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Residents to petition DNR to change white deer hunting rules

Published On: Nov 29 2012 06:06:17 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 29 2012 06:56:46 PM CST
LELAND, Wis. -

Two more white deer have reportedly been killed in the small town of Leland, and it's creating even more of a controversy.

In the past 12 days, three white or pie-bald deer have been killed by hunters in the rural Sauk County area. The Department of Natural Resources said it was done legally, as the area lies within a Chronic Wasting Disease management zone, where white and albino deer aren't protected as they are everywhere else.

But some upset residents said the law needs to change.

"I cried. I was so heartbroken when they came and told me," Leland-area resident Carol Hastings said, holding back tears. "(The white deer) are so important to me, I gave up the hunting on my land even though I need the money. This is the only place where they can hide and hang out."

Three white deer have been killed in an area where residents have formed a pact to protect them. The creatures are very rare. Only a half a dozen or so exist in the area, and most are protected across the state.

Resident Amy Sprecher is helping to lead an effort to save the animals. She said it's not an anti-hunting issue. Sprecher said she and others plan to petition the DNR to change regulations because it's a moral issue.

"(We want to) show the force, show how many people in southern Wisconsin are upset about this," Sprecher said.

The DNR maintains these were legal kills, but residents in areas such as Hastings said it should be a crime to take away something so special from those who care about the rare animals so much.

"It's like the white buffalo. It seems like it's just a real gift from nature," Hastings said. "We don't want it to happen anymore."

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