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Assemblyman proposes woodchuck-hunting season

Woodchucks would no longer be a protected species in Wisconsin under a bill that's being drafted by a state Assembly Republican.

De Pere Representative Andre Jacque proposes a hunting season for woodchucks that would run from March through December. Hunters and trappers could take unlimited numbers of the creatures.

UW Madison professor emeritus Scott Craven said woodchucks were protected for decades because they got scarce - and they were needed to keep digging burrows and provide much-needed shelter for other animals.

Now, woodchucks are fairly common. Sporting enthusiasts overwhelmingly favored a woodchuck hunting season during the spring conservation hearings in 2009.