25,000 deer this year.

The "product" the DNR is selling is the killing of the deer herd.

DNR biologist Mike Foy said enlisting the dozen town governments in the eradication zone was key to getting landowners to accept the plan.

"If we can have some direction of our efforts through the town governments, we would like to see something where we involve all parts of the community," Foy told the County Board's CWD Task Force Monday night.

Two DNR liaison officers would be assigned to each of the 12 towns to provide continuous communication between the towns and the DNR.

The liaisons, working with town leaders, would then select landowner contact volunteers, who would try to persuade landowners to take part in the eradication effort.

According to the memo, landowners would be "motivated" in at least five different ways to participate in the hunt.

"Convince them of the necessity for disease control," the memo states. "Convince them of an obligation to their wildlife resource, neighbors and community; provide hunters or government personnel to do it (the killing) for them; reward them, and convince them the government may have to do it if they don't."

The community management plan is laden with incentives, not just for landowners who sign up for the eradication hunt, but for the towns as well.

"It is common practice for a company to provide awards and incentives at all levels of a sales hierarchy in order to motivate participants to expand sales networks," the memo says.

"While compensation for hunters and landowners has previously been proposed, we now believe that serious consideration should be given to providing awards and incentives for all participants in a CWD community management plan."

Incentives and awards would be given to the four levels of the sales hierarchy, with the biggest awards given to the towns signing up the highest number of landowners.

Incentives for towns could be items that would help the towns "fulfill local needs," the memo said.

Some of the incentives the DNR would consider as town rewards include computer equipment for schools, books for libraries, athletic equipment or facilities, safety equipment for volunteer firefighters, defibrillators for emergency vehicles, or maintenance or emergency vehicles.

"All deer brought in for DNR processing could be credited toward a community reward, or possibly we could reward towns for meeting certain levels of landowner participation," the memo said. "For example, a computer for the town hall for 30 percent participation, or a troop carrier for the local fire department for 100 percent participation."

Landowners who participate by allowing the killing on their land would reap benefits, with the possibilities including a per-deer payment, a one-time gratuity for providing hunter access on their land, or a property tax "holiday."

The hunters themselves wouldn't be left out of the incentive plan. "CWD Control Team" patches, blaze orange hats or T-shirts would be "relatively inexpensive incentives," the memo said.

Other benefits that could be offered to hunters include free opening weekend group camping at state parks, hunter breakfasts and dinners, and possibly getting local businesses to provide hunter packages on lodging and restaurant meals.

"Unless hunter participation is less than expected, we do not think it necessary to directly compensate hunters for deer taken," the memo said.

The DNR doesn't anticipate any problems finding enough hunters to wipe out the deer population, even though thousands of hunters could be necessary to do the job this fall.

If not enough local hunters, through landowners' family and friends, are found to saturate the deer hunting ranges with one hunter for every 20 acres, the DNR has a ready-made supply.

"We have the advantage of access to a statewide pool of 650,000 licensed deer hunters to work with," the memo said. "Based on calls received offering help with shooting, providing sufficient hunter effort for landowners may be the easiest part of successful implementation of this plan."


Well-known member
Apr 30, 2002
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It just makes me sick reading about the CWD problems they are having.  I just hope It dosent happen again.  Has it been published that this is definetly not a naturaly occcuring disease?  
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