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Dick Ellis Blog:
10/28/2022
New direction needed at DNR Dick Ellis Candidate for governor Tim Michels indicated in October that if elected he would break up the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to serve 1) business and 2 ) the hunting and fishing, or sporting community. “It’s not my opinion that the DNR is broken,” Michels said. “It’s what I hear everywhere I go.” Better days. John and Jim Ellis with a memorable opening mornin...
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Time for Change

New direction needed at DNR

Dick Ellis


Candidate for governor Tim Michels indicated in October that if elected he would break up the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to serve 1) business and 2 ) the hunting and fishing, or sporting community.

“It’s not my opinion that the DNR is broken,” Michels said. “It’s what I hear everywhere I go.”

On Wisconsin Outdoors

Better days. John and Jim Ellis with a memorable opening morning in Vilas County prior to the wolf’s return to Wisconsin in high numbers. The Ellis camp with an average of eight hunters would typically see four deer on the meat pole by the end of season. They have hung two deer in the last decade.

As a hunter and publisher who has reported extensively on the agency’s mismanagement of Wisconsin’s wolf population and correlating decline in the northern deer herd, count me among those who consider the DNR severely broken. Change starting at the top with the governor’s appointment of the DNR secretary is imperative to returning Wisconsin to a place where quality deer hunting is the expectation regardless of where you hang your stand.

On Wisconsin Outdoors

Ellis camp hunters are sighted in, scout, carry portable tree stands in to remote areas, don’t bait and wait. The payoff prior to wolf mismanagement included the occasional buck considered exceptional. OWO publisher Dick Ellis with a buck living long enough to grow a rack with a 19 inch inside spread.

On Wisconsin Outdoors (OWO) publishers sat down with Michels and Joan Ellis Beglinger in September to inform him that Beglinger, our sister, was stepping down as a gubernatorial candidate to endorse Michels and protect freedoms. Michels made a similar comment then that he believed as outdoorsmen we would appreciate changes on the horizon at the DNR.

We will cast our ballots for Michels November 8. Do not cast your vote for Beglinger, who by law will remain on the ballot.

On Wisconsin Outdoors

Dick Ellis now wears a handgun when scouting Vilas County due to the number of wolf encounters. This CZ 9MM has a 7-inch barrel. Note the buck and wolf tracks on each side.

Michels does speak for many when he said he believes that “sportsmen don’t feel like the DNR has their backs right now.” From my perspective after watching the agency closely and reporting our opposing views in each issue of On Wisconsin Outdoors, that means a wolf population out of control that has sent deer numbers plummeting.

Connect with www.onwisconsinoutdoors.com and OWO’s Views  on Wolf Management in Wisconsin for our detailed reporting in eight issues provided as a link and PDF.

On Wisconsin Outdoors

A hunter from Barron County sends this photo of 5 wolves on his bear bait in late summer. Send us your wolf trail cam shots or stories.

 As importantly, we’ve heard from you. Our readers and Wisconsin hunters know the wolf population is much higher than reported by the state, that wolf pack numbers are much larger than reported, and that wolf territories continue to expand. The Wisconsin deer herd and your hunting opportunities are in decline because of it. We’ve received your photos and we’ve heard your stories. Please continue to send us your trail camera wolf shots and field experiences that will continue no doubt to contradict DNR reporting.

As one example, in this issue read how one bear hunter’s vigil on stand and walk out to her truck included a standoff with aggressive wolves. When predators are not hunted but instead are protected by mismanagement and liberal judges, confrontation with humans increase. The large majority of hunters appreciate wolves in moderation in Wisconsin. Unmanaged numbers without reason to fear humans can become a direct threat to anyone who uses the northern forest.

On Wisconsin Outdoors

In days gone by, a typical Ellis camp meat pole after opening weekend. The Ellis camp has hung two deer in the last decade.

Wisconsin hunters and anglers are not the priority of the DNR. The agency is currently led by the liberal left with animal rights radicals holding advisory positions and protected by too many in the media. The agency is not transparent in management decisions, including interaction with Wisconsin tribes who have been untruthful as partners in the wolf harvest that demands truthfulness to keep the predator/prey numbers in proper balance. DNR decisions are not based in science.

It’s right that this debate take place on the eve of the mid-term elections, and on the eve of the Wisconsin deer hunt, when 600,000 Wisconsin hunters who also vote will take to the field. Remember too when you cast your ballot that when the northland is missing the hunter, the hospitality business owners are missing you too.

As a Wisconsin hunter, you don’t want a guarantee that you will kill a deer. As a hunter you want a reasonable chance if you pay your dues that you will have an opportunity to put venison in the freezer for yourself and family.

Enough is enough. Time for change at the Wisconsin DNR.