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Hunter Education Flap Began In Oneida County

Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources

Pressure is mounting on the Department of Natural Resources to overturn a decision to stop hunter and other outdoor recreation safety training classes because of fear of spreading coronavirus. The DNR ended the in-person portion of the training that is required to graduate and be eligible for a hunting license.

The Wisconsin Institute For Law and Liberty last week filed a lawsuit in Marathon County Circuit Court asking to overturn the DNR's action. All Wisconsin hunters born after January 1, 1973 must take a hunter education course before obtaining a hunting license, but they can't complete the in-person training.

WILL Deputy Counsel Lucas Vebber says the reaction in Oneida county caught their attention...

"The Oneida County Sheriff had wanted to offer a hunter safety course. They ended up canceling the course because they were told by DNR that they couldn't offer it. I think as a result of that a lot of people took interest in it. That was really one of the driving forces behind ultimately challenging the policy itself, which applies statewide..."

State Representative Rob Swearingen of Rhinelander wrote to Governor Evers to ask for an overturn of the policy and last week had more than 40 fellow Republicans sign on. He says the order affects all safety programs including ATV's and boats...

"It will be interesting to see, hopefully the Governor will respond. Obviously it's not just the people in the Northwoods that are frustrated. Obviously, it gained statewide attention with a lot of representatives across the state..."

The DNR has said they put the courseson pause pending more developments regarding the virus.

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