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UPDATE: Assembly approves new poaching penalties

UPDATED Tuesday, March 18, 2014 --- 6:21 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Assembly has approved a bill that would dramatically increase penalties for poaching trophy deer.

Current state law allows judges to impose a $43 surcharge on top of poaching fines if they choose. The Republican bill would require judges to impose surcharges ranging from $43 to $10,000 according to antler spread and forbid anyone convicted of poaching deer from holding a hunting, fishing or trapping license for three years.

The idea for the bill came from the Taylor County Sportsmen's Club. The club's members were angry that someone illegally shot a buck with a 175-inch spread at night two weeks before the 2012 gun deer season opener.

The Assembly passed the bill on a voice vote Tuesday. It now goes to the state Senate.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 18, 2014 ---- 5:35 a.m.

The Wisconsin Assembly is poised to consider a bill that would dramatically increase penalties for poaching trophy deer.

Current state law allows judges to impose a $43 surcharge on top of poaching fines if they choose. The Republican bill would require judges to impose surcharges ranging from $43 to $10,000 according to antler spread and forbid anyone convicted of poaching deer from holding a hunting, fishing or trapping license for three years.

The idea for the bill came from the Taylor County Sportsmen's Club. The club's members were angry that someone illegally shot a buck with a 175-inch spread at night two weeks before the 2012 gun deer season opener.

The Assembly is set to take up the bill Tuesday.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, February 5, 2014 --- 11:01 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin legislator is trying to convince the state Senate's natural resources committee to approve a bill that would create steeper fines for poaching trophy deer.

Current state law allows judges to impose a $43 wild animal protection surcharge on top of poaching fines. Sen. Jerry Petrowski's bill would dramatically increase the surcharge according to antler spread, from $2,000 to $10,000.

Petrowski, a Marathon Republican, told the natural resources committee during a public hearing on the measure Wednesday he hopes the higher surcharges would discourage poachers and protect Wisconsin's reputation as home to large bucks.

Committee members were non-committal, asking technical questions about current surcharges and fines. Committee approval would send the bill on to the full Senate but the panel wasn't expected to vote on Wednesday.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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Posted Wednesday, February 5, 2014 --- 5:40 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Senate's natural resources committee has scheduled a public hearing on a Republican bill that would create steeper fines for poaching trophy deer.

Current state law imposes a $43.75 wild animal protection surcharge on top of the fine. The bill would dramatically increase the surcharge according to antler spread. Surcharges would range from $2,000 to $10,000.

The bill also imposes higher surcharges for poaching large elk and bear, but the measure's authors, Rep. Mary Williams and Sen. Jerry Petrowski, have introduced an amendment erasing those provisions.

Petrowski said the bill was always supposed to raise only deer surcharges and he's not sure how elk and bear got included. Williams and Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association lobbyist Bob Welch didn't return messages.

The hearing is set for Wednesday.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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