Conservation Corner

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Question #9: When situations such as the ones described above happen and make it to the news what does that do to us as hunters in the public eye?

Answer: It really hurts our sport and tradition. My experience as a Conservation Warden has shown that most hunters and fisherman are very ethical and do the things that are best for the resource. As with anything else, there are always those that don’t follow the rules and make us all look bad. Those are the ones we hope to catch. As Wardens we are hunters and fishermen too. When the public hears about incidents like these it gives all sportsmen a bad name and feeds the fire for those who want to stop hunting and fishing all together. We live in a time when it is more important than ever to get young people involved in the outdoors. Teaching them the right way early on in their lives is very important.

As you can see the Wanton Waste Law in Wisconsin is very broad which makes it tough for a Conservation Warden to enforce the law as it relates to the actual waste of game derived from an activity such as hunting or fishing. It must be proven in a court of law that the intent of an activity was actually to destroy or waste a state natural resource.

Since this law is so broad it does allow the opportunity for hunters in the state of Wisconsin to conceivably enjoy a successful morning of hunting, take their game home, let them sit in the garage for 3 days to spoil and then throw it away without any consequences from the law. But has a law still been broken? In this hunters’ mind- Absolutely! It may not be a law punishable by the state but as hunters and fisherman across the country we have a moral obligation to the natural resources that we enjoy taking from so freely, to utilize and take care of the game we harvest. It goes back to a moral backbone of human nature that one must eat what he kills! Are there exceptions to the rule? Sure there are, under certain circumstances if a legitimate accident should arise where all precautions have been taken but a bird or animal spoils there is not much one can do but those who are just to lazy to clean their game and allow there harvest to go bad or those who had no intention of eating or utilizing the game they harvested in the first place, those people have no business participating in the outdoor traditions many of us have grown to cherish so much. We as hunters and fisherman have a moral obligation to make sure that the game we harvest goes to good use and to make sure that it does not end up in a dumpster somewhere rotting away! This is also a very important tradition that needs to be embedded in the children of today so that they can understand the value of each and every creature that is harvested whether it be a sunfish or a bear… all wildlife need to be treated with the same respect no matter how big or small.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>