The Wisconsin Waterfowl Association (WWA) issued its support today for an ethical and sustainable sandhill crane hunt in Wisconsin following the introduction of proposed legislation by Senator Mary Felzkowski (R – Irma) and Representatives Paul Tittl (R – Manitowoc) and Alex Dallman (R – Green Lake).
“WWA supports an ethical and sustainable sandhill crane hunt in Wisconsin,” said WWA Executive Director Bruce Ross. “We look forward to working with interested legislators and stakeholders to ensure that the many important details related to this issue can be addressed in a final science-based bill which can be signed by Governor Evers.”
Wisconsin legislators are not creating the concept of a sandhill crane hunt, they are simply proposing one within existing federal guidelines. Currently, 18 other states and several Canadian provinces allow a regulated sandhill crane hunt.
It is estimated that the eastern population of the sandhill crane found in Wisconsin is over 90,000 and growing by 6-10% per year. Other populations bring the total to nearly 750,000 in the United States. Given the continued population growth, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service declared the Wisconsin sandhill crane population huntable over a decade ago. Farmers are experiencing significant crop damage due to this burgeoning population.
“Wisconsin has had a strong population of sandhill cranes deemed huntable by the federal government for over a decade. I am confident that an experimental state-level approach – developed within the strict federal guidelines and using the best available science – will allow the species to continue to thrive while providing harvest opportunities, much like has been done for waterfowl populations over the past 50 years,” said Ross.
The Wisconsin Waterfowl Association is a 7,000-member non-profit conservation organization that is dedicated to the conservation of Wisconsin’s waterfowl and wetland resources. Since 1984, WWA has worked to restore critical habitat in Wisconsin, educate the next generation of waterfowl hunters, and advocate for policies that protect Wisconsin’s resources and the rights of citizens to hunt and fish. More information on WWA can be found at www.wisducks.org.