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WI hunters applaud DNR for standing up to federal shutdown ‘overreach’

By   /   October 7, 2013  /   14 Comments

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON — Here’s some good advice my daddy once told me: Try not to tick off a bear hunter.

Words to live by.

In Wisconsin, hunters of all stripes — bear hunters included — are applauding the state Department of Natural Resources’ decision to keep state properties open to hunting during the federal government’s partial shutdown.

Last week, the National Park Service issued a directive demanding that the DNR close several state-owned properties, jointly run by federal and state agencies.


OPEN UP: Wisconsin’s Chequamegon-Nicolet forest remains open to hunters by order of Gov. Scott Walker’s administration.

The DNR effectively told the Park Service to go hunt itself, for a couple of important reasons: a) because a majority of the funding to operate the properties comes from Wisconsin taxpayers and b) the DNR does its level best to live by the don’t-tick-off-a-bear hunter maxim.

“There is no reason for the National Park Service to completely close off Wisconsin citizens’ access to these parks,” said Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association President Al Lobner in a statement, released Monday.

Wisconsin’s black bear season continues through Tuesday. Bow deer season also is open statewide.

“With the majority of the funding coming from the state of Wisconsin, we applaud the DNR’s decision,” the Wisconsin Hunters Rights Coalition, which bills itself as Wisconsin’s only group “100 (percent) dedicated to advancing hunting opportunities and protecting the rights of Wisconsin hunters.”

The Coalition is made up of several groups including the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Wisconsin Chapters of Safari Club International, the National Rifle Association and Wisconsin FORCE.

Last week, DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp in an email to agency employees said the DNR had clarified areas where the federal procedures are “over-reaching” by ordering the closure of properties where the state has management authority through existing agreements. She said hunting access will remain open in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, but the campgrounds will be closed.

As the partial federal government shutdown moves into its second week, some have accused the Obama administration of making the shutdown harder than it need be.

Joan Anzelmo, a former spokeswoman for Grand Teton National Park told the San Jose Mercury News that shutting down national parks was a tactic used by the White House to turn public opinion against Congress.

“The park closures in 1995 made a tangible difference,” she told the paper. “The visual of park rangers closing down national parks, closing down the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument — keeping Americans out of these iconic American sites — those visuals were really a strong factor in people understanding what a government shutdown meant. People got mad.”

Perhaps the president didn’t count on what stringently enforcing the shutdown at the World War II Memorial would do to the fighting spirit of 80-plus-year-olds from the Greatest Generation with perhaps one last chance to see their monument.

He’s learning that it’s kind of like ticking off a bear hunter: It’s just something you don’t do.

Contact M.D. Kittle at [email protected]


M.D. Kittle is bureau chief of Wisconsin Watchdog and First Amendment Reporter for Watchdog.org. Kittle is a 25-year veteran of print, broadcast and online media. He is the recipient of several awards for journalism excellence from The Associated Press, Inland Press, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, and others. He is also a member of Investigative Reporters & Editors. Kittle's extensive series on Wisconsin's unconstitutional John Doe investigations was the basis of a 2014 documentary on Glenn Beck's TheBlaze. His work has been featured in Town Hall, Fox News, NewsMax, and other national publications, and his reporting has been cited by news outlets nationwide. Kittle is a fill-in talk show host on the Jay Weber Show and the Vicki McKenna Show in Milwaukee and Madison.

  • Keith Welnicke

    Except there was no order to shut down the parks, Im sure you did your research on this?http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/scott-walker-resists-federal-order-to-close-parks-during-shutdown

  • Iamacitizen2

    WTG Wisconsin…only in Wisconsin heh? Yah der hey.

  • John Holmes

    Poorly researched article, number of half truths and opinions, not facts.

  • BarryBarry

    Means, “I don’t want to listen and Obama can do no wrong”

  • BarryBarry

    “Talking Points Memo”… Did you happen to catch that in the name of your source?

  • BarryBarry

    I think it’s safe to say that for this shutdown, the public understands that Obama is selectively shutting down access with the goal to inflict as much inconvenience as possible while at the same time protecting his own perks.

    He’s still golfing at government courses. Amnesty Rallies still occur on the “closed” Mall, etc.

    This is actually a great opportunity for any GOP rep who is paying attention. Anything that is shut down calls for legislation removing the Feds from the picture. For example, new craft beers and other new forms of alcoholic beverages cannot be brought to market because of some obscure Federal agency that approves them. Simply delete that federal agency. And delete other agencies that have been exposed as a roadblock to commerce and other activities.

  • LookingForTheTruth

    That’s the problem with Republican rednecks, they never do their research on what is true and what is not. If another rednecks said it, it has to be true. Ya Hey Dere?

  • Keith Welnicke

    Im sorry that Talking points looks at both sides and finds the truth via facts. Would it be better for you if it were a blaze site, or drawn from the faux new toilet?

  • Keith Welnicke

    Its not some obscure fed agency. Its an agency bought and paid for by the major brewers. They dont want competition. Beer must be bought through a distributor, who do you think owns the distributors?

  • BarryBarry

    Ya…At least Rednecks know which freaking party Obama belongs to.

  • BarryBarry

    the Left Side and the side beyond the Left Side.

  • BarryBarry

    Are you going to argue against the point or just go on some rant about crony capitalism?

  • Keith Welnicke

    If you have ever looked into bringing a new beer to the market you would know how this works. Its not corny capitalism when all the big brewers do it. Im not going to pay some store owner or distributor money so that I can have access to the market. Do your homework on the subject and then we will talk, right now taking about this subject to you is like talking to my 5 year old about trigonometry.

  • BarryBarry

    I’m sure you talk to everyone like they are 5. It’s called narcissism.

    The bottom line is that the fact you need a federal agency to bring a new product to market is a defacto sign that the Feds are too involved. Delete the agency.

    Does that compute for you Mr. Mathematician?