By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Dec 18, 2012 at 5:31 AM Photography:

The inmates continue to take control of the asylum.

The latest shot across the bow of the good ship of sanity is the incredible action guided and endorsed by the governor's silly Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp.

There's some background needed here.

Wisconsin has a wonderful system of state parks and trails that run throughout this glorious state. People fish and hike and ride bikes and camp and climb all over these 48 parks.

But Stepp and her department have fallen under the spell of "anything that seems good for business is good for Wisconsin" and have created something that would be hard to believe if I didn't know it's true.

Last year there was an amendment to something called the "Sportsman Heritage Bill" that takes effect on Jan. 1. The idea was to find ways to get more people to enjoy and use the state parks. So they came up with plan guided by some kind of twisted logic.

Somebody had the bright idea that we could get more people into our state parks and on our state trails if we just opened them up to hunting and trapping.

For decades the rule had always been that state parks and trails were closed to hunting and trapping unless the DNR expressly acted to open them for such activities. Now, under the new rules, hunting and trapping are allowed everywhere unless the DNR prohibits it.

Think about this.

A guy who doesn't really follow the news or anything decides to take his family to a state park to camp for a week and they take the family dog. One night he takes his dog out to let him do his nightly duty and the dog runs off the trail and bang, it steps into some trap and starts howling.

A few hundred yards away some idiot with a gun and a permit hears the howling and thinks its a turkey or a bird and lifts his gun to his shoulder and lets fly with a few rounds, which fly over the head of the camper and his kids.

Now, I know that the nitpickers out there will write to tell me that this couldn't possibly happen under these new rules. I know they are going to think that I'm being too harsh toward hunters and Cathy Stepp.

Well, just read this from an Associated Press story on the new rules:

"I have friends who are hunters and not a single one thinks this is good idea," said hunter Jeffrey Baylis. "I think this will fuel a general antipathy toward hunting."

The AP said some residents feared for the safety of their pets and families. Some reportedly said they would never attend the state's parks again if the law went into effect, even though the law restricts hunting and traps in certain areas near campgrounds and trails.

"My family is not opposed to hunting and trapping. We own guns, we hunt — just not in a state park," said Cynthia Gagan of Cedarburg. "It is only a matter of time before people or pets are hurt by a stray bullet."

I'm not really an outdoors guy, but I recognize that outdoor sports are a very important thing to a lot of people in Wisconsin. I just can't stop shaking my head in wonder at how absolutely stupid bureaucrats can be once they get an idiotic idea in their heads.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.