Madison, Wis. – Today, Republican Legislators and Hunter Nation – a national grassroots organization of hunters and sportsmen – unveiled legislation to preserve and enhance Wisconsin’s rich sporting heritage. Wisconsin’s hunters and anglers have a tremendous impact on this state as economic drivers and are natural resource partners and good stewards of our God-given habitats and wild game populations. The Wisconsin Sporting Freedom Package will protect their rights and expand hunting and fishing in the state.
“The Wisconsin Sporting Freedom Package is a win for the state of Wisconsin because it prioritizes the economic relationship and historic partnership that a state has with its sportsmen and women,” said Hunter Nation President and CEO, Luke Hilgemann. “Anytime we can protect the rights of Wisconsin’s hunters and anglers, the state of Wisconsin is also a winner.”
“Hunter Nation is for anything that will help protect the sport of hunting and fishing, our lifestyle, and our heritage,” said Hunter Nation Founder, Keith Mark. “The Wisconsin Sporting Freedom Package does just that.”
The Wisconsin Sporting Freedom Package has sponsors in both the Senate and the Assembly, and includes 13 bills circulating in the Legislature today relating to Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulations, as well as addressing hunting, fishing, trapping, wild game, and second amendment issues.
“Governor Evers and his DNR haven’t shown good leadership in any aspect for Wisconsin outdoorsmen and women,” Sen. Rob Stafsholt said. “Over and over again, the DNR has made it clear that they won’t listen to rural Wisconsin citizens’ concerns, so we’re taking a stand with this legislative package. We’re telling hunters, anglers, trappers, and gun owners that we’ve got their backs and we’re defending our rights for transparency, simplified regulations, and improved access to our state’s natural resources.”
“Sporting Heritage is foundational to not only the past of Wisconsin, but the present and the future of our state. This package provides more opportunities and secures sporting rights for all who call Wisconsin home,” said Rep. Treig Pronschinske.
“This package of legislation is about simplifying DNR rules and regulations, so whether you’re a seasoned hunter, angler or new to the sport, you can be sure that you purchased the right licenses, permits or tags to be a part of the sporting culture in Wisconsin,” Sen. Howard Marklein said.
“Wisconsin has a rich history of hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation, and I am happy to be one of the leaders of this package of bills that will help carry on our State’s sporting heritage legacy,” said Rep. Alex Dallman.
The Wisconsin Sporting Freedom Package will increase opportunity for hunting and fishing, reduce the regulatory burden on hunters and anglers, provide oversight over the state of Wisconsin’s use of money that hunters and anglers pay, and support the economic impact that hunting and fishing have on the state of Wisconsin.
Pheasant Management Bill (LRB-4591/1)
- This bill would increase the minimum number of pheasants being planted to 200,000 and would improve the identification of the properties where the pheasants are planted, increasing access to hunting.
Turkey Hunting Simplification Bill (LRB-3453/1)
- This bill would modify administrative rules relating to the hunting of wild turkeys to combine hunting zones and seasons to just two zones and two seasons (down from the complicated and restrictive six seasons that makes it difficult for many hunters to participate), and to modify youth hunting restrictions.
Mentored Hunt Bill (LRB-4691/1)
- This bill would allow an individual to satisfy the in-person field testing requirement for the hunter’s safety program by participating in a mentored hunt.
Wisconsin Brook Trout Bill (LRB-4773/1)
- This bill would set a minimum number of 100,000 brook trout that would be required to be raised by the DNR.
DNR Regulation Simplification Bill (LRB-4933/1)
- This bill would require the DNR to eliminate three rules every time they propose adding another rule.
DNR Hunting License Categories Simplification Bill (LRB-3452/1)
- This bill would require the DNR to prepare a report that identifies ways to consolidate or eliminate hunting, fishing, and trapping approvals to reduce the total number of types of licenses DNR is required to issue.
Sandhill Crane Hunting Season Bill (LRB-4935/1)
- This bill 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 sandhill crane population in Wisconsin.
Constitutional Carry Bill (LRB-4759/1)
- This bill would guarantee Wisconsinites would be able to exercise their constitutional right to carry a gun under the rights already afforded to them by the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
DNR Habitat Transparency Bill (LRB-4825/1)
- This bill would increase transparency and accountability by requiring the DNR to create a biennial work plan that establishes priorities and goals for habitat work on lands managed by DNR and measures progress on established priorities and goals.
DNR Public Lands Access Report Bill (LRB-3450/1)
- This bill would require the DNR to prepare a report that identifies public access opportunities on all lands owned or managed by DNR, land acquired under the Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson stewardship program, and open managed forest lands.
Dog Training Bill (LRB-3454/1)
- This bill would require the DNR to make available on the Go Wild website dog training licenses. Currently, this license is not available there and that makes it harder for hunters to comply.
Aquaculture Partnership Bill (LRB-3451/1)
- This bill requires the Department of Natural Resources to prepare a report that identifies opportunities for partnering with the private aquaculture industry for increased stocking of desirable sport fish in lakes and streams.
Farm-raised Game Bovid (SB 563)
- Under this bill, Wisconsin hunters will have an opportunity to hunt non-native bovids, some of which are already being raised on Wisconsin game farms. The bill requires farm-raised game bovids to be fenced in the same manner as farm-raised deer other than white-tailed deer.