“We don’t attack any kind of legitimate hunting at all,” he urged. “What we do is try to outlaw the hunting where there’s sponsored competition with the objective of killing wild animals for entertainment and for the chances of winning prizes and then discarding the carcasses, this is not ethical hunting.” Stated Wisconsin Senator Fred Risser in a WSAW TV 7 interview on February 8, 2019 regarding his prohibiting contests for killing wild animals and providing a penalty.

SB 30 now has a companion bill in the Assembly; AB 29.

On February 8, 2019 SB 30 Introduced by Senators Risser, Hansen and Carpenter; 
cosponsored by Representatives C.Taylor,  Doyle, Stubbs,  Pope,  Subeck,  Sargent  and Sinicki. Read first time and referred to Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry. Senator Larson added as a coauthor on February 19, 2019.

“Wildlife killing contests are a cruel stain on Wisconsin’s long legacy of conservation,” said Senator Fred Risser. “Not only are questionable tactics used to attract and kill the animals, but often, the animals are not used for any purpose after they are killed and their carcasses are left to rot.” Project Coyote Media Release February 13, 2018

Project Coyote and WODCW put out a Media Release:

Photos have recently surfaced
 of decomposing coyote carcasses located on U.S. Forest Service (USFS) lands near the Washburn site of Fur Bang!. While the USFS and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources were unable to determine where the animals came from, it is common for wildlife killing contest participants to dump the dead bodies after the events are over.

Over 60 carcasses were dumped on public land in 2018. Photo credit Paul DeMain

“Altogether I found more than 60 coyote carcasses at the dump site before I quit counting,” said Paul DeMain, the Hayward resident who took the photos on April 29, 2018, near a popular hiking trail in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. “Killing and dumping wild animals is repugnant to living beings, life, and our coexistence with creation.”

“We applaud Senator Risser for championing legislation to ban cruel and wasteful wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin,” said Camilla Fox, Founder and Executive Director of Project Coyote. “These competitions are no different than bloodsports like dogfighting and are ecologically and ethically indefensible.”

Wildlife Conservation Compared to Wildlife Killing Contests

Adrian Wydeven, a retired wildlife biologist and wolf specialist said overall the bill would help with some conservation issues.

Coyote hunting, for example, can be done year round and it is a popular hunt to host contests.

“There are people who hunt and trap coyotes for their fur and have intent to make use of the animals,” said Wydeven. “That would be different than these contests where, I guess, potentially, they could be used, but when there are a lot of animals being harvested over a short period of time by a lot of people who otherwise normally wouldn’t be for fur harvesting, there’s probably a greater chance that they’re just going to be discarded.”

He said it also puts protected wolves in danger.

“If the intent is, and there’s incentive, to shoot the biggest coyote and you’re going to get paid for the biggest coyote, that might encourage people to shoot at animals that end up being a wolf,” Wydeven said. Source

Altogether 150 Coyote’s were killed in the Moondog Madness Coyote Hunt billed as Wisconsin’s Largest Predator Hunt

What to deer hunters think about SB 30?

Deer hunter, Erik Syvinck, said overall he is in favor of the bill. He also cited coyote contests as the main reason to ban tournaments, or if not banned, then more regulated. Source

The Senator has made it clear this bill in no way attacks legitimate hunting and is open to adjusting the bill’s language.

Risser said if language needs to be adjusted, that is what the legislative process is for and he welcomes open discussion about the bill and topic.

For example, Wydeven and several hunters NewsChannel 7 spoke with believe the bill should exempt things like big buck contests or contests for animals with limited seasons because the limited season brings out responsible hunters, rather than prize seekers, anyway.

What’s next for SB 30?

Companion bill is now in the Assembly 2019 Assembly Bill 29 – A – Sporting Heritage Committee in the Wisconsin Assembly on February 22, 2019. Introduced by Representatives C. Taylor,  Doyle,  Stubbs,  Pope, Subeck,  Sargent  and  Sinicki; cosponsored by Senators  Risser, Hansen and Carpenter. Read first time and referred to Committee on Sporting Heritage

Both SB 30 & AB 29 need hearings! Take Action!

For talking points click the following National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests Website.

Then contact: Senate version SB 30 was referred to Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry. And is awaiting a hearing that would be granted by the chair. Click the highlighted words for contact information of the chair and members asking them for a hearing.

Senator Tiffany (Chair)

Senator LeMahieu (Vice-Chair)

Senator Stroebel

Senator Wirch

Senator Smith

Next, do the same for AB 29 referred to Committee on Sporting Heritage And is awaiting a hearing that would be granted by the chair. Click the highlighted words for contact information of the chair and members asking them for a hearing.


Representative Stafsholt (Chair)

Representative Quinn (Vice-Chair)

Representative Tittl

Representative Edming

Representative Felzkowski

Representative Mursau

Representative Skowronski

Representative Tusler

Representative Horlacher

Representative Milroy

Representative Stuck

Representative Spreitzer

Representative Hesselbein

Representative Gruszynski

“The animals killed in these contests are maligned but intrinsically, ecologically, and aesthetically valuable to the citizens and ecosystems of Wisconsin,” said Rachel Tilseth, Menomonie resident and Founder of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin. “Ending this bloodsport is the right thing to do.”

A coalition of state and national groups are supporting Sen. Risser’s bill. If the legislation passes, Wisconsin will join California, which banned the awarding of prizes for furbearers and nongame mammals in 2014, and Vermont, which banned coyote killing contests in 2018.

The National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests is working in a number of other states, including Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Oregon, to pass similar legislation in 2019.

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