Obtaining a permit to hunt some of Wisconsin's more limited wildlife could soon be made easier.
Many hunters can often wait years to get licenses for hunting animals such as bobcats or for trapping otters. In most cases, they have to be used right away when they're received as well. State Representative Scott Gunderson (R-Waterford) says that can be inconvenient for many hunters, who may not be ready at that time to use the tag the way they want to.
Legislation from Gunderson would allow hunters to earn preference points instead, giving them priority when applying later on. The system is similar to what's already used for bear hunting licenses in the state. That way hunters don't have to worry about getting a tag they're unable to use.
The Department of Natural Resources only issued about 1,000 tags for bobcats in 2007 but had nearly 10,000 people apply for them. Gunderson says such demand can lead to long waits, especially if a hunter can't use it right then. Bear hunters already wait nearly seven years for a tag, with a preference system in place. Gunderson says the state should be giving hunters more options to increase interest in the sport.
Gunderson says the DNR supports the change. His bill will receive a hearing at the Capitol later this week.