- Back in April Governor Scott Walker signed a bill in the Northwoods designed to boost hunting and trapping in the state.
This weekend local sportsmen gathered to learn the almost unchanged tradition of trapping.
The bill allows for the creation of a sporting heritage council. The council will advocate for hunters and trappers by increasing land access, and providing incentives to people for supporting the activities.
Governor Walker says it's important for Wisconsin to pass the tradition along to our young people to keep drawing people to the state.
"One of the ways in which many people enjoy Wisconsin is coming to hunt, coming to fish and coming to trap. And we're going to do more to market that so we can have more people here in the state, as well as more people coming to the state," says Gov. Walker.
Trapper Education instructor John Lindner says much of the exploration of this country was done by men chasing fur-bearing animals for trade. He says it's important to continue the practice, though he understands it can be controversial.
"People have different ideas about things, different ways of using the resource. We need to be a group of people who can reason together. Who can still use science-based information to maintain health of animal populations; to harvest a renewable resource that can be utilized," says Lindner.
Lindner says his classes begin and end with respect. The first thing he teaches new trappers is ethics and safety. He says every trapper has to be willing to pass up the best potential set in the world if it's too close to an area domesticated animals or people could be.
From bobcats to muskrats, he teaches his students how to trap all fur-bearing animals in the state.
Watching kids learn the tricks of the trade is his favorite part of teaching.
"It's so much fun, watching them light up, learning a piece of information or knowledge they hadn't thought about. There's a lot about the animal population we are unawares of, and it's really fun to watch these kids light up with that information, and then use it wisely," says Lindner.
There's something in season for trappers practically year-round. Trapper education classes are manditory for anyone not involved in farming, so if you'd like to sign up contact your local DNR.
Story By: Lyndsey Stemm