Are you still freezing your cheeks off under untold metric tons of snow and would like nothing better than to grab a rifle and exact a little payback on the lying little subterranean rodent who told you that spring was coming early this year? Well too bad, you can’t. At least not in Wisconsin, which prohibits the shooting of groundhogs (woodchucks). A recently-introduced bill, however, is trying to change that.
From this story on jsonline.com:
A handful of animal lovers tore into a bill that would establish a Wisconsin woodchuck hunting season, blasting the measure as unnecessary during a hearing Wednesday and calling it another sign that legislators are obsessed with killing wildlife. Only eight people addressed the Assembly Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage Committee about the bill. One was the measure’s author, Rep. Andre Jacque (R-De Pere). Another was a Department of Natural Resources wildlife ecologist. The others all spoke against the proposal. “I think the primary (motivation) here is thrill kill,” said Randy O’Connell, 59, of Omro, who described himself after the hearing as a recovering hunter. “This culture, not a heritage, needs to come to an end.” Woodchucks, also known as groundhogs or whistle-pigs, are beaver-like creatures known for burrowing and gobbling up plants at a manic pace. They’ve been on the state’s protected species list for decades.
According to the story, the bill would remove woodchucks from the protected species list and establish a hunting and trapping season from March 1 through Dec. 31. It would also prohibit the DNR from setting any bag limits. State ecologists say woodchucks are plentiful in Wisconsin and have no clue why they were ever placed on the state’s protected species list in the first place. But opponents say the bill is unnecessary because landowners can already kill nuisance woodchucks and the true purpose of the bill is to simply allow people to shoot woodchucks for fun.
Personally — as someone who just got finished breaking ice in my dogs’ water bowls when, by all that is just and right, I should be running around in shorts–I wouldn’t so much call it “fun” as “revenge”, but what do you think?