Outdoor Notebook: Discussions aim at wolves and guns
Two items seem to be dominating most of the discussions we have been involved in recently-wolves in Wisconsin and the concealed carry law.
Following the de-listing of wolves, I have gotten phone calls from numerous area hunters wondering if that means that they can go out and shoot a wolf. While it’s being discussed at the state level, there is currently no open season on wolves in the state of Wisconsin at this time. If you are having difficulty with wolves, such as wolves killing livestock or hunting dogs, contact the local DNR office to determine if your situation is serious enough for a kill permit to be authorized. With the de-listing of wolves, the State of Wisconsin now has the ability to manage wolves.
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On the topic of concealed weapons, there are some license requirements, which are:
• Applicant must be at least 21 years of age.
• Applicant is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal or state law.
• Applicant is not prohibited by court order from possessing a firearm.
• Applicant is a Wisconsin resident as indicated by a current and valid Wisconsin driver’s license or identification card.
• Applicant can provide adequate proof of training as required by law.
An approved concealed weapon license is valid for a five-year period, and the fee is $50, which is non-refundable. To obtain application forms and more information, contact the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Attn: Firearms Unit, P.O. Box 7130, Madison, WI 53707-7130.
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Many outdoors persons who are looking forward to the annual sturgeon-spearing season on Lake Winnebago are concerned that the ice on the big lake is not safe to drive on. Most of the wardens will say be careful, because no ice is safe.
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Did you know that at the present time it is not legal to leave a trail camera in the woods overnight on state owned land? Hunters seem to be aware of the rule that requires hunters to remove tree stands from the woods on state owned properties at the end of each day. These laws are intended to prevent hunters from claiming various state properties as their private area.
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There will be numerous rule changes to be considered at the annual DNR/Wisconsin Conservation Congress Hearings Monday, April 9. This year that meeting will be held in the theatre on the Nicolet College campus in Rhinelander. Among the questions to be considered is a proposal that would legalize motor trolling statewide, according to DNR fish biologists.
The question about motor trolling is more of a sociological issue than a biological issue. Present regulations seem to be confusing to anglers. Musky anglers wanted a rule change that would permit trailing a sucker behind a boat while controlling the boat with an electric motor. The DNR put in the statewide motor trolling regulation. Presently motor trolling is legal in 18 counties. There are nine counties in which no motor trolling is permitted. In 45 counties, the state permits motor trolling on at least one and in some cases more lakes. The DNR points out that Wisconsin is the only state that restricts motor trolling.
Another question that will most likely generate questions would do away with closed seasons for game fish. DNR fisheries biologists say that bag limits and size limits are more effective than closed seasons.
There have been numerous articles written about the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. These articles would lead readers to believe that the Congress may be an organization of the past. That is not true.The Congress is working with the changes as specified in the new rules. This has created a different method to work with the DNR and the Wisconsin Legislature.
Longtime Northwoods outdoors personality Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column appearing in the Star Journal.