The fight over a sandhill crane hunt isn't over. It may just be beginning.
Oconomowoc Republican state Rep. Joel Kleefisch introduced a bill last winter that would authorize a hunt, calling the cranes the rib-eye of the sky. Bird lovers balked, and the measure went nowhere.
Now, the Conservation Congress plans to ask the public whether a hunt is a good idea at its spring hearings Monday.
Supporters contend the crane population has rebounded and the creatures are consuming farmers' corn seeds and fledgling stalks right out of fields. So far a hunt has been a tough sell in a state that's home to the International Crane Foundation.
The spring hearing vote is advisory, but approval would give legislators more credibility if they bring a hunting bill back next session.