Waupaca County votes yes
By Greg Seubert
Fifty-two of Wisconsin’s 72 counties – including Waupaca – support a sandhill crane hunt in the state, according to voters attending annual spring fish and wildlife hearings April 10.
The overall vote wasn’t as lopsided, however.
According to figures from the state Department of Natural Resources, 2,349 people supported a question regarding the hunt, while 2,049 people voted no.
The question asked if voters support legislation which would give the DNR the authority to begin the process to develop a hunting season for sandhill cranes, one of two crane species found in North America.
The question passed 44-14 in Waupaca County, 23-19 in Waushara County, 88-41 in Outagamie County, 63-37 in Winnebago County and 36-14 in Shawano County. Portage County was split 76-76.
The proposal also passed in Barron, Brown, Buffalo, Burnett, Calumet, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dodge, Door, Douglas, Florence, Fond du Lac, Forest, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Iron, Jackson, Juneau, Kenosha, Kewaunee, La Crosse, Langlade, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marinette, Menominee, Monroe, Oconto, Oneida, Ozaukee, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Price, Racine, Rusk, St. Croix, Sheboygan, Taylor, Vilas, Washington and Wood counties.
It failed in Adams, Ashland, Bayfield, Dane, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jefferson, Marquette, Milwaukee, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Sawyer, Trempealeau, Vernon, Walworth, Washburn and Waukesha counties.
Lafayette County also had a tie vote.
The strongest opposition to the question came in Dane and Milwaukee counties. Dane County turned down the vote 328-89, while it failed 132-46 in Milwaukee County.
A sandhill crane hunting season would require legislation to become reality. The state Legislature would have to approve a quota-based season before the DNR can develop a season.
Seventeen states currently have a hunting season for sandhills.
North America’s other crane species, the whooping crane, is an endangered species that has been reintroduced in Wisconsin. Unlike the white whooping crane, sandhills are gray and are often mistaken for a great blue heron.