2018 President’s Message

January 5, 2018

When looking at the past year in the bear and hound hunters world, we have made some progress. We have about doubled harvest tags for Bobcat, which is long overdue. This would not happen without the constant push by the WBHA and the Wisconsin Trappers Association. We got some relief from the Hunter Harassment legislation that was passed by our friends in legislature and some help from our members taking the extra step to help the state’s Department of Justice to finally build a case against these eco-terrorists. Thanks to our members and BOD the WBHA played a large role in getting legislation passed so parents now can decide when their children are ready to hunt.

The WBHA was also involved in the decision of who will replace Dave McFarland the Large Carnivore Specialist for Bear and Wolf. Let’s hope the new person will continue to work and build a good relationship with the WBHA. With the new Bear Management plan just around the corner we need to be able to help the department make good decisions for the future of our bear population so it is sustainable for many years and hunting opportunities into the future. The DNR is an important partner with the WBHA. Even though we might not always agree, we have to work together to continue the best managed bear population in the United States.

I would like to report that we have gained back all the land access that we have lost over the past few years, but I cannot. We are making progress but it has been very slow. It seems that there are a lot of different parties that are not looking at this the way the WBHA and its members do. I feel loss of motorized access to our hunting areas is the biggest threat to bear hunting today, the attitudes of the new landowners are not and never will be the way it was in the past. So we are building the necessary relationships with these landowners, which takes time. Hopefully we can convince them that we are not a financial burden to them.

There is a lot of work ahead for this organization and we cannot do this without our dedicated members and Board of Directors. We truly appreciate your continued support – without it we would not be trailing our hounds in the near future.

Thank you.

Carl Schoettel

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