Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a bill making hunter harassment illegal. Naturally, it has some animal rights groups up in arms.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill – SB 338 – which further defines and expands on current law prohibiting persons from interfering with lawful hunting, trapping and fishing.
SB 338 expands the hunting definition to include “scouting, target shooting, dog training, and animal baiting or feeding” and “expands the types of conduct prohibited to include disturbing a lawfully placed hunting stand, disturbing lawfully placed bait or other feed, using a drone under certain circumstances, and engaging in a series of acts (serial conduct) that are intended to impede or obstruct a person engaged in lawful hunting, fishing, or trapping”.
The real kicker in the bill is that it defines the types of serial conduct prohibited to “include maintaining a visual or physical proximity to the person, approaching or confronting the person, or photographing the person.” This clause was included ostensibly as a result of animal rights activists following and filming lawful wolf hunters in Wisconsin and Montana in 2014.
For its part, Wolf Patrol announced the signing of the bill on its Facebook page as “a law specifically targeting Wolf Patrol, whose sole purpose is to document illegal hunting activities which negatively impact Wisconsin’s wolf population. Just remember folks, the ‘intent to impede or obstruct’ are the key elements left to interpretation by law enforcement.”
There followed the usual and predictable anti-hunting comments from people in favor of Wolf Patrol’s agenda.
The signing of the bill comes on the heels of Governor Walker’s signing into law the date of this year’s wolf hunting season, which is set for the first Saturday in November.
First time offenders are subject to a fine of up to $1,000 and jail time not to exceeed 90 days. Second time offenders are subject to a fine of up to $10,000 and up to nine months of imprisonment.
Walker signed the bill over the weekend at the annual convention of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters’ Association, held in Rothschild, Wisconsin.