Dove hunt opponents appeal to high court

Editor

Madison A decision by dove hunt opponents to appeal the case to
the Wisconsin Supreme Court is not expected to sidetrack the
state’s mourning dove season, set to begin Sept. 1.

For now, the hunt is on the books. Only unusually quick action
by the Supreme Court, and with decisions all falling in favor of
dove hunt opponents, could halt the season, according to Tim
Andryk, a DNR lawyer.

“The only thing that would interrupt the season would be an
interim order from the Supreme Court, which I think would be
unlikely, or a decision from court on this appeal,” Andryk
said.

In regards to a decision, Andryk said the court has not yet even
decided if it will hear this latest appeal. First that decision
would have to be made, then the high court would have to hear the
case and render a decision, all before the summer recess that
begins July 1. Since it often takes nine to 12 months for the court
to write a decision after a case is heard, it’s not likely a
negative decision could occur in time to stop this year’s dove
hunt.

Wisconsin Concerned Citizens for Cranes and Doves (WCCCD) did
file a petition for review with the Wisconsin Supreme Court on
April 28, the group’s last day for doing so. WCCCD is arguing that
the Wisconsin Fourth District Court of Appeals did not apply the
“proper test of law in deciding that the enabling statute, which
extends authority to the DNR from the Legislature to set hunting
seasons,” said Gard Strother, a Madison attorney representing
WCCCD.

The Fourth District Court of Appeals ruled two to one that the
DNR did act within the law in creating the mourning dove hunt.

The DNR has two weeks from April 28 to respond with an argument
as to why the case does not merit review by the high court.

“We’re not arguing the case in this reply; we will just talk
about whether or not the Supreme Court should or shouldn’t take up
this review. I would expect to hear by end of June whether (the
court) will take the case,” Andryk said. “Right now, the dove hunt
rule is in effect, and we do plan on holding a season this fall. If
the Supreme Court decided to review the case, it would probably be
doing so while the season is in progress. The appeal does not
affect the status of the season unless the Supreme Court reinstated
the earlier injunction.”

Strother and Andryk both said the high court does not have to
take the case. Each year, the Wisconsin Supreme Court receives more
appeals than it has time to hear.

In a bit of coincidence, Judge Pat Roggensack was elected to the
high court on April 1, and she takes her seat on the bench Aug. 1.
Roggensack is coming from the Fourth District Court of Appeals,
which upheld the dove season. Roggensack’s name did not appear on
the decision.

“I’m guessing that if she participated in the lower court
decision that she would disqualify herself at the Supreme Court
level. That’s fairly typical,” Strother said.

This year’s session ends June 30. The new session begins Sept.
1, the same day the dove hunt is set to begin. Justice William
Bablitch retires July 31.

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