Wisconsin hunters insist on tradition

Wisconsin hunters overwhelmingly insisted the state maintain its traditional nine-day gun deer season centered around Thanksgiving Day in voting last month at the Wisconsin Conservation Congress’ annual spring hearings. By a nearly 3-to-1 margin, the hunters and outdoor enthusiasts voted down a proposal from the state Department of Natural Resources to more than double the length of the season from nine to 19 days. The vote — which was done entirely online this year for the first time, as opposed to in person at meetings in all 72 counties, because of the COVID-19 pandemic — was 42,208 to 14,820. A second question, proposing a 16-day gun-deer season starting in mid-November, was shot down by a margin of more than 2-to-1, 38,106 to 15,599. “Wisconsin’s sporting community are traditionalists,” said Wisconsin Conservation Congress chair Larry Bonde. “They want that traditional nine-day Thanksgiving deer season, and they’re not going to let it go.” The vote was doubtlessly greeted with cheers by other outdoor enthusiasts — bikers, hikers, dog-walkers and others — who stay clear of woods, fields and state trails during the gun-deer season out of an abundance of caution, and were not enthusiastic about seeing the season double in length, cutting into their own outdoor activity time. The spring-hearings survey is not binding on the Natural Resources Board, the policy-making board of the DNR, but the lopsided vote creates a high bar for the agency to make a change in the season, and perhaps even legislation. Conservation Congress voters also […]

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