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West Bend Common Council approves January deer hunt in West Bend Parks

Dec. 19, 2017 – West Bend, WI – The West Bend Common Council voted 6-1 on Monday night to move forward with its deer management plan.

Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist was the only dissenting vote and Dist. 2 alderman Steve Hutchins absent.

Dist. 1 alderman John Butschlick, who headed the Deer Management Committee, led the discussion about how bow hunters would be tested and then selected in a lottery to participate in a four-day hunt at Lac Lawrann Conservancy and Ridge Run Park.

Butschlick said the committee that organized the details around the local attempt to trim the deer population was e extremely thorough, especially when it came to safety.

“There was a lot of discussion about safety and there was a concern if the hunt would occur when the park would be open,” said Butschlick. “It was unanimous to do it when the park would be closed Jan 10 – 14.”

There will be a cost of $30 to local bow hunters who want to participate. A training session will be held Saturday; there will also be a proficiency test and a written test. Those who pass will be entered into a lottery and 40 permits will be distributed.

Only nine people will be selected to participate in the hunt.

Jim White is a member of the Park and Rec Committee and his property is just to the west of Ridge Run Park. White addressed the council to see if they could switch the dates of the hunt.

“My one big concern is how you picked date Jan. 10 – 14 because it’s a Wednesday through Sunday,” he said. “There is a weekend in January and it’s one of the biggest winter activity weekends most notably at Lac Lawrann with a free snowshoe clinic.”

White said Mountain Outfitters owner Kevin Schultz normally donates 150 snowshoes and that’s a free activity. White also noted Ridge Run Park hosts the only premier tobogganing or sledding hill in the community.

“This is when families can enjoy activities. I’m wondering if you can use an alternate date and put it at end of February or the beginning of March,” he asked.

Butschlick noted the DNR won’t cover the cost of processing the meat if the hunt is held after January 31, 2018.

Butschlick indicated next year, if the process to trim the herd is needed, the committee would meet with the Park and Rec Department to find open days and make sure there aren’t any conflicts.

Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist made a motion to deny any hunting in any parks. That motion died after failing to secure a second.

Dist. 6 alderman Steve Hoogester questioned why organizers were allowed warm-up shots during the proficiency test. “In my previous life (as a police officer) I never got any warm-up shots,” he said.

Mike Jentsch, with the Parks Department, acknowledged Hoogester had a good question, but…. “This test is not laid out to have people faulter or fail. It’s like in hunter’s education, you train to become educated and accelerate and pass the test,” he said.

The proposed deer management hunt was approved with one amendment to change the number of permits from 20 to 40.

For more information click HERE.

Previous meeting Dec. 5 where Deer Management Committee set parameters for the deer hunt.

Dec. 6, 2017 – The Deer Management Committee met for the first time Tuesday night at City Hall in West Bend to outline some of the parameters in its Urban Deer Management Plan.

Members of the committee included Dist. 1 alderman John Butschlick, Paul Schleif, Chris Dymale, Larry Polenski, Joanne Kline, Duane Farrand, Michael Jentsch and Dist. 2 alderman Steve Hutchins.

In November the West Bend Common Council approved a resolution to allow hunting in two city parks under strict rules that must still be approved by Council. The hunting measure is designed to help manage the deer herd in the city.

The resolution detailed several suggestions and the Deer Management Committee addressed a 14-page packet of guidelines.

The committee members addressed:

-Only adult bow hunters who pass a proficiency test would be allowed to hunt during a four day time span in January 2018.

-The only parks where this will be allowed as a test is Lac Lawrann Conservancy and Ridge Run Park.

-The parks will be closed during the four-day hunt, January 10-14, 2018.

-Written exam and proficiency test/shooting test as established by the committee

-Hunters will only get one shot at a proficiency test


-Individual must score 100% on Bowhunter Exam

– Fees will be set yearly with City Council

Some of the issues the committee addressed several times was the safety will be a top priority, this will be a lottery system and six people will receive permits. The participants must stay in their assigned zones.

The guidelines drafted by the Deer Management Committee must still be approved by the Common Council. That review will most likely occur at the Dec. 18 meeting.


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