Wisconsin Cat Hunt

A friend of mine in Minnesota asked me recently about the feral cat hunting proposal in Wisconsin and whether feral cats were such a problem here that we needed a special law about it. Feral cats are not 'wild cats', per se, but rather house cats gone wild, that is feline domesticus (I'm pretty sure that's the correct latin designation) or as they're more colloquially known 'barn cats'. Or maybe just homeless cats would be a more fitting designation for these animals.Are they a problem in Wisconsin?

Well, I'd never heard they were before this and frankly most farmers who have problematic barn cats just take care of them without bothering to worry about a hunting license.Cats are - of course - the only domesticated animals that did not start out originally as either a pack or herd animal. They were domesticated by the Egyptians aeons ago for the purpose of taking care of vermin in grain silos. Possibly the pro-cat-hunting lobby here was concerned that these wild house cats were themselves vermin, representing a disease vector, since they tend to still hang around with humans and aren't so clean.

Or there could have been a concern that these feral house cats were now part of the Wisconsin eco-system and represent a new species with nonatural predator and thus could overwhelm its fragile balance. Although, I can think of plenty of animals out here in the woods that would find them a wholesome snack - wolves, hawks, eagles, maybe bears. (oh my)

What I really think is that these hunters figured that these cats are animals, they're out in the woods, so why not hunt them? You need a little target practice between all the other hunting seasons, don't you? And, I don't know this first hand, but I hear that cats are real yummy if you cook them right.

I've never been a hunter myself and will never get exactly what's 'fun' about hunting. There's something atavistic and chemical that must happen in most male brains that seems to be entirely absent in mine. I can understand it from the aspect that it's sort of a coming-of-age male bonding type thing and you're going out and enjoying nature and most often drinking- which I've also heard can be fun. But other than that, it holds no interest for me.

Don't get me wrong. I don't have anything against hunters. I know far too many people that I respect that also hunt. So, even if I don't understand why it's enjoyable for them and doesn't seem like it would be a good time for me, I can still accept this difference of opinion. And I do appreciate the aspect of them getting potential road hazards out of the way (deer, wild turkeys, ducks, etc). Thank you for that, Hunters.

My only real problem is that since I live so far out in the woods, there are certain times of the year that I can't safely go out of my house wearing my favorite antler hat and brown furry suit. Also, there's this rumor that certain twisted multimillionaires in Minnesota have been buying up land in remote areas of the state and then kidnaping famous sports figures and hunting them down as human game. I'd definitely draw the line there.

That's only a rumor, though; If I hear anymore about that, I'll let you know. By the way, the Governor of Wisconsin said that he would veto any bill like this that came his way. I'm not even sure that this was a bill thatwas actually introduced as legislation or just a proposal that was floated around somewhere. It got a lot of national attention and tended to makethe whole state of Wisconsin look real silly, when it was only a few people who thought it was a great idea and I'm not sure why they did.

Maybe if I heard their reasoning they could convince me.

About the Author

Steve Sommers is the author of Breakfast with the Antichrist