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An Outdoorsman’s Journal

An Outdoorsman’s  Journal An Outdoorsman’s  Journal

Mark Walters sponsored by

Hello friends, Every once in a while, I have to get out of actual hunting, fishing, camping, canoeing and backpacking and write about something different. This week I am writing to you about the Wisconsin Conservation Congress annual spring hearings. I will touch on a few of the 49 proposals that were voted on and will be sent to the seven-citizen Natural Resources Board, which sets DNR policy. Due to space constraints I have to be short on each topic. I will give my thoughts on most proposals and I feel it is important to inform you that what I mention, at least for now, will not become law.

A proposal to change the opening of trout inland stream, spring and spring pond opener from the first Saturday in May to the first Saturday in April. If this becomes law, the reasoning is that more opportunities would be offered for trout fishermen. I agree 100 percent. My energy for trout fishing is not nearly as strong in the summer as it is in the spring.

Here is a common-sense advisory question. Currently if you harvest a whitetail deer under Wisconsin’s quartering rule, and this is primarily for public land hunters, and wish to quarter it in the field, you also have to haul everything but the entrails back to your vehicle. Allowing some parts of the deer to be left in the field, forest, marsh will allow hunters to hunt further from the car and actually help with CWD as those parts will not be distributed in an area where they possibly should not be distributed.

“Keep cats indoors” education! One of the greatest causes of unnatural mortality in wild birds is house cats allowed to roam free. The current practice called TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) involves releasing trapped cats back into the wild after neutering them. Even when declawed, one cat can kill several dozen wild birds a year. My feelings, and this will get me some hate mail, feral cats are an enemy in the forest, they are a non-native species that are very good at killing.

Ban live scopes and 360-degree imaging in all Wisconsin waters. This is a tough one. This technology enables fishermen to find fish in a reliable way. The end result could result in lower bag limits and with time that honestly could happen. On the other hand, what other technology would you allow or ban? My thought, no action on a ban for now but leave the door open.

Voluntary asset tag on canoes and kayaks. This proposal has been around awhile. In the world we live in, non-motorized watercraft are one of the simplest, most inexpensive, and least maintenance ways to enjoy the water. Ask someone from Minnesota how much they enjoy registering their kayaks and canoes. I’m not a fan of this one.

FYI, the new Wisconsin inland walleye limit is three daily but if you go to another body of water to catch your fourth and fifth walleyes, it is five. I learned that at this meeting and was impressed, bottom line, now the law.

Finally, there is a fair chance that lake sturgeon will be put on the federal endangered species list. This is not a state issue, but the state would have to follow the Endangered Species Act. This is similar to wolves being on the endangered species list which means the state WDNR, in our case, has no say over harvest, or should I say no harvest.

The walleye and sturgeon topics are just make you think and read subjects.

Get outside, have some fun! Sunset