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MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -
Thousands of people attended public hearings across the state Monday to voice their opinions on hunting and fishing regulations.
The meetings were held by the Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Conservation Congress.
More than 200 people showed up in Marathon County alone. Hot topics included the wolf hunt, fishing policies and expanding hunting in state parks.
Karen Graff, who lives in Marathon County and loves to hunt, said she's worried about safety in state parks.
"There will be a real user conflict with hunting too close to where trails or designated use areas are," she said.
Graff is a members of the Friends of Rib Mountain State Park, a group devoted to making that area a better place. She spoke out at the public hearing against expanding hunting there.
"We just are very concerned about public safety," said Graff.
But hers wasn't the only opinion.
Marathon County Conservation Congress Chairman Marcell Wieloch told Newsline 9 he believes most people who hunt there are responsible.
"Most of them try to follow all the rules of safe hunting. Know what your target is. Know what's behind it. Know what's in front of it," he said.
He does not hunt at the state park, but said he has heard some concerns.
Others attended the public hearing to talk about trolling and changes to the wolf hunt, among other topics. Leaders from the DNR said they wanted input on proposed changes and policies to help them make good decisions.
"I think it's just tradition. Wisconsin is deeply rooted in hunting and fishing and trapping in the state. People are passionate about it which I think is great," DNR Conservation Warden Ben Herzfeldt said.
DNR officials will now tally all of the results from meetings across the state and release the results soon.
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