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2023 President's Message

Another hunting season has passed and as usual we have more uncertainty when it comes to game management in the state of Wisconsin. Our governor was reelected, and political forces will not be in our favor to say the least. We will be lucky to have a wolf season, and it will be a big fight for the upcoming years to keep baiting on federal land.

We wrapped up the 2023 Bear Management Plan harvest goals on November 30th and everything will pretty much be the same as last year with no significant changes. The permit level is about the same. There still is pressure to kill more bears in Rusk and Sawyer counties. This is coming from the agriculture community, and they want a solution to their agriculture damage problems. We are currently working with the legislature to find a solution to help farmers with this problem that allows WBHA members more opportunity to harvest those bears.

As we move forward in 2023, we will see more pressure to deal with trespassing as an organization. As land changes hands so do attitudes towards bear hunters that use the land the way we do. We need to do a better job at educating and building better relationships with all landowners that we impact. It is more important than ever. There is an organized effort to rile up locals and new landowners here and across the country as a new tool to use against hound hunting. The Antis feel this is another way to fight against hound hunting in Wisconsin, and property rights are a hard one to argue against.

In closing I hope you had a great holiday, Cat and Coyote season. Looking forward to seeing you at the 2023 convention.

Thank you,

Carl Schoettel
President, WBHA