FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Potential sandhill crane hunt leaves many divided

Local News

HILBERT, Wis. (WFRV) – The potential of a Sandhill Crane hunt has some farmers excited at the prospect and crane enthusiasts worried about the future of the species in Wisconsin.

Gary Weins, a farmer in Hilbert said, “I am for it. They way exceeded the numbers they had proposed.”

Richard Beilfuss, the President and CEO of the International Crane Foundation said, “We are against Senate Bill 610 for Sandhill Crane hunting.”

Local farmers said the cranes can have devastating effects on their crops.

“They’ll go down the row and they’ll pull the thing out with the seed and eat the seed and leave the corn stalk laying on the ground,” said Weins.

Weins said it is time to enact the bill proposed by Representative Tittl to help control the crane population and save their corn crops.

Representative Paul Tittl said, “30,000 would be the good safe area to actually have a hunt and right now our statistic says there’s 90,000 in the state of Wisconsin… It’s all about game management and that’s basically what hunting and fishing is all about.”

The International Crane Foundation said using chemical deterrents that do not harm the cranes but keep them from eating the crops would be a safe way to help farmers while saving the cranes.

“Cranes reproduce slowly, they’re doing really well in Wisconsin now but they grow slowly and they only have a chick, raise a chick to adulthood once every three years,” said Beilfuss.

International Crane Foundation is working with corn seed manufacturers to make seeds with the deterrent already applied more readily available to help protect the cranes and the crops.

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