How is Breeding, Raising, and Releasing Non-Native Birds to be Killed, “Conservation?”

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Female and male Chinese ringneck pheasants. These are the type of birds that are raised and released by the Wisconsin DNR for “hunter opportunity.” Photo via Wikimedia Commons

One of the most ridiculously framed arguments that the killing cartels use to justify their wanton bloodlust is that if they don’t kill wildlife, they will die. Yes that is their chief argument along with a myriad of other absurd statements. The modern “great white hunter” would lead you to believe that they are doing you a “favor” by killing millions upon millions of animals each and every year. They will also tell you they “fund conservation” through their meager killing license fees. Another fallacy. The money from those killing licenses go to fund the agencies that exist only to provide more killing opportunity. Why do I say this? Each year in Wisconsin an untold number of hand-raised and fed non-native Asian ring-neck pheasants are bred, raised, and released by the Wisconsin DNR at taxpayer expense with one goal in mind. That goal is to provide living targets to help satiate the bloodlust of the modern “great white hunter.” A question that seems elusive here is, how does raising tens of thousands of NON-NATIVE Asian birds bred only to be shot have anything to do with “conservation?” It doesn’t despite what the Wisconsin DNR and killing cartels will tell you. The state of Wisconsin has made the breeding of this non-native species of pheasant into a money maker for them to “produce” more and more birds only for the purpose of being blown out of the sky or off the ground by “great white hunters” and their shotguns strictly for “recreation.” The Wisconsin DNR, by providing facilities, staff, and taxpayer money is in the canned “hunting” business and has been for a very long time.

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Screenshot from the Wisconsin DNR Facebook page.

The DNR and killing cartels will tell you that this is “conservation” in action. I ask what exactly is being “conserved” other than the money being brought in by the “hunters” waiting at pheasant release sites with dog and shotgun in hand? In my view there is nothing even remotely related to “conservation” with this program and it exists to further exploit the sick and twisted blood cult that “hunting” in Wisconsin has become. There aren’t enough WILD animals to kill in Wisconsin? There aren’t enough “hunter opportunities” when there is one killing “season” or another open for 365 days a year? Apparently not enough to satiate that good old Wisconsin “heritage” of recreational killing. Of course should this surprise anyone? The DNR, like every other state or federal killing agency, likes to pretend that their obsession with killing, killing, and killing some more is all just “wholesome family fun” and “conservation.” If their world animals are not born, they are “produced.” In their world animals do not grow up, they are “recruited.” In their world animals are not killed, they are “harvested,” or in the most recent example of fluffing up the act of killing they are a “target animal reduced to possession.”

Kill, kill, kill some more, and if there isn’t enough to kill, the Wisconsin DNR will just “produce” more non-native animals for you to kill. Excuse me. I meant for you to “reduce to possession. As I have asked before: How is this “conservation?”

 

The NRA Wants “War” Against Animal Advocates….Bring it On

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Image from rationalwiki.org.

When not shilling for money on the backs of ruthlessly murdered grade school children or giving dystopian filled fear mongering speeches about the dangers of the “left wing” to “real” Americans, the gun industry/far right front group, the National Rifle Association (NRA), has decided to “declare war” against animal advocates.

From the article:

The gun group is rolling out a new ad campaign geared toward hunters, a segment of firearm owners whose concerns have been eclipsed as the NRA transformed into a political powerhouse and threw its weight behind fights over self-defense and access to weapons. To sway its audience, the NRA is deploying its favorite tactic. It is trying to scare them.

“To save hunting, you must understand the terms of the battle,” a landing page for the campaign reads. “Because the animal rights extremists fighting to destroy hunting have an even more destructive goal: the systematic diminishment of humanity itself.”

The ad campaign consists of 10 videos paired with essays, featuring appearances and bylines by notable hunters and outdoorsmen like David Draper, a well-known writer for Field & Stream magazine. Put together, the package paints a picture of a world where hunting is under threat by animal rights activists.

I find it quite amazing how one minute killing cartels like the NRA and their members label animal advocates as “bunny huggers” or “snowflakes” while in the next breath compare us to terrorists like Al Qaeda.

From the article:

The NRA handed off Weaver’s hunting outreach duties to Josh Powell, now the national spokesman for NRA Hunting, who is not shy about being political.

“We are in the middle of a war,” he says in one of the campaign’s videos, before comparing tangling with organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society to “dealing with Al Qaeda.”

I can’t name any wildlife advocates that affiliate with PETA and even fewer that agree with their belief system. Actually it seems to me that the NRA and the famous chickenhawks that lead them or sit on their board are once again using fear and division to raise money. This kind of inflammatory rhetoric and calls for “war” against animal advocates may very well raise a lot of money but not in the way that they think. Calling millions of people “terrorists” and comparing them to international terror outfits hasn’t worked to well for other far right zealots, has it? In fact, as a veteran, I have a real problem with an organization with cowardly draft dodgers at the helm calling myself and others in the animal advocacy movement “terrorists.”

We are not the ones using FEAR to raise money. We are not the ones using FEAR to pass anti-free speech laws at the behest of “affiliate groups.” We are not the ones using FEAR to push for the eradication of imperiled predator species like wolves and grizzlies in Congress and through the courts. We aren’t the ones using FEAR to make every rube believe that over the last eight years the “scary black man” in the White House was going to knock on your door and take your precious guns. Instilling FEAR is a component of TERROR thus leading to terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic most often used to achieve political gain. Remind me again who look like the REAL “terrorists” here? It sure isn’t the millions of animal advocates. Could it instead be the behemoth gun industry/far right front group that uses FEAR to rake in the dollars?

Pot meet kettle NRA. It’s actually quite pathetic that these big tough, rugged, and “patriotic” Americans are so scared of the little snowflake bunny huggers like myself and the millions of other animal advocates. I guess they better just go buy more guns………

 

Man That Tortured Three Coyotes With a Snowmobile in 2009 Received $5000 in 2016 for “Hound Depredations”

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Coyote photo via Wikimedia Commons

Last week I wrote about a hounder by the name of Michael Wood from Amery, Wisconsin that received $5000 from the Wisconsin DNR in 2016 for two hounds that were allegedly killed by wolves. In the post we pointed out that a subject with the same name out of Amery had a conviction on three counts of intentionally mistreating animals in 2009 out of Bayfield County.

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Screenshot of OPEN RECORD from the Wisconsin Court System Circuit Court Access 

Upon further research we found that the same subject was also under open charges for poaching a bear and resisting a warden in September of 2016, two months after the alleged “depredation” of his hounds.

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Screenshot of OPEN RECORD from the Wisconsin Court System Circuit Court Access 

Through an open records request we were able to obtain the original criminal complaint for the 2009 incident that Wood was convicted of and it is even more horrifying than we imagined.

From the criminal complaint:

Complainant is a Conservation Warden with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. She makes this complaint on information and belief from the records and reports collected and maintained in the ordinary course of business. On Friday, February 20, 2009 at approximately 4:41 p.m. Egstad was at the Bayfield DNR Office when she received a phone call concerning a snowmobiler chasing what the caller thought to be a wolf on the ice of Lake Superior on Bark Bay, west of Cornucopia in the Town of Bell, Bayfield County, Wisconsin. Egstad left the office and proceeded towards the site of the complainant. Egstad spoke by phone with Dan and Sharon Sheldon who stated that they had watched one person on an orange snowmobile chase around what they believed to be a wolf on the ice at Bark Bay and had hit the animal with his snowmobile. They observed the person pick up the animal and drive to the Bark Bay point boat landing. They stated that they had observed the snowmobiler chase the animal for 30 minutes at least and hit the animal a couple of times with the snowmobile. At approximately the same time Egstad was contacted by Mark Hanson, Bayfield Department of Natural Resources Creel Clerk who stated that he had observed a snowmobiler chasing coyotes and hitting them as well as picking them up when they were laying on the ice. Hanson stated that he had taken digital photos of the pick-up truck that the snowmobiler was driving. The plate of the vehicle came back registered to Michael J. Wood of Amery, Wisconsin, the defendant herein. Egstad had previously been advised that the truck in question was at a residence in the area. Egstad went to the location and met with Michael Wood. Egstad was advised by Wood that he had been out fishing on the ice during the day and had gotten three coyotes that were in his trailer. Egstad asked Wood how he had gotten the coyotes and Wood stated that he had shot them with his .22. Egstad observed the coyotes and believed them to be suffering from much more damage than if they had been shot with a .22. Wood denied using his snowmobiles to hit the coyotes but admitted to following them until they were tired and then shot them. Egstad observed Wood’s snowmobile and the track and belly pan had blood under the front end skis and track consistent with the animals having been run over. Egstad seized the three coyotes and subsequently had them skinned. No bullet hole was found in the carcass or skin or coyote number one, however, major trauma was located throughout the body. Coyote number two was also skinned and again evidence of severe trauma was located, however no bullet hole was observed. Coyote number three showed severe trauma throughout the body, however, trauma was also located in a restricted area near the location of one bullet hole.

Download the entire criminal complaint:

Michael Wood Criminal Complaint 2009

This person received $5000 of taxpayer money for two separate hound “depredation” incidents in 2016 despite having this type of history. Then two months after the “depredations,” Wood allegedly poached a bear and is also charged for resisting a warden. Did this stop the DNR from this year paying out the $5000 for 2016 AFTER the new charges were filed? No it did not. Once again we have not only a convicted criminal being rewarded for TWO separate incidents where his hounds were allegedly killed by wolves, but he still receives the payment from the DNR after allegedly poaching a bear and resisting a warden. This guy tortured three coyotes with a snowmobile and was convicted for it. Then he allegedly poaches a bear and resists a warden. Is it any surprise that he is also a hounder that recklessly puts his dogs in danger and gets two of them killed? That sure doesn’s surprise me.

Have we had enough yet Wisconsin? Contact your state legislators and tell them ENOUGH of this scam and ENOUGH of rewarding reckless hounders and convicted criminals for their behavior.

Find your legislators HERE

 

 

Guest Blog: What happens in the woods should not stay in the woods…the secret must be told

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What is the secret?

Baiting bears begins April 15th and continues until bear hunting season ends around mid-October. Baiting is allowed in Wisconsin 145 days before the bear hunting season begins. This means unlimited bait sites, 10 gallons per site, to total six months of junk food to condition bears each and every year. Anyone may bait bears as long as they are not fed for viewing purposes. Baiting is also used to train bear hounds beginning July 1st. Packs of up to six, usually GPS-collared hounds, are used for dog training by releasing them at bait sites. In 2016; 41 hounds were killed; mostly by wolves as hounds were released at bait sites to chase bears. Wolves also bring their three to four month-old pups to bait stations that are often near their rendezvous sites. Protective wolf parents often are forced to attack marauding hounds to protect their pups. Wisconsin is the only state which compensates hounders for hounds killed by wolves. Each hound death amounts to a $2500 payout for the hounder along with any veterinary fees for injured hounds. Wolves are often targeted with very real threats of retaliation from bear hounders for the deaths of their hounds despite the monetary compensation. Hounding bears began in Wisconsin in the 1960’s. No license is needed to hound bears in Wisconsin. No permit is needed to bait bears in Wisconsin. Michigan also hounds and baits, but in 2015 only five hounds were killed in Michigan compared to 23 in Wisconsin. An MTU study was even done to sort this disparity out. The conclusion was the number of hounding days allowed, excessive baiting days, and the generous reimbursement created the difference and likely exacerbated the conflicts between hounds and wolves.

So how does this affect me?

Baiting has already to come to your neck of the woods. You just might not be aware of it. Baiting is allowed throughout most of the state even in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Each baiter averages 437.4 gallons of donuts, frosting, pie filling, jam etc. in a season. Spread that around Wisconsin and you have a lot of bait spread over our public and many private lands. 4.6 MILLION gallons worth.

Do other animals feed at bear baiting sites?

Deer, raccoon and other animals have been documented feeding at these bait sites. Congregating wildlife increases the risk of disease transmission and human scents becomes associated with food causing wild animals to lose their natural wariness. Other concerning factors related to baiting include law enforcement receiving complaints of nuisance bears, trespassing hounds (often miles ahead of the hounders), baying hounds at night, and abandoned hounds. Mother bears often do not bring their cubs to bait sites and bear cubs may be orphaned as their mothers flee packs hounds. The bears are often running miles for several hours in the heat of summer. The mother bear may never be able to return to her cubs potentially causing the orphans to die of starvation.

Is it possible to for wildlife advocates and hunters to agree on a bear baiting resolution limiting days of baiting & number of bait sites?

Yes, there is! A resolution limiting baiters to 3 permitted sites; with baiting 30 days prior to bear hunting season was passed at the Jackson County Spring Conservation Congress hearing. 48 voted for the resolution with nine voting against. Most of the voters were hunters including some bear hunters. Jackson County is rural with a wide array of wildlife including bear, wolves, and elk. If the resolution were to be passed by the Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) bear committee it would then be placed on the 2018 Spring Conservation Congress ballot to be voted on. The resolution itself is not a victory, but it does serve to draw attention the impact that bear baiting is having on Wisconsin.

Does the Wisconsin Conservation Congress have the ability to make policy changes?

I have attended the Spring WCC meetings for around  20 years. I have vied for the position of a WCC delegate four times and was not elected. I have proposed two resolutions which have passed. I view this as my opportunity to represent the voiceless of Wisconsin-our wildlife. The WCC is a citizen advisory board to the DNR. They are tasked to represent Wisconsin ALL residents regarding matters of wildlife, land, air, and water. Unfortunately, the annual WCC hearings are very poorly attended by citizens other than hunters, trappers, and fisherman. Most questions voted upon are meant to enhance fishing, trapping, and hunting opportunities with WCC delegates most often representing the above listed special interest groups. A resolution voted for in the Spring Hearing will be taken under consideration by two WCC committees, the DNR, the Natural Resources Board, and finally may be subject to legislative action. When a proposal reaches the level of legislative action Wisconsin has a history of allowing undue influence from lobbyists representing but not limited to various hunting groups such as The Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, the NRA, and big agriculture entities such as the Farm Bureau Federation among others. Change does not come easy.

How many states allow bear baiting?

Bear baiting is illegal in 40 states. Bears are hunted in 27 states; 17 states allow hounding, and seven states including Wisconsin allow both hounding and baiting. Michigan allows three bait sites per hunter with baiting occurring 11 to 30 days prior to the bear hunting season. Minnesota allows baiting 14 days before the hunting season at three permitted sites per bear hunter and does not allow hounding. In recent studies only 27 percent of Americans approve of hunting over bait. It is also believed baiting increases bear litter size.

So, what can I do about it?

We are at a tipping point in Wisconsin with a greater number of bears, baiters, hounds, and bear hunters on the ground than ever before. People need to tell everyone that they know what is really allowed here in Wisconsin. Talk to your local DNR wardens and legislators. You can also contact Dave MacFarland, the DNR’s carnivore specialist at 715-365-8919 regarding questions about ho Wisconsin “manages” predators.  Many residents and even hunters are unaware of the baiting situation. Perhaps when a comment is made about a bear roaming around a city or backyard let people know bears are baited for six months of the year and may be looking to keep that reliable food source coming. Maybe you will hear someone sickened by the hounds that are killed by wolves. That would be a prime opportunity to let them know the wolves side of the story. Perhaps deer hunters are lamenting over deer baiting bans. Try to make them aware that despite deer bait bans that bear hunters are still allowed to bait despite documentation that deer will appear at bear bait sites. The secret must be told…

Diane Cain is a small business owner, registered nurse, and a strong advocate for our wildlife and wild lands. Diane grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm and currently lives on a small farm of her own. 

 

Wisconsin STILL Rewarding Hounder Criminals and Scofflaws for Hound “Depredations”

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Yes, dog fighting (against wild dogs) is LEGAL in Wisconsin and worth $2500 for each dead hound. Photo used under Fair Use for Educational Purposes 

In January of 2014 Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism writer Bill Lueders published an article called “State pays scofflaws over hound deaths.” The article delved into Wisconsin’s program that pays hounders for dogs that are allegedly killed by wolves and for “vet bills” for hounds allegedly injured by wolves. Since 1987 Wisconsin hounders have been paid a total of $702,051 for hounds allegedly killed by wolves and another $34,453.99 for “vet bills” for hounds allegedly injured by wolves. In Lueders article he pointed out that a significant number of the hounders receiving payments were convicted for poaching or other wildlife and firearms violations. Some of the subjects even had their hunting “privileges” suspended while engaged in the hounding activities and STILL received the payouts.

From the article:

Wisconsin, the only state with a program that compensates the owners of dogs killed by wolves while hunting other animals, has paid tens of thousands of dollars during the past decade to individuals who have violated state hunting or firearms laws.

Seven individuals received a total of $19,000 in payments after they were convicted of crimes or paid forfeitures for hunting or firearms-related offenses, according to an analysis by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. An additional $20,000 went to four claimants who were subsequently fined for such offenses, including bear hunting without a license.

This was from prior to the article public date of January 2014. In April of 2017, not a thing has changed. While pouring over the data for the 2016 hound “depredation” payouts some details stood out. Six of the 48 “claims” were paid to hounders from Minnesota. Five of those were to people with the same last name. Some of the names listed are also repeat claimants. The most striking thing that we were able to uncover was one hounder in particular that apparently has quite the criminal history, including open charges for bear poaching and resisting a warden, recieved $5000 from the DNR for 2016 “depredations.”

660879 7/9/2016 Hounds 1 Douglas 44 12 2 16 $0.00 DENIED WOOD MIKE AMERY WI 2016
660879 7/9/2016 Hounds 1 Douglas 44 12 2 16 $2,500.00 PAID WOOD MIKE AMERY WI 2016
660893 7/23/2016 Hounds 1 Douglas 44 12 2 8 $2,500.00 PAID WOOD MIKE AMERY WI 2016

Surprisingly one of the claims that this hounder, Mike Wood of Amery, WI, made was denied. Two others that occurred on two separate days were paid out at $2500 each. Upon digging deeper we were quite alarmed to find that a Mike Wood of Amery, WI has quite a serious criminal history. These are the most recent charges obtained from the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access system.

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As bad as these charges are, they pale in comparison to the charges that this subject was convicted of in 2009 in Bayfield County.

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Assuming that this is the same Mike Wood from Amery, WI, we find it quite alarming that a person convicted on THREE counts of Intentionally Mistreating Animals in 2009 and that is currently out on bond for charges of poaching a bear and resisting a warden, received $5000 in hound “depredation” payouts from the DNR in 2016. Bill Lueders raised the alarm about this in January of 2014 and over three years later Wisconsin continues to reward convicted criminals and wildlife violators for their reckless behavior. This is on top of the hounders that have received multiple payouts year after year. With the elimination in 2015 of the “Class B” bear hound training licenses Wisconsin no longer has any permit requirement for hounders. Any hounder, from anywhere in the world, can come to Wisconsin and run their hounds against wildlife under the guise of “training” and get paid $2500 for each dog that is allegedly killed by a wolf.

Have we had enough of this scam yet Wisconsin?

Wildlife on the Brink, Where Do We Go From Here?

 

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This is what Wisconsin considers “managment” of wildlife. Legal dog fighitng is not only condoned but encouraged by the State of Wisconsin. Upon delisitng this form of legal dog fighting will be allowed against wolves….if it isn’t occurring already. Photo used under Fair Use for Educational Purposes. 

Once again it seems that the gray wolf population in Great Lakes will handed over to states full of individuals and groups wishing to see them wiped off the face of the earth. Hostile state agencies, along with their contracted federal goon squads known as “Wildlife Services” are primed and ready to immediately begin the killing once federal “protections” are removed. As most wildlife advocates know those “protections” were in name only as poaching and 24/7/365 harassment by Wisconsin hounders have kept the wolf population under constant threat. With a looming delisting this harassment is only going to get worse and be more in the open.

Currently Wisconsin is the ONLY state in the country that allows packs of bloodthirsty hounds and their equally bloodthirsty handlers to be used against wolves. Wisconsin is also the ONLY state in the country that pays hounders $2500 for each hound killed by wolves when they are “training” or “hunting” against species other than wolves (yeah right). It should also be noted that at the present time Wisconsin has ZERO “regulations” in place for the “training” of hounds against wolves. That means that hounders can run dogs against wolves 24/7/365 with no permit requirement or restrictions. Any wonder why wildlife advocates are so concerned about what Wisconsin considers “management” of this species? Our concerns also go far deeper than that.

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How can we ever forget this? This is from the DNR’s wolf kill tally in 2014. Notice that three of the six killing zones went over quota and one, Zone 2, was allowed to go DOUBLE over. 

During the last “legal” wolf killing season in 2014, the Wisconsin DNR allowed the wolf kill quota in their “Zone 2” to be one shy of DOUBLING the allowed number. Two other “zones” also exceeded their quotas. The DNR response to that was basically it was only the “antis” complaining so who cares? Those were not the exact words but that was the gist of it. Also of major concern was how the kill numbers exceeded the total established quotas in each of the three kill season held from 2012-2014. This is responsible “management?” The kill season of 2013 was especially concerning due to the introduction of hounds into the mix. In fact it was reported by wildlife advocates at the Wisconsin DNR’s “Wolf Advisory Committee” meetings that specific wolf packs were target and completely wiped out by hounders who coordinated with each other. This is responsible “management?”

Once delisting occurs Wisconsin will return to their outdated “management plan” and resume their reckless and openly hostile killing seasons with the intent of pushing the species to the brink if not outright eradication. The DNR will never openly admits this but their actions and open coordination with anti-wolf zealots and groups speak far louder than words.

The hounders and their mouthpieces have also been on a tear lately to push the DNR to put a “cap” on the wolf population of “350 or less.” The DNR’s own 2014 attitude survey showed that a majority of Wisconsin citizens support the wolf population being allowed maintained at the population level of that year. This included a majority of respondents living in areas wolves inhabit. The anti-wolf zealots, led by the Queen Zealot Laurie Groskopf of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, and the propaganda filled anti-wolf page “Wisconsin Wolf Facts,” is leading a charge to cast doubt on the DNR survey and make the assumption that because she despises wolves that everyone else must as well. This was prominently featured in the two hate, propaganda, and fear mongering filled anti-wolf “summits” sponsored by far right anti-wildlife politicians and anti-wildlife “hunting” and big ag lobbying groups.

So where do wildlife advocates go from here? We are up against well-funded anti-wildlife lobbying groups and government entities that wish to see the gray wolf and other less “favored” species pushed once again to the brink if not outright eradicated. I am not going to mince words here. Wolves are going to be killed in massive numbers by the most brutal and sadistic ways possible. Hounds will be drawn into bloody confrontations with wolves in Wisconsin’s form of legal dog fighting. Trapper sadists will trap, torture, torment, mock, and take sneering photographs with their catches while alive, and then bludgeon, shoot, or crush the animal to death in the trap. The hate pages devoted to wolf torture and eradication will make sure to post each and every gut shot, trapped, and killed wolf to harass and attempt to intimidate wildlife advocates. This is nothing new and is how sadistic bullies operate. This time though we will be sure to make sure everyone sees their sick photos, their faces, and their Facebook pages. While they will pat themselves on the back among each other for their sadistic acts millions of people on the internet will not be so welcoming of their taunts and actions. Eventually the pendulum will swing back when people see that modern “wildlife management,” especially for predators like wolves, is not “conservation” and is frankly little more than a sadistic death cult for violent and disgusting people who are failures at everything else in life.

“NO ONE is talking about eradication” 

The latest talking point among anti-wolf zealots and politicians is that “no one” is talking about eradicating wolves. One of the biggest anti-wolf zealots in the state legislature, Adam Jarchow (R-WBHA/Frac Sand) is even claiming that “no one” is talking about eradication. Funny how just a couple of comments before his there are plenty of “no ones” talking about eradication.

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Sure Jarchow, “no one” is talking about eradicating wolves. As for “all stakeholder groups?” Just because hunting and big ag groups want them killed off they are not the only “stakeholder groups” in this state. Wildlife does not belong soley to YOU or those “stakeholder groups.” Wildlife “belongs” to everyone. Maybe we will have go to a court to remind you of that wildlife is part of the PUBLIC TRUST and not just for your killing or big ag groups. What you see above is just a sample of the endless “SSS” and “kill em all” garbage being spread on these hate sites. I could post screenshots of this kind of garbage all day but it is pretty clear by now that there sure are a lot of “no ones” calling for wolves to be eradicated. Nice try Jarchow.

Let’s not forget what Wisconsin’s idea of “state management” looks like. This is coming once again. Be prepared. Wisconsin we DO NOT trust you.

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Wisconsin trapper posing with a trapped wolf that he killed and a live one being tormented in the background in 2014. Photo shared under Fair Use for Educational Purposes.

Will the Snowflake Become an Avalanche?

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This post isn’t specifically about wildlife yet it is. So many of us struggle to put into words what we are feeling today. This is my attempt. This is one “snowflake” expressing how they feel about what is happening in our country. Do you feel the same?

Will the snowflake become the avalanche?

What the hell has happened to our country? Each and every day another scandal, another pay to play scheme, and another outrage. The kicker? Nothing is ever done about it. Collusion with a hostile foreign government to interfere with our already fragile election process? Perfectly fine. A grifter con man as president using the office to build the wealth of himself and his family? Perfectly fine. Our already fragile environment and wildlife having the already weak protections gutted each day for extraction industries and spite? Perfectly fine and “Democrats” are joining in to help speed the destruction. The desire to wall off our country like some Chinese warlord centuries ago despite the monetary and eco cost? Perfectly fine. Do we even have an opposition party in this country anymore? The so-called opposition party seems to be tripping all over themselves to pander to those that wouldn’t vote for them ever while demonizing progressives and those tired of the Dem’s corporatist ways. We can have all the marches in the world but nothing seems to change. I have come to the realization that our system is completely broken and we may be seeing the end of the United States as a functional democracy if it hasn’t ended already.

The question is where do we go from here? There is no real political opposition other than those espousing “angry” sound bites and then going right along with the agendas of the corrupt status quo through their votes and acceptance of dark money from the same sources as always.

I don’t have the answer but if this is what is now America then we are indeed screwed unless the people truly wake up. I’m not holding my breath. My words may mean little but every forest fire begins with a spark and every avalanche begins with a solitary snowflake. Angry Facebook posts, blogs like this, and comedic memes are not going to solve this problem.

Is the avalanche coming? It’s up to us to decide.

Photos via Wikimedia Commons and are Public Domain