Author Robert Willging will speak on the history of deer hunting in Wisconsin at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, at the Waupaca Area Public Library.
Hosted by Winchester Academy, Willging’s presentation is free, open to the public and preceded by refreshments and conversation at 6 p.m.
Willging brings to the topic both meticulous research and a passion for hunting.
While growing up in suburban Chicago, Willging had never shot a gun, let alone hunt wildlife. But he yearned for the outdoors and asked his parents for subscriptions to Field & Stream and other hunting and fishing magazines.
His desire to pursue a career that would bring him closer to wildlife led Willging to the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1979.
There, among his classmates, he discovered Wisconsin’s long tradition of the fall deer hunt.
“I met people who not only deer hunted but seemingly had been hunting their entire lives. And they were incredibly, insanely passionate about it,” Willging wrote in the preface to his 2008 book, On the Hunt: The History of Deer Hunting in Wisconsin.
Willging holds a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management from UW-Stevens Point and a master’s degree in wildlife sciences from New Mexico State University. He has worked as a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture since 1987 and has been an ardent whitetail hunter since 1984.
Willging is also a prolific writer whose articles have appeared in numerous hunting and outdoor magazines.