The Senate passed SB 75 with a vote of 31-1-1 on May 17.
Senate Bill 75 passed the Assembly on October 18 with a vote of 64-33-1.
The Date of Enactment for 2011 Wisconsin Act 50 was November 4, 2011.
2011 Wisconsin Act 50 aims to prohibit the Department of Natural Resources from requiring the “Earn-a-Buck” program and restrict the agency’s authority to establish open seasons for hunting deer with firearms. The general restriction is to prohibit a deer firearm season that begins before the Saturday immediately preceding the fourth Thursday in November (early season) but does not apply if the DNR wishes to create special season open to certain groups. Examples of which include hunts for those under 16 years of age, early antlerless seasons, or special hunts to control the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease.
Currently the DNR establishes rules regarding deer hunting seasons. This ranges from the dates of the normal deer gun season, special early seasons and specific programs targeted to control specific deer populations (like areas with Chronic Wasting Disease). The DNR determines the deer count numbers and then applies those numbers when scheduling the hunting seasons. In the past, there has been no legislative oversight of the DNR’s rule making process. This bill would allow the Wisconsin Legislature to have oversight and restrictive control over the Natural Resources Board’s decisions regarding hunting seasons and requirements.
The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation was opposed to this legislation.