DNR Hires New Chief Warden

November 11th, 2013

In an email sent today on behalf of DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, it was announced that the DNR has hired a new chief warden.

Good morning, DNR Partners,

I am writing to you today to tell you of a very important hiring decision we just made at the Department of Natural Resources. It gives me great pleasure to tell you the next DNR chief warden is Todd Schaller. This decision was not easy as we had excellent candidates. However, I have great confidence in the abilities and talents Todd possesses to take over this important leadership role for the DNR.

Many of you already know firsthand of Todd’s expertise and record of outstanding service to the DNR. I would like to highlight Todd’s impressive history as a conservation warden. A native of Bangor in the La Crosse area, Todd was raised by his parents to enjoy and to appreciate Wisconsin’s natural resources. He treasured hunting and fishing outings with his family. Todd earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He was hired by the DNR in 1989 and spent his first dozen years as a field warden in Racine, Trempealeau and Fond du Lac counties. It was during these years that his people skills and managerial talents became more apparent. He then served 8 years as a team supervisor for the Oshkosh Team. Four years ago, he was promoted to the position he holds today as the chief of the Recreation Enforcement and Education Section.

In the coming weeks, Todd will be working to make his transition into the chief warden position that will become effective December 17. He will be working closely with Chief Warden Randy Stark to make this a seamless transition to the bureau’s staff, to our partners and to the public. Please join me in congratulating Todd. This is a great day for the Bureau of Law Enforcement, the DNR and the state which depends upon the wardens, who truly are the DNR ambassadors in every community.

Lastly, I want to thank representatives from the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission Wardens, State Capitol Police, Wisconsin ATV Association, Clean Wisconsin, Wisconsin Bear Hunters and the Hmong American Sportsmen Club for participating in the selection process.

DNR Investigates Possible Wolf Attack In Minnesota

August 28th, 2013

The WBHA has learned of a possible wolf attack that is being investigated by the DNR. The attack took place near the shore of the West Winnie Campground on Lake Winnibigoshish in north-central Minnesota.

From the article:

The teenager survived what the DNR called an “extremely rare” attack, but a wolf with a jaw deformity was trapped and killed in the area early Monday, said Tom Provost, regional manager for the DNR’s enforcement division in Grand Rapids. Rabies test results on the animal are expected Tuesday or Wednesday, he told reporters.

For more details, please read the article here.

Catch a Dream

July 15th, 2013

Catch A Dream

Do you have a Zone B Bear Harvest tag?
Do you want to make a dream come true?

Consider donating your Zone B Bear Harvest tag to the Catch A Dream Foundation.

About Catch a Dream

The Catch a Dream Foundation was established to enable children with life threatening illnesses the opportunity to enjoy the the outdoor sports when the Make-a-Wish Foundation made a national policy to preclude the outdoor sports.

For more information or to make your donation,
please contact Dave Walz at 715-525-1393.

WBHA and DNR Educate Bear Hunters on Baiting

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

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.

Did you get a wolf tag?

September 18th, 2012

WBHA members,

We are trying to get an idea of how many of you received wolf tags in the lottery and are interested in hunting with dogs.

If you fit this description please fill out the form below. We may use this information to contact you.

Wolf Management Act Update

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

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.

Sincerely,
/s/
Paul I. V. Strong
Forest Supervisor

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

2011 Bear Kill Summary

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

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