Wisconsin votes statewide on proposed Tundra Swan hunt, Hunting dogs on private land – Mon. April 14, 6:30PM

Image credit: Will Wilson

Scroll down to the bottom of the post for all 72 locations.

6:30 PM is registration. 7:00 PM is voting.

Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic answers yes.:
“Please take an I.D. that establishes your residency in county in which you are voting.”
The WWE site has other info/advice on wording a resolution for your local county’s ballot, info on voting for delegates, etc.

Not sure which Wisconsin counties will have iron and/or frac sand mining resolutions but word ‘on the street’ is that some will.

I will keep this blog post focused on the proposed Tundra swan hunt and I’ll mention hunting dogs too but readers should be aware that there are *58 questions* in total on the Conversation Congress ballot for all the counties. You can see all of them at the DNR’s handout on the vote.

I shared information on the Conservation Congress vote yesterday and emphasized the proposed swan hunt. Because I took some information that I saw elsewhere at face value, I erroneously said the trumpeter and tundra were the same. They are not. Sorry about that.

Ironically – or appropriately – one of the key reasons that the Madison Audubon Society opposes a Tundra swan hunt is that it is easy to confuse the Tundra swan with the Trumpeter swan:

“…the Madison Audubon Society Board voted unanimously to oppose establishing a hunt for Tundra Swans in Wisconsin, primarily because there would be a high probability that Trumpeter Swans will be mistaken for Tundra Swans and killed, after Wisconsin conservationists successfully worked for many years to re-introduce trumpeters, and because the hunt might disrupt one of the most popular and financially important bird-watching opportunities in Wisconsin. Please see our position paper for more information”

Position Paper PDF [plain text format for this is further down in the post]

tundra trumpeter mute illustration

Below is some video of Tundra swans (or at least they are called that by the videographer) flocked during migration. I can see how it would be difficult for a hunter to pick out what’s a Trumpeter vs. what’s a Tundra swan from this big pack of white birds.


There is also a hunting dog question which gives me a case of the WTFs – not like it’s going to impact me in the City of Madison. But rural readers – this is going to impact you:

Here’s the reaction of Patricia Randolph in “A million citizens should attend nature election April 14 to save our property rights“:

“A radio-collared pack of dogs chasing some terrified animal arrives a half-hour before their gun-toting mob of adrenaline-pumped men. They tree or corner the bear cub or coyote on your land. Your property is posted.

If this legislation passes, say goodbye to your rights. The most cruel of the hunters, the hounders, would rule. You emerge to say, “I do not give you permission to be on my land. Get out of here.” And they say, “We don’t need your permission.” (Would they leave their guns and alcohol at the edge of your property mid-chase? Unlikely.)

Who will want to pay taxes on private property with no right to privacy? We already live surrounded by constant violence to our wildlife.

Social justice proponents, including Martin Luther King, have claimed, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” In this case, the 80-year accommodation of the killing interests has bent the trajectory of Wisconsin’s worldwide reputation backward into an abyss of ignorance and cruelty. It is evident in comments on petitions against the proposed white deer kill and tundra swan kill, proposals for which are on the April 14 questionnaire.”

What you’ll vote on:

QUESTION 48. Retrieval of hunting dogs from property without landowner permission (230113, 250113, 330113, 540313) (Requires legislation)

Hunting dogs can stray onto property where their owners do not have permission to be. Currently the animal cannot be legally retrieved without the property owner’s permission. Property owners cannot always be located to obtain the necessary permission to retrieve a hunting dog. A quick retrieval is always in the best interests of the dog, dog owner, and property owner. In the states of Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa a person on foot may, without permission, enter private land without a firearm to retrieve a hunting dog. After retrieving the dog, the person must immediately leave the premises. This exception does not authorize the taking of wild game.

From the “Executive Council Advisory Questions” list on the DNR’s handout for this vote:

QUESTION 36. Tundra swan season (050112, 200412, 630112, 670612, 680112) (Requires legislation)

The tundra swan is the most common swan in North American and has very few predators. Wisconsin is within the range of the eastern population of tundra Swans and could develop a state tundra swan hunting proposal for consideration at the flyway and federal level. Tundra swans tend to favor larger bodies of water in great numbers as compared to trumpeter swans, which commonly stay in smaller groups and prefer smaller ponds and marshes. The trumpeter swan is well established as a breeding swan in Wisconsin and was removed from the state endangered list in 2009. Studies have shown tundra swan population numbers are currently rising, even with hunting allowed in other states. Each year tens of thousands of tundra swans migrate through Wisconsin with recent peak population counts on the Mississippi River of over 30,000 swans. Wisconsin could benefit from allowing a hunt unique to very few other states.

36. Are you in favor of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress asking the Wisconsin Legislature to give the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources authority to develop a hunting season for tundra swans? YES or NO

tundra swan range

I hope to add a bit more on the Tundra swan and the mining question later today.


I notice people don’t like to open PDFs – so – more cutting and pasting from the original DNR flier on the event.

Monday April 14, 2014 at 7PM at the following locations:

Adams Adams County Courthouse County Board Room, 400 Main Street, Friendship, WI 53934

Ashland Ashland County Court House 3rd Floor Court Room, 201 Main Street West, Ashland, WI 54806

Barron Barron County Government Center Auditorium, 335 E Monroe Avenue, Barron, WI 54812

Bayfield Drummond Civic Center, 52540 Front Avenue, Drummond, WI 54832

Brown NWTC Corporate Conference Center Room CC210, 2740 W Mason Street, Green Bay, WI 54307

Buffalo Alma High School Gymnasium, S1618 State Road 35, Alma, WI 54610

Burnett Burnett County Government Center Room 165, 7410 County Road K, Siren, WI 54872

Calumet Calumet County Courthouse Room B025, 206 Court Street, Chilton, WI 53014

Chippewa Chippewa Falls Middle School, 750 Tropicana Boulevard, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729

Clark Greenwood High School Cafetorium, 306 W Central Avenue, Greenwood, WI 54437

Columbia Poynette Village Hall, 106 S Main Street, Poynette, WI 53955

Crawford Prairie du Chien High School, 800 E Crawford Street, Prairie du Chien, WI 53821

Dane Middleton High School Performing Arts Center, 2100 Bristol Street, Middleton, WI 53562

Dodge Horicon Marsh International Education Center Lower Auditorium, N7725 STH 28, Horicon, WI 53032

Door Sturgeon Bay High School Commons, 1230 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235

Douglas Solon Springs High School, 8993 E Baldwin Avenue, Solon Springs, WI 54873

Dunn Dunn County Fish and Game Club, 1600 Pine Avenue, Menomonie, WI 54751

Eau Claire CVTC Business Education Center Casper Room 103, 620 W Clairemont Avenue, Eau Claire, WI 54701

Florence Florence Natural Resources Center, 5631 Forestry Drive, Florence, WI 54121

Fond du Lac Theisen Middle School, 525 E Pioneer Road, Fond du Lac, WI 54935

Forest Crandon High School, 9750 US Highway 8 West, Crandon, WI 54520

Grant Lancaster High School Auditorium, 806 E Elm Street, Lancaster, WI 53813

Green Monroe Middle School, 1510 13th Street, Monroe, WI 53566

Green Lake Green Lake High School Small Gymnasium, 612 Mill Street, Green Lake, WI 54941

Iowa Dodgeville High School Gymnasium, 912 Chapel Street, Dodgeville, WI 53533

Iron Mercer Community Center, 2648 W Margaret Street, Mercer, WI 54547

Jackson Black River Falls Middle School LGI Room, 1202 Pierce Street, Black River Falls, WI 54615

Jefferson Jefferson County Fair Park Activity Center, 503 N Jackson Avenue, Jefferson, WI 53549

Juneau Olson Middle School Auditorium, 508 Grayside Avenue, Mauston, WI 53958

Kenosha Bristol School District #1 Gymnasium, 20121 83rd Street, Bristol, WI 53104

Kewaunee Kewaunee High School Little Theater, 911 3rd Street, Kewaunee, WI 54216

La Crosse Onalaska High School Performing Arts Center, 700 Hilltopper Place, Onalaska, WI 54650

Lafayette Darlington Elementary School Large Group Room, 11630 Center Hill Road, Darlington, WI 53530

Langlade Antigo High School Volm Theater, 1900 10th Avenue, Antigo, WI 54409

Lincoln Merrill High School Auditorium, 1201 N Sales Street, Merrill, WI 54452

Manitowoc UW-Manitowoc Theatre, 705 Viebahn Street, Manitowoc, WI 54220

Marathon D.C. Everest Middle School Auditorium, 9302 Schofield Avenue, Weston, WI 54476

Marinette Wausaukee High School Auditorium, N11941 Highway 141, Wausaukee, WI 54177

Marquette Montello High School Community Room, 222 Forest Lane, Montello, WI 53949

Menominee Menominee County Courthouse, W3269 Courthouse Lane, Keshena, WI 54135

Milwaukee Nathan Hale High School Auditorium, 11601 W Lincoln Avenue, West Allis, WI 53227

Monroe Meadowview School Cafetorium, 1225 N Water Street, Sparta, WI 54656

Oconto Suring High School Cafeteria, 411 E Algoma Street, Suring, WI 54174

Oneida James William Middle School, 915 Acacia Lane, Rhinelander, WI 54501

Outagamie Riverview Middle School Auditorium, 101 Oak Street, Kaukauna, WI 54130

Ozaukee Webster Middle School Commons, W75 N624 Wauwatosa Road, Cedarburg, WI 53012

Pepin Pepin County Government Center County Board Room, 740 7th Avenue West, Durand, WI 54736

Pierce Ellsworth High School Auditorium, 323 Hillcrest Street, Ellsworth, WI 54011

Polk Unity High School Auditorium, 1908 State Hwy 46, Balsam Lake, WI 54810

Portage Ben Franklin Junior High School Auditorium, 2000 Polk Street, Stevens Point, WI 54481

Price Price County Courthouse Boardroom, 126 Cherry Street, Phillips, WI 54555

Racine Union Grove High School, 3433 S Colony Avenue, Union Grove, WI 53182

Richland Richland County Courthouse, 181 W Seminary Street, Richland Center, WI 53581

Rock Milton High School Auditorium, 114 W High Street, Milton, WI 53563

Rusk Ladysmith High School Auditorium, 1700 Edgewood Avenue East, Ladysmith, WI 54848

Saint Croix St. Croix Central High School Commons, 1751 Broadway Street, Hammond, WI 54015

Sauk UW-Baraboo Campus, Lecture Hall A-4, 1006 Connie Road, Baraboo, WI 53913

Sawyer Winter High School Auditorium, 6585 Grove Street, Winter, WI 54896

Shawano Shawano Middle School Room LGI, 1050 S Union Street, Shawano, WI 54166

Sheboygan Plymouth High School Auditorium, 125 Highland Avenue, Plymouth, WI 53073

Taylor Taylor County Multipurpose Meeting Room, Hwy 64/Hwy 13, Medford, WI 54451

Trempealeau Whitehall City Center Gymnasium, 18620 Hobson Street, Whitehall, WI 54773

Vernon Viroqua High School Commons, 100 Blackhawk Drive, Viroqua, WI 54665

Vilas St. Germain Elementary School Gymnasium, 8234 Hwy 70 West, St. Germain, WI 54558

Walworth Delavan-Darien High School LGR Room 124/125, 150 Cummings Street, Delavan, WI 53115

Washburn Spooner High School Auditorium, 801 County Highway A, Spooner, WI 54801

Washington Washington County Fair Park, 3000 Hwy PV, West Bend, WI 53095

Waukesha Waukesha Co. Tech. College, Richard Anderson Center, 800 Main Street, Pewaukee, WI 53072

Waupaca Waupaca High School Performing Arts Center, E2325 King Road, Waupaca, WI 54981

Waushara Waushara County Court House Board Room 265, 209 S Saint Marie Street, Wautoma, WI 54982

Winnebago Webster Stanley Middle School Auditorium, 915 Hazel Street, Oshkosh, WI 54901

Wood Pittsville School District Admin. Building Auditorium, 5459 Elementary Avenue, Pittsville, WI 54466


Plain text lifted from their position paper PDF. Original link HERE]

In response to an advisory question on the 2014 Spring Hearing ballot as to whether the Wisconsin Conservation Congress should ask the Wisconsin legislature to give the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) authority to develop a hunting season for tundra swans, the
Madison Audubon Society Board voted unanimously at its March 10, 2014, meeting to oppose establishing a hunt for Tundra Swans in Wisconsin. The primary reasons are the high probability that Trumpeter Swans will be mistaken for Tundra Swans and killed, after Wisconsin conservationists
successfully worked for many years to re-introduce trumpeters, and because the hunt might disrupt one of
the most popular and financially important bird-watching opportunities in Wisconsin. Please see our supporting information and data below.

It is very difficult to distinguish between Tundra and Trumpeter Swans (see any field guide or, especially, the online discussion on Sibley Guides: Identification of North America Birds and Trees: http://www.sibleyguides.com/2006/02/distinguishing-trumpeter-and-tundra-swans/). The potential for misidentification is widely acknowledged: The WDNR states, “…it will be very difficult for hunters to distinguish between tundra and trumpeter swans.”; Ducks Unlimited says, “…it is difficult to separate them in the field.”; and Back Country Press, in a 2/4/14 article, says, “Some hunters and other conservationists…are concerned about the possibility of confusing tundra and trumpeter swans.” There can even be confusion between swans and Snow Geese: Minnesota DNR claims, “Aggressive educational campaigns are necessary to emphasize the differences between swans and Snow Geese.” There is also some concern that Tundra Swans could be confused with Whooping Cranes or American White Pelicans, which are also large, primarily white, birds.

While Tundra Swans are often found in large numbers on large bodies of water, they are also found throughout Wisconsin on rivers, in fields, and on small ponds, including Madison Audubon’s Goose Pond. Trumpeter Swans are often found in small groups, but as their population has expanded, they can be found in larger groups, and mixed with Tundra Swans.

In a high profile and ultimately successful effort to reintroduce the once-extirpated Trumpeter Swan (they were removed from Wisconsin’s state endangered species list in 2009), Wisconsin spent more than $1 million over more than 25 years. Wisconsin citizens are very invested in swan conservation, as there was an extensive public campaign to raise funds for the reintroduction, including the popular “Adopt a Swan” program (http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/endangeredresources/swan.html).

All swans are hugely popular with the public. Large, with pure white plumage (adult birds), Tundra Swans bookmark the seasons, arriving in late March on their way to their distant tundra nesting grounds. In fall, the main cohort arrives mid-November, lingering as long as there’s open water with sufficient aquatic vegetation on which to feed. One of the most spectacular birding opportunities can be
found in southeastern Minnesota and southwestern Wisconsin, particularly at Pools 7 and 8 on the Mississippi River (Brownsville overlook in Minn.; La Crosse area in Wisconsin). As the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has improved bird habitat on Pool 8, the amount of bird tourism there has increased substantially. Wisconsin was recently identified in a Fish and Wildlife Service survey as the second “birdiest” state in the nation (the percent of people who identify themselves as birders).


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