Wisconsin legislators team up with lobbyists on slate of hunting bills

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Republicans brought in rocker and avid hunter Ted Nugent to promote a slate of 13 bills that would declare open season on sandhill cranes and allow anyone eighteen or older to concealed carry without a permit.

Nugent is a spokesperson for Hunter Nation, a lobbying group dedicated to the rights of hunters. The group partnered with the Wisconsin legislators on the bills, known as the Wisconsin Sporting Freedom Package. Today’s meeting, held in the Assembly chamber, allowed lobbyists and legislators to publicize the package.

Wisconsin Senator Devin LeMahieu said that the DNR’s regulations were “eroding some of our state’s greatest outdoor traditions,” blaming higher permit costs, “burdensome” rules, and over-regulation for a decline in hunting.

Today, we make it clear that we’re standing for our hunters, fishermen … all types of sportsmen in the state of Wisconsin,” he said.

Nugent echoed these concerns, stating that the DNR’s rules had contributed to overpopulation through deterring potential hunters.

 “Hunting is essential and any regulation that doesn’t deal with safety or science-based wildlife management is an obstacle to participation,” said Nugent. “Wildlife should be respected in the asset column, not in the liability column.”

If passed, the bills will need to be approved by Gov. Tony Evers before becoming law.