We’ve seen countless YouTube videos and read a number of horror stories outlining law-abiding hunters getting harassed and receiving death threats for doing what we love.
I suppose it might be easy enough to say that it “comes with the territory”, but when I really think about it, that’s bullshit.
Harassing good people for doing something they love and that fits perfectly within the confines of the law, does not come with ‘the territory’. It doesn’t and shouldn’t come with the territory of hunters, fishermen, farmers, mechanics, models…no one.
The news out of Wisconsin this week is a step in the right direction on this nonsense.
Gov. Scott Walker has gone ahead and signed a bill into law that would prohibit the harassment of hunters across the state of Wisconsin.
Referred to as SB 338, the bill goes on to expand the hunting definition to include “scouting, target shooting, dog training and animal baiting or feeding.” Allowing hunters to partake in pre and post hunt activities without interference.
The bill also expanded the types of conduct deemed prohibitive 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 that are intended to impede or obstruct a person engaged in lawful hunting, fishing or trapping”.
The bill has come under obvious fire from opposing animal rights groups who claim they are simply attempting to uncover unlawful hunting activities as the Wolf Patrol organization did when filming and harassing wolf hunters in Wisconsin and Montana in 2014.
In light of actions taken by the Wolf Patrol and other organizations, the bill also expands the definition of interference with a hunter to include remaining in a hunter’s sight and photographing or confronting a hunter more than twice with the intention to interfere.
Do I think this will stop hunter harassment in the state of Wisconsin? Absolutely not.
We know who we are dealing with here. The majority of the ones willing to break the law to harass hunters are some of the most ill-informed and irrational human beings to walk the earth.
A peaceful, stern and unified front is what we as hunters need to continue to do as we act as stewards of the conservation of wild places.