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Community divided by white deer controversy

Published On: Nov 21 2012 03:03:58 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 21 2012 09:19:54 PM CST
LELAND, Wis. -

A hunter killed a rare white deer over the weekend and a Sauk County, a controversial act that has divided the community.

A white deer was killed legally in the town of Leland, which is about 15 miles northwest of Sauk City.

The area is home to about eight white and albino deer. The deer are so rare that the town of avid hunters has formed an agreement not to kill them -- until this weekend, when an out-of-towner bagged a buck.

White and albino deer aren't protected in chronic-wasting disease zones. Also, the deer had a dark spot on its hide, meaning it wasn't a true albino and is fair game anywhere.
But the town can't stop talking about it, with some residents voicing anger over news of the deer's killing.

"I was pissed (about the deer kill)," said resident Amy Sprecher. "I just can't understand how people can be so selfish -- not thinking about the beauty for everybody to share, how rare they are."

"This is a moral issue, completely, and it is really disappointing," said Leland resident Brandon Yanke. "And that's kind of how we've all felt. It's so unique to have something like that around."

Legal kill or not, residents are debating whether it was the right thing to do.
"There's people that are pro and people that are con," said resident Al Schwartz.

Locals are comparing the division in the town to politics.

"It's no different than the election. The election just got over, not everybody agreed on that either," said Dave Diske.

Diske, who has lived in the area his whole life, said he doesn't agree with people such as Sprecher on the issue.

"I think I'd have shot the deer, too," Diske said. "They're just hunters like everybody else. I'm sure people are mad about it, but I would think that most people don't think it's an issue."

Judging from the people who spoke with WISC-TV, opinion was pretty split on the issue.

"To me, I think it's more of an issue where everybody gets to see one because it's so rare. And it is. Unfortunately you can shoot one here," Schwartz said.

The division in the community is concerning to some residents, and they said they hope this holiday weekend can help heal that and get rid of any hard feelings that exist.

One resident said that what's done is done, and there are still a number of white and albino deer in the area for everyone to watch and admire.

As for the hunter responsible for killing the buck, residents told WISC-TV that the hunter is from Fond du Lac and has been hunting in the Leland area for more than 10 years. But residents wouldn't share the hunter's name. Residents said the hunter is planning to be back for more hunting this weekend, and WISC-TV hopes to hear from the hunter.

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