For more than 20 years the Wisconsin DNR has been honoring hunters, but not based on how big of a buck they bagged.
It’s called the Hunter Ethics Award.
“It’s really a way to recognize an individual who, you know, has behaviors and values that I believe really is representative of all hunters, but we don’t always get to hear the good stories about hunting,” said Wisconsin DNR Chief Conservation Warden Todd Schaller.
Over the past 20+ years the Hunter Ethics Award has been given to hunters who help return lost equipment, aid the DNR in cases and go above and beyond in other ways.
“Anytime that we can honor somebody that’s helping out to increase the sport of hunting safely, that’s a good deal,” said Monsoor’s Sport Shop Owner Roger Wendling.
A four person committee, which includes Schaller, reviews the nominations and selects each years winner.
“Hunting is a huge tradition and part of Wisconsin and it’s been that way for a long, long time and from an agency perspective we promote safe and ethical and responsible hunting and this is just another kind of prong that we use to promote the hunting tradition in Wisconsin,” said Schaller.
Wendling knows plenty of people who would be deserving of the honor.
“We have a lot of the shooting instructors out there, safety instructors are doing a good job. A lot of the gun clubs promote stuff. The schools are finally getting into the game of gun safety and shooting now. That’ll help everybody in the industry,” said Wendling.
To be eligible for the award, the nominee must be a licensed hunter in Wisconsin and the act must have occurred in the 2018 calendar year.
The 2018 Hunter Ethics Award will be given out in mid-to-late February.
To nominate a hunter that meets the criteria for the Hunter Ethics Award you can send an email to Todd.Schaller@wisconsin.gov by Jan. 15.