Hunting and trapping rules debated at DNR hearing - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Hunting and trapping rules debated at DNR hearing


SUN PRAIRIE (WKOW) -- While the Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Conservation Congress posed nearly 100 questions to the public, only two main issues seemed to be on people's minds: wolf hunting methods and hunting and trapping in state parks.

More than 500 people lined up to vote on various hunting and fishing rules, including whether the hunting and trapping season in state parks should be increased from two months to seven months.

Carolyn Schueppel is against hunting and trapping in state parks because her dog Handsome died in a hunter's trap while they were jogging through DNR land.

"He was drawn to the trap because of the bait, and was killed within five minutes. The trap crushed his throat and broke his spine," Schueppel said.

Some hunters, however, argue that animal populations in state parks need to be controlled to preserve the environment.

"[Expanding the season is] a good thing because there are some areas where the deer are quite heavily populated in some areas. They need to be harvested because they're hurting the ecosystem at the side of the park," hunter Bob Morschauser said.

Still, other hunters think it's not safe and not fair to people who want to use state parks for leisure activities such as hiking and camping. 

"We have got to share what we have of our natural resources, not think that we own everything. I think you're going to be surprised that there are a lot of hunters that agree with me on that. I bike through the parks and it's a nice, peaceful quiet place. You don't have to have some shotgun go off while you're camping," outdoorsman Ken Koscik said.

The other debate was whether hunters should be allowed to use training dogs – as many as six at a time – to track and hunt wolves. Currently, using training dogs is not allowed as the result of an injunction from the courts, according to the DNR.

 "I work in animal rescue. I feel strongly that this is a barbaric practice. It's dangerous to the animals used; not to mention, extremely cruel to the wolves," Ellen Tsaloff said.  

Wildlife officials removed wolves from the endangered species list in 2012, and estimate as many as 850 roam Wisconsin.

"I think the wolf population is way higher than what the DNR is saying, and I think they need to be controlled. They're really wreaking havoc with the deer and elk herds up in Northern Wisconsin," said Duane Acker, who drew a tag to go wolf hunting this season.

The DNR and Wisconsin Conservation Congress will tally the public's votes on Tuesday.

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