Hunting in State Parks raises concerns - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Hunting in State Parks raises concerns

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Catherine Brown and her husband are no strangers to Council Grounds State Park in Merrill.

"We come here once, twice a week year round," Catherine Brown said.

But, they say they have no interest in visiting here once the park opens to hunters.

"We just won't come," Brown said.

Council Grounds is just one of 39 state parks that allows gun deer hunting. Park rangers say, every year, six permits are given out.   

"The park is about 500 acres so hunters need to abide by all the safety rules," Property Supervisor Dawn Bishop said.  

But starting in January, every state park must allow hunters. And the Browns don't like that.

"It is just not safe," Brown said. "They say they have to stay away from people 100 yards but a bullet can travel miles."

But park officials say safety always comes first.

"We have blaze orange vests for people that are just visiting the park if they choose," Bishop explained.

Rangers at Rib Mountain State Park in Wausau say the same thing. The 900 acre park offers hunting during the gun deer season. But, no rifles are allowed. Still, that doesn't make those opposed to the law feel any better.

But some hunters say being able to hunt in a state park means more opportunity.

"It's a good thing," hunter Jake Schira said. "It will help control population and also give hunters some different land where those bucks could be hiding out."

So, hunters and visitors will have to share the park. But no matter how they feel about it, they each have to focus on one thing, safety.         

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