In the fall off 2015, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources approached SCI chapters in about helping with a major project they were undertaking. The project was not only looking at the relationship between predator and prey (primarily whitetail deer) but also how CWD is affecting deer in the research area. In order to conduct the study, they planned on trapping both predators and whitetail deer. They would outfit them with state-of-the-art GPS collars that allow real time tracking, and determine not only mortality, but births as well. By following the identified species, much information could be obtained.
The concept was discussed with Regional Rep. Charmaine Wargolet who thought the idea had merit and should be included in the annual meeting of the statewide chapters in Wisconsin. At the meeting, Dan Storm, one of the project leaders, presented the information and suggested the need for UTVs with dump boxes to transport workers, volunteers and equipment. The vehicles would also be used to transport animals as they were trapped and collared.
After Storms presentation, there was a lively discussion and general consent that all get on board and help make this concept a reality. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to “fly the flag of SCI” there was further discussion about either “wrapping “the vehicles with the SCI logo or adding signage to the trailers would also be provided. Nothing like a “rolling SCI billboard,” or in this case, two!
Eventually, Badgerland Chapter SCI, Northeast Chapter SCI, Southeast Wisconsin Bow Chapter SCI and the Wisconsin Chapter SCI all contributed to the purchase of two Artic Cat Grizzly UTVs with trailers that were presented to the Department of Natural Resources in January of 2017. At the 2017 annual statewide meeting, all of the chapters mentioned were present and able to see firsthand the donation all worked so hard on. Northeast chapter member Mike Christianson and his wife Joyce not only opened up their house to host the annual statewide meeting, but Mike was the one who obtained the UTVs and trailers and placed SCI logo signs on the trailers.
Such projects demonstrate once again the role that SCI plays as a world and local leader in working with state and local officials to solve mutual concerns. The Wisconsin chapters look forward to seeing the results of the five-year study, and have pride in playing such an important role.