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Wisconsin. State Conservation Committee (1915-27) / Biennial report of the State Conservation Commission of Wisconsin for the years 1915 and 1916
(1916)

Beaver,   pp. 57-59 PDF (622.6 KB)


Page 57


                         BIENNIAL     REPORT                        57
 game to willing purchasers near home. For instance, it is a notorious fact
 that the market hunter enjoys a lucrative business in trafficking in deer
 during the entire year. They do not wait until the opening of the deer
 hunting season, November 11, but they start out and secure a supply and
 have it ready for the hunters when they arrive. The hunter who is not
 fortunate enough after a week or ten days hunting to get his stipulated
 one buck, can easily (if so disposed) purchase one from the wiley market
 hunter and take his trophy home. This is a common practice, and while
 we are able to arrest an occasional market hunter, the fine is so small
that
 it makes but a small dent in his lucrative profits.
   For instance, last winter we found where one of these market hunters
had six deer hidden. We watched until he came after them and arrested
him, took him into court where he plead guilty and was fined $50, the
maximum for this violation. We sold the deer in Milwaukee for about
$200. It is an inviting occupation for a good hunter and it is no wonder
that they hazard the chance. The fine should be $100 for killing a deer
out of season and $100 fine for each deer or part thereof sold, or six months
in jail. Such a law would put a stop to the slaughter of deer for the markets
and save them for the legitimate hunter.
   From the mass of evidence we have, we feel safe in saying that one-half
of all of the deer killed are killed by these market hunters. Their field
for
operation is so vast and their opportunity for evading an officer so ex-
tensive that it is hard to catch them. Besides, they are a lawless, des-
perate class of men and the law-abiding citizens are afraid to report them
as they would be endangering their lives and property. Instances have
been known where mysterious burning of buildings could be traced to this
provocation. So we ask this legislature to arm us with some good stringent
laws, backed up with rigid fines, and we feel confident we can suppress
this vicious practice.
                               BEAVER.
  In discussing the beaver situation in Wisconsin, we believe we have a
sufficient fund of information on the life and customs of these little animals
to write a book. There is no part of our duties that have been beset with
so much difficulty as the wise little beaver have caused. He possesses more
wisdom and is the master of more trades than the combined intelligence
of all the animal kingdom. He is a forester, a lumberman, an architect,
a carpenter, a mason and an all-round genius. He builds his dam and
house and takes up his abode where he sees fit, regardless of all human
consideration, backing up the water, covering cultivated fields and
meadows much to the annoyance of the farmer. He backs up the water
flooding railroad tracks and interferes with the commerce of the common-
wealth, and no man dares molest his well laid plans to provide for them-
selves and families, for he is wrapped in the plainly written laws of the
state of Wisconsin, which expressly provide that "no person shall hunt,
take, capture or kill any beaver or molest their houses or dams." Pro-
tected as he is and has been for. the past ten years, their numbers have
multiplied until they have become a nuisance all through the northern
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