Act 168 passed earlier this year and it significantly expands the hunting areas in our state park system. While hunting has been allowed in state parks in the past, it was regulated to specific parks. Hunting will now be permitted in almost every state park. Under the new law, which goes into effect January 1, 2013, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) may only restrict hunting and trapping within 100 yards of a specifically designated use area. Currently, the DNR is proposing the following:
- Hunting closure within 100 yards of popular designated use areas, such as picnic spots, campgrounds, remote campsites, beaches, and all state trails
- Trapping closure is the same as the hunting closure with an additional 100 yards from all designated trails
Hunting and trapping are being proposed in these areas for any hunting season between October 15 and the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend each May. Further restrictions at individual parks to protect public safety or unique plant or animal communities will not be put in place WITHOUT approval from the Natural Resources Board.
The DNR is currently accepting written comments on determining the implementation of the law until November 23, 2012. The implementation of Act 168 could have a significant impact on the bicycle experience in our state parks. Please provide your comments to the DNR TODAY.
Send any written comments to:
Wisconsin State Parks – Act 168
PO Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707-7921.
For more information, visit the DNR website here.