A La Crosse firefighter has ignited a firestorm by proposing to declare free-roaming wild cats an unprotected species, allowing people to shoot, drown or kill them.
Mark Smith, a 48-year-old hunter and trapper, says he expected opposition to his plan, but was unprepared for the anger and the threats he's received.
Cat lovers conjured up images of a cat hunting season, calling the plan inhumane and silly.
They've formed a Wisconsin Cat-Action Team and are mobilizing cat lovers to attend upcoming meetings on the plan.
Smith sees it as a reasonable solution for a wildlife and environmental problem created by irresponsible cat owners.
His idea gets tested April eleventh at the Wisconsin Conservation Congress spring hearings, where outdoor enthusiasts gather in every county to vote on hunting and fishing issues.
Estimates put the number of wild cats in Wisconsin around two million. South Dakota and Minnesota have allowed wild cats to be shot for decades.