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Leland residents rally for law to protect white deer

Published On: Apr 09 2013 03:50:45 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 04 2013 09:17:17 PM CDT
LELAND, Wis. -

Leland residents and supporters are rallying for new legislation that would protect their rare white deer population.

The small town is home to all kinds of wildlife, but for some neighbors, none are more cherished than the white deer.

Typically it is illegal to hunt white or albino deer. If they are in a chronic wasting disease management zone, like Leland, then they are fair game.

"It is very rare and we're so blessed to have the size we do have here," said resident Amy Sprecher.

So last fall when a white buck was harvested by an out-of-town hunter, Sprecher was one of many who said enough was enough.

She and others are campaigning to save the creatures. They have made signs, sweaters and website complete with an online petition.

"What we'd like it to read is, 'If the animal is predominantly white, it cannot be hunted.' We'd also like to have these animals in the CWD (zone) protected as well," said Sprecher.

Supporters will propose a resolution to the Conservation Congress on April 8 where representatives can gauge public support.

"Citizens have opportunities at those meetings to introduce resolutions ultimately considered then by the Congress, then forwarded to the department for consideration for rules to develop for future years," said Eric Lobner, wildlife supervisor of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' southern region.

Lobner said resolutions have great potential to go through and could take up to two years to implement if approved.

Sprecher is worried given the history of low attendance at these meetings it won't be enough to push for legislation.

The Sauk County WCC hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 8 at the UW-Baraboo campus lecture hall A-4.

For more information, visit protectthewhitedeer.com.

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