The Legislature's budget committee has approved spending nearly $2 million in federal money to set up private deer hunts.
Researcher James Kroll last year suggested the Department of Natural Resources help landowners run hunts on their property in a joint effort to manage local herds.
Gov. Scott Walker's budget calls for devoting $1.9 million in Pittman-Robertson grants over the next two years to get the program off the ground. The grants are funded through federal taxes on firearms.
Minority Democrats on the Joint Finance Committee Wednesday moved to delete the provision from the budget and allow the DNR secretary to decide how to allocate the grants to the program but the attempt failed on a 4-12 party line vote. The panel then accepted the governor's position with no debate.