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Posts Tagged ‘wisconsin’

Instant Gratification and Hunting

December 23, 2011 Leave a comment

by Clint Dehnert

From my perspective, I see it getting harder and harder to have a realistic chance of harvesting a deer in Wisconsin.  For me, this chance is what drives me to get up at 4 a.m. and walk through the woods or a swamp in the dark. Hunting is a rite of passage and a tradition passed on by the elders. Groups of hunters are a brethren and the nine day season is anticipated for the whole year.  Good places to hunt for free used to be simply a knock on a door away.

Those days are simply memories that I treasure as of today. In the modern era of hunting, you buy a deer in one way or another. According to MS Forestry, leasing property is on the rise. This information is for Missouri, but it illustrates the trend that is going on nationwide. According to the link, land owners are leasing the recreational rights to their land for $3.50 to $15.00 an acre, per calendar year. This is good income for a land owner. Prime land calculated example; If you have a 1000 acre farm, and choose to lease it, it could yield $15,000 just for letting a group of outdoor enthusiast use it. On the low end, a farm this size would still bring in $3500.00 in residual income annually. My experience puts the figures of a 400 acre farm at $4.00 an acre in Southern Wisconsin.

To the non hunter, this is a lot of money and they may not believe this information, but it is the reality of the situation. The cost of purchasing land is what makes this trend reality. One acre of land with hardwoods on it brings a market price of $10,000. Ten acres of hunting land could cost in excess of $100,000.

You could just shot a deer in a pen, it is an option. It is possible to go to a deer farm and get it all done in one day. According to Maple Hill’s White Tails you will spend from $2000.00 to in excess of $12,000.00 for a trophy whitetail. I know most hunters would say  “that is not hunting!” Personally, I agree 100%. The fact of the matter is, once it is on the wall you can tell the story however you want. This is the world we live in. Instant gratification and money can buy anything, even deer tales.

I will stay away from the controversial topic of CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) and what the Wisconsin DNR has done to the ageless family tradition of deer hunting in Southern Wisconsin. I will not go on at length of the economic impact that the hunting industry has on rural towns and communities across the state. What I will mention is the decline in deer hunting when it comes to the archery sector of the season. When CWD was discovered in the deer herd in February 2002, bating was made illegal statewide. Not being able to better ones chances of seeing a deer has bow hunting numbers steadily declining. (The laws have been modified since 2002 to allow bating is select counties.) Bow hunters are dwindling, good places to hunt are harder to find, and the rules to pull the trigger are getting stricter every year.  Regardless of your views of fair chase or your preferred weapon, deer season just isn’t what it used to be, and that is sad.

Will Walker be Scanned?

December 15, 2011 1 comment

Written By: Pete Patten

Amidst all of the political drama that has built up in the state of Wisconsin, a critical and historical recall effort has

English: Scott Walker, 45th Governor of Wisconsin

Image via Wikipedia

begun. Yes, the recall effort against Governor Scott Walker kicked off at midnight on November 16th, 2011. Within the first 48 hours, an estimated 50,000 people had signed a petition to recall Governor Walker. Organizers will need 540,208 total signatures to force the recall election. All 540,208 signatures must be valid and turned in by January 17th.

Most people thought the recall campaign would start out with a bang – and it did. Organizers lined streets hoping to entice people to pull over and sign a petition. Many did. That method of gathering signatures didn’t last very long as it was deemed too dangerous and organizers were told that they would have to find different spots to gather signatures.

Many volunteers helping the recall campaign posted up outside of stores during the Thanksgiving holiday rush. A good share of these volunteers were asked to leave the premise as most stores don’t allow any form of solicitation. That leaves the question of how to market the recall campaign.

Technology has allowed news to be reported quicker, groups to organize easier, and information to be relayed to people literally up to the second. A QR code is not a brand new invention. However, it is a fairly new and hot trend here in the United States. Created by car manufacturer Toyota, QR codes have started to spring up on all kinds of products across the United States.

A similar technology called a Snap Tag, may be on the up rise as well. The main difference between a Snap Tag and a QR code is a Snap Tag features a logo, either of a company or a brand product. The tag is scanned and directs the person that scanned the code to a website. The Snap Tags allow the creator to update more frequently and provides more interaction.

For the people that haven’t signed a petition for the recall of Walker, the locations to sign a petition aren’t as visible and accessible as they were in the first few days of the efforts. Organizers could implement a QR code, or possibly a Snap Tag to inform people where they can find locations. Imagine all of the “Recall Walker” bumper stickers, posters, shirts, emails, and advertising that is seen throughout the state of Wisconsin.

If organizers could add  either a QR code or a tag to everything that gets printed or created, they could set up oneofficial website that has up to the second signature counts as well as locations that people can go to sign a petition. Many people don’t want to go out of their way to sign a petition. If they could scan a code or tag, they could find out all of the locations that are on their way home from work, grocery store, picking the kids up and the list goes on. There is a lot of clutter on the internet as many different

English: Scott Walker on February 18, 2011

organizations have Recall Walker campaigns and efforts underway. Some people doubt the credibility of some of these sites. It’s an interesting position that Wisconsin is sitting in – many people want the Governor Walker out as governor, meanwhile, there isn’t a candidate that is set to run against Walker if the organizers do obtain the required amount of signatures. Let’s think about this for a second. Say organizers collect 600,000 signatures for the recall effort. They have come into contact with over half a million people in which they could have been passing out buttons, stickers, and any other campaign displays. Anti-Walker organizers and democrats need to plan ahead and get the train moving for the potential upcoming campaign.

On the other side of the campaign, Walker supporters could initiate the same strategy that would inform people when events will occur, how to donate, and what they can do to support their side of the campaign.

Internet credibility has been and almost always will be questioned to a certain degree. Confusion can spread easily when there are multiple sources contributing to a campaign. A goal in organizing any campaign should be to minimize as much confusion and non-credible sources as possible. This can be done by unifying one central location, or in this case a website, that people can go to and be informed. Technology can be a campaign’s best friend, if it is applied and used in a proper and beneficial manner.

From voluntary to vital- Corporate Social Responsibility

December 14, 2011 Leave a comment
   The global trend for environmental green initiatives is fast becoming mandatory. It seems like everywhere you look businesses are “going green” and are enhancing their reputation for social responsibly. Enacting energy conservation programs, or using solar & wind powered electricity, buying recycled products, buying more sustainable materials, using less hazardous cleaning products or improving lighting, heating/AC efficiencies.
   This trend is becoming so popular that it goes by it’s acronym CSR, or Corporate Social Responsibility.
According to The Economist  “CSR reporting can help drive performance in a business, and in just over ten years, corporate sustainability reporting has shifted from voluntary to vital.” Having a corporate social responsibility plan is just as critical as a business plan or a marketing plan.
Traditionally the Madison area has openly and aggressively adapted environmental green
initiatives based on our city’s local behavior and culture. And the surge of toward environmental responsibility has put pressure on business. The trend for businesses to minimizing their environmental impact in the Madison area and positively contribute to the environment by adapting green business practices is growing.
A study conducted by IBM discusses how CSR and responsible business practices fit into society and how it affects consumer perception.
So how can your business adapt a CSR? Join the folks at The Green Scene for tips to get involved.
Or check out a local meet up!
An article in the Wisconsin State Journal shows that UW Madison is recognizing areabusinesses who have adopted efforts to go green with the Green Masters Program
The bottom line is that consumers are interested in corporate social responsibility. They have strong opinions about how the companies they support contribute to the environment and their community.
A consumer is much more likely to support a business that they feel is “doing the right thing”.  To help you earn how CSR affects your business, watch this video.
Local examples of CSR commitments:
Tags: corporate social responsibility, CSR, green initiatives

Connect With Your Grocer

December 13, 2011 1 comment

Written by Kim Graff

Are you aware that in the grocery business they are finding that customers want a more connected relationship with their grocer? The interest is in the “local” and “sustainable” movements.  This is what consumers across all demographics are looking for.  Something more than just a supplier to consumer relationship.  And some grocery stores are living up to the task.

Most of us want our local grocery businesses to make relationships with local farmers and producers so they support our local growers.   We all want to know where our food is coming from, and how it is getting there.  Even the local government is getting involved in advertising buying local in any capacity to get this county back on track.

One government report discusses opening a Central Agriculture and Food Facility that would be a brick and mortar facility that local farmers could store their produce and provide a smaller distribution network.  This allows farmers better access to provide their goods to local grocery stores, restaurants and other types of institutions.  Another local point of interest is in artisan cheese makers in Wisconsin. Customers are looking for locally made cheese choices in the grocery stores. Wisconsin is highly rated in cheese making.

Being a dairy state, we want local dairy products in our local grocery stores.  Whole foods does this by offering Stella’s cheese bread which is normally only offered through the farmers market.  Now it’s offered it through their bakery department. This bread utilizes Wisconsin cheeses. They pride themselves on their local produce and an assortment of Wisconsin cheeses.  They are even offering beer and wine with a local flair.

Everyone wants extended services from their grocers.  Everyone is supporting the use of food trucks from their local grocer.  76% of people surveyed said they are interested in this service.  You can schedule Whole Foods to deliver your groceries by calling and they utilize a delivery service called Go for Folks errand and delivery service.  Grocers can really expand and grow into these new trends and seize the growth opportunity it presents.  It’s an interactive community they are building with the consumer.  A local grocery store owner in De Forest is willing to find products they don’t carry and get it to the store within 48 hours if a customer requests it. Another grocery store in Madison that offers a plethora of services is Whole Foods.

Grocery stores are being used in new ways, giving cooking classes, and taste testing.  If you have ever been to whole foods there is a surplus of foods you can taste test. The Red Onion has offered mother/daughter cooking classes as a specialty service.  Whole foods actually have a Cooking School & Community room where they offer cooking classes.  Youth cooking school is very popular with their hands on environment.  Want healthier choices for your lifestyle?  Stop in and they help you shop in the store to make healthier choices. Remember making gingerbread houses as a child?   Another workshop is family oriented in teaching how to build gingerbread houses, aiming to build traditions and family togetherness.

They also are looking at using grocery stores in new ways supporting local charities.   People like to see that local business stays community oriented and invest in the community they serve.  Second Harvest Food Bank is serviced by many local grocers such as Pick ‘n Save, Metcalfe’s Market, Woodman’s, Hy-Vee, and Copps.   In cases such as Hy-Vee the corporation allows stores to tailor their contributions to meet the community’s needs they reside in.

It is easy to see that many grocery stores have evolved into a whole new service industry.  They are local friendly as consumers are demanding, and community oriented.  We as consumers are purchasing with a conscience.  To sustain and grow their business grocers must show responsibility to the community they serve.

A Voice is Heard, Kind of

December 13, 2011 1 comment

2011 is and forever will be one of Wisconsin’s most exciting and historical years. There was a Rose Bowl birth for the Badgers. The Green Bay Packers brought back the Vince Lombardi trophy to Green Bay. Let’s not forget the historic rallies and marches across the state, but mostly centered here in the middle of Madison.

Green Bay Packers helmet

Image via Wikipedia

People often dislike a law that goes into effect, or maybe even something somebody says. Often times, people are left asking themselves and anybody willing to listen a simply question – why won’t they listen to me? How many times has that statement been screamed, whispered, talked about, or cried about? Of course, this never happens overnight. Many times it takes some sort of organized effort to make a voice heard. Just as the anti-Walker protesters, people’s voices will be heard. Sometimes it takes a little longer than anticipated. The same holds true for the deer hunters of Wisconsin.

Deer hunters have thought for a long time that the Department of Natural Resources will not listen to what they want, or what they see. Hunters believe their opinion and the results that they see or don’t see should be accounted for when season times, lengths, and programs are being considered. When a thousand people show up for a meeting held by the DNR in a room that only holds around 400, it’s obvious that the hunters are not happy and they are going to try to make their voice heard loud and clear.

With the discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease in Wisconsin during the 2002-2003 season, Wisconsin fell into a state of pandemonium over what the disease actually is and what the effects of it are. Shortly after the discovery, the DNR created a plan that would all but eliminate the deer herd in concentrated areas where CWD was found. There was one season that required every deer shot to be tested in certain areas and across the state. Then, the earn-a-buck rule was implemented into the season structure. This required that every hunter must harvest an antlerless deer before they could legally harvest an antlered deer. The idea was simple – take out the deer that give birth to two or possibly three deer for the next year. The DNR got the results they were looking for – a smaller population of deer. There was and still is heavy debate on the end of the year numbers that the DNR comes up with to determine the size of the herd. Hunters hated this earn-a-buck system because they weren’t seeing deer. It should be noted that earn-a-buck is still being used in the CWD hunting zones. Protesters dressed in camouflage and blaze orange paraded around the Capitol. Meetings, that often got somewhat tense and fiery, set up by the DNR were overflowing with people.

Change came for Wisconsin deer hunters in 2011 as Governor Scott Walker used his power to eliminate the disliked earn-a-buck program. Finally, hunter’s voices were not only being heard, but being acted upon. The hunters throughout the state feel like they are having a say in how the season is being handled. Bow season dates along with four day antlerless-only seasons were ironed out in order to accommodate bow hunters.

Wisconsin continues to see slight increases in the number of people buying licenses. This helps business in all areas, because if a person is buying a license, there is a longer list of items they will more than likely buy. Camouflage and blaze orange clothing, ammunition, weapons, and footwear are just a few of the items that are on most hunters’ lists. Some say it’s a big win, and some say it’s just a baby step in the right direction. Let’s just put in this way, if people are mad enough not to go hunting, it will more than likely not help out many businesses that may be struggling in these hard economic times.

By: Pete Patten