Archive for the ‘News’ Category

WBHA and DNR Educate Bear Hunters on Baiting

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

The Wisconsin Bear Hunters’ Association and the DNR are working together to educate the bear hunting public and our members on bear baiting.

Note:  Please avoid using semi-sweet, dark, or bakers chocolate it can be toxic or lethal to bears and other wildlife, especially to cubs. While it is legal to use chocolate as bait, hunters are encouraged to avoid its use. Solid blocks of dark or bakers chocolate should not be used.

Wild Instincts Rehab

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Wild Instincts Rehab is an organization located in Rhinelander, WI. They are permitted by the state and federal government, but receive no funding from them. Their funding comes only from generous people through donations and memberships. The WBHA would like to give our members an opportunity to donate to this organization. To date, WIR has tended to 15 black bears, one of the highest number of species admissions according to their website.

You can donate by visiting their PayPal donations page.

You can learn more about this organization by visiting their website.

Wolf Management Act Update

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

The Wolf Management Act of 2012 – Update

Click here to download a PDF of the Wolf Harvesting Zones

Click here to download a PDF of the Wolf Harvesting Zones

The passage of SB 411 – The Wolf Management Act from Representatives Suder and Rivard allows for a Wisconsin wolf hunting and trapping season to help keep our fast-growing wolf population in check. We’ve covered the reasons for the wolf delisting in previous Bear Tracks. Now we have hard details on what the actual hunt should look like. The act includes many details on how the DNR is to set up the season.

  1. The annual season will start October 15 and run through February 28 and be open to both residents and non-residents. License fees are set at $100 for a resident and $500 for a non-resident. The permit application fee is $10.
  2. Assuming there are more applicants than licenses, the DNR must issue 50% of the licenses at random and the remaining 50% based on a cumulative preference system.
  3. The DNR must divide the state up into wolf harvesting zones to be identified in the DNR’s wolf management plan. A wolf harvesting license will authorize hunting/trapping only in the specified zone.
  4. The DNR may close a wolf harvest zone to hunting and trapping if it decides closure is necessary to effectively manage the wolf population
  5. The DNR may close a wolf harvest zone to coyote hunting during deer season if it decides it is necessary to effectively manage the wolf population. The DNR can also reopen it when it decides it is no longer necessary.
  6. A person who kills a wolf must register the carcass with the DNR on a telephone registration system or through an electronic notification system established by the DNR. The bill also gives the DNR the right to require the showing of the entire wolf carcass.
  7. A license will authorize the hunting of wolves using a firearm, bow, or crossbow. Firearms allowed in the bill are rifles, muzzle-loaders, handguns, shotguns, and other firearm loaded with a single slug or ball. The license allows for the use of shot that is larger than size BB.
  8. Dogs to track and trail wolves will be permitted. Dogs are allowed beginning with the first Monday that follows the last day of gun deer season and ends the last day of February. No more than 6 dogs in a single pack may be used regardless of the number of hunters assisting the license holder. While hunting with dogs, the person must keep any tag required for the dog on their person.
  9. Also permitted will be the use of predator calls including electronic calls and bait that does not involve animal parts or byproduct other than liquid scents.
  10. Night hunting will allowed beginning the first Monday that follows the last day of gun deer season and ends the last day of February.
  11. The types of traps allowed by the department shall include cable restraints.
  12. If a wolf is harvested that has an attached or implanted radio telemetry device, the device must be returned to the DNR. The person who harvested the wolf can request any information that has been collected by the device or otherwise by the DNR that relates to the harvested wolf.
  13. The transferring of a wolf license will be allowed but must be requested at least 15 days before the start of the season. It can only be transferred to a person who is at least 18 and otherwise eligible to use the license.
  14. The DNR will be required to submit rules to implement the bill to the Legislative Council no later than the eighth month beginning after the effective date of the bill.

July NRB Hearing

On July 17th the DNR’s Natural Resources Board (NRB) held a public meeting to discuss the new rule implementing the Wolf Management Act. No surprise, but the anti-hunters showed up in strength. They are threatening a lawsuit to try to block the hunting/trapping season. Despite our position that there should have been a higher quota, WBHA and our Wisconsin Hunters Rights Coalition partners testified and aggressively defended the season.

The NRB voted unanimously to forward the rule. The new rule simply codifies out what was in the new law. It also designates no hunting lands on tribal land and creates zones which can be seen on the map below. The board also approved the quotas and number of tags for the season.

The total proposed harvest quota for the 2012-13 season is 201 wolves with a proposed 2,010 tags. Remember, due to the Voigt decision, tribes can claim up to half the quota in the ceded territory. The quota is broken down by zone as follows:


Wolf Harvest Unit 2012 Winter Population Proposed Quota
Total 815-880 201


USDA Forest Service Updates UTV Use Dates

Friday, June 8th, 2012

The WBHA recently received a letter from the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service regarding date changes pertaining to the use of UTVs (Utility Terrain Vehicles) in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Below is the a copy of the letter.

Dear National Forest User:

In late July, I notified you of my decision concerning the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest’s (CNNF) Travel Management Project (TMP) Environmental Assessment (EA) Supplement, which contributed updates to the Forest’s 2012 Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM). In that decision, a few selected motorized routes and trails were designated for use by Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTV) in conjunction with the Wisconsin State UTV Pilot Program. This use, and other map updates, was incorporated into the current CNNF’s MVUM.

The State UTV Pilot Program was scheduled to continue until June 30, 2012. In April of this year, Governor Walker signed a new package of UTV laws that end the pilot program and permit permanent UTV use on trails as designated by federal, state and local governments.

In order to both respond to the state law and regulation changes, and to continue to provide a diverse mix of motorized recreation opportunities in partnership with local governments, I am changing the dates of the UTV use on the Forest originally identified in my July 2011 TMP decision.

Where UTV use is designated, the dates of use will now coincide with other all-terrain vehicle use (that is, “All Wheeled Vehicles 50 Inches Wide or Less”). This change is effective immediately. Future versions of the MVUM’s will be updated to reflect this change.

Thank you for your continued interest in recreational opportunities on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Paul I. V. Strong
Forest Supervisor

Click here to download a copy of the letter in scanned PDF format.

2011 Bear Kill Summary

Friday, February 24th, 2012

The 2011 Bear Kill numbers are in and we have a PDF for you to download. Overall, the total bear kill number was 4,257 with a 47% success rate. Click to download a PDF of the 2011 Bear Kill Summary

Wayne’s Wishing Well

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

There will be a benefit held on Saturday, March 3, 2012 for WBHA Member Wayne Dillenberg, who passed away on November 2, 2011 following a painful battle with cancer. This benefit will raise funds to be used for incurred medical and living expenses.

For more information, please click here to download the PDF for Wayne’s Wishing Well

2012 Class A Bear Drawing

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

The 2012 Class A bear drawing is complete. Notices to successful applicants will be mailed today, February 14th. Applicants may check their drawing or preference point status on-line by accessing their DNR Customer account, calling DNR’s Call Center at 1-888-936-7463 (toll-free, 7 days a week, 7am-10pm), or visiting a DNR Service Center. Drawing winners may purchase their Class A bear license beginning March 7, 2012.

There were 104,391 Class A Bear license applications this year. Of the 104,391 applicants, 26,794 requested a license and 77,597 requested a preference point only.

A total of 9,015 customers were successful in this year’s bear drawing. The minimum number of preference points required to draw a license were:

Zone A – 1,197 people with 6 points who wanted a kill tag were awarded a license and 35 with 6 points who wanted a license were NOT awarded a license. Everyone with 7 points or more got a license in Zone A.

Zone B – 378 people with 9 points who wanted a kill tag were awarded a license and 534 with 9 points who wanted a license were NOT awarded a license. Everyone with 10 points or more got a license in Zone B.

Zone C – 524 people with 4 points who wanted a kill tag were awarded a license and 910 with 4 points who wanted a license were NOT awarded a license. Everyone with 5 points or more got a license in Zone C.

Zone D – 667 people with 8 points who wanted a kill tag were awarded a license and 527 with 8 points who wanted a license were NOT awarded a license. Everyone with 9 points or more got a license in Zone D.

Total Licenses drawn by Zone: Zone A – 3,425; Zone B – 1,335; Zone C – 2,970; and Zone D – 1,285.

Get well soon!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Please join the WBHA in wishing former WBHA President Hubert “Hubie” Malson a speedy recovery! He is currently in the hospital and we wish him well.

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WI Governor Signs The Stewardship Transparency Bill

Monday, December 19th, 2011

On Wednesday, December 7, 2011, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed AB 48, the Stewardship Transparency Bill, into law.

AB 48 Signed Into Law

Seated: Governor Scott Walker. Standing: Scott and Kathy Maves (Hunters Rights Coalition), Ryan Augustine (Rep. Ott's office), Joe Koback (SCI Central President), Scott Meyer (WBHA Board Member), State Representative Jim Ott (R-Mequon), Greg Kazmierski (Natural Resources Board Member), State Senator Neal Kedzie (R-Elkhorn), Andy Pantzlaff (United Sportsmen of Wisconsin) Photo by Jay Salvo

From AB 48:

Current law authorizes the state to incur public debt for land conservation
activities under the Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson Stewardship 2000 Program,
which is administered by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). In addition
to this stewardship program, the state was authorized to incur public debt for land
conservation activities under the original stewardship program that began in 1990
and ended in 2000. Under these programs, the state itself may acquire the land, or
interests in land, or DNR may award grants or other state aid to certain local
governmental units, the Kickapoo Reserve Management Board or other nonprofit
conservation organizations for land conservation activities.

This bill requires DNR to make available, for a fee, a written directory of all land
acquired under both stewardship programs (stewardship land) that is open to the
public. Also, DNR must make available a list of all stewardship land acquired before
October 27, 2007, for which public access has been prohibited or restricted and the
reasons for the prohibition or restriction. For stewardship land acquired on or after
that date, current law requires landowners to post signs that notify the public which
activities are permitted, restricted, and prohibited on the land. The directory and
list must be completed within two years after the bill becomes law.

Click here to see the full bill.

Governor Signs Pro-Hunting Legislation

Friday, November 4th, 2011

HRC Applauds Governor’s Quick Action on Pro-Hunting Legislation

Governor Walker signed SB 228 and SB 75 into law.

Governor Walker signed SB 228 and SB 75 into law.

November 4, 2011 MADISON – The Governor announced today that he will be signing two recently
passed pro-hunting bills – SB 228 and SB 75 – into law this afternoon.
The Gun Case Bill, SB 228, just passed through the Assembly yesterday. No longer will Wisconsin have
the most restrictive gun case law in the country. It is currently illegal to lay an uncased and unloaded
firearm on the trunk of your car as you tighten your boots.

“Thanks to the Governor’s quick action in signing this legislation, hunters will be able to exercise safer
handling of their firearms already in the 2011 deer season,” said Carl Schoettel, Vice President of the
Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association. “Wisconsin’s gun case law has been completely impractical and
has done nothing but penalize hunters for an irrelevant action, giving Wisconsin the reputation of being
unfriendly to hunters.”

SB 228 is very straightforward, allowing hunters to have uncased and unloaded guns, bows and
crossbows in or on their vehicle. Placing the firearm on or in the vehicle is often the safest and most
practical place. Hunters should not have to put their firearm in the snow as they get out their gun-case
every time they get back to their vehicle.

The other bill being signed today – SB 75 – from Senator Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) and
Representative Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst), helps preserve the integrity of Wisconsin’s deer hunting
seasons by permanently ending Earn-a-Buck and making October T-Zone hunts into a rarity.
“We thank the Governor for recognizing that the intention of these programs was to help maintain our
deer herds and all we have to show for it is an increase in tagging violations thanks to inaccurate
registrations and population estimates” said SCI Central President Joe Koback.

The programs have been incredibly unpopular and the only measurable impact on hunting has been to
turn some hunters away from the sport. The Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) own statistics
show fewer hunters are hunting and less deer are being harvested while their own deer population
numbers continue to grow.

The Hunters Rights Coalition is Wisconsin’s only group 100% dedicated to advancing hunting
opportunities and protecting the rights of Wisconsin’s hunters. The Coalition is made up of several
groups including: The Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Wisconsin Chapters of

Gov. Walker signs bill.Pro-hunting bills signed