WISCONSIN HUNTER HARASSMENT BILL SIGNED INTO LAW
(Photo via Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources – dnr.wi.gov)
Late last year, we told you about the hunter harassment problem in Wisconsin. To recap: hunters in the state have felt threatened by anti-hunting animal rights activists who follow them into the woods and secretly video tape hunters training their dogs, setting up bait, and preparing for the season. Then they put those video tapes online, participating in and supporting the harassment of hunters at their homes, forests, and in the public.
The most prevalent group involved in these proceedings was Wolf Patrol, led by Rod Coronado, long-time leader of Animal Liberation Front and a convicted domestic terrorist. Mr. Coronado has been responsible for several arsons and is one of the faces of radical animal rights activism in this country.
So you can then see why hunters would fear for their personal safety when individuals who are willing to associate with Rod Coronado are watching them closely.
After receiving dozens of calls from concerned hunters, legislators felt it was necessary to ensure their protection.
Thus, Wisconsin Act 346 was introduced in 2015, passed through the state legislature, and was signed into law by Governor Scott Walker this past Saturday, April 2nd. Also known as the "Right to Hunt" Act, this legislation redefines interference with lawful hunting, fishing, or trapping activities. It includes such prohibited acts as remaining in a hunter's sight in order to obstruct and photographing/recording or confronting a hunter more than twice with the intention to interfere.
In a statement on the Governor's website, Walker declares, “Hunting, fishing, and trapping are all major pastimes here in Wisconsin which attract tourists from across the nation to our state every year. The bill we’re signing into law here at the Wisconsin Bear Hunters’ Association Convention provides our hunters with additional protections from interference.”
Act 346 has been modeled off of legislation in numerous other states, and while some of its opponents claim that the legislation will limit the ability of activists to catch illegal hunting activities, the law was carefully written to only protect legal hunters and was amended to only affect activists knowingly participated in harassing activities.
One of the primary jobs of government is to keep its people safe, and it appears that this new law in Wisconsin accomplishes just that.