You probably are not aware of the law passed by the Wisconsin Legislature that allows hunting in all state parks on Jan. 1, 2013. Act 168 also known as the Hunting Heritage Act, will allow hunting, fishing and trapping in all state parks.
Under current law it is presumed that a state park is closed to hunting unless the Natural Resources Board acts and opens up the park or a portion of the park for hunting. An example would be the nine-day deer hunting season in November. Under the new law, hunting will be allowed in all state parks except on a case by case basis.
Next year you may want to think twice about taking your family for a hike in the park when you will be sharing the hiking trails with armed hunters. Your dog will also be in danger from traps which can injure and kill. Use of the cross country ski trails, snowshoe trails and bike trails may also put you or a member of your family at risk of being wounded or even killed. State parks have always been a refuge for animals and a place of peace and quiet for people. They may now become a killing ground and the quiet will be shattered by gunshots.
If you think this law is a bad idea, the Natural Resources Board will conduct listening sessions regarding hunting, trapping and fishing in three or four locations around the state. The sessions are to gather comments on the administering of the law and to show maps identifying areas in the parks which will be available to hunting, trapping and fishing. As you might surmise, the sessions are not meant to debate the law. Perhaps our input could lead to very restrictive hunting and trapping in our state parks.
The link to the final bill is https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2011/related/acts/168. You can also submit written comments to the Natural Resources Board via their website http://dnr.wi.gov/about/nrb/public.html.