Wednesday February 24th, 2021 was a morning of important news in the outdoor field. First, I would like all of you to know that Wisconsin Wildlife Federation (WWF) has selected Mark LaBarbera as their new Exc. Director to replace George Meyer would is retiring in July to spend more time with his grandson. George has been a wonderful friend to all of us in the outdoor field and as a member of the media also. Mark brings a wealth of knowledge to the position and will be an asset to the WWF and to all of us as sportsmen and sportswomen in the State of Wisconsin. Mark along with Dan Small produce the TV show “DEER HUNT” which airs every fall for us hunters.
Second, when listening to the DNR Board meeting it was mentioned that Jeff Pritzl has been promoted to State Deer Program Specialist now. Jeff will be working out of the Plymouth DNR Office. Below is his bio and take the time to read all he has done for us citizens.
Has been a wildlife biologist in Northeast WI for almost 30 years. During the first half of his career, he was the biologist for Door, Kewaunee and Manitowoc counties, after obtaining his BS and MS from UW-Stevens Point. For the past 14 years he has served as the District Wildlife Supervisor for 17 counties in Northeast WI. As the District Supervisor, he oversaw deer management field operations of population estimates, quota setting, deer aging, winter severity and body condition monitoring, and most recently disease surveillance. He has participated in CWD management efforts from the onset of the disease in WI; including sharpshooting, lymph node extraction, and responses to new wild positive deer locations.
Pritzl chaired the committee that established the current Deer Management Assistance Program, as part of the Deer Trustee Report implementation.
Pritzl has been an avid deer hunter since growing up in Marshfield. He has deer hunted in 14 Wisconsin counties from Bayfield to Waukesha. He has harvested deer with a rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, vertical bow and crossbow. He has participated in large family deer drives, small 2 person pushes, sat in elevated stands, climbers and ground blinds, and still-hunted for miles. Pritzl has always had Labradors and enjoys waterfowl and upland bird hunting, as well as turkey hunting. He pursues fish mostly from a kayak with flyrod in hand.
Pritzl has served as the interim Deer Program Specialist to facilitate the setting of the 2011 deer season framework, and again in 2019. He did the same for the 2017 bear season.
Pritzl has authored multiple articles for the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine, most recently on antlerless deer hunting. He wrote the very first blog for the WDNR website during the 2012 gun deer season.
Pritzl shared, “I’ve decided to take on this position as a tribute to the first deer that gave its life to me, my family that exposed me to the wonders of hunting, the WI DNR deer management icons that paved our path, and the Conservation Congress delegates of Northeast Wisconsin that have taught me there is no such thing as the average deerhunter.”