Stance on Baiting
Below is a letter sent from past WTA President Dale Klug to Rep. Scott Gunderson regarding the WTA's stance on baiting/feeding whitetail deer in Wisconsin.
To: Rep. Scott Gunderson
My name is Dale Klug and I’m currently serving as president of Wisconsin Traditional Archers. A few weeks ago I contacted you concerning the baiting/feeding of whitetail deer in Wisconsin, at that time I contacted you as an individual concerned over the issue. Today I’m contacting you as the official spokesperson of our organization, WTA. This past Saturday, March 17th, we held our annual banquet and business meeting. A motion was brought to the floor by membership for WTA to support a ban on the baiting/feeding of whitetail deer in Wisconsin. After discussion a vote was called for on the motion. The purpose of my e-mail today is to report our results. The Wisconsin Traditional Archers has voted unanimously to advocate a ban on the baiting/feeding of whitetail deer in Wisconsin. This was not just a vote by our board of directors but an UNANIMOUS vote by our entire membership in attendance at the meeting.
We, the members of WTA, feel it is far more important to protect our valuable natural resource, the whitetail deer, than to promote short term hunting success or economic gain. And, to pass on the hunting heritage that has been passed down to us by the likes of Theodore Roosevelt, Aldo Leopold, and other forward thinking conservationists. Conservation has never been about the “here and now” and never will be, it’s insuring future generations will enjoy what we’ve enjoyed…leaving it as we found it. Unfortunately, our generation is caught up in the instant gratification syndrome of our entire society and it’s spilled over into our outdoor pastime. We seem to only be thinking about the “here and now” and our own instant gratification.
Opinion is changing throughout the outdoor community. Five years ago the baiting/feeding issue was brought before our board of directors and, frankly, the board didn’t even want to hear about it, turning a deaf ear. Today our entire membership strongly supports a ban, to the extent that our vote was unanimous to ban the practice. And we’re not alone! Outdoorsmen statewide see what baiting/feeding is doing to their total outdoor experience, and it’s not pleasant. We need to act now!
Current baiting/feeding laws are not working. Two gallon limit or ten gallon limit, the ill effects are the same; high risk of spreading disease, cabin shooting, strained relationships amongst hunters, illegal ATV use, illegal baiting/feeding quantities, domesticating of our wild deer, altering natural deer movement and habits, and the poaching of trophy class bucks. Not to mention the loss of our hunting heritage and skills to the young generation of hunters.
We cannot let future generations look back on us for failing to take action simply for our own selfish gain with little regard for the resource. We the members of the Wisconsin Traditional Archers invite you to take a stand along side us in this fight - the ban of baiting/feeding - to forever remove this travesty to our precious natural resource, the whitetail deer.
Dale A. Klug
It is the position of the Wisconsin Traditional Archers that the Crossman Pioneer AirBow and similar weapons are not bows, do not involve archery, and should not be allowed during Wisconsin’s archery deer hunting season. The very definition of archery equipment involves a string that is attached to the working limbs of a bow which propels an arrow when the string is drawn and released. The use of an arrow in a shoulder fired compressed air device does not make it archery equipment. It is simply a gun using an alternate projectile.
Bow hunters enjoy a long season in Wisconsin because they hunt with relatively primitive weapons, allowing maximum hunter participation with relatively minimal impact on the deer herd. Technology like AirBows, if allowed during the archery season, threaten to increase success rates which could result in a shortened season or limited tags. Crossbows were permitted during the archery season just two years ago, and already the success rate of crossbow hunters exceeds that of gun deer hunters. AirBow proponents claim capabilities far beyond even those of the crossbow.
Airbows are lightweight, shoulder fired weapons that do not use strings or limbs to propel the arrow as with standard archery equipment. This gives the operator a considerable advantage over hunters using archery equipment and therefore these weapons should not be allowed during the archery season.
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