Legislation that that would make it illegal to follow, photograph or record hunters, anglers and trappers in Wisconsin is expected to spark lively debate during two hearings on Wednesday at the state Capitol.
Animal protection groups, civil libertarians and others are lining up against the two similar measures. The Republican sponsors said the bills are meant to reduce interference with hunting, fishing and trapping and provide criminal penalties.
But attorney Jodi Habush-Sinykin of Midwest Environmental Advocates said it’s already illegal to harass hunters and trappers, and that the bill will make worthless the state Department of Natural Resources tip line for reporting sporting violations.
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“Because as you’d expect, the tip line relies on citizen observations and videos to identify illegal hunting practices — information especially vital in these times of DNR understaffing,” she said.
Habush-Sinykin also said the measure would make things tougher for hikers, campers and other users of public lands.
A Republican lawmaker said he’s heard complaints about wolf advocates filming bear hunters and their dogs this past summer.
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