Killing Giggles the Fawn and the Double Standard of How Blatant Wildlife Violations by Hounders and Trappers are Ignored

It all came to a head on July 15, 2013. After weeks of aerial and ground surveillance, diligent investigation, and the approval of a search warrant, the fugitive was cornered and the courageous and heavily armed deputies of the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources were ready strike and apprehend the dangerous suspect and send a message to those harboring her. When the time came the 16 officers executed the SWAT style raid with perfection, apprehended the suspect, and summarily executed her for the safety of the entire state and humanity itself.

Here is what the violent suspect, that needed 16 heavily armed officers to apprehend, looked like prior to her execution.

Giggles the fawn. Killed by the DNR on July 15, 2013.

Giggles the fawn. Killed by the DNR on July 15, 2013.

This innocent little baby was killed by the Wisconsin DNR because some kindhearted people at the Society of St. Francis Animal Shelter took the fawn, affectionately known as Giggles, in prior to attempting to place her with a wildlife rehabber in Illinois. Giggles was brought to the shelter by some well meaning but misinformed people that believed she was orphaned. Because Wisconsin law forbids wild animals, such as deer from being kept, the DNR and local law enforcement apparently felt that a SWAT style raid was necessary to resolve the situation. This is what the talking heads at the Wisconsin DNR said after the raid and execution of Giggles: 

“Last week our warden staff had the difficult and emotional job of removing a fawn that was illegally taken out of the wild and into captivity. None of our staff take joy in these situations. The department does the best it can to educate the public about keeping wild animals in the wild. In the end, we are charged by the citizens of Wisconsin to carry out state laws mandated by the legislature. It is a responsibility we take very seriously. We don’t have the ability to pick and choose which laws to enforce. Wardens did request voluntary compliance from the facility. When that didn’t happen, our staff took precautions to keep everyone safe as they executed the required search warrant. We are always very empathetic to those involved in these situations and understand how difficult they are to all who are involved.”

Thank the “heavens” that we have a diligent and courageous DNR and local law enforcement to keep us safe from the scourge of baby deer and workers at animal shelters. Of course there is one little thing that the DNR conveniently “forgot” to mention. They didn’t mention the fact that a certain segment of people in the state are allowed to keep wild animals. Those wild animals aren’t “kept in the wild” but it is perfectly legal for this segment of people to “posses” them and use them to “train” their dogs on. Of course I am talking about none other than our glorious hounders and how they can keep wild animals to torment. This is what the Wisconsin statutes state:

169.20(2)(b) (b) A hound dog training license authorizes the holder of the license to purchase, possess, release into the wild, and hunt any of the following wild animals for the purpose of teaching hound dogs to track game:

169.20(2)(b)1. 1. Live captive rabbit purchased or otherwise acquired from a person holding a captive wild animal farm license.
169.20(2)(b)2. 2. Live captive raccoon.
169.20(2)(b)3. 3. Live captive bear of the species Ursus americanus.
169.20(2)(b)4. 4. Live captive fox.
169.20(2)(b)5. 5. Live captive coyote.
169.20(2)(b)6. 6. Live captive bobcat

The statute states that these animals can be kept for the purpose of teaching hound dogs to TRACK “game.” Nowhere does it say that the hounder doing the “teaching” can allow the dog can attack or kill the “game.” Only TRACKING is allowed. So why then does the Wisconsin DNR refuse to enforce the law when it comes to blatant violations where photographic and video evidence is provided showing illegal activity?

This weekend I am sure many of you read with outrage my post about the hounder videotaping his dogs tormenting two live trapped cats. I also presented another video made by the same person where he was encouraging his dogs to attack a raccoon. In both instances the hounder escaped any and all repercussions for his illegal behavior because both the Portage County Sheriff’s Department and the Wisconsin DNR refused to take any action.

Wisconsin bear hounder allowing his dogs to torment trapped cat.

Wisconsin bear hounder allowing his dogs to torment trapped cat.

Wisconsin hounder in action. Photo shared under Fair Use.

Wisconsin hounder in action. Photo shared under Fair Use.

As disturbing as these videos are there have been far more even more horrifying ones presented to the authorities followed by more refusals to take action. In 2013 a wolf killer trapped a wolf near Portage Wisconsin and allowed the wolf to languish in the trap for at least a week. Wisconsin trapping rules state that traps must be checked every 24 hours. What did the DNR do after numerous complaints were filed about this incident? They warned the wolf killer and the land owner not to do it again. No charges. No fine. Nothing but a “warning.”

illegal-wolf-trapping

Of course total inaction and apathy toward cruelty toward wildlife is not exclusive to Wisconsin agencies. Earlier this summer I was forwarded a video made by a Minnesota based hounder showing his dogs being allowed to viciously attack a coyote at what the hounder described as a Minnesota based “penning” facility. After contacting the Minnesota DNR we were told that such penning facilities are not legal in Minnesota and that the video may constitute a serious violation.

MN Hounder

Full video here:  https://youtu.be/TkjgYTb526k

This is the email interaction between a MN DNR warden and one of the reporting parties.

I have a couple of questions about Minnesota law before I report a possible violation. First, is the penning of coyotes and other wildlife legal in Minnesota for the purpose of “training” dogs? Second if it is legal are the dogs allowed to physically attack and kill the coyotes and other wildlife within these “pens?”

From the MN DNR:

The answer is no for both of your questions. There is an exception for your first questions – animals that are bought legally from a game farm can be penned and used for training dogs as long as it’s done in a humane way. Some people train their coon dogs by pulling a cage (with a raccoon in it) through the woods and fields to lay down a scent for the dog but the dogs are not actively chasing the raccoon. The big difference is where did the animals come from – the wild or a game farm. I don’t know any game farms in MN that exclusively sell coyotes – most sell game birds and a few other critters.

Major Greg Salo
Operations Manager
MN DNR Enforcement
651-259-5045
Gregory.salo@state.mn.us

In the social media comments forwarded to us with the video the hounder bragged that this “training” was occurring at a penning facility “near Brainerd.” This information was provided to the MN DNR along with the video by the complainant. For once we thought that finally action may be taken against a hounder for illegal activity. But as usual we were mistaken. Despite the video and the comments from the hounder that recorded it the MN DNR some how came to the conclusion that this occurred in Wisconsin rather than Minnesota. This was the response from the MN DNR:

We looked into this case and believe this activity is occurring just across the border in Wisconsin where it is legal to use a pen to train dogs for coyotes. We are wrapping up a few more details and I’ll let you know if something else develops.

Of course nothing more “developed” and this blatant violation was also ignored with no repercussions for the perpetrator. The inaction from the Wisconsin DNR, Minnesota DNR, and local law enforcement agencies to blatant cruelty is highly disturbing and it makes me wonder what it actually takes for them to take any sort action. Apparently photos, videos, and the words directly from the violators are not enough for any action to occur concerning blatant cruelty and law violations. The investigating agencies always have some sort of excuse as to why charges are never filed or citations are never issued.

Apparently you have to be an animal shelter volunteer harboring a viscous baby deer for local law enforcement or the DNR to take a violation seriously. In that case they will send a 16 member SWAT style team to take you and the baby down. So is the sad state of affairs for wildlife advocates in Wisconsin and the rest of the country.

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Wisconsin Hounder Uses His Hounds to Torment Trapped Cats… Wisconsin Law Enforcement Refuses to Take Any Action

***Apparently people are not taking the time to read the entire post. This WAS REPORTED almost a year ago and the named “authorities” REFUSED to take any action. We are only asking people to contact these agencies and ask them WHY no charges should have been filed NOT to report the violation. The suspect is not being named here because these agencies ALREADY KNOW who the person is.***

Very little that wildlife advocates see on a daily basis is ever positive or warms the heart. Those deeply involved in exposing the cruelty that is allowed and even encouraged in Wisconsin see horrific videos and images each and every day. While I like to pretend that “nothing” shocks or horrifies me anymore, I would be lying. Each and every sick snuff video or picture that I see pierces me right to my core. I don’t share every video or picture that I see because it would just be overwhelming for those of us that care about wildlife, but every once an a while a video or picture is so shocking that it needs to be exposed.

For the past year concerned wildlife advocates have been sitting on videos made by an individual residing in Portage County, Wisconsin in the hopes that the Portage County Sheriff’s Department or the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources would take some type of action against the perpetrator. To this date they have refused to take any action.

What follows below are screen shots of these videos along with links to the videos themselves.

Wisconsin bear hounder allowing his dogs to torment trapped cat.

Wisconsin hounder allowing his dogs to torment trapped cat. Photo and video shared under Fair Use.

The full video can be seen on our YouTube page here:

https://youtu.be/q430Kx6EXVg

If you think the above video is bad the same perpetrator is not done tormenting cats and other wildlife. Here is a second screen shot followed by the link to the full video showing the dogs tormenting a second cat.

Different trapped cat being tormented by bear hounds.

Different trapped cat being tormented by hounds. Screenshot and video shared under Fair Use.

The full video can be seen below:

https://youtu.be/AMbM3THPPII

What we are seeing in these videos is the total disregard for the law and animal welfare in general. Bear hounders like to pretend that they are “ethical” and follow all of the laws. Frankly from the evidence I have seen that couldn’t be further from the truth and as these videos show their “community” is full of people that derive pleasure from tormenting other animals. Here are the Wisconsin statutes being violated by this individual that the Portage County Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin DNR refuse to enforce:

Chapter 951: Crimes Against Animals
http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/951

951.02  Mistreating animals. No person may treat any animal, whether belonging to the person or another, in a cruel manner. This section does not prohibit normal and accepted veterinary practices.

(2) ”Cruel” means causing unnecessary and excessive pain or SUFFERING or unjustifiable injury or death.

(2) Hound dog training license.
169.20(2)(a)(a) The department shall issue a hound dog training license to any individual who is at least 10 years of age who files a proper application and pays the applicable fee. If the department issues a hound dog training license to an individual who is under 12 years of age, the individual is subject to the restrictions specified under s. 29.592.
169.20(2)(b) (b) A hound dog training license authorizes the holder of the license to purchase, possess, release into the wild, and hunt any of the following wild animals for the purpose of teaching hound dogs to track game:

**this list doesn’t include domestic cats***

169.20(2)(b)1. 1. Live captive rabbit purchased or otherwise acquired from a person holding a captive wild animal farm license.
169.20(2)(b)2. 2. Live captive raccoon.
169.20(2)(b)3. 3. Live captive bear of the species Ursus americanus.
169.20(2)(b)4. 4. Live captive fox.
169.20(2)(b)5. 5. Live captive coyote.
169.20(2)(b)6. 6. Live captive bobcat

The response from the DNR and local law enforcement doesn’t surprise me. Animal cruelty violations are almost never prosecuted and in the case of hounders the key word is NEVER.

Here is another example of the type of people that we are dealing with here and how they operate. They proudly post photos and videos like the one below to social media sites:

Wisconsin hounder in action. Photo shared under Fair Use.

Wisconsin hounder in action. Photo shared under Fair Use.

Video of above hounds attacking the raccoon is below.

https://youtu.be/N0y-bz5OBrk

Once again the Wisconsin DNR refused to take any action because the video “didn’t show the animal being killed by the dogs.”

Outraged yet? This kind of behavior occurs daily in the bloodsport capital of the United States also known as Wisconsin. The “authorities” give people like those above free reign to do whatever they wish to animals and the hounders know it. They are even brazen enough to record their illegal activity and share it for the world to see.

For those questioning as to whether or not this has been reported here is how the Wisconsin DNR and Portage County Sheriff’s Department blew off the original complaint. The suspect’s name and original complainant has been removed from the email.

From: “Lockman, Bryan R – DNR” <Bryan.Lockman@wisconsin.gov>

A Detective from the Portage County Sheriff’s Department took a look at those videos and state that because no animal was technically harmed there wouldn’t be anything they could pursue for charges.

We are committed to service excellence.
Visit our survey at http://dnr.wi.gov/customersurvey to evaluate how I did.

Bryan Lockman
Phone: (715) 344-3694
bryan.lockman@wisconsin.gov

Then we have the same DNR employee responding to the video of the raccoon being attacked by hounds:

From: “Lockman, Bryan R – DNR” <Bryan.Lockman@wisconsin.gov>

The only legal way to harvest a raccoon is by firearm, airgun, bow and arrow, crossbow or trapping. If he allowed the dogs to kill the coon then he would have harvested it with an illegal method. Going by what the video showed it wasn’t killed, so it wouldn’t violate that statute.

We are committed to service excellence.
Visit our survey at http://dnr.wi.gov/customersurvey to evaluate how I did.

Bryan Lockman
Phone: (715) 344-3694
bryan.lockman@wisconsin.gov

There you have it. Wisconsin doesn’t care if you torture cats with your dogs because they weren’t “harmed.” Wisconsin also doesn’t care if you let your hounds physically attack wildlife and video tape it because the animal wasn’t shown being killed. How’s that for being “committed to excellent service?”

At this time I am not naming the perpetrator of the above illegal activity. The Portage County Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin DNR should hear from all of you as to why no charges have been forwarded for prosecution regarding these incidents. Let them know what you think about their refusal to enforce the laws:

Portage County Sheriff’s Department 

sheriff@co.portage.wi.us

Please DO NOT call their dispatch centers and tie up their emergency lines. Email would be preferable right now.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: 

Wisconsin DNR Email Link

Kill, Kill, Kill: The Wisconsin Solution to Everything and other Bits and Pieces from the Bloodsport Capital of the United States

The Wisconsin DNR believes that killing bear cubs like this is the solution to everything. Photo via USFWS.

The Wisconsin DNR believes that killing bear cubs like these is the solution to everything deemed a “nuisance.” Photo via USFWS.

It’s should be no secret to anyone what a cruel and barbaric country the United States of America is when it comes to wildlife. Even when choosing from all 50 states Wisconsin holds the distinction of being the bloodsport capital of the United States. This is a state where the great white hunters can blow away pretty much any animal on the land, in the sky, or in the water. The great white hunters of Wisconsin can litter the landscape with brutal and sadistic landmines known as traps through much of the year with little or no oversight. The great white hunters of Wisconsin and from around the country can haul in massive 55 gallon drums of stale junk food and deposit it all over our lands, including in our National Forests, for six months of the year with no license required and no limits as to how much in total they can deposit. Then we have the obsession with using dogs as weapons in this state. Dogs can be used against one form of wildlife or another 24/7/365 in Wisconsin. The hounded species include wolves (when not under ESA protection), bears, coyotes, bobcats, and even turkeys. I must say that it takes a real manly man to sic a pack of vicious dogs on turkeys. But that is Wisconsin for you.

It’s not enough that they can kill an almost unlimited number of species in this state with every weapon short of artillery. The great white hunters of Wisconsin also get off on shooting tens of thousands of mourning doves each year and even more hand raised non-native Asian pheasants specifically bred to be living targets for the sadists among us.

I frequently come across people that live right in Wisconsin and they have no clue how brutal and sadistic our own state is toward wildlife. Many have no clue that dogs can be used against wildlife and that an archaic and sadistic activity like trapping is still allowed in the 21st Century. Others are appalled that the great white hunters are allowed to blow the state symbol of peace, the mourning dove, out of the sky strictly for their leisure. The same goes for the crows that area allowed to be killed right through their nesting season. When someone delves into that Wisconsin considers “ethical” and “legal” it is horrifying what one discovers is allowed.

Bear Baiting and Hounding 

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Is a “baiting service” kind of like a “dating service” except for sadists?

Each year in the northern part of our state a state sanctioned bloodbath is allowed to occur. In the months leading up to the annual bear killing season thousands of tons of stale junk food is deposited all over state and federal land with no restrictions, license, or oversight. Each year countless numbers of bears and other wildlife are drawn to this junk food and it likely becomes a staple of their diet. Wisconsin officials see nothing wrong with this practice and in fact in this year’s budget removed the provision that baiters have a license to drop their tons of junk food all over our lands. Many of these same baiters also use dogs against wolves and other wildlife. The hounders, from July 1st of each year, let loose thousands of hounds to be used against the food conditioned bears under the guise of “training.” This goes on for at least two months each year during the hottest part of summer, again with no license required.

This is also the time of the year that we hear about these hounds being killed by wolves in these same areas. The hounders take to social media talking about how their hounds are “family members” and that they care so much for them. Then the Wisconsin DNR cuts them a nice fat $2500 check for their “loss.” Once the check clears the hounders then take to their sadistic brag social media sites and talk about how many of their “disposable” dogs are called “culls” and “shit-eaters.”

Killing as a Solution to Everything 

The lack of empathy and embrace of using killing as an answer for every perceived “nuisance” is also a Wisconsin staple. People choose to live near forests and other wild lands and then have the nerve to complain when they simply see wildlife near their towns. Efforts are rarely made to mitigate the “problem” though non-lethal techniques and killing is almost always the only option put on the table. A recent example of this killing as a “solution” method was put before the village board in the Wisconsin village of Grantsburg in Burnett County. 

The Grantsburg Village Board and Wisconsin DNR took the first steps toward formulating a plan to rid Grantsburg of its nuisance black bears.

The problem is acute on the north side of the village along Jackson Avenue. Village President Glenn Rolloff said, “We have a bear corridor through a couple of residential yards down to Memory Lake.”

DNR Wildlife Biologist and Grantsburg area resident Steve Hoffman represented the DNR at the meeting. Hoffman said he and several high-level DNR supervisors are “well aware” of Grantsburg’s unique bear situation, which has grown from a spring annoyance to a steady, year-around problem.

Hoffman agreed with Rolloff’s assessment that some north side families with children and pets are “practically hostages in their homes” because the bears are so frequently in their yard. “It’s the same animals, coming back time after time,” usually in early morning or 6-9 p.m.

Funny how this can be a “year round problem.” Don’t bears hibernate through the winter? Then of course because bears are seen they are a “nuisance” that holds the local populace “hostage” in their homes. Where have we heard this before? So what is the “solution” to these evil bears having the nerve to walk through a couple of yards? Well kill them of course. Not only kill the adults but kill their cubs too just for having the nerve to be seen.

Hoffman said the DNR would work with the village to formulate a plan based on one or more of three DNR-suggested options:

The first option would be to encourage hunters with bear permits to hunt on the outskirts of Grantsburg to take the nuisance bears during the regular bear hunting season.

A second option would be set baited traps in the village, in remote areas like the ski trails and the Boy Scout Woods. Trapped bears would be destroyed. However, Hoffman said the DNR recognizes the bears are wily enough to avoid most traps.

The third option would be to establish one or more bear shooting zones within the village limits. That is a highly unusual plan for the DNR to suggest, Hoffman said. It would require certified shooters, firing down from an elevated platform, who would only fire into a designated shooting area.

Drastic as it may sound, the village and DNR agreed that if a sow is trapped or shot, any cubs with that sow would also be destroyed. The cubs are as territorial as the sow, and grow up to be the next problem, they agreed.

“This third option of shooting in the village is not hunting,” Hoffman said. “This is different from hunting. It is ridding the village of a nuisance and an ongoing problem.”

Kill, kill, and kill some more. This is the ONLY way Wisconsin tries to deal with any perceived “problem” with wild animals being wild animals. Of course this shouldn’t coem as a shock. In one ass backwards city in Wisconsin they are training their cops to use silencers to kill “nuisance” deer that have the nerve to show their faces in the city limits. I am not joking. The City of Portage, where news reports show rampant theft and vandalism, have tasked their officers to kill deer in the city because apparently fences don’t exist to place around airports:

Several Common Council members have said deer encroachment is an issue that needs to be addressed. Portage Municipal Airport officials have noted that it is a liability issue for pilots trying to land on runways, which are regularly overrun by deer and other wildlife.

“The DNR issues up to 100 deer to be harvested … but there’s no magic number (for the city). We’re just keeping it safer on the runway and roads,” Kremer said.

Safety is the primary goal in conducting the program.

Portage Police Administrative Lt. Keith Klafke said there are several steps they take to ensure there are no risks involved to the public.

“We’ve got to shoot from an elevated position; we bait them to a certain location so we can judge and dictate where our shots are going to be in; and we use ambient light, like the moon or the snow on the ground,” he said.

Klafke and Officer Jason Stenberg are firearms instructors with the Portage Police Department. The city-funded program’s upfront cost was about $1,500 for equipment and supplies.

The city of Portage apparently can’t utilize their police officers to help catch vandals and thieves but they have the time and resources to bait and ambush those vicious and evil deer. Typical Wisconsin attitude, kill, kill, kill because we can’t bother ourselves with fences and other deterrents.

I often wonder if people in this state can even be “bothered” to deal with any issue without killing. While I am sure they exist, I personally have never seen a populace that goes from being completely apathetic to down right barbaric about wildlife issues. A vast number of people in this state seem to be obsessed with trivial things such as sports and alcohol and have no room for concern or caring about anything else. If anything disrupts their precious little bubble, such as the horrific event of seeing a bear walk through your yard, it must be destroyed immediately. Then you have the other part of the populace that derives pleasure from killing anything in ways that should horrify any sane person.

When killing is the ONLY solution allowed by the so-called “authorities” it leaves those of us with any semblance of compassion or empathy feeling like we are pissing in the wind. Those that make the laws and rules allowing such brutal and barbaric appear to only answer to the killing cartels and the voice from the rest of us is ignored no matter how many of us scream or how loud. When you have a member of the legislative committee that makes the wildlife laws and rules being a convicted wildlife violator himself it shows who the laws and rules are really made for.

“Sportsmen for Walker?”

You get what you vote for.

You get what you vote for.

During the 2012 recall and the election for governor last year in some areas of Wisconsin we saw Walker supporters adorn their pickup trucks and properties with stickers and signs proclaiming that they were “Sportsmen for Walker.” I wonder how those “sportsmen” feel now that their boy is planning to sell off some of their prime trout fishing locations on the wishes of Taconite Tommy Tiffany?

The state Department of Natural Resources has identified more than 1,000 acres of state-owned land in Langlade County that could go on the auction block — a move that has angered trout anglers because the properties contain a cache of ecologically significant spring ponds with native brook trout populations.

The ponds, gouged by glaciers thousands of years ago, are fed by rich sources of groundwater that sustain the fish and neighboring streams, rivers and lakes.

Many of the ponds are in remote locations, cloaked by cedars and tamarack. Devotees of spring pond fishing use small canoes, kayaks, float tubes or waders to fish them.

“These are some of the jewels,” said John W. “Duke” Welter of Viroqua, a former member of the Natural Resources Board who was appointed by Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle and is a longtime active leader in Trout Unlimited.

“In each part of the state there are water resources that are the best in their area. As it happens, spring ponds in Langlade County are among the very best trout fishing you can find.”

Members of Trout Unlimited and others learned of the potential sales in the past week and began making calls.

I guess they can’t blame this problem on wolves. Nope, the blame lies solely with Walker and his minions in the legislature like Taconite Tom Tiffany. I guess all those “Sportsmen for Walker” are now getting what they voted for. It was no secret that Walker wanted to sell off prime state owned land for several years. I would imagine soon that the “Sportsmen for Walker” will need to beg old Charlie and Dave Koch to use what once was their prime huntin’ and fishin’ land and bodies of water. If both aren’t already too polluted of course. You really do get what you vote for and those of us in Wisconsin are getting a whole steaming pile of it courtesy of the “Sportsmen for Walker.” You made your bed and now you must lay in it.

Please allow this beautiful little rat to play a tiny violin to go along with your sorrow "Sportsmen for Walker."

Please allow this beautiful little rat to play a tiny violin to go along with your sorrow “Sportsmen for Walker.”

League of Human Voters- Wisconsin Chapter: Please Join

We need a voice and I cannot stress enough the importance of getting involved if you care about wildlife. Please join the League of Humane Voters-Wisconsin Chapter to make YOUR voice heard. Membership is FREE and this is the FIRST time a group exists solely to give us a voice on animal issues for both domestic animals and wildlife at the ballot box. Please visit the website below for more information and to join.

League of Human Voters- Wisconsin Chapter 

Trophy Hunter Columnist Pretends that he is Not a Trophy Hunter and Fails Miserably

Photo from ABC 7. Walter Palmer, dentist and convicted poacher.

Photo from ABC 7. Walter Palmer, dentist and convicted poacher.

When it comes to writing snuff pieces and being an apologist for trophy “hunters” and the kill everything every way possible Wisconsin hunting “culture” there is no better example than “outdoors” columnist Patrick Durkin. Durkin uses his latest column titled, “Definition of trophy hunter hard to quantify,” to spread a heaping load of propaganda and the blatant hypocrisy that he and his fellow killing apologists are well-known for.

Durkin starts his column by trying to minimize the poaching of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe and pretends that our anger toward the Minnesota dentist/poacher, Walter Palmer, is overblown and the product of “emotion.”

Now that a fortnight has passed since we heard a Minnesota dentist killed an African lion with a Christian name, maybe we’ve calmed enough to stow the hangman’s noose until knowing with certainty whether Walter Palmer is a poacher or hunter.

Christian name? So Durkin apparently thinks that people are outraged because Cecil was given a “Christian name?” No, people are outraged because an iconic lion was lured from a national park, shot with an arrow by a convicted American poacher and, left to suffer for 40 hours before finally being finished off by the great white hunter. Then he was beheaded and his body was left to rot. THAT is what we are angry about. Palmer IS a POACHER. A convicted one at that. 

Then Durkin goes on to pretend that he just can’t figure out what the definition of “trophy hunting” is while acting as though cave painting from our distant ancestors somehow equate to the modern snuff films and the “outdoors page” killing propaganda that he and so many like him peddle.

Then again, hunters can’t even agree on what defines “trophy,” let alone “trophy hunting.” For instance, about 10 years ago I addressed a wildlife conference, and was asked to defend photos of “trophy” deer on magazine covers. A speaker before me said he counted all the deer photos in several hunting magazines, and found the buck-to-doe ratio was about 50-1.

The room erupted in laughter, including mine. But when I spoke, I began with this question: “What’s the buck-to-doe ratio on cave paintings?” In other words, let’s not pretend modern hunters of European descent were the first humans to be fascinated by horns and antlers.

Durkin is doing what he does best here, deflecting. Those same people and the generations following them also participated in slavery, genocide, war, and numerous other disgusting crimes against humanity and nature. Does continuing those behaviors today make them acceptable Durkin?

What Durkin does next is trying to justify his own trophy fetish by trying to convince the reader that he “eats” everything he kill and is only displaying his ghoulish TROPHIES out of “tribute” for the animal.

But let’s make this personal. By my definition, I’m no trophy hunter. I’ve never wasted the meat of any critter I’ve killed, antlered or feathered. In fact, except for my first deer in 1973, I’ve butchered, wrapped and eaten/shared every deer, elk, pronghorn, goose or wild turkey I’ve killed.

Even so, the heads, hides, antlers and feathers from many of those same tasty, beautiful creatures hang in my home. They’re my trophies – my totems and memories – and I admire the animals’ beauty, and the taxidermist’s skills that preserved them. When I’m home alone some nights, I sit or slowly walk past them, inspecting each with pride. I recall when and where I spotted each trophy, what led to the shot, and the challenge of dragging or hauling them back to my truck.

Did I kill them for fun? No. I had fun hunting them, and I killed without apology; but I killed with respect, not delight. So, by that definition, I’m no trophy hunter.

Durkin just explained to the world that he is in fact a person that “hunts” for trophies but take his word that he isn’t a “trophy hunter.” Wow. Killed with not delight? Really? I seem to recall several snuff articles that Durkin has written showing him or family members posing with animals that they killed. But it’s about “conservation” right? So much “conservation” that you need to travel across the country to “conserve” wildlife by putting a bullet into it? But I shouldn’t expect anything other than convoluted “explanations” and apologist justifications from Mr. Durkin. Here are some of Durkin’s heroic snuff pieces to show you that he is all about “conservation” and “admiring” those “critters.”

Let’s start with Durkin’s heroic account of the great bunny hunt. With dogs of course:

Seconds later we heard shotgun blasts from Ron Sr.’s direction. “Got him,” he yelled. Just then Lee Roy shouted that a rabbit was heading my way. I never saw it, but the beagles had struck fresh scent and were howling their good news.

Just then I saw a grayish blur blast from a cedar hedge 30 yards away and run straight at me. I raised my 12-gauge shotgun, swung its sight beneath the rabbit’s oncoming nose and tapped the trigger. Snow exploded into the air at the pellets’ impact, but the rabbit kept charging, untouched.

Before I could shoot again it scooted past, dashed through the cedar hedge behind me, and vanished into the field beyond. Ron Jr., Indy and Nemo soon appeared, the beagles howling along the rabbit’s flight path.

When the dogs followed the scent into a patch of aspens, goldenrod and wild raspberries, Ron Jr. and I flanked its likely escape routes. We didn’t wait long. With Indy and Nemo closing in, the rabbit tried darting past Ron. He fired once, and we had our second bunny.

Yup, no “delight” here. Right, Durkin? How about your snuff piece about killing raccoons?

Polensky started hunting them in daylight several years ago after buying a video by David and Mike Sells of Iowa: “Cold Weather Daytime Raccoon Calling.” The Sells’ raccoon-calling expertise is well-known among trappers and fur-trade folks, but most varmint hunters overlook the tactic because they focus on fox and coyotes.

“Varmint?” Such “respect for the animal, right Durkin?

Polensky advised me to keep my camera poised to shoot as he did the same with his .22 Magnum lever-action rifle. He then pressed a button on his remote-control fob to activate the caller. Even though I’d heard the raccoon caterwaul three times before, I jumped at the sound.

For the first time that day, a raccoon burst from the hole. I snapped photos as Polensky fired and cleanly killed the coon, which plopped into the snow.

I was about to congratulate him, when a second raccoon popped from the hole and scrambled down the trunk. A third followed closely behind. They hit the ground running, and bounded through the snow toward Polensky. That was the last mistake they made.

With that, he slung his rifle over his shoulder, grabbed the largest coon with one hand and the smaller two with the other, and started walking toward his truck. About 100 yards later he paused and offered another piece of advice:

“Don’t forget to bring a little plastic sled this time of year,” he said. “These things get heavy, especially when you’re walking through a foot of snow.”

Such “respect” for these “varmints.” Right Durkin?

Then we have Mr. “I eat everything I kill” bragging about getting a wolf kill license in 2012. If he killed a wolf do you think he would eat it? I somehow doubt it, But remember Durkin isn’t a trophy hunter according to him.

Wisconsin’s second wolf season won’t open until Oct. 15, but this annual event is already joining our bobcat and mourning dove seasons as a nonissue in the outdoors.

Sure, wolf-protectionists bond more emotionally to their cause than even dove-protectionists, and seem more capable of sustaining outrage. But judging by the nearly 18 percent decline in applicants for this year’s 2,510 wolf-hunting permits, the protectionists won’t have as many adversaries to stoke their wrath.

Durkin likes to insult wildlife advocates by mockingly call us “protectionists” and even “worshipers.” In one of his usual nonsensical articles showing his hate for predators he again mockingly called us “worshipers.”

After all, who wants to explain the benefits of killing the cousins of horn-tooting seals to hostile hordes of their worshipers. 

Finally, Mr. “I’m not a trophy hunter” went out of his way to insult wildlife advocates fighting the legalized dog fighting in our woods between hounds and wolves and be an apologist for the sick practice.

No one’s surprised the state’s humane associations and various wolf advocates found the time and money to sue the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in hopes of stopping folks like me from hunting wolves this fall and winter.

Still, why not devote their talents to money-generating programs that sustain long-term wolf research and management, so critters other than lawyers benefit?

In the same column Durkin minimizes the legalized animal fighting between hounds and wolves:

Fascinating stuff, this lawsuit. The plaintiffs -– claiming to advocate for wolves and dogs alike -– contend the hunt must be stopped because the DNR didn’t impose enough restrictions to prevent “deadly animal fighting,” which violates Wisconsin’s “animal cruelty law.”

They cite the fact wolves can’t climb trees like a bear or raccoon to escape pursuers. Fair point, but what about a bear standing its ground, a raccoon drowning a hound, or a giant Canada goose wing-beating a Labrador? Why pretend wolf altercations are somehow unique and uglier?

So is a wolf being ripped apart by a pack of dogs is killing with “respect,” Durkin?

Durkin, with his most recent column, claims that he is not a trophy hunter according to his own definition. With his own words he calls his ghoulish preserved dead animal bodies TROPHIES. He muses about admiring these dead bodies with “pride” yet wildlife advocates are bad and are “worshipers” for caring about living wildlife according to him. In Durkin’s world I guess that I am a “worshiper.” I “worship” LIVING wildlife and not ghoulish dead TROPHIES that hang on a wall or are mounted on a stand. Not killing is the ultimate respect that one can give another being. How is hanging a dead body on a wall a sign of “respect?”

You are not fooling anyone Durkin. You ARE a trophy hunter and your articles that insult wildlife advocates and attempt to glamorize the recreational killing of “critters” and “varmints” show exactly what you are in addition to that.

Taconite Tommy: A Special kind of A-Hole and How We Can Start to Fight Back

Would you trust THIS guy to make laws about our environment and wildlife?

Would you trust THIS guy to make laws about our environment and wildlife?

We live in a very very dark time for humanity, our wildlife, and for our entire democracy. I hope that some day in the future, if any of humanity is left, they will look back on these last few years in states like Wisconsin and be appalled that we allowed such vapid and vile “leaders” to ascend to power.

Wisconsin has always produced some unique characters that became politicians for both good and bad. For every Russ Feingold  or Bob LaFollette we also produced a Joe McCarthy or “Lyin” Paul Ryan. Today, instead of the best and brightest, Wisconsin seems to be producing the worst and vilest. Scott Walker, Glenn Grothman, Joel Kleefisch, (G)Ried Ribble, former “reality show star” Sean Duffy, and “SunSpot” Ron Johnson are just a few of the anti-woman, anti-environment, anti-wildlife, anti-education, anti-healthcare types that our Wisconsin has foisted upon both the state and national levels. Not to be outdone the “opposition” party in Wisconsin has pandering fakes that are not much better as evidenced by Tammy Baldwin and the anti-wolf Ron Kind.

Among all of these examples of vile anti-everything and pandering politicians there is one other that brings special meaning to the term A$$HOLE. That would be none other than Senator Taconite Tom Tiffany of northern Wisconsin. I wrote about Taconite Tommy having a hissy fit a couple of months ago because in his view not “enough” bobcats were allowed to be killed to satisfy the bloodlust of some of his constituents. That coupled with his mining company benefactors pulling out of Taconite Tommy’s pet mining project due to environmental concerns, Tiffany decided to push for the gutting of the science division of the DNR in retaliation. He got his way when Scott Walker signed the 2015-17 state budget gutting the science division. 

While most people would hang their head in shame getting called out for being such an obvious shill for mining companies and killing cartels, Taconite Tommy is proud of having this distinction. From this article in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

His track record in the 2013-’14 legislative session earned Tiffany and two other legislators membership on the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters’ “dishonor roll.”

Tiffany’s record this year isn’t any better — maybe worse, asserted Kerry Schumann, executive director of the league.

“He certainly seems to be fighting to get on it again,” she said.

During a lengthy interview in his district, Tiffany’s eyes gleamed when he was read Schumann’s comments. Usually diplomatic in public forums, the lawmaker also does not mince words.

“That’s a badge of honor,” Tiffany said.

He dismissed the League as “out of the mainstream.” The award hangs on the wall of his Capitol office.

Wow. It takes a special kind of A$$HOLE to be proud of destroying the environment and being a shill for destructive mining and anti-environmental practices. Be proud Wisconsin. This is the type of person that you entrusted with making laws that are supposed protect and enhance our environment. Instead people like Taconite Tommy take pride in the destruction that they are causing on behalf of extractive industries and killing cartels.

How can you help change the direction that people like Taconite Tommy are “leading” us?

Wisconsin Finally Has a League of Humane Voters Chapter

For a long time in Wisconsin those of us that care for our domestic and wild animals have felt like our voice has been silenced, ridiculed, and overruled by the extremist killing groups that have the ear of most state politicians. This can start to change with the establishment of the new and only Wisconsin Chapter of the League of Human Voters.

About the League of Human Voters-Wisconsin Chapter:

League of Humane Voters®-WI Chapter is a non-profit organization (PAC) that advocates for animal protection across the state of WI. LOHV-WI works to build voting blocs by tabling at events across the state. These voting blocs can be engaged at the town and county level as well as legislative districts across the state. We endorse candidates at the local and state level who ENACT animal protection ordinances and legislation.

Do we want people like Taconite Tom Tiffany or convicted wildlife violator, Joel Kleefisch, making the decisions that impact our wildlife and treatment of domestic animals? If you do not the LOHV-WI is where your voice can begin to be heard.

For more information and to sign up please visit:

The League of Human Voters- Wisconsin Chapter website and “Like them on Facebook

This is the type of organization that Wisconsin sorely needs and if you care about our animals, both wild and domestic, please consider getting involved with them.