As the Wisconsin state legislature considers Senate Bill 620 to establish a sandhill crane hunting season in the state, Delta Waterfowl has delivered a letter throwing its support behind the prospect.
“The supporting science, the long-term growth of eastern sandhill populations, and the increased opportunity for hunters to enjoy these exciting – and delicious – gamebirds make this a proposal The Duck Hunters Organization supports wholeheartedly,“ said Delta Waterfowl’s senior director of government affairs, Cyrus Baird. “Wisconsin hunters will welcome the chance to join the growing ranks of crane hunters in the Mississippi Flyway.”
In adherence to the Mississippi and Atlantic Flyway councils’ 2010 management plan for sandhills, three states have already enacted seasons based on increasing eastern crane populations. Hunters in Kentucky (2011), Tennessee (2013) and Alabama (2019) currently have the opportunity to harvest cranes.
As in these other states, the proposed Wisconsin legislation would also require the DNR to establish and conduct a sandhill crane hunter education program, which Delta Waterfowl supports as well. This curriculum gives hunters a detailed overview of the history and recovery of sandhill crane populations in the eastern United States, teaches ways to distinguish sandhill cranes from other birds, identifies hunting zones, and covers other regulations for crane hunting.
Baird said that The Duck Hunters Organization looks forward to seeing the legislation move through the process and working with the bill’s sponsors, committee members and DNR leadership to ensure successful establishment of a Wisconsin sandhill crane season.
If the legislation passes, the earliest possible season would be in fall of 2022. – Bill Miller