Republicans enlist Nugent in push for sandhill crane hunt

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Republicans introduced in rocker and avid hunter Ted Nugent on Wednesday to publicize a bundle of payments that might declare open searching season on sandhill cranes and permit anybody age 18 or older to hold hid firearms and not using a allow.

Nugent appeared with greater than 20 Republican lawmakers, together with Senate Majority Chief Devin LeMahieu, contained in the Meeting chamber. The musician and conservative activist mentioned that “searching is crucial and any regulation that doesn’t cope with security or science-based wildlife administration is an impediment to participation.”

The Wisconsin bundle of 13 payments is making its method by the Republican-controlled Legislature. Even when they handed, to turn out to be legislation they would want the approval of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who would seemingly veto a lot of them. Evers’ spokeswoman did not instantly reply to a message looking for remark.

Nugent, who lives in neighboring Michigan, is the nationwide spokesman for Hunter Nation, a gaggle that gained a courtroom order forcing an unprecedented late-winter wolf hunt in Wisconsin. The hunt, held in the course of the animal’s breeding season in February, outraged conservationists and sparked requires the state Division of Pure Sources to cancel the upcoming fall wolf hunt.

Nugent has lengthy lobbied for hunting-related measures, together with payments in Michigan that might reverse a ban on deer and elk baiting in that state.


One of many Wisconsin payments would enable residents of the state to hold hid weapons and not using a allow, whether or not they’re searching or not. Republicans have been pushing to put off hid carry permits for years. It was final proposed within the 2017 session, nevertheless it died with out ever getting a listening to.

“We’re right here to empower law-abiding gun homeowners to present them the rights to enact their freedoms which are given to them underneath the Structure,” mentioned the invoice’s sponsor, state Sen. Mary Felzkowski, of Irma.

Evers, a Democrat who helps limiting entry to weapons, would nearly definitely veto the measure ought to the Legislature cross it.

One other proposal would create a sandhill crane searching season. Former Republican state Rep. Joel Kleefisch launched an analogous invoice in 2012, arguing that the birds devour farmers’ corn seeds and fledgling stalks. The invoice met with intense opposition from fowl lovers — Wisconsin is dwelling to the Worldwide Crane Basis — and the proposal died.

Felzkowski, who’s sponsoring the invoice this yr, mentioned the sandhill crane inhabitants is flourishing in Wisconsin.

Nugent mentioned along with inhabitants management, sandhills are tasty. “Are you aware of the time period ribeye?” Nugent mentioned. “They’re ribeyes within the sky.”

Different measures embrace proposals to extend the variety of pheasants the Division of Pure Sources shares to 200,000; simplify the turkey searching construction from seven to 2 and the variety of spring seasons from six to 2; enable younger hunters to fulfill the hunter security program’s in-person area take a look at requirement by taking part in a mentored hunt; and require the DNR to lift at the very least 100,000 brook trout.

One other invoice would enable hunters to go after non-native bovids reminiscent of buffalo, antelopes and wildebeests. The Republicans say many such animals are already being raised on Wisconsin sport farms.

And one more piece of the bundle would require the DNR to remove three administrative guidelines for each one it proposes. Republicans have lengthy accused the company of draconian laws.

State Rep. Nick Milory, one of many Democratic co-chairs of the Legislature’s sportsmen’s caucus, mentioned he was upset that Republicans drafted the payments unilaterally.

“It is crucial that we proceed to work in the direction of guaranteeing our state’s pristine magnificence and sporting heritage for future generations,” Milroy mentioned in a press release. “However we have to do it in an inclusive, bipartisan method. Wisconsin voters deserve higher than the present partisan practices of the bulk celebration.”

Nugent, well-known for his 1977 tune “Cat Scratch Fever,” is a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump and a purveyor of false details about the coronavirus pandemic. He referred to as it a rip-off and opposes well being restrictions. Nugent examined optimistic for COVID-19 earlier this yr and posted a video the place he used racial slurs to check with the virus whereas saying he received so sick with it he thought he was going to die.

Neither the 73-year-old Nugent, nor any of the Republican lawmakers or different members wore masks in the course of the information convention.

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