Wisconsin Legislators propose repeal of restrictions on dog use for hunting in the North

Two bills are currently proposed in the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly removing restrictions on hunting with dogs in spring in the “Northern Restricted Zone.” Here are links to the two matching bills:


2023 SENATE BILL 545

These bills repeal current Department of Natural Resources administrative code provisions that generally prohibit a person from hunting or pursuing any free-roaming wild animal with the aid of a dog from May 1 to June 30 annually in a portion of the state north of certain east-west highways. The bills also repeal DNR administrative code restrictions on dog training and dog trialing on any free-roaming wild animal in that area and during that period.

Current status: As of 11/3/2023, both bills were introduced in the legislature in mid-October and referred to the Assembly Committee on Sporting Heritage and the Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Sporting Heritage.

The FNBWA Board is greatly concerned about the impact of dog use off-leash in the Barrens during the spring nesting season, especially on our Species of Greatest Conservation Need (Sharp-tailed Grouse and Upland Sandpiper) as well as our songbirds, turkeys and mammals. The Board will be contacting legislators urging them to vote “no” on these bills.

For more details on the bills and ways to comment to legislators, click here.

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