Weather Forecast


Spring rules, Conservation Congress meetings held across state

We're expected to find out in the next couple days what sporting enthusiasts think about allowing hunting in state parks, and the use of hunting dogs to help track down wolves. Those questions were among about 100 presented last night at the annual conservation hearings, held in all 72 counties by the DNR and the state's Conservation Congress.

At the Dane County hearing in Sun Prairie, over 500 people showed up to give their views on the two main proposals. The original state park hunting plan would have been for up to seven months. But in December, the Natural Resources Board voted to limit hunting-and-trapping to one month in the spring and one month in the fall. That's after recreational park users feared that they and their children would have to dodge bullets on the playgrounds and trails. Some hunters supported the longer season, saying that animal populations in the parks need to be controlled.

Spirited debates also took place over a plan to let wolf hunters use up to six dogs at a time to track their pretty during limited period. One woman called it a "barbaric practice" while some hunters thought the wolf population was more than the 850 DNR has previously estimated.