Committee approves bill to bolster hunting

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A bill designed to boost participation in hunting and fishing in Wisconsin by offering steep discounts to first-time license applicants has passed the Legislature’s budget committee.

The Joint Finance Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to pass the measure. It now heads to the full Legislature for consideration.

The bill also creates a new task force to come up with ways to improve the recruitment of hunters, anglers and trappers.

Under the bill, license fees for first-time resident hunters would drop to $5. Depending on the type of license, those now cost between $7 and $24. Fees for non-resident hunters would also drop about 50 percent.

The measure also establishes a half-credit for high school students who complete a Department of Natural Resources hunter safety program.