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Hunting to be allowed in state parks with a catch

Hunting will be allowed in most state parks. But the Natural Resources Board voted unanimously yesterday to limit the shooting to two months a year, after park-goers complained that wouldn't feel safe while the hunting is on. The governor and Legislature approved a number of steps in the last session to bring new life to what's been a dwindling hunting tradition in Wisconsin in recent years. But hundreds of people criticized the use of state parks. And D-N-R staffers responded by limiting hunting to about two-thirds of park lands. After hearing three more hours of criticisms yesterday, the Natural Resources Board further limited the hunting periods to one month in the fall, and another each April. Some of yesterday's speakers said it was only a matter of time before people or pets get caught in the cross-fire. Some board members didn't want any hunting expansions at all. But D-N-R Secretary Cathy Stepp said the panel had no choice but to follow the orders of the elected officials - and they ordered that the new hunting law take effect January first. Board chairman David Clausen said lawmakers allowed the board to come up with the exact rules - and he believes hunters will approve of the new compromise. Among other things, it will be illegal to shoot across state trails - and all traps would have to be safe for dogs.