Outdoor Briefs: Waterfowl hunters warned not to shoot swans and cranesOutdoor News
-- Wisconsin duck hunters are being warned not to shoot trumpeter swans and whooping cranes.
Wisconsin duck hunters are being warned not to shoot trumpeter swans and whooping cranes.
The state DNR says hunters should identify their targets before shooting. Two trumpeter swans were shot by hunters a year ago. One died, and the other was treated at a rehab center in Minnesota. Trumpeter swans were removed from the state’s endangered species list three years ago, but the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act still makes it illegal to kill them. Whooping cranes are protected under both state-and-federal laws.
A dozen baby cranes are heading from Wisconsin to Florida this month as part of an annual migration program.
A congressman says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will not meet a deadline of 2014 to come up with a strategy to keep the invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. Michigan House member Dave Camp said the Corps notified him about the delay. And Camp said he would quote, “hold the Corps accountable.” The agency originally set a deadline of 2015 to study the options for closing waterways between the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan, so the bloated carp does not enter the Great Lakes. But a number of environmental groups and state governments – including Wisconsin – said a solution cannot wait that long. So Congress and President Obama approved a bill to speed up the study’s deadline to January of 2014. Camp also said the Army Corps only plans to release a list of possible options to close the link to the Great Lakes – and he called that unacceptable. Corps officials have not commented. State officials fear that the Asian carp would ruin Wisconsin’s commercial fishing industry if the fish takes over the Great Lakes. But Illinois has been concerned about a possible cut-off of merchandise boats to the Chicago area.
Leave your dogs at home. That’s what the DNR is telling hunters who will take part in Wisconsin’s inaugural wolf hunt. The season will begin in 11 days – but a Dane County judge has issued an injunction against the use of hunting dogs to help track down the wolves. The DNR will try to overturn that injunction – and the agency said today that a court hearing on the matter will be held December 20th. So at least between now and then, the DNR said hunters cannot train or use their hunting dogs to pursue wolves. Environmental and animal rights’ groups say there’s a risk of violence by the wolves against the dogs – and it could result in animal deaths. The DNR has said it had no choice but to allow hunting dogs, because the legislation which created the wolf season did not ban them.
Six baby whooping cranes have started their journey from Wisconsin to Florida, as part of a migration project that’s in its 12th year. The birds took off last Friday from the White River Marsh State Wildlife Area in Green Lake County – and they’re following an ultra-light pilot for their initial voyage. The cranes spent the night in Green County, about 85 miles from where they took off. And they’re stuck there today, due to high winds. The Operation Migration group says it’s the second “down day” for the six cranes. CEO Joe Duff says the goal is to get the six cranes to their winter nesting spots in Florida by Christmas. Meanwhile, six other baby cranes have been reared at the Horicon Marsh refuge in Dodge County. And when they take off later this month, they’ll fly with older cranes which have made the trip before. The Wisconsin birds will head to two spots in Florida, where they’ll spend the winter with other cranes with the goal of expanding populations in the Eastern U.S. That group now includes over 100 cranes. Officials say there are about 600 total whooping cranes in existence – and almost three-fourths of them are in the wild.
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