MADISON, Wis. -

Democrats on the state Assembly's natural resources committee are questioning the need for a bill that would create a woodchuck hunting season.

Rep. Andre Jacque, a DePere Republican, has introduced a measure that would remove woodchucks from Wisconsin's protected species list and establish a season that would run nearly year-round.

The natural resources committee held a public hearing on the bill Wednesday. Rep. Tom Hebl, a Sun Prairie Democrat, said he's never heard of anyone eating woodchucks or selling their pelts. He asked Jacque if he thought hunting an animal just to kill it is immoral.

Jacque told the committee people should be allowed to defend their property from burrowing woodchucks. Rep. Chris Danou, a Trempealeau Democrat, pointed out landowners already can kill nuisance woodchucks without a license.