State Assembly panel to take input on woodchuck season

The state Assembly's natural resources committee is set to take comments on a bill that would establish a woodchuck hunting season.

The Republican-authored measure would remove woodchucks from Wisconsin's protected species list and establish a hunting season for them that would run from the beginning of July through the end of December with no bag limits.

The bill's authors, Rep. Andre Jacque and Sen. Tom Tiffany, say woodchucks are abundant. They say the creatures are ravaging gardens and flowerbeds and causing damage by burrowing along sidewalks, driveways and building foundations.

Jacque introduced an almost identical bill in 2013. It sparked fierce backlash from animal lovers and never got out of the natural resources committee.

The panel is set to hold a public hearing on the new bill Tuesday morning.

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