LA CROSSE - First awarded in 1997, the annual Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Hunter Ethics Award recognizes the hunter whose action are emblematic of Wisconsin's hunting heritage - which is not about trophy bucks or number of pheasants - of an outdoor tradition enjoyed responsibly, respectfully and safely by and for all.
DNR Chief Warden Todd Schaller, also a member of the award committee, says ethical behavior often means going above and beyond.
"That means actions that help another during a hunt, or taking steps to ensure the resources are there for all," Schaller said. "In past years, award recipients have returned lost gear, helped others find lost game or assisted another hunter facing a challenge of some kind."
Anyone - hunter or non-hunter - can nominate a licensed Wisconsin hunter for the award for an action that took place during the calendar year of 2018. While many nominations are made during gun-deer season, the ethical action could be something done during a squirrel hunt, turkey hunt, waterfowl hunting or any other Wisconsin hunting season.
A four-person committee studies the nominations and selects the person judged most deserving of this award. The annual honor was established by Bob Lamb, retired outdoors editor of the La Crosse Tribune, retired DNR conservation warden supervisor Steve Dewald and retired University of Wisconsin-La Crosse biology professor and outdoors writer Jerry Davis.
Simply send the name, address and other contact information to Chief Warden Todd Schaller, by email or letter and explain what the ethical act was. The nomination committee focuses on what are often singular actions or events rather than individuals who have long term conservation related programs.
To become eligible for the 2018 award:
The nominee must be a licensed (resident or nonresident) Wisconsin hunter.
The ethical hunting act must have occurred in Wisconsin during the 2018 calendar year.
Nominations will be considered for any DNR-regulated hunting activity, not only deer hunting, in Wisconsin.
SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR