Sandhill Cranes Need Your Voice!

Sandhill Crane Hunt Public Hearing Scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 19

Dear Crane Friends,

There’s still time to contact your state elected officials to voice your opinion about a bill currently under consideration in the Wisconsin State Assembly to create a hunting season for Sandhill Cranes in Wisconsin.

A public hearing about Bill Number SB-620 will be held at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 10 a.m. in the North Hearing Room.

The bill number is required for people to submit written comments or request to speak during the public hearing. More information about the public hearing testifying process is available here. Written comments can be submitted to your state elected officials and Senator Felzkowski before the bill goes to a vote.

This bill is co-sponsored by State Representative Paul Tittl, (R-Manitowoc), 25th Assembly District, and Senator Mary Felzkowski, (R-Irma), 12th Senate District. It addresses hunting of sandhill cranes, wildlife damage abatement assistance, claim payments for damage caused by Sandhill Cranes and making an appropriation.

I will be testifying about our concerns about a Sandhill Crane hunt in Wisconsin. Some of our concerns include the following points:

• Hunting is not a solution for crop damage caused by Sandhill Cranes, but solutions are available. We remain committed to working with farmers, seed producers, legislators, and all others to make Avipel and other crop deterrents more affordable and convenient, and find other non-lethal solutions to this problem.

• Sandhill Crane hunting can harm populations. Over the last 70 years, Wisconsin’s Sandhill Crane population has recovered remarkably from very low numbers. However, in contrast to most game bird species, Sandhill Cranes reproduce very slowly. Most pairs do not successfully nest until four to five years of age, lay only two eggs, and typically only one hatchling survives to fledge once every three years. Cranes have been negatively impacted by hunting in many places around the world, including the historic decline of Sandhill and Whooping Cranes in the United States.

• Cranes have a strong spiritual and social significance for many people in Wisconsin and worldwide. Cranes attract people to Wisconsin, and tourism to see these charismatic birds can generate millions of dollars in revenue as it does in other parts of the country and overseas.

Any consideration of a potential crane hunt should be undertaken using the best available science and diverse opinions while sharing a vision for sustaining healthy crane populations on healthy landscapes. Read more about our concerns and position on a potential hunt here.

I encourage you to get involved in the discussion about Sandhill Crane hunting. Please consider contacting your State Representative to share your views on a possible Sandhill Crane hunt in Wisconsin.

For all you do on behalf of cranes and conservation at home and worldwide, I thank you.


Rich Beilfuss
President and CEO