Hunter Mark Smith welcomes wild birds on to his property, but if he sees a cat, he thinks the "invasive" animal should be considered fair game.
The 48-year-old firefighter from La Crosse has proposed that hunters in Wisconsin make free-roaming domestic cats an "unprotected species" that could be shot at will by anyone with a small-game license.
His proposal will be placed before hunters on April 11 at the Wisconsin Conservation Congress spring hearings in each of the state's 72 counties.
Smith's proposal has horrified cat lovers, but is seen by others as a way to stop cats from killing wild birds.
University of Wisconsin-Madison wildlife ecology professor Stanley Temple, who trapped more than 100 cats and analyzed their stomach contents during a four-year study, has estimated that between 7.8 million and 219 million birds are killed by rural cats in Wisconsin each year.
Between 7.8 million and 219 million? I mean, if it were 219 million, I might move to Wisconsin just for the sport of it. But 7.9 million? Doesn't really motivate me to make the drive...