Bob Willging

Rhinelander Daily News, November 19, 1942

Wisconsin’s gun deer season is approaching.  It’s a time when many hunters across the state look forward to getting away from the pressures of work, spending time in the woods.  

But as WXPR’s Bob Willging relates in today’s History Afield essay, the 1942 murder of a conservation warden in Florence County had deer hunters in northeast Wisconsin anything but relaxed.

In the autumn of 1942, America was becoming deeply involved in World War II.

We’re heading into November, and that means deer hunting will soon be in full swing. 

It’s a cultural phenomenon in the state, with deeply rooted traditions that go back 100 years or more. While there has been much change in Wisconsin deer hunting over time, controversy and disagreement have never been far away.

In the first of a series we’re calling History Afield, WXPR Contributor Bob Willging has the story of one of the oddest deer hunting political battles of the last century.