249 would open a hunting season on woodchucks (a.k.a. groundhogs and
"whistle pigs") -- and a recent proposed amendment would make that
season year- round, with NO limit! This unnecessary and inhumane
legislation is being fast-tracked through both houses of Wisconsins
legislature. Similar legislation was rejected in 2013, largely thanks to vocal
opposition from wildlife advocates. PLEASE help us get this new, even worse,
legislation rejected, too!
summarize AB 323/ SB 249: The Department of Natural Resources currently, by
rule, prohibits hunting and trapping woodchucks without DNR's authorization by
designating the woodchuck as a protected wild animal."
this bill, a woodchuck is defined as a game animal" and as a
fur-bearing animal." As a result, a person may hunt woodchucks under
the authority of a small game hunting license and trap woodchucks under a
trapping license. Also under this bill, DNR is required to establish an open
season for woodchucks that begins on July 1 of each year and ends on the
following December 31 [later amended to "a
year-round open season"]. DNR may not impose a bag or
possession limit for this season.
323, was introduced on May 16, 2017 by Representatives Jacque, Kleefisch,
Brandtjen, E. Brooks, Edming, Horlacher, Murphy, Tittl and Wichgers, and
cosponsored by Senators Tiffany, Marklein and Stroebel. (AB 323 Full Bill Text). It was referred to the
Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting
Heritage. The committee added
Assembly Amendment 1, which states, "The department shall establish a year-round open
season for hunting and trapping woodchucks. The department may not impose a bag
or possession limit for this season." On June 7, 2017, bill and
amendment were approved along party lines and passed along to the full
was introduced on May 11, 2017 by Senators Tiffany, Stroebel and Marklein, and
cosponsored by Representatives Jacque, E. Brooks, Kleefisch, Horlacher,
Brandtjen, Wichgers, Tittl, Edming and Murphy. (SB 249 Full Bill Text). It was referred to the
Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry,
where, on June 7, it was approved along party lines and passed along to the
full Senate with the addition of the Assembly Amendment.
WHAT YOU CAN
Please call or email your WISCONSIN state representatives (see link below to
find your WI
representatives ). Ask them to OPPOSE SB 249/
AB 323, which would REQUIRE an open season for woodchucks. If you phone, that
is all you need to do. If you want to give reasons for your position, please
see our Talking Points and links for further
Also, please post your
opposition on your Representative's and Senator's Facebook pages!
to keep your message brief, and be sure to give your name, address, and phone
number. Let your representative know that you are a constituent. Please, ALWAYS
be polite and respectful. Name-calling, and rude or abusive letters or emails
will hurt, rather than help, our cause.
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completely unnecessary. The DNR already permits landowners to hunt or trap
individual problem animals.
In addition, a
wide variety of non-lethal management options exist. These options are
typically far more effective at solving conflict than driving down the overall
Woodchucks are not
game animals and shouldnt be hunted or trapped. No one uses their pelts
and virtually no one eats them.
Wisconsin Public Radio, Stan Temple, professor emeritus of conservation, forest
and wildlife ecology at UW-Madison, said that the woodchuck problem
"doesn't exist on a statewide level" and "they are not a general
nuisance, so it doesn't make sense to have a general open season for
Woodchucks are not overabundant in
Wisconsin, and are unlikely to become overabundant since they reproduce at
relatively slow rates,
Woodchucks serve a valuable ecological
niche. Their burrows mitigate for flooding, store carbon, aerate the soil and
provide habitat for other animals. They are also gregarious, family-oriented
social animals who greet each other with kisses and whistle to warn other
Woodchucks when danger is near.
Allowing/ encouraging the killing of any
species just for the sake of killing is just plain WRONG.
Bill Would Establish Hunting Season For
What to Do About Woodchucks
Why Pesky Moles And Groundhogs Are Actually
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