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2011 - 2012 LEGISLATURE
October 6, 2011 - Introduced by Representatives Steineke, Rivard, Suder, Bies,
Bernier, Endsley, Jacque, Kaufert, Kerkman, Kestell, Kleefisch, Knilans,
Krug, LeMahieu, Litjens, Marklein, Meyer, Murtha, Nass, Nygren, A. Ott,
Petryk, Severson, Spanbauer, Strachota, Stroebel, Tiffany, Tranel,
Williams
and Mursau, cosponsored by Senators Galloway, Moulton and
Taylor. Referred to Committee on Natural Resources.
AB311,1,11 1An Act to renumber and amend 29.591 (2); to amend 29.197 (3), 29.237 (1m),
229.563 (2) (intro.), 29.597 (1) (a) and 29.597 (1) (c); and to create 15.347 (21),
323.0917 (8) (f), 23.0917 (8) (g), 29.036, 29.084, 29.563 (2t), 29.591 (1) (am),
429.591 (2) (b), 29.597 (1m), 29.597 (2) (c), 29.597 (2) (d) and 120.12 (26) of the
5statutes; relating to: creating a sporting recruitment and retention council,
6programs to encourage recruitment of hunters and trappers, restrictions on
7expenditures under the Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson stewardship
8program, reduced fees for certain first-time hunting and trapping approvals,
9high school credit under and administration of the hunter and trapper
10education programs, waiving fishing license requirements for a weekend ice
11fishing event, and sturgeon spearing license age requirements.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) administers
the laws regulating hunting, fishing, and trapping. This bill makes various changes
to those laws.

Fees
Current law requires, with certain exceptions, a person to obtain a license,
permit, or other approval (approval) from DNR in order to hunt or trap wild animals
or to fish. The fees for these approvals vary depending on the type of animal for which
hunting or trapping is authorized under the approval, the age of the applicant for the
approval, and whether the approval is issued to a resident of this state or to a
nonresident. Generally, fees for nonresident approvals are higher than fees for
resident approvals. The fees for fishing approvals also vary based on similar factors.
This bill requires DNR to charge a reduced fee for certain hunting approvals,
including small game, deer, and wild turkey licenses, issued to persons who have not
received that type of approval in any of the ten years preceding the date on which the
application for the approval is made. For these approvals issued to residents of this
state, the bill requires DNR to charge a reduced fee of $4.25 and for these approvals
issued to nonresidents, the bill requires DNR to charge a reduced fee of one-half of
the fee that would otherwise apply for the approval.
Hunter and trapper education
Current law requires DNR to establish a hunter education program, a bow
hunter education program, and a trapper education program and to issue a
certificate of accomplishment to a person who successfully completes the course of
instruction under the respective program. Generally, with certain exceptions, a
person may not obtain a hunting or trapping approval unless the person has been
issued a certificate of accomplishment by DNR under the relevant hunter education
or trapper education program. This bill requires school boards to award one-half
high school credit to a pupil who successfully completes the hunter education
program, the bow hunter education program, or the trapper education program.
This bill also requires DNR to offer an online course of instruction under the
hunter education program and under the trapper education program for persons who
are at least 18 years old. In addition, the bill provides that if the online course of
instruction under the hunter education program or the trapper education program
requires field testing or completion of a written test, DNR must make that testing
available at each DNR service center at least bimonthly for persons who take the
online course of instruction.
Hunter and trapper recruitment
This bill requires DNR to establish a program to recognize people who recruit
others as hunters and trappers. The bill requires the program to include a
component under which a person who is issued his or her first hunting or trapping
approval may designate one person as the person who encouraged the applicant to
obtain the approval. The bill establishes requirements for DNR to keep record of
these designations and to establish a method for issuing a credit toward future fees
or, under certain conditions a donated prize, to a person who receives a designation
a specified number of times.
The bill also creates a 15-member sporting recruitment and retention council
(council). The bill requires the council to study, and advise and make
recommendations to the natural resources board and the legislature on, ways to
improve the recruitment and retention of hunters and trappers. The bill requires the

council to conduct an initial study of options and recommendations for increasing
access to private land for hunting and trapping and options and recommendations
for simplifying DNR hunting and trapping rules.
Stewardship program
Current law authorizes the state to incur public debt for certain conservation
activities under the stewardship program, which is administered by DNR. The state
may incur this debt to acquire land for the state and may award grants to certain
local governmental units and nonprofit conservation organizations to acquire lands
for these conservation activities.
This bill prohibits DNR from awarding a grant under the stewardship program
unless DNR first considers whether the grant will benefit local businesses and the
economy of this state. It also prohibits DNR from acquiring land under the
stewardship program unless hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, and cross-country
skiing will be allowed on the land acquired or unless every member of the natural
resources board approves the land acquisition.
Other provisions
Under current law, a person must have a sturgeon spearing license issued by
DNR in order to spear lake sturgeon. Current law requires a person to be at least
14 years old to obtain a sturgeon spearing license. Under this bill, a person may
obtain a sturgeon spearing license if the person is at least 12 years old.
This bill also requires DNR to designate the first full weekend in January as
a special event weekend during which a person may engage in ice fishing without
holding or paying a fee for a fishing license.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB311, s. 1 1Section 1. 15.347 (21) of the statutes is created to read:
AB311,3,42 15.347 (21) Sporting recruitment and retention council. (a) There is created
3in the department of natural resources a sporting recruitment and retention council
4consisting of the following members:
AB311,3,65 1. The secretary of natural resources, or his or her designee, who shall serve
6as chairperson.
AB311,3,77 2. Two members, appointed by the governor.
AB311,4,2
13. Two members, appointed by the speaker of the assembly, who may not be
2members of the same political party.
AB311,4,43 4. Two members, appointed by the senate majority leader, who may not be
4members of the same political party.
AB311,4,115 5. Five members, appointed by the secretary of natural resources from
6nominations provided by sporting organizations that have as their primary objective
7the promotion of hunting or trapping. Of the 5 members, one shall represent the
8interests of deer hunters, one shall represent the interests of bear hunters, one shall
9represent the interests of waterfowl hunters, one shall represent the interests of
10upland game hunters, and one shall represent the interests of furbearing animal
11hunters and trappers.
AB311,4,1312 6. One member, appointed by the executive committee of the conservation
13congress, who is a member of the conservation congress.
AB311,4,1614 7. Two members, appointed by the secretary of natural resources, each of whom
15has held a conservation patron license for 2 of the 3 license years preceding the date
16of the member's appointment.
AB311,4,1817 (b) The members of the sporting recruitment and retention council appointed
18under par. (a) 2. to 7. shall be appointed for 3-year terms.
AB311, s. 2 19Section 2. 23.0917 (8) (f) of the statutes is created to read:
AB311,4,2320 23.0917 (8) (f) The department may not obligate moneys from the
21appropriation under s. 20.866 (2) (ta) to award a grant under sub. (3) or sub. (4)
22unless the department first considers whether the grant will benefit local businesses
23and the economy of this state.
AB311, s. 3 24Section 3. 23.0917 (8) (g) of the statutes is created to read:
AB311,5,5
123.0917 (8) (g) The department may not obligate moneys from the
2appropriation under s. 20.866 (2) (ta) to acquire land under sub. (3) unless hunting,
3fishing, trapping, hiking, and cross-country skiing will be allowed on the land
4acquired or unless every member of the natural resources board approves the land
5acquisition.
AB311, s. 4 6Section 4. 29.036 of the statutes is created to read:
AB311,5,17 729.036 Sporting recruitment and retention council. The sporting
8recruitment and retention council shall study, and advise and make
9recommendations to the natural resources board and to the legislature on, ways to
10improve the recruitment and retention of hunters and trappers. The sporting
11recruitment and retention council shall prepare a biennial report on the status of the
12recruitment and retention of hunters and trappers in this state. The sporting
13recruitment and retention council shall submit its initial report under this
14subsection no later than July 1, 2014, and shall submit subsequent reports no later
15than July 1 of each even-numbered year thereafter, for distribution to the natural
16resources board and to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature under
17s. 13.172 (3).
AB311, s. 5 18Section 5. 29.084 of the statutes is created to read:
AB311,5,24 1929.084 Incentives for recruitment. The department shall establish a
20program to recognize people who recruit others as hunters and trappers. The
21program shall include a component under which a person who is issued his or her
22first hunting or trapping approval in his or her lifetime may designate one person
23as the person who encouraged the applicant to obtain the license. The program shall
24provide for all of the following:
AB311,6,2
1(1) A method for maintaining a record of persons designated as provided under
2this section.
AB311,6,8 3(2) A method for issuing a credit of $20 to any person who is designated as
4provided under this section a specified number of times, as determined by the
5department, in any license year. The department may not require a person to be
6designated more than 5 times in a license year in order to be eligible for a credit under
7this subsection. In this subsection, "license year" means the period between April
81 and the following March 31.
AB311,6,11 9(3) A method under which a person who is issued a credit as provided under
10sub. (2) may use the credit toward the cost of a hunting or trapping approval issued
11by the department.
AB311,6,14 12(4) A method under which a person who is designated as provided under this
13section by more than 20 different people may be entered in a drawing for prizes
14awarded by the department.
AB311,6,16 15(5) A method under which a person may donate a prize to the department to
16be awarded in a drawing under sub. (4).
AB311, s. 6 17Section 6. 29.197 (3) of the statutes is amended to read:
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