DNR eyes changes for hunters and anglers - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

DNR eyes changes for hunters and anglers

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - A host of rule changes could be in the works for hunters, anglers and others in Wisconsin and you'll get your chance to weigh-in them in April.

DNR staff is recommending that deer hunters be allowed to use rifles statewide. Currently some parts of the state are restricted to shotguns only.

Hunters would also be allowed to leave portable tree stands to stay up overnight on lands owned and managed by the DNR. Under that rule any person could use the stand if the owner isn't in it.

Another proposal would allow the training of dogs for wolf hunting but training could only be done during the day, and only during wolf season and through March.

Another change, waterfowl hunters would be allowed to hunt in open water on Lake Wissota, instead of being restricted to close to shore.

Proposed fishing changes include allowing trolling statewide and allowing largemouth bass anglers to keep fish they catch in the early season in northern Wisconsin.

Anglers on Eau Claire's Half Moon Lake would be required to release any bass between 14 and 18 inches long. The bag limit there would also be reduced from five bass to three.

If approved all of the changes would take effect next year.

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress will also be gauging public interest in ending the December antlerless deer hunt, eliminating the requirement that deer hunters wear back tags, raising the fee for a non-resident deer license, and requiring owners of non-motorized boats to now pay for registration.   

All of the questions will go to residents on April 8th, when the DNR holds hearings in every county in the state.

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