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UPDATE: Andy Pantzlaff talks about resignation from hunting group

Duck hunting (courtesy of Forest and Range.org)
Duck hunting (courtesy of Forest and Range.org)

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The president of Wisconsin's United Sportsmen said he resigned from a state council because of health concerns and a need to reduce his workload. 

Andy Pantzlaff said he was weary after a flurry of negative publicity about his group, which tried and failed to get a half-million dollar state grant to promote hunting and fishing. 

In a long e-mail to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Pantzlaff said he and his family need time to, "heal from the abuse I've taken over trying to make a difference." 

Pantzlaff resigned Monday from the state's Sporting Heritage Council. He did not indicate if he would stay on as president of his United Sportsmen group. 

Critics called Republican lawmakers on the carpet, after they refused to let some other outdoor groups with more teaching experience apply for the grant. That brought Democratic accusations of cronyism. 

Pantzlaff defended himself, saying people think he's a, "great villain out for money" when in reality he never accepted a dime from the United Sportsmen. Pantzlaff also mentioned his volunteer work as a grade school football coach, and he turned down pay and expenses as a constable.  

Governor Scott Walker reversed a decision to give the United Sportsmen the state grant after questions about the group's tax status, and Pantzlaff's 2005 citation for shooting a bear with an improper license.  

Pantzlaff questioned why that had to be reported. He said, "I thought the USA stood for people helping people, and giving people a second chance. Well, I guess I was wrong." 

Pantzlaff also said his e-mail would be his final comment on the matter.