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Rob Zimmer column: Hunting tundra swans in Wisconsin?

Swan hunt is on the table at this year's spring advisory hearings

Feb. 25, 2014
 

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The state of Wisconsin is considering creation of a tundra swan hunt in our state, posing the question to attendees at the annual Wisconsin Conservation Congress spring county meetings.

These meetings are advisory to the state Department of Natural Resources and are held in every county at the same time on the same date. This year, plan to attend your local meeting on April 14 at 7 p.m.

A listing of locations is included below.

“The tundra swan is the most common swan in North America and has very few predators,” the agenda questionnaire says.

“Wisconsin is within the range of the eastern population of tundra swans and could develop a state tundra swan hunting proposal for consideration at the flyway and federal level. Tundra swans tend to favor larger bodies of water in great numbers as compared to trumpeter swans, which commonly stay in smaller groups and prefer smaller ponds and marshes. The trumpeter swan is well established as a breeding swan in Wisconsin and was removed from the state endangered list in 2009.”

The question posed to attendees at the hearings continues as follows, “Studies have shown tundra swan populations are currently rising, even with hunting allowed in other states. Each year tens of thousands of tundra swans migrate through Wisconsin with recent peak population counts on the Mississippi River of over 30,000 swans. Wisconsin could benefit from allowing a hunt unique to very few other states.”

While the questionnaire does not specify if this would be a spring or fall hunt, which could make a huge difference locally, or any specific details, a vote of support for this measure would mean another state migratory bird would be added to the list of game animals in our state.

Are you in favor or opposed?

Whatever your opinion, you have the obligation and responsibility to make your voice count by attending one of this year’s annual meetings. Each year, a number of key decisions are made at these advisory hearings and each year, the public seems outraged or shocked at hearing about them for the first time after the fact.

If you are concerned with this and other issues on the agenda, attend your local meeting and let your vote be counted.

More on hunting: Hunting headlines | Browse big buck photos | Watch Deer Camp Live | More hunting photos | Registration station map

List of meeting locations:

http://dnr.wi.gov/about/wcc/Documents/spring_hearing/2014/2014locations.pdf

Complete agenda questionnaire:

http://dnr.wi.gov/about/wcc/Documents/spring_hearing/2014/2014SpringQuestionnaire.pdf

— Rob Zimmer: 920-419-3734, yardmd@postcrescent.com

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