County to continue Lion’s Den rifle ban, increase hunting permit fee by $10

By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press staff

Rifles would continue to be banned from hunting deer in Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve and the fee for hunting there would go up $10 under a policy recommended for approval last week by the Ozaukee County Natural Resources Committee.

The policy change would go into effect for the 2020-2021 deer hunting season through the 2024-2025 season. The fee change goes into effect this coming season.

The county Planning and Parks Department has allowed permitted deer hunting for shotguns, muzzleloaders and bows at Lion’s Den since 2003 to help manage the deer population there.

In 2013, the state Legislature voted to allow rifle use anywhere in the state for the deer hunting seasons, but allowing local units of government to still restrict rifle hunting, which Ozaukee County supervisors did since the preserve experiences “significant passive recreational public use during the fall season” and there is residential housing near the 73-acre park.

The restriction would be in effect for the nine-day shotgun and muzzleloader-only hunting, when the park is closed to the public, and the late season archery season, approximately the month of December and first week in January.

The gun hunting fee has not been increased since the 2016-2017 season, so a $10 fee increase, up to $75, is proposed for the upcoming 2019-2020 season.

Only10 permits are granted.

“The demand for hunting at Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve has been very strong over the last several years,” county Planning and Parks Director Andrew Struck told supervisors.

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