By the time you are reading this, the proposed ban on wildlife hunting contests may likely be silenced. Senator Fred Risser, a Wisconsin Democrat is the sponsor of the bill and as of this writing there is little support to move it forward.
Let’s be clear, this is not a bill restricting hunting. It is a bill that would ban the gratuitous killing of coyotes, rabbits, squirrels and other wildlife. Most of you have never heard of these contests. They are generally organized by bars, gun enthusiasts and venues looking to capitalize on the revenue of the sport. Prizes are given to the highest number of kills.
According to a news release from Risser “These contests use various tactics to attract, manipulate, confuse, and even temporarily blind wildlife in order to kill as many animals as possible.”
Dogs, semi-automatic weapons, ATVs, traps, snares, and snowmobiles may be used.
Rizzer’s bill prohibits the following: participation in a wildlife hunting contest; organizing, conducting, or sponsoring a contest; and providing a venue for a contest. The bill does not include fishing tournaments.
A few states have been successful in banning these contests. The Humane Society, as well as many hunters, welcomes Wisconsin to follow suit.
Numerous studies dispel the need to hunt predators in this way. Studies also point to the importance of coyotes in reducing the mice and deer populations that host disease carrying ticks.
This bill will not stop the hunting of nuisance predators. But it is widely recognized that preventive measures, from fencing to guard dogs, are the most effective remedies in stopping predatory kills of farm animals.
This bill is a stopgap measure, offered in the hopes that gratuitous killing will end and unnecessary violence will no longer be welcomed here.
You can contact Senator Rizzer at 608-261-6931.
Another perspective on ethical hunting.
Above logo of the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests.
You can listen to it here.