The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is seeking nominees for its annual Wisconsin Hunter Ethics Award.

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.

He said the award is focused on a “singular action or event” such as past recognition, returning lost gear, helping others find lost game or assisting another hunter facing a challenge.

Anyone − hunter or non-hunter − can nominate a licensed Wisconsin hunter for an action that took place during the calendar year of 2017. While many nominations are made during gun-deer season, the ethical action could be something done during a squirrel hunt, turkey hunt, waterfowl hunt 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.

Last year, Wisconsin-based Vortex Optics partnered with the award and provided a package of a range finder, binoculars and a rifle scope for the award winner.

“Hunting ethically continues to be significant in helping set examples for young hunters. The DNR annual ethical hunter award brings examples of this behavior public,” Davis said. “We’re privileged to have Vortex Optics, Inc. as a sponsor.”

To be eligible for the 2017 award:

  • The nominee must be a licensed (resident or nonresident) Wisconsin hunter.
  • The ethical hunting act must have occurred in Wisconsin during the 2017 calendar year.
  • Nominations will be considered for any DNR-regulated hunting activity, not only deer hunting, in Wisconsin.

Anyone who wants to nominate a hunter can send the name, address and other contact information to Schaller by email or letter with a description of the ethical act.

Written nominations must contain the name, address and telephone numbers of any witnesses. Mail to Schaller at Todd.schaller@wisconsin.gov or to Department of Natural Resources, Attention: Chief Warden Todd Schaller LE/5, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, by Feb. 15.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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