Results are Tabulated for the 2020 Spring Conservation Congress Hearings | WisCommunity

Results are Tabulated for the 2020 Spring Conservation Congress Hearings

May 17, 2020 - 6:45pm
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The results for the first ever fully on-line Spring Conservation Congress hearings are out. Many of the questions involved major changes to the deer season. But Wisconsin deer hunting traditions run deep and many of the proposed changes to deer season were rejected. The statewide results are divided into two categories “All Participants” and “Wisconsin Residents,” and the county results are divided into “Dunn County Residents” and “Respondents indicated they recreate in Dunn County.” For consistency and simplicity, the results listed will use the “Wisconsin Residents” and “Dunn County Residents” data.

The first deer season question was Question 10 which sought to add 10 days to the current 9-day season. It failed statewide 14,380 yes to 41,531 no and in Dunn County 190 to 592. Eliminating the holiday hunt was the subject of Question 11 and statewide it passed 32,461 yes to 20,057 no. The question also passed in the county 483 to 273. Question 12 had three potential results, a 2 day or a 5 day no hunting period prior to the start of deer season or no change to the current no hunting period before the deer season. Maintaining status quo was the overwhelming choice both statewide and in the county. Invalidating crossbow and archery buck tags during the gun deer season was the purpose of Question 13. It failed 17,897 yeas to 34,608 nays and 256 to 492 in Dunn County. Question 14 called for limiting the crossbow season to October only for most hunters in the state. The question was defeated by a relatively close margin of 25,159 to 27,407. The county results were 343 for and 409 against.

Question 15 called for the elimination of the deer management zones and just using the county deer management units. It passed 34,368 to 14,073 overall and the tally locally was 500 to 206. Question 17 called for closing the crossbow season in November and then reopening it when the 9-day season opens. In Dunn county, the tally was 268 ayes and 468 nays. Statewide, the totals were 20,387 to 31,113. Question 19 sought to reinstate the authority of the DNR to authorize the Earn-a-Buck management tools. The statewide total was 20,185 for and 32,399 against and in the county the total was 278 for and 466 against. Question 20 proposed giving CDACs the ability to use Earn-a-Buck tools in their respective counties. The tally was 19,646 for and 29,716 against. And locally it was 267 to 427. Giving the CDACs new tools for managing the anterless deer population was the goal of Question 23. It passed statewide by a tally of 23,082 to 20,675. The vote in Dunn County was 322 to 300. Going to a 16 day gun deer season which would open a week earlier than the current season was the suggestion in Question 24. By a vote of 15,231 to 37,502 it failed. It it also failed by a wide margin in Dunn County.

Questions 1-7 surveyed the willingness of hunters to use non-toxic shot and projectiles. The use of non-toxic shot on all DNR lands was approved by a vote of 28,952 to 26,136. Dunn County respondents approved the Question 377 to 359. Question 2 on the use of non-toxic bullets and slugs on all state owned and managed lands failed on a vote of 22,856 to 32,604 and also failed in the county 284 to 465. Questions 3 and 4 called for the use of non-toxic shot while hunting doves and pheasants. Both questions passed in the statewide vote but both failed in Dunn County. Using non-toxic shot while turkey hunting (Question 5) failed both statewide and in Dunn County by margins of 25,009 to 31,075 and 329 to 426. Question 6 looked at using non-toxic shot for grouse. The state wide vote was 25,853 to 29,203 and locally 341 to 409. The final non-toxic ammo question was Question 7 and it recommended using non-toxic shot and bullets for hunting small game on state owned and managed lands. It failed statewide 22,373 to 33,302 and in the county 274 to 475.

Multiple questions dealt with the subject of baiting and feeding. Restrictions on using artificial water sources for attracting deer and elk was the topic of Question 8. In Dunn County the measure failed by a 242 to 551 vote and statewide the total was 23,245 to 32,574. A prohibition of baiting and feeding was the topic of Question 16. It failed 25,307 to to 28, 521 across Wisconsin and failed 253 to 509 in Dunn county. Question 21 calls for giving the DNR more authority to create baiting and feeding regulations-especially bans to help control the spread of CWD. In Dunn County, which just had CWD identified in the county, the measure failed 288 to 439. The tally statewide was 24,725 to 26,457. Question 22 sought to give CDACs authority to make recommendations on baiting and feeding their respective counties. It failed on a narrow vote statewide 24,536 to 24,766. The vote locally was 310 to 380.

All the questions concerning bear hunting passed. Question 18 called for establishment of a spring bear season. It passed by a wide margin both locally and statewide. Questions 25 and 26 made modifications to what is considered a legal container for bear bait. The two Questions also passed by wide margins.

Other Questions that had a statewide impact included, opposing the Back 40 Mine on the Michigan side of the Menominee River by a very wide margin of 35,406 to 6,946. Question 49 calls for having appropriate harvest and protection levels for native Buffalo Fish. It passed by a wide margin both statewide and in the county. Moving the opening day of muskie season to the first Saturday in May (traditional opening day of fishing season) in the northern part of the state, with the May season being catch and release only passed by a vote of 24,048 to 8976. The vote was 347 to 98 locally.

One important feature of the Spring hearing is the ability of citizens to introduce their own resolutions into the process and if they pass to have the resolution taken up by the Conservation Congress. Three citizen resolutions were introduced in Dunn County. The first resolution calls for CDACs to have more options to recommend for deer hunting structure in their counties to help stop the spread of CWD. Some possible options are additional permits for buck harvest and hunters choice permits in counties affected by CWD. This resolution passed by a vote of 273 to 233. Another resolution in the county called upon the WI DNR to deny permits for the Dairyland Energy Cooperative Nemadji Trail energy Center. The resolution states that the construction of the plant threatens to dry up the water table, pollute underground water, destroy wetlands, and exacerbate climate change. The resolution passed by a vote of 293 to 128. The final citizens resolution calls upon the WI DNR to accept the national Every Kid Outdoors pass at Wisconsin state parks. Currently, the program is not accepted by the DNR. The program is a federal program for 4th grade students and encourages the children and their families to get outside. The tally on the resolution was 437 to 79.

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Jim Swanson
Jim Swanson
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