Madison, WI… “Creating a hunting season for sandhill cranes is not just about hunting; it’s also about helping farmers,” shared Rep Tittl Wednesday, at a press conference held by Senate and Assembly Republicans along with Ted Nugent. The gathering highlighted the 14 Sportsman Freedom Package introduced by Republican legislators and Hunter Nation. Among the package is Rep. Tittl’s Sandhill Crane Hunting Season Bill. Overall the package aims to provide commonsense reforms for hunters and fishers to practice Wisconsin’s rich sporting heritage.
“Farmers have reported a flock of sandhill cranes can decimate a field in a day,” Rep. Tittl continues. While sandhill cranes had been on a protected species list in the past, their numbers have increased dramatically and has caused a burden on our farmers. A ban on hunting is no longer necessary. For years, farmers have experienced tens of thousands of dollars caused by the overpopulated sandhill crane community. For example, a farmer in the Manitowoc area lost 40 acres of planted crops due to the cranes appetite for the seedlings.
Under current law, farmers and others are able to shoot cranes causing damage with a U.S. Fish and Wildlife permit. but it requires them either to bury the cranes or leave them lying in the field. This bill enables sportsman and women to harvest them like other wild game.
This bill is not about hunting, it’s about management. It requires the Wisconsin Department of Natural resources to authorize the hunting of sandhill cranes by individuals who have completed a sandhill crane hunter education course and who possess the appropriate approval issued by the DNR to help manage the growing the growing sandhill crane population in Wisconsin.
Another provision creates an education program to help hunters distinguish between sandhill cranes and whooping cranes. The two are quite different, but the bill ensures special care for the whooping cranes.
Special interests will always look for ways to make it harder to hunt, fish and own guns. That’s why we need to make it easier for people to enjoy the outdoors and exercise their rights. I am happy to join my Republican colleagues to support the Wisconsin Sporting Freedom Package.