Senate Committee to Hear Evidence on List of Hunting Bills
A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at the Wisconsin State Capitol for a list of hunting bills recently introduced by Republican lawmakers.
The proposals include allowing sandhill crane hunting, changing the rules for the spring turkey hunting season and stocking more ring-necked pheasants.
The hearing will be held by the Senate Committee on Sports Heritage, Small Business and Rural Affairs; it is chaired by Senator Rob Stafsholt (R-New Richmond).
It is scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m. in room 201 South-East.
The bills, released on October 6, along with several gun rights measures in a package dubbed the Wisconsin Sporting Freedom Package, have garnered support from Hunter Nation, a Kansas-based hunting advocacy group.
The group’s leaders and its spokesperson, Ted Nugent, appeared at a press conference last Wednesday in Madison to vote in favor of the proposals.
However, it is not yet clear how many Wisconsin organizations are supporting the bills or will appear in Tuesday’s hearing.
The proposals were said to have been developed by Republican lawmakers without consultation with traditional Wisconsin conservation groups.
Representatives from the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation and the National Wild Turkey Federation all said they were not included in the development of the bills and were surprised on October 6 when they were presented.
As a result, they are hastily working to develop official positions on the proposals.
Tony Blattler, president of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, said the group’s executive committee will meet on Monday to discuss the bills.
“In a short-term deal like this, it’s the only body of Congress that can take a stand,” Blattler said.
Likewise, Greg Shermo, president of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, said he was in consultation with other members of his organization to formulate a statement on the proposed turkey hunting bill. . The proposal would reduce six time limits to two.
“What I can say now is that we are very comfortable with the current system,” said Shermo.
Through a spokesperson, the Natural Resources Department, which is expected to implement and enforce most of the proposals, made no comment last week.
Here is a summary of the bills that will be considered in Tuesday’s hearing:
Senate Bill 609 would increase the number of stored pheasants to 200,000 and change the way properties that receive birds are identified.
Senate Bill 610 would create two time periods and two geographic areas for the spring turkey hunting season. The state now has six one-week periods and seven zones.
Senate Bill 611 would allow a young hunter to meet the field test requirements for hunter education by participating in a supervised hunt. They are currently required to pass a test conducted by a certified hunter safety instructor.
Senate Bill 612 would set an annual restocking minimum of 100,000 for brook trout in Lake Michigan.
Senate Bill 613 would reduce the number of hunting, fishing and trapping authorizations required by the Department of Natural Resources.
Senate Bill 614 would require MNR to create a two-year work plan that sets priorities and goals for habitat work on lands managed by MNR and measures progress against priorities and goals. established goals.
Senate Bill 615 would require MNR to prepare a report identifying opportunities for public access to all lands held or managed by MNR, lands acquired under the Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program, and forest land under open management.
Senate Bill 616 would require MNR to make dog training licenses available on its Go Wild website.
Senate Bill 617 would require MNR to prepare a report that identifies opportunities to partner with the private aquaculture industry to increase stocking of desirable sport fish in lakes and streams.
Senate Bill 618 would require MNR to eliminate three rules every time the ministry proposes to add a rule.
Senate Bill 620 would allow sandhill crane hunting and provide credit for agricultural damage caused by birds.
Senate Bill 563 would allow hunting of non-native bovids on Wisconsin game farms.
Special meeting of the Natural Resources Council: The Natural Resources Board will hold a special meeting at noon on Monday to decide whether to seek a separate lawyer to represent the Board in a dispute over the wolf hunting and trapping season in fall 2021 .
Due to legal issues being discussed, the meeting will be held in camera.
The board is a defendant in two lawsuits – one brought in federal court by Ojibway tribes and the other in Dane County Circuit Court by wildlife advocates – aimed at stopping the season autumnal wolves.
The council is generally represented by state attorneys. However, since NRB chairman Fred Prehn is being sued by the state in an attempt to remove him from his post on the board, and because the board is in conflict with the DNR over of the fall wolf quota, the organization is considering the unprecedented decision to retain Council.
Prehn’s board term expired on May 1 but, citing a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling in 1964, he refused to leave his seat.
A replacement appointed in April by Governor Tony Evers has yet to be heard by the Senate.
The Board of Directors is the group of seven citizens that sets MNR policy. Its members serve staggered terms of six years and are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.