When it comes to deer hunting, will Wisconsin become the next Texas, with public land being sold off and then turned into a private pay-to-hunt system? That’s the fear (or fear-mongering, depending on where you sit) some state lawmakers have raised after embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker hired a Texas expert to overhaul the state’s deer hunting system.

From this story on

Six state Assembly Democrats fear that Wisconsin will sell its public hunting lands to private developers, who would then charge up to thousands-of-dollars for the privilege to hunt. At a news conference yesterday, the Democrats said it happened in Texas. And they feared it would happen in Wisconsin under a series of major hunting changes to be recommended this month by James Kroll. He’s the Texas wildlife biologist whom the Walker administration hired last year to analyze the way Wisconsin manages its deer population.

Kroll’s initial report was issued two months ago, and according to the story, a Walker administration official says there’s no mention of selling off public hunting lands, but Democrats claim that a Texas-style pay-to-hunt “scheme” is part of the plan, and they want Kroll to appear at a public meeting to explain his report. However, the Walker Administration and Kroll claim the fracas is simply politics timed to coincide with Walker’s upcoming recall election.

From the story: The Democrats said Kroll also needs to explain comments he made in 2002 to Texas Monthly about antler genetics. The Cap Times said blogs have been raising a stir about that. And it forced Kroll to respond on his Web site. He said, “I cannot undo the slander, but I can be clear … I stand the sportsmen-and-women of Wisconsin, hunting-fishing recreation, and white-tailed deer.” Kroll also said his ideas are not influenced by politics, but he said the Wisconsin matter has become political as Tuesday’s recall election for governor approaches.

Thoughts? Reaction? Should Wisconsin hunters be worried about turning into Texas? Should Texas hunters be insulted that Wisconsin thinks Texas-style hunting is bad? Alarming developments or just a last-minute political hatchet job? Someone grab the popcorn…