Monday, February 6th, 2023
Monday, February 6th, 2023

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Wisconsin hunting, trapping and fishing regs: simple vs. specific


Maybe it’s simply in vogue in this 21st century, but the complaint bucket is overflowing with cries for simple trout fishing regulations, deer seasons, and even panfishing requirements.

Two of the challenges rule-makers likely consider are simple or regulating smaller and smaller land masses and bodies of water.

Because deer and panfish are not distributed evenly, complex regulations are usually attempts to manage populations in small areas, some having socially overly abundant animals while others have scant numbers or downward-trending populations.

Expanding turkey zone sizes makes things simpler while treating private and public land differently regarding bonus antler permits makes hunting more complicated.

Sometimes safety enters into the framework, too.

When users vote on regulations, they should consider how large or small a parcel they would be comfortable with fishing bluegills, for example.

Also thrown into the mix are multiple agencies setting rules.

For example, large stretches of the Mississippi River can be regulated to some extent by two or three states. It would seem that Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin could agree on a common bag limit for bluegills.

Waterfowlers seem to grumble less about bag limits that require knowing a half dozen species and often a regulation for each with an overall daily bag.

Is some of this grumbling connected with an excuse to engage less and eventually give up fishing or hunting. Rather than say “I’m quitting,” an excuse is given that things are too complicated.

Hunters, trappers and anglers can also pick and choose hunting, trapping or fishing certain species. Gun deer hunters, for example, can go anywhere in Wisconsin to hunt bucks with an authorization. Could that be any simpler?

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