By the day it is becoming more and more clear that the Wisconsin DNR does not to intend to close the wolf slaughter season once the statewide quota of 150 is reached. Wildlife advocates are understandably concerned and the alarms raised by a group of scientists back in August about the fragile state of the wolf population hold even more weight today. By ignoring the established state wide wolf kill quota the Wisconsin DNR is setting a major and highly disturbing precedent that exists for no other species.
For the past three years since the January 2012 delisting of wolves from Endangered Species list wildlife advocates have raised alarms about the reckless and brutal “management” techniques applied to the Wisconsin wolf population. Wisconsin allows massively high kill quota ratios compared to the population and is the only state in the country that allows dogs to be used against wolves. Also rarely mentioned is the total lack of rules governing the use and training of dogs pitted against wolves. Wisconsin currently allows dogs to be “trained” against wolves 24/7/365 with no restrictions other than the never enforced provision that the dogs cannot kill the wolves. Only a naive fool would believe that confrontations between dogs and wolves are not occurring.
The Wisconsin DNR and their sham “Wolf Advisory Committee” set their kill quota of 150 wolves statewide this year and pretended that this was a “conservative” number after the slaughter last year caused the wolf population to plummet by 19 percent. The DNR deliberately excluded pro-wildlife organizations from being assigned this group and made sure to stack it with rabidly anti-wolf groups like the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and Wisconsin Wildlife Federation among various others. As of today 146 wolves have been “reported” killed. With the nine day deer gun kill season complete it seems highly unlikely that “only” four wolves were killed during this period. Sources also report that the DNR is aware of at least seven wolves that have been killed illegally since the wolf killing season began on October 15th. In the ultimate show of arrogance the DNR refuses to add the illegally killed wolves to their quota. If the poaching numbers are correct 153 wolves have already been “reported” as killed. An even more highly disturbing aspect has been brought to life as well concerning the signal loss from wolves wearing telemetry collars. While the talking heads at the DNR blow this off to be likely “dead batteries” wildlife advocates know better:
DNR wildlife biologist Nathan Libal, of Rhinelander, said any number of things can cause the DNR to lose track of a collar, including collar failure, dead batteries, illegal harvest, and dispersing wolves that leave the area.
“There are quite a few ‘missing’ wolves that fit into this category,” Libal said. “However, many of them probably have just had the batteries die.”
No, Mr. Libal. You and I both know that it’s likely not just the batteries that are dead.
Despite the reckless manner in which Wisconsin has been “managing” our wolf population the anti-wolf U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completely blown off the concerns of world renowned scientists and wildlife advocates. They refused to even consider reviewing the ESA status of Wisconsin’s gray wolf population and apparently are content with this state’s eradication disguised as “management” plan. The second eradication of Wisconsin wolves may very well be the legacy of the anti-wildlife Obama Administration. With the reckless nature of Wisconsin’s “management,” indifference from the USFWS, and the non-stop advocating of poaching from anti-wolf hate sites and blowhards like Ted Nugent, the Wisconsin wolf population’s future is indeed in great peril. This is despite huge support for wolves at the polls in neighboring Michigan and a poll commissioned by the Wisconsin DNR also showing widespread support for the species here. I am not over exaggerating when I state that Wisconsin and the anti-wolf factions in charge are pushing not for “management” but eradication of this species. How else can we explain the blatant overkill allowed in two “zones” and the strong possibility that the killing season will be allowed to continue once the 150 statewide kill number is reached?
If the Wisconsin DNR, Obama Administration, and USFWS refuse to listen then it is up to wildlife advocates to get the word out as to what is occurring in this state. Is there another species in Wisconsin that the DNR would so openly allow to be killed over quota? In fact doesn’t the possibility of the DNR allowing the killing season to continue even after the statewide quota is reached set a dangerous precedent for the “management” of other species in this state? Doesn’t this essentially make it a free for all for poachers as well? I mean even the anti-wolf Wisconsin Wildlife Federation has openly complained about the lack of DNR enforcement for wildlife violations. If a kill everything group like that sees a problem with this arrogant DNR and their so-called leadership then everyone else should be alarmed as well.
Where does it stop? When do the supposed “ethical hunters” step up and call out the DNR for their mismanagement of not only wolves but other species? The news today is that deer kill numbers are drastically down all over the state, especially in areas where there are no established wolf populations. By now even the great white hunters of this state should see that there is a major problem with the Wisconsin DNR and how they “manage” not only wolves, but wildlife in general. When you allow the most unethical types of wildlife killers, hounders, baiters, and trappers, to control every aspect of the DNR and their committees, what do yo think is going to happen. Wisconsin has become a “free for all” killing field where not even state parks or areas near buildings are safe. Couple that with rampant poaching and a lack of enforcement for those violations and is it any surprise that wildlife populations are dropping?
During the recall election and this past election the “Sportsmen for Walker” signs were quite popular among certain factions. Well you “sportsmen” got exactly what you voted for and now you too must suffer the consequences of those you put into power. You were warned when Walker hired a canned hunting proponent out of Texas as a “deer czar” to change how deer are “managed” in this state. You can’t blame wolves for the lower deer population where wolves are non-existent or only pass through. The arrogance of the Walker Administration and his DNR regarding wolves and other wildlife should serve as a wake up call for the supposedly “ethical” hunters out there if there are any left.
Wisconsin’s deer are in danger from the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease and endless hunting seasons. Wisconsin’s wolves are in even higher danger from a virulent disease: hate and DNR arrogance.
Please continue to DEMAND an end to this reckless wolf slaughter season:
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DNR Secretery Cathy Stepp: