This year’s Wildlife Bureau special service award is going to a citizen with passionate interest in deer who is at the same time a fine, gracious gentleman and a great supporter of Wisconsin’s deer management policies. That really narrows down the list of possibilities, doesn’t it?
He is a member of the Conservation Congress and of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation wildlife committee. He has often been seen at DNR deer committee meetings, bringing spread sheets full of numbers and interesting observations.
He was a very influential member of the Deer 2000 Herd Size Group, attending 40 group meetings, which resulted in herd control unit criteria, the reinstatement of earn-a-buck, an expansion of deer hunting seasons, and responsible deer population goals. As if that wasn’t enough, he also served on the Deer 2000 Agricultural Damage Committee.
He helps farmers in the crop damage program to meet their deer harvest quotas. He’s arranged for donation of significant amounts of venison to food pantries.
He’s spent countless hours using his dachshunds to help hunters find wounded deer. He is one of the founders of United Blood Trackers and is giving seminars around the country on this subject.
He has given up deer hunting on opening weekend to age deer for DNR. He and his staff have entered the deer aging data from across the state for DNR’s use, freeing up wildlife manager time for other responsibilities. He also summarized and analyzed the data for our reports.
He has courageously supported the DNR and responsible deer management when it has not been popular to do so. He has regularly encouraged DNR biologists to make responsible decisions in spite of the heat we get.
There is only one person in Wisconsin who could possibly fit this description, and many of you have known him for a long time. This year’s special service award recipient is truly a friend of the wildlife program. We are so pleased to know him, to benefit from his service, and to present him with this prestigious award.
Please offer your applause to help me thank Larry Gohlke as he comes forward to accept his Special Service Award.
The pictures below were taken in May 2011 at the United Blood Trackers Trackfest 2011 at Pocahontas, Arkansas, and show Larry Gohlke, a member of the UBT Board, in action.
Congratulations Larry on a well deserved award!