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Press Release

Serving the Greater Northwoods

Oneida - Vilas - Florence - Forest

June 12, 2020


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              June 12, 2020   

Contact: Representative Rob Swearingen                                (608) 266-7141


 Rep. Swearingen Responds to the DNR’s Decision to Suspend Hunter Safety Courses for the Remainder of 2020


Madison, WI – Representative Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) released the following statement regarding the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) decision to suspend hunter safety courses for the remainder of 2020. 


“The hunter safety program is an integral part of the sportsman tradition in the Northwoods and around the state for many years. The recent decision by the DNR that they will not recognize the course due to Gov. Evers COVID-19 restrictions is absolutely preposterous. Certainly, the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department course instructors are well and able to implement alternative safety measures that could be put in place to make sure people of all ages are safe when taking this course. The recently canceled course had 30 students registered as well as additional students on a waiting list for future courses. I join the Sheriff’s frustrations with the recent decision made by the DNR and the Evers administration.  


Yesterday, my office sent communications to the DNR asking for additional information specifically related to who in the department made this decision. We were told they are looking into this matter, and I remain hopeful they will respond promptly and expect they will reconsider their position.


 “Furthermore, I find it unacceptable that if hunter safety instructors continue to teach the course, the DNR could penalize and decertify instructors as well as not recognizing students for completing the course. To me, this is big government at its finest and it is clear Gov. Evers does not realize how important this educational program is to hunters of all generations around the state. If Gov. Evers is truly an educator, he can certainly find ways to adapt the course and ensure the safety for everyone involved,” stated Swearingen.     


Representative Swearingen represents the 34th Assembly District, which includes the Northwoods counties of Oneida, Vilas, Florence and portions of Forest.