DNR considers hunting season for sandhill cranes

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On Wednesday, the DNR Board will continue its talks about a possible hunting season for sandhill cranes. A crane expert is scheduled to tell the board that there are non-lethal ways to reduce crop damage caused by the birds.

Hunters this spring approved an advisory statewide question supporting a hunting season for sandhill cranes. Some state lawmakers also want to let hunters pull the trigger on the cranes, claiming the birds cause a lot of crop damage. The International Crane Foundation based near Baraboo says it doesn’t have a position on a possible sandhill crane hunt, but foundation field ecology director Jeb Barzen says hunting cranes won’t stop crop damage.

Barzen also says more farmers are treating their corn seeds with a non-lethal substance that makes the seed taste bad to sandhills.

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Barzen says the substance, marketed as Avipel, is relatively inexpensive, doesn’t run off the farm field or affect the taste of an ear of corn.

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