The Wisconsin state Senate voted 32 to 1 yesterday to pass Assembly Bill 311, the Hunting Heritage Act sponsored by state Representative Jim Steineke (R-5) which would encourage the recruitment and retention of hunters and trappers through a multitude of creative initiatives. This bill along with Senate Bill 411, which the state Senate passed earlier by an overwhelming 24 to 9 vote, will be on the Assembly floor this Tuesday, March 13.
Sponsored by state Senator Terry Moulton (R-23), SB 411 authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to establish a season for the hunting of wolves in response to the long-overdue federal delisting of the species from the Endangered Species List.
This delisting recognizes the successful recovery of the gray wolf population in the Western Great Lakes Region. Hunters have served as an essential tool for the management of wildlife throughout this country and SB 411 creates a framework for managing the state’s wolf population using this time-tested method. A scientifically regulated hunting season will help to insure balance between predator and prey populations.
SB 411 would allow a fixed number of wolf tags to be filled in a given year with half to be chosen by a lottery system and half by “preference points” given to those applicants who applied for but who were not issued a wolf harvesting license in previous seasons.
During the Senate floor vote Senator Lena Taylor (D-4) offered an amendment that would have included NRA-supported legislation regarding the oversight of the Department of Natural Resources' expenditure of Pittman-Robertson dollars. While the motion was tabled in this instance, it is good to see such strong bi-partisan support for issues that are important to our hunting community. The NRA will continue to push for this legislation in future to ensure our Pittman-Robertson dollars are spent as intended.
Thank you to senators who voted for SB 411 and to our members who contacted their state senators. Please contact your state Representative and respectfully urge him or her to support AB 311 and SB 411 when they come before the Assembly on Tuesday. For your state Representative’s contact information, please click here.