Hunters react to proposed changes to deer hunting rules

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — Come April, Wisconsin’s hunters will have six questions to consider.

“These questions originated from Natural Resources Board Members,” Scott Loomans, a Division Administrator for the Wisconsin DNR said. “They have a desire to try to make improvements to the deer season or at least see what people think of these ideas.”

The questions in full are not available yet, but they include proposals like extending gun-deer season from nine to 19 days.

“So it would still open on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and continue for 19 days,” Loomans explained.

It’s proposals that would limit crossbow season that have some hunters, like Andy Pintzlaff, concerned.

“Hunters strive very hard to get additional opportunities but now it looks like it’s trying to be eroded,” he said.

Officials say the proposals are meant to garner new interest in hunting.

“Some of those ideas are maybe to preserve some bucks for the gun hunters who go later in November,” Loomans said, “and maybe restore some of the excitement for that hunt.”

Some hunters say that effort is misguided.

“We as hunters do believe the harvest needs to be higher,” Pintzlaff said, “and there’s a lot of different ways that that can happen. But taking opportunities away isn’t one way to make it happen.”

Hunters both for and against the proposals will still have a chance to make their opinions known.

“These would be advisory questions,” Loomans said, “and so the public would be able to vote in each county, statewide in person.”

In-person, at the Conservation Congress’ April Hearings.

“By going to the Conservation Congress meeting, you definitely can voice your opinion,” Pintzlaff, who has attended the hearings in prior years, said.

He also encouraged concerned hunters to contact their state representatives.

Anyone who is not able to attend the hearings in person can still voice their opinions online.

“Going in person is a great way to participate because you get to hear the discussion, hear what other people think, and maybe share your own opinions, but there will be an option for electronic voting as well,” Loomans explained. “You’ll be able to access that through the DNR’s website.”

To learn more about the April hearings, click here.

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