DNR Hires New Chief Warden

November 11th, 2013

In an email sent today on behalf of DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, it was announced that the DNR has hired a new chief warden.

Good morning, DNR Partners,

I am writing to you today to tell you of a very important hiring decision we just made at the Department of Natural Resources. It gives me great pleasure to tell you the next DNR chief warden is Todd Schaller. This decision was not easy as we had excellent candidates. However, I have great confidence in the abilities and talents Todd possesses to take over this important leadership role for the DNR.

Many of you already know firsthand of Todd’s expertise and record of outstanding service to the DNR. I would like to highlight Todd’s impressive history as a conservation warden. A native of Bangor in the La Crosse area, Todd was raised by his parents to enjoy and to appreciate Wisconsin’s natural resources. He treasured hunting and fishing outings with his family. Todd earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He was hired by the DNR in 1989 and spent his first dozen years as a field warden in Racine, Trempealeau and Fond du Lac counties. It was during these years that his people skills and managerial talents became more apparent. He then served 8 years as a team supervisor for the Oshkosh Team. Four years ago, he was promoted to the position he holds today as the chief of the Recreation Enforcement and Education Section.

In the coming weeks, Todd will be working to make his transition into the chief warden position that will become effective December 17. He will be working closely with Chief Warden Randy Stark to make this a seamless transition to the bureau’s staff, to our partners and to the public. Please join me in congratulating Todd. This is a great day for the Bureau of Law Enforcement, the DNR and the state which depends upon the wardens, who truly are the DNR ambassadors in every community.

Lastly, I want to thank representatives from the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission Wardens, State Capitol Police, Wisconsin ATV Association, Clean Wisconsin, Wisconsin Bear Hunters and the Hmong American Sportsmen Club for participating in the selection process.

DNR Investigates Possible Wolf Attack In Minnesota

August 28th, 2013

The WBHA has learned of a possible wolf attack that is being investigated by the DNR. The attack took place near the shore of the West Winnie Campground on Lake Winnibigoshish in north-central Minnesota.

From the article:

The teenager survived what the DNR called an “extremely rare” attack, but a wolf with a jaw deformity was trapped and killed in the area early Monday, said Tom Provost, regional manager for the DNR’s enforcement division in Grand Rapids. Rabies test results on the animal are expected Tuesday or Wednesday, he told reporters.

For more details, please read the article here.

Catch a Dream

July 15th, 2013

Catch A Dream

Do you have a Zone B Bear Harvest tag?
Do you want to make a dream come true?

Consider donating your Zone B Bear Harvest tag to the Catch A Dream Foundation.

About Catch a Dream

The Catch a Dream Foundation was established to enable children with life threatening illnesses the opportunity to enjoy the the outdoor sports when the Make-a-Wish Foundation made a national policy to preclude the outdoor sports.

For more information or to make your donation,
please contact Dave Walz at 715-525-1393.

HRC Applauds JFC on Stewardship, Kroll Report Implementation

May 18th, 2013

May 17, 2013 – MADISON – Today the Wisconsin’s Hunters Right Coalition (HRC) thanked members of the Joint Finance Committee for their actions regarding stewardship and implementation of the Kroll Report.

“Knowing how concerned the legislature is with state debt, Wednesday’s actions by the Joint Finance Committee will help keep stewardship on solid footing moving forward,” said Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association Vice President Carl Schoettel. “It also ensures that less stewardship money will be spent on projects that are not open for use by all taxpayers.”

The Joint Finance Committee maintained the Governor’s recommended bonding level of $32 million for land acquisitions by both the DNR and NCOs. These lands are almost always open to hunting.

Wednesday’s motion also included the provision that two-thirds of DNR land acquisitions must be done through conservation easements rather than outright purchases. HRC member organizations have long thought it a good idea for the DNR to change its focus to easements and applaud the committee for including this in the motion.

The committee also voted to reduce Governor Walker’s proposed DNR Property Development and Local Assistance Grants budgets. These funds are rarely used to purchase lands open to hunting.

Road access to stewardship lands was also addressed. Too often land has been purchased with stewardship funds without any road access for hunters. HRC is very pleased committee members addressed these concerns.

Also important to Wisconsin’s hunting community, the committee voted to adopt and fund in full the recommendations of the Kroll Report. The HRC was the driving force to bring Dr. Kroll to Wisconsin and has been vocal in its support for the Report’s recommendations.

“Dr. Kroll’s report provided the legislature with a scientific assessment of how to better hunting in Wisconsin,” added Joe Koback, Legislative Chairman for Wisconsin’s Chapters of Safari Club International. “We want to thank members of the Joint Finance Committee for adopting and funding the recommendations of this important report, including changes to deer season management policies and the creation of a DMAP.”

Hunters Rights Coalition Reacts to Judge’s Mixed Ruling on Wolf Hunt

February 12th, 2013

Today the Wisconsin Hunters Rights Coalition (HRC) applauded portions of a Dane County Judge’s ruling on the use of dogs to hunt wolves. Last month, Judge Anderson issued an encouraging oral ruling and has since released his written ruling.

In the ruling, Judge Anderson vacated the temporary injunction blocking the use of dogs to hunt wolves. His opinion also stated that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) had the authority to enact addition restrictions on the use of dogs to hunt wolves, but that the Court doesn’t have the authority to force the DNR to do so.

“When the legislature created the wolf hunt, hunting with dogs was always part of the equation,” said Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association (WBHA) President, Al Lobner. “We’re glad the injunction is behind us.”

Judge Anderson’s opinion also found that the DNR didn’t fully consider the necessity of additional restrictions when authorizing the dog training season, and invalidated the training rules. He said the DNR needed to be more thorough in their consideration for the rules to be valid.

“We’re very happy Judge Anderson upheld the ability to use dogs during the wolf hunt,” said Jeremy Rine, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (USSAF) in-house counsel. “However, we are disappointed with the training rule decision. We’ll be further evaluating the ruling to determine our next steps.”

The DNR has since stated they are in the process of crafting new dog training rules and hope to have them in place soon.

Several HRC member organizations and individuals filed as interveners on behalf of Wisconsin hunters. These include The Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Safari Club International, United Sportsmen of Wisconsin, and The US Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation.

The Hunters Rights Coalition is Wisconsin’s only group 100% dedicated to advancing hunting opportunities and protecting the rights of Wisconsin’s hunters. The Coalition is made up of several groups including: The Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Wisconsin Chapters of Safari Club International, Whitetails of Wisconsin, and the State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

For more information please contact our representative: Bob Welch 608-819-0150