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?”

 

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?

Death by a Thousand Hounds (And Traps): The Endangered Species List is Not a “Farm Team” for Hostile States

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This is what “state management” of wolves looks like. Photo used via Fair Use for Educational and News Reporting Purposes.

It’s been almost one year since the end of Wisconsin’s last “legal” wolf slaughter and the subsequent federal court ruling that placed the species back on the Endangered Species Act protected list. During that last year the states, anti-wolf politicians, the killing cartels, certain media outlets, big ag lobbies, and even misguided wolf “experts” have been pushing to forcefully remove the species from ESA protections and resume the yearly killing sprees under the guise of “state management.”

Summary of what the Endangered Species Act exists for:

The law requires federal agencies, in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or the NOAA Fisheries Service, to ensure that actions they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat of such species. The law also prohibits any action that causes a “taking” of any listed species of endangered fish or wildlife. Likewise, import, export, interstate, and foreign commerce of listed species are all generally prohibited.

Federal Judge Beryl Howell made it very clear in her ruling last December that the states “management” of gray wolves was severely flawed and and failed miserably at providing the protections and species growth that is a key element of the Endangered Species Act. While not explicitly spelled out, the state “management” of Wisconsin very likely played a key role in the decision the judge made to order the relisting of the species in the Great Lakes region. Wisconsin’s clear and open policy of pushing the species numbers down to a token number and allowing for 24/7/365 harassment by hounds very likely also played a role in her decision.

There are times, she said, a court “must lean forward from the bench to let an agency know, in no uncertain terms, that enough is enough. This is one of those times.”

She singled out Minnesota’s plan, which she said permitted the unlimited killing of wolves in some areas. The plan calls for a minimum population of 1,600 animals in the state.

But it allows “a virtual carte blanche” for eradication of wolves in the southern two-thirds of the state by allowing land owners and managers the right to kill them any time to protect their livestock and pets, even in the absence of attacks.

What was clearly spelled out in the Judge’s decision was the inadequacy of Minnesota’s plan that forcefully kept wolves in a small pocket in the state and much like the disgusting Wyoming plan, essentially allowed for open eradication through the rest. Minnesota also made it clear that their killing season was strictly for recreation and played no real role in the adequate “management” of the species other than to provide “hunter opportunity.”

“The intent of the wolf season was to allow sustainable hunting and trapping,” said Dan Stark, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wolf specialist. “We weren’t trying to have an impact on the [wolf] population or [livestock] depredations.”

In the past year the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota have done nothing to change their plans or how they want to “manage” wolves. Instead the state “wildlife” agencies, killing cartels, big ag lobbies, and anti-wolf state politicians ran to anti-wolf representatives and senators in Congress to force a legislative delisting to continue on their “death by a thousand hounds (and traps)” management plans. Instead of making a good faith effort to change the elements of their “management” that led to the court relisting and the furor of millions of wildlife advocates the states did NOTHING except to reinforce that they are hellbent at regaining control over the species and resume their reckless killing seasons and in the case of Wisconsin, the unlimited 24/7/365 harassment by hounds.

This entire issue illustrates the failure of the true intentions of the Endangered Species Act and allowing hostile states to “manage” wildlife. The purpose of the ESA was to throw a lifeline to imperiled wildlife and protect them from the often depraved and hostile eradication methods that originally pushed them to the brink and making sure that never happens again. Instead the ESA, particularly for species like the gray wolf and grizzly, has become a “farm team” for states to provide “hunter opportunity” for mass killing immediately following delisting. That was NOT the intention of the ESA but that is what our government has allowed to happen. This happened immediately following the Obama Administration’s misguided and ESA weakening 2011 “rider” that delisted  wolves in Montana and Idaho where both states immediately instituted eradication plans. It also happened immediately following the delisting of wolves in the Great Lakes in 2012. In fact the very day, and almost to the hour that wolves were delisted here, anti-wolf legislators, led by the disgraced former Rep. Scott Suder, introduced the bill that would lead to Wisconsin declaring war on wolves and becoming the ONLY state in the country to allow dogs to be used again them, including the 24/7/365 “training” of hounds against wolves. Minnesota soon followed suit with their own “recreational” hunting and trapping season. This was in addition to their secret hiring of USDA Wildlife Services goons to kill hundreds each year even while under ESA protections.

Today, instead of changing how they want to “manage” wolves the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wyoming are counting on Congress and the most anti-wildlife president in modern history to forcibly delist wolves once again to destroy the ESA and return to their near-eradication “management” of the species on the behest of big ag and the killing cartels. If the congressional delisting fails then they hope a federal appeals court overturns Judge Howell’s ruling. If either were to occur the ESA will become a paper tiger that becomes open for attack at the behest of any political “deal” and it will make wildlife hostile states even more aggressive and brazen with their “management” of species they already despise like wolves and soon the grizzly bear.

Wildlife advocates such as myself are often asked WHY we fight so hard to keep wolves and other vilified and imperiled species under federal ESA protections? One only needs to look at the picture above, visit the hate filled anti-wolf/wildlife social media sites, and listen to the fear mongering and misinformation presented by hostile states and politicians to have the answer. For these people “management” of the gray wolf and other “less desirable” species is an all or nothing proposition as their own actions demonstrate. Many wildlife advocates, such as myself, wouldn’t necessarily be against a delisting for the wolf if state “management” didn’t consist of what amounts to a declaration of war against the species and pushing it back to the brink AGAIN.

As I stated above species removed from the ESA should NOT be used as a “farm team” for hostile states and to provide “hunter opportunity.” This WAS NOT and IS NOT the purpose of the law. When anti-wildlife politicians talk about “reforming” the Endangered Species Act the mean that they want to further weaken it and for some outright destroy it. For wildlife advocates reforming the act means allowing it to function as it was intended to. This means the act should be in place to prevent wildlife hostile states like Wisconsin from regaining “management” of any listed species while the reckless policies that led to the initial listing are still in place. The act should also demand these states not be allowed to immediately institute mass killings of a delisted species and require that the states update their “management plans” to reflect the changing populations and changes of the reality on the ground. When a state like Wisconsin allows their entire “management” of a species to be determined by extremist “hunting” groups, like the openly anti-wolf Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, they are proving that they are not up to the task of responsibly managing a species fresh off the ESA list. Add on the disgusting and irresponsible allowance of dogs to be used against the species 24/7/365 and how can ANYONE with a straight face say that a state like Wisconsin can responsibly “manage” this species? You can’t and this is exactly why Judge Howell ruled as she did last December.

Wolves must remain under ESA protections until hostile states like Wisconsin make an effort to ethically “manage” this species. If you are a Wisconsin resident DEMAND that our state put aside the reckless and revenge minded policies that eliminated this species the first time and work WITH wildlife advocates instead of against us. By allowing the use of dogs against a species like the wolf the state of Wisconsin is showing to the world that they cannot “manage” this species in a responsible and ethical manner.

Find your Wisconsin legislators here and make it clear that they have failed miserably when it comes to “managing” the wolf population and regardless of a potential Congressional or court ordered delisting wildlife advocates will not back off nor will we accept any form of “management” that continues the use of dogs and reckless mass killing. The political pendulum always swings back hard and when it does the massive overreach Wisconsin has endorsed when it comes to “managing” this species will come back to bite the anti-wolf factions and their tactics very hard. The anti-wolf factions should be very careful about what they wish for and the ramifications of that overreach. Delsiting or not WE are not going anywhere and WE will continue to expose the reckless and barbaric attacks on wolves and other vulnerable species.

Please also contact your federal legislators and DEMAND that they not support any effort to weaken ESA protections for wolves or any other species until the states show that they will be responsible stewards for these species and not continue with their revenge/persecution policies.

 

Do Modern “Democrats” Support Legal Dog Fighting and Limiting Your Free Speech Rights? Actions Speak Louder than Words 

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This is what Senator Tammy Baldwin and other anti-wolf politicians support if they support Wisconsin’s “management” of wolves.

As a wildlife advocate nothing is more infuriating and revolting than people who speak out of both sides of their mouths. Nowhere is this more prevalent than with the modern “Democratic Party” and their spineless manner when dealing with wildlife issues and legislation. They are so afraid of upsetting the NRA/big ag lobby that they vote for anti-wildlife and even anti-free speech laws despite knowing they are deplorable. Because of this I have distanced myself from the Democratic Party and vowed not to ever vote again for any politician that supports anti-wildlife legislation and causes.

There are two very recent examples of Wisconsin based “Democrats” turning their backs on wildlife in favor of anti-wildlife and anti-free speech proposals at the state and national level.

Over the years I have voted for Senator Tammy Baldwin several times dating back to her days as a Representative in the House and for her current position as a senator. Only after her election to the senate did I learn of her anti-wolf positions and how she panders to the big ag interests that want to see wolves eradicated from Wisconsin and elsewhere. It was only after her 2012 election to the senate did I find this webpage where she takes credit for having the wolf delisted and Wisconsin allowing a slaughter season immediately following.

2011: Tammy Worked Across Party Lines and Worked to Remove the Wisconsin Gray Wolf from the Endangered Species List
Tammy supported the commonsense approach of removing the Wisconsin Gray Wolf from the Endangered Species List after population numbers exceeded both the Wisconsin Wolf Recovery Plan and the federal recovery goal. This action opens the door to a new wolf hunt.

Baldwin likes to pretend that she is a “progressive” and people believe her due to her sexual orientation and how she rightfully stands up for equal protection. The problem is that she panders to big ag and the killing cartels seeking to eradicate Wisconsin’s tiny wolf population and pretending that they no longer need protection. What does she gain from it? Do those “common sense approaches” include dog fighting? Apparently, yes they do.

A couple of weeks ago a letter imploring President Obama to reject any and all “riders” weakening the Endangered Species Act was signed by 25 Democratic Senators. As expected the usual fake “Democrats” from ND, IN, WV, MN, and a few others didn’t sign it likely due to being owned by the same big ag/NRA/SCI/Koch groups that also control the GOP. Also noticeably absent were signatures from the two anti-wolf and big ag owned “Democrat” senators from Minnesota and, of course, Tammy Baldwin. As evidenced by the canned letters I receive from Baldwin’s office, she buys hook, line, and sinker the propaganda from the Wisconsin DNR and anti-wolf groups that wolves are being properly “managed” by the DNR and that they are just “decimating” livestock, deer, and grandchildren all over the state. Upon learning her stance against wolves, and apparently being perfectly fine with the legalized dog fighting that Wisconsin allows, I decided that she will never get my vote again for the Senate or any other position. I have made this very clear in letters to her office. Of course the opinions of one Wisconsin citizen like myself apparently does not matter because each response that I receive from Baldwin’s office is the same canned response regurgitating the Wiscosnin DNR propaganda even if it’s not related to the purpose of my letter. It used to to be that we could depend on the Democratic Party to stand up for wildlife and the Endangered Species Act. This is no longer the case as ones like Baldwin and the two phony senators from MN are openly anti-wolf/wildlife and owned by big ag as much as the GOPers are. This is also why Baldwin has been known as “Shammy” Baldwin among wildlife advocates for some time. But she apparently doesn’t care as long as those campaign contributions and “awards” from big ag groups keep rolling in.

For Baldwin and the other anti-wolf/wildlife “Democrats” let one thing be clear. If you support any legislation that returns “management” of the gray wolf to states like Wisconsin, you support legalized DOG FIGHTING. There is no other way around it. Because Wisconsin allows 24/7/365 hound “training” against wolves and allows dogs to be used against wolves during the killing season any Dem that supports giving Wisconsin back “management”  also supports DOG FIGHTING. There is no other way to put it. I expect this from the anti-everything GOPers but for Dems to be on board is shameful and frankly horrifying for the prospects for the survival of not only wolves but all imperiled species. Please call Senator Baldwin and your other Senators and Representatives and ask them this:

Dear Senator/Rep……

As a constituent of yours I ask that you strongly consider voting against any and all bills and or “riders” to spending bills that seek to remove wolves from Endangered Species Act protections. Despite the hyperbole and propaganda from hunting groups and agricultural interests, the gray wolf is still imperiled by centuries old hatred and reckless state “management” plans that allow for only a token number on the landscape and in isolated pockets only. It also must be noted that supporting any effort to delist wolves in Wisconsin will be viewed as a tacit approval for what is essentially the legalized DOG FIGHTING that the state allows by law. Wisconsin is the ONLY state in the country that allows packs of hounds to be pitted against wolves with ZERO oversight and the allowance of 24/7/365 “training” against wolves also with no oversight. I implore you not to support any law that furthers the persecution against this species and that seeks to weaken the already imperiled Endangered Species Act. Your actions on these issues will be closely watched and strongly considered in future elections. 

Thank you, 

Find Your Senators and Representatives

In Wisconsin, at the state level, we also have a collection of “Democrats” that always seem to pander to the kill everything crowd and now apparently are also for attacking YOUR free speech rights and navigation of YOUR public lands. Yesterday, by a vote of 14-1, the rubber stamp for the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and the deceptively named anti-wildlife, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, Assembly Natural Resources Committee, approved moving forward with the anti-free speech bill disguised as a “hunter harassment” bill. Only one Democrat had the conviction to vote against the bill:

The Assembly’s natural resources committee passed the Republican-authored bill on a 14-1 vote. The committee’s minority Democrats questioned whether the bill might violate nature lovers’ free speech rights but only one of them, Rep. Diane Hesselbein of Middleton, ultimately voted against the proposal.

Just like the 2012 wolf kill bill the so-called “Democrats” questioned the bill yet still voted for it regardless of the consequences. Why? All that this bill does is legitimize the disgusting acts of hounding and baiting and makes those that participate in them a protected class. This despite no permitting requirement for either activity. Under this bill if you happen to take a picture or even be “in the line of sight” of a hunter, baiter, trapper, or hounder, you are potential criminal if you hold any anti-hunting beliefs. This is apparently okay with our so-called “Democrats?”

The bill would add scouting, dog training, baiting and feeding to the list of protected hunting activities. It also would expand the definition of interference to include remaining in a hunter’s sight, photographing a hunter, using a drone to photograph a hunter and confronting a hunter more than twice with the intention of interfering with or impeding their activity. First-time violators would face a $500 fine. Subsequent offenses would carry steeper fines as well as jail time.

That’s right. If a hounder or baiter gets upset because you are near them, you are a criminal. If you take a picture of a hunter, baiter, hounder, or trapper and happen to hold a different belief or political affiliation than the law enforcement officer and county District Attorney, you are a potential criminal. How can any sane person, let alone an alleged “Democrat” support this bill that criminalizes free speech, free navigation, and penalizes people based on their political ideology or views on “hunting” practices?

Then we have this:

Republicans on the committee joined with Democrats Tuesday and adopted an amendment from Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, which clarifies that someone would have to intentionally interfere with a hunting activity to be convicted. But Rep. Katrina Shankland, a Stevens Point Democrat who voted in favor of the bill, still pressed the committee’s attorney, Larry Konapacki, for his opinion on whether the bill would withstand a constitutional challenge.

“That is a really difficult question,” Konopacki replied. “This is something that might be tested at some point.”

Spreitzer said he was satisfied that it would take an intentional act to land someone in trouble. Shankland pressed on, seeking more reassurance from Konopacki. He told her no one could be convicted unless a prosecutor could prove they intended to engage in harassing conduct.

That seemed to satisfy the Democrats, except Hesselbein. She said she still had questions about the bill. She didn’t ask any, though.

Shankland STILL voted for this sick bill despite acknowledging that it may violate the constitutional rights of a segment of citizens with a different value system while protecting unethical “hunting” practices? This plays right into the revenge politics of the Walker administration and GOP dominated legislature since 2011 and they STILL went along with it?Absolutely shameful but not all together surprising considering that many of the same people voting for this bill also voted for the wolf kill bill in 2012 making Wisconsin the ONLY state in the country that allows packs of dogs to be pitted against wolves. But it’s all about “heritage” and “tradition” to protect the most sadistic and vile among us I guess. These are the “Democrat” committee members that voted for this disgusting assault on free speech and bear hounder/baiter public land takeover:

Representative Milroy

Representative Danou

Representative Shankland

Representative Spreitzer

Please contact them and ask why they support a bill that limits free speech and free navigation of our public lands while making those that practice most sadistic and unethical “hunting” methods a protected class. Also ask them why people, such as hounder and baiters, are now a protected class even though no permit is required for their disgusting activities? Shame on them.

Milroy also had a hand in the recent and astonishingly sexist bill that allowed “blaze pink” clothing for hunting to “attract women” to the “sport.” Danou is the same guy that claims to have “questioned” the wolf kill bill, yet still voted for it in 2012 and bragged to the committee in 2012 that he hoped to get a wolf tag, and then invited other people on the committee to come to his place and “shoot some ducks.” He was also part of Baldwin’s 2012 killing brag fest campaign when she was running for Senator. With “friends” like these……….

So what is the takeaway from the actions of Baldwin and the anti-wildlife/free speech “Democrats” that voted for the bill yesterday? The takeaway is that wildlife and wildlife advocates are now also an imperiled species that have very few friends in the halls of state and federal government. I think that for wildlife advocates we need to realize that the modern Democratic Party is not aligned with our interests and seems to side with the anti-wildlife factions more than not in recent years. It’s time to call them out on it and stop pretending that they are the party of the environment when in reality half are nothing more than GOP-Lite that will pander to the anti-environment factions more often than not while spitting in the faces of their supposed “base.” We will remember their stances when it comes time to vote. If they even care…..

Hounder that Tormented Trapped Cats Will Not be Charged Despite Video Evidence: Welcome to Wisconsin 

The Wisconsin DNR and Marathon County Sheriff's Department says that this is in "bad taste" but not illegal. Still shared via Fair Use.

The Wisconsin DNR and Marathon County Sheriff’s Department says that this is in “bad taste” but not illegal. Still shared via Fair Use.

Back in August, I posted a story about a Wisconsin hounder videotaping his dogs tormenting cats in live traps. For the past year and a half dedicated wildlife advocates have been trying to push for legal action against the person that allowed his dogs to torment these cats and also take videos of his dogs attacking a raccoon. The Wisconsin DNR has refused to take any action despite the illegal activity being on video. Local law enforcement agencies have been playing a game of “pass the jurisdiction” among each other and also refusing to take any action despite video evidence. The claim among the local law enforcement agencies is that there was no animal cruelty violation. Apparently they believe that live trapping cats and allowing a pack of dogs to torment them is perfectly acceptable in Wisconsin and that the only “violation” is the suspect’s “training method.” Training method? Domestic cats aren’t “game” animals so how is this “training?” What exactly is this hounder “training” them for? Not that it matters because the Wisconsin DNR has also apparently refused to take any action despite video evidence of a clear violation.

Same hounder allowing his dogs to attack a raccoon. The DNR refuses to take action on this as well. Still shared via Fair Use.

Same hounder allowing his dogs to attack a raccoon. The DNR refuses to take action on this as well. Still shared via Fair Use.

Welcome to Wisconsin. Where wildlife advocates or anyone else using public land may soon be criminals for taking photos but where hounders can use their dogs to torture wildlife on video and no action will be taken. Let that sink in. Hounders and their ilk can videotape their own illegal torture of animals and the Wisconsin DNR and local law enforcement will refuse to take any action but if YOU videotape the same behavior as a wildlife advocate YOU may soon be held criminally liable. What kind of message is Wisconsin sending to the rest of the world? That you are a criminal if you monitor activity on public land for criminal behavior but you can videotape your own criminal acts and have total immunity?

I am furious and you should be as well. Wisconsin has made it so that hounders, baiters, and trappers have total immunity from state law and even the supposed “ethics” that the hunting community claim to hold dear. I make no secret about my thoughts on the modern “sportsman” and their “kill everything” mentality but how can actions like those depicted in these videos not even infuriate them? Even if they don’t care about the animals being tormented, and they likely don’t, shouldn’t they be furious that this type of behavior gives their “sport” a black eye?

I am not going to directly name the suspect here but I will post the link from where the videos came from. I suppose that I shouldn’t expect any ethical behavior from a person that calls his business Kwackem & Stackem Waterfowl LLC.

Different trapped cat being tormented by bear hounds.  Still shared under Fair Use.

Different trapped cat being tormented by bear hounds. Still shared under Fair Use.

Internet you know what to do. Please no threats nor anything illegal or you are as bad as these monsters. Please contact the Wisconsin DNR and the local law enforcement agencies and ask why charges have not been filed and how they cannot consider this a violation of animal cruelty statutes. It’s time we demand that they ENFORCE the law and hold these animal torturers accountable for their actions.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 

Call Center Staff Available 7 Days a Week (7 a.m.-10 p.m.)
Call Toll Free 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463)

Marathon County Sheriff’s Department 

500 Forest St, Wausau, WI 54403
(715) 261-1200

In Wake of Non-“Attack” Wisconsin DNR and USFWS Launch “Secret” Operation To Eradicate Wolf Pack Despite Endangered Status

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In the wake of the highly dubious non-“attack” against a great white hunter and NRA propaganda poster boy last month Adams County Wisconsin the Wisconsin DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are seeking to eradicate wolves in the Colburn WILDLIFE Area despite the species allegedly being under ESA protections.

Normally I am highly critical of the killing propaganda done by Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “outdoor writer” Paul Smith, but he deserves credit for bringing this to the public despite the Wisconsin DNR and USFWS apparently trying to keep it secret for as long as possible.

A September incident in Adams County in which a man said he was approached by three wolves was not an “attack,” according to an investigation by federal and state law enforcement officials.

However, efforts are underway to trap and kill wolves at the public property where the incident took place.

The trapping was initiated after Department of Natural Resources managers determined that wolves at Colburn Wildlife Area presented a risk to visitors, said Dave MacFarland, DNR large carnivore specialist.

A provision of the Endangered Species Act allows lethal removal of “specimens which pose a demonstrable but non-immediate threat to human safety.”

The decision was made after consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MacFarland said.

“We’ve used (trapping and lethal removal) before in compliance with our public safety response protocol,” MacFarland said. “This one is getting more attention.”

The trapping began Oct. 16; it is being conducted by agents with the Wildlife Services division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Despite acknowledging that the alleged encounter with the “hunter” was not an “attack” the Wisconsin DNR and USFWS have decided to eradicate wolves in this WILDLIFE AREA. If wolves cannot live in areas designated for wildlife then where can they live? The reality is that wolf hating states like Wisconsin and others will allow no more than a token population and will use any excuse to kill them in conjunction with the anti-wolf USFWS.

One of the prime reasons that a federal judge relisted wolves in the Great Lakes was because of inadequate “management” plans that kept the species in isolated pockets. It seems that, especially in Wisconsin, the moment wolves migrate out of their isolated pockets in the northern part of the state they must be eradicated. This is shameful and a direct affront to the ESA and wildlife advocates. It’s bad enough that for three years wolf haters were allowed to go deep into wolf habitat, trap, arrow, hound, bait, and destroy entire wolf packs, now they are eradicating packs just because of ONE alleged incident involving a convicted wildlife rule violator that just happened to run right to an NRA propaganda magazine right after the non-attack.

As of Tuesday, no wolf had been caught, according to the DNR.

The trapping initiative falls in the wake of a Sept. 23 incident at Colburn, a 4,965-acre public property.

Matthew Nellessen, 34, of Friendship was traveling alone on foot and scouting for a deer-hunting spot when he said he was attacked by three wolves.

According to Nellessen’s account, he shot and wounded one of the wolves with his .38-caliber pistol.

He reported the incident to the DNR. State and federal law enforcement officers accompanied Nellessen to the spot of the incident the following day.

A short blood trail was found, but no wolf, said Todd Schaller, DNR chief warden.

Nellessen was not charged for his actions.

“Through a joint investigation of the USFWS and DNR, and information we were able to obtain through the USFWS interview, there will be no law enforcement action taken (against Nellessen),” said Schaller.

The Wisconsin DNR and other anti-wolf government agencies and killing cartels have been looking for ways to continue the eradication tactics they adopted since 2012 following the December 2014 re-listing. It looks like they found their tactic. It looks like they found it. Just as I wrote about in the last blog post when a great white hunter merely sees a wolf it becomes a call for eradication. This ONE non-“attack” and the response to eradicate a wolf population in a WILDLIFE AREA opens the door for every single anti-wolf element in the state to claim other non-“attacks” and then the WI DNR and USFWS will come in with traps and guns blazing. This is shameful but unfortunately a common practice used by anti-wolf states to keep the populations isolated to small pockets and prevent them from migrating. We see this also in Wyoming, where they have been practicing an “under the radar” eradication, Minnesota, where keeping wolves in one area is written into their “management plan,” and in Wisconsin where anti-wolf groups like the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, SCI, and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation seek to have open eradication in the Southern two-thirds of the state (Laurie Groskopf sits on the board of both groups).

Mark my words. Now that the WI DNR and USFWS are doing this eradication based on a highly dubious non-“attack” we will be seeing these tactics deployed over and over again to get rid of wolves all over the state to appease the anti-wolf killing cartels like the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association.

Adams County, toward the southern end of Wisconsin’s wolf range, has had two wolf packs since at least 2010, according to DNR reports.

MacFarland said the Adams County wolves have not caused problems in the past.

As a result of Nellessen’s encounter, however, the DNR added a notation to its 2015 list of wolf depredations and other incidents. The Oct. 1 update includes a check mark in Adams County for a “non-livestock threat.”

Two confirmed cases of wolf depredations on livestock have occurred this year in the southern half of Wisconsin, one each in Columbia and Crawford counties.

Nellessen’s incident and the agencies’ handling of it have drawn added attention because, if confirmed, it would have been the first verified wolf attack on a human in Wisconsin.

Since their investigation and interviews found no physical contact with the wolves and no injury to Nellessen, law enforcement officials did not classify it as an attack.

“It can become a semantic argument,” MacFarland said. “No matter how it’s described, it’s a case where the department is following its protocol following a threat to human safety.”

MacFarland said the trapping effort is being evaluated daily and results will dictate how long it continues.

They even admit that it’s not an “attack” yet the wolves have to die anyway?

As I have stated before it’s quite amazing that the only people ever “attacked” or “threatened” by wolves are great white hunters and others that already hate the species. Why don’t we hear about hikers having non-“attacks” or being “threatened?” I and other wildlife advocates can see right through the game being played by anti-wolf government agencies and the killing cartels that pull their strings. They are frustrated at the fact Congress hasn’t yet been able to strip protections from wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming so they are coming up with alternate near-eradication and harassment plans to keep wolves at bare minimum numbers without attracting too much attention to their real motives. They use fragile excuses like “threats to human safety” and “livestock depredation” to continue with their eradication policies.

If wolves aren’t even allowed to be seen or live in WILDLIFE AREAS then where can they exist? Even in the areas where they are “allowed” to live, such as in our National Forests, they are still subjected to non -stop harassment by thousands of loose hounds, traps, and being baited into one of the almost 70,000 bear bait piles and 5 MILLION gallons of bait spread around the northern 1/3 of the state.

Following decades of massive deer overpopulation and the non-stop deer killing seasons the deer population in Wisconsin appears to finally be reaching a reasonable level that the ecosystem can support. Unfortunately that’s not good enough for the great white hunters in Wisconsin and the DNR. Brutal winters, endless killing seasons, vehicle crashes, and disease have allegedly brought deer numbers down slightly over the past decade and of course the great white hunters blame the few hundred wolves in the state despite facts to the contrary. Add in the constant whining by the bear hounders and it’s obvious what the endgame of the puppet Wisconsin DNR is. Wolves will pay the price despite the DNR themselves admitting through their own studies that wolf predation on deer (you know, their natural diet) is minuscule at best. Despite that fact wolves will be pushed to near eradication in spite of their current ESA protections through the use of the loophole that says killing can occur to “specimens which pose a demonstrable but non-immediate threat to human safety.”

Mark my words this will be the first of many secret eradication operations to be carried out by the Wisconsin DNR and USFWS based on no-“attacks” and “threats” to great white hunters. This is their way to keep their near eradication policies in place while wolves are still under ESA protections.

Please contact the Wisconsin DNR and USFWS to express your outrage at this eradication operation and the fact there was no action taken in what they admit wasn’t an “attack.” If anymore evidence was needed to see the true intentions of the Wisconsin DNR and the Dan Ashe run USFWS to bring wolves back to the brink this is all one needs. If they can thumb their noses at the federal judge and ESA and use loopholes to continue their anti-wolf tactics what is the point of even having and ESA if a “protected” species can be killed just for being seen?

This species means as much ALIVE to us as it does dead to a tiny minority. It’s time we make that very clear.

Please politely express your outrage here:

Wisconsin DNR:

David MacFarland
Carnivore specialist
715-365-8917

Email: David.MacFarland@wisconsin.gov

USFWS Contact Information:

Regional Director: Tom Melius
Deputy Regional Director: Charlie Wooley

Mailing Address:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
5600 American Blvd. West, Suite 990
Bloomington, MN 55437-1458

Phone: 612-713-5360
Fax: 612-713-5280
TTY: 1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay)
Email: MidwestNews@fws.gov

 

Barstool Biology and Hypocrisy: More Lies, Killing Justification, and False Equivalencies from Politicians and “Outdoor” Writers

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Let’s say that a serial rapist got caught committing dozens of sexual assaults over the span of a few years. While being interrogated by the police the rapist attempts to rationalize what he did by saying that he wore a condom while raping each of his victims because he “cares about women.” Then he tries to say that because he donates money to Planned Parenthood he should be excused for the rapes because, of course, he “cares about women.”

Sounds absurd doesn’t it? So why is it any different when wildlife killers use the exact same ridiculous types of justifications and arguments when taking about “conservation” and other ridiculous “barstool biology” nonsense?

Killing cartels and those that derive pleasure from killing wildlife like to use arguments similar to the example that I used above. They claim that they “pay for conservation” when buying a killing license because they “care about wildlife.” Then just like the above example they also claim that they donate money to killing front groups like “Ducks Unlimited” or the deceptively named hunting group, the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, because they “care about wildlife.” Then they also brag about planting “food plots” and spreading bait to “help” feed animals because they “care about wildlife.”

The reality is that most who derive pleasure from killing animals don’t give money or plant “food plots” for the sake of the animals. They give money to these groups and pay their license fees to make sure there are enough wildlife for them to kill. They bait and plant “food plots” to draw in and condition the animal that they want for an easy kill. They also act like because they have a monopoly on the “funding” for “fish and game” departments like the Wisconsin DNR they get to control what is allowed to live and what they can kill. This twisted “fox in the hen-house” mindset is part of why so many species are on the brink and others are far over natural capacity.

Nowhere is this more evident than with the killing cartels, their membership, and “outdoor writers,” constantly whining about how there is an alleged “lack of deer” while also bragging about the number of kill tags that they possess and the “trophy buck” that they are after. While bragging about the abundance of killing tags they usually go on and decry protections for predators like wolves, bears, and coyotes because they blame them for the alleged “lack of deer” in the killing fields. Here is one example of an “outdoor writer” using “barstool biology” as fact:

There are numerous reasons for the decline in numbers of deer. It is a multi-complex situation with ample blame to be shared. We have high numbers of predators from bears, coyotes and wolves. Further complicating this situation a Federal Judge has returned the wolf to endangered status therefore ending any hunting of wolves.

Wisconsin has a long tradition of being an excellent deer hunting state but when one looks at the numbers of deer killed by hunters in Wisconsin it is necessary to consider that we have a high deer population in the farming areas of the lower two-thirds of the state and across the northern one-third the numbers are lower.

Due to open seasons, market hunting and loss of habitat America’s whitetail populations plummeted in the late 1800’s. Thanks to sportsmen this carnage ended and the numbers of deer increased. The question is will we have to go through a rebuilding program again.

The “sportsmen” were responsible for this “carnage” and then they want credit for “allowing” numbers to rise again? Ask the passenger pigeon how well that worked. Oh wait, you can’t because the great white hunters killed them ALL off. But it’s not the endless kill tags and hundreds of thousands of deer killed throughout the year that is responsible for the alleged “low deer numbers” apparently. It is, according to “outdoor writer” Roger Sabota, wolves and Native Americans:

In another ruling a Federal Court Judge apparently does not believe how serious the deer population situation is. This Judge ruled that the Native Americans may now shoot deer after dark. This may take place between November 1 and late December. That is a blow that our Northern Wisconsin deer herd did not need.

Ah yes. It’s also the fault of Native American tribes conspiring with their brother, the gray wolf, to kill off Wisconsin’s deer herd. Barstool biology at it’s finest but it gets even worse.

I expect this kind of mindless propaganda and whining from the anti-wolf factions and the killing cartels but it is quite maddening when it comes from elected officials in mind numbing “opinion pieces” printed in newspapers. 

What follows below is the most absurd piece of propaganda and hypocritical double speak that I have seen published on the “wolf issue” from a politician. It’s not only the disingenuous fear mongering that makes me furious when reading this “opinion piece,” it is also the arrogance and blatant hypocrisy on display. This was written by a Minnesota State Representative in the Brainerd Dispatch:

The Thursday, Oct. 15, hunt started like numerous other Camp Ripley bow hunts have in the past. The hunt can be a bit of a zoo with cars lined up for nearly a mile and over 1,000 hunters milling about. But once you enter into the “open hunting areas” hunters have a great opportunity to bag the buck of a lifetime or to simply enjoy a great experience with the bonus of providing a food resource to his or her family.

Little did I know, this year’s experience was going to be different than any other. My hunting partner walked in first while I waited about a half hour to make my way down a tank trail into an area that our group has traditionally hunted just north of Casino Road and the gravel pit. I wasn’t 50 yards into the woods when I saw movement coming directly towards me.

It was a wolf. My first thought was to simply get a photo, my next was common sense kicking in – acknowledging I was still on the ground and without a firearm, as Camp Ripley prohibits hunters from carrying one. I attached my stand as quickly as possible and made my way up the tree. This proved to be the right move because it wasn’t more than just a few minutes until more wolves began coming into and leaving the area. Never side by side but often one would come ahead of me and another one would come in following the wind behind me.

As I share this story with folks, some have said the wolves were simply “curious,” others said that they were “indifferent to my presence” and “what a great experience.” However, as a hunter who happens to be a state representative, I can’t help but think about the effect a growing wolf population has on our area.

Last January, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, in Washington, D.C., ordered the federal government to reinstate federal endangered species protection to gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. This decision brought an immediate halt to wolf hunting in Minnesota, limiting the ability of farmers and other citizens to protect their property and, for Minnesota, to responsibly manage wolves in order to preserve the viability of other wildlife.

On that Thursday morning, I came to Camp Ripley to hunt deer and unless the people of central Minnesota would like a wolf habitat created here, something is wrong. Regardless of how people feel about wolves, if things continue as they are you won’t even have a wolf habitat, it will simply be a dead zone.

Simply put, Minnesota deserves the ability to control its own wolf population, just like Montana, Idaho, Alaska and other states, without interference from a district court judge in D.C.

This is a controversial issue and I’m sure I will draw fire from those who view wolves as simply a majestic beautiful creature that deserves a place here in Minnesota. I agree that they have their place but like any other predator, an effective plan is critical to maintain balance, prevent the loss of pets and livestock and preserve our hunting tradition.

Josh Heintzeman, R-Nisswa, represents District 10A in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Apparently there is such a large number of deer at this military installation that they have allowed over a thousand great white hunters in to kill them. In among all the usual propaganda and personal “justifications” for killing the deer, makes it very clear what his real objective is. It’s to kill that “trophy buck.”

Next we have the an amazing story of survival and how this great white hunter just managed to escape the jaws of a marauding pack of wolves that just kept increasing in number as he stood there. Funny how these “attacks” or near “attacks” only seem to happen to the great white hunters and those that hate wolves. Why do we never hear of hikers having to fight off these mass hoards of man-eating wolves? I must be doing something wrong because I have hiked all over wolf habitat in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and I haven’t even seen or heard a wolf. In fact the only sign I have even seen were some scat that may or may not have been from a wolf but somehow the great white hunters always are just seconds from death and amazingly “escape” without a scratch on them. Now of course because this great white hunter allegedly saw a wolf or two the world is ending and the hordes of man-eating wolves are going to kill you, your pets, your livestock, and especially your grandchildren. Much like the locust of biblical plagues these man-eating wolves are going to turn an area that has so many deer a special culling by the great white hunters is needed, into a “dead zone.” At least that is what is going to happen according to this guy and other anti-wolf factions against all common sense and scientific fact.

Among the rest of the drivel in this piece this line about the area becoming a “dead zone” is not only infuriating but it is also offensive. Because some right-wing politician/great white hunter allegedly sees a wolf or two the area is going to turn into a “dead zone?” Funny how that works. There are so many deer that this military installation “needed” the great white hunters to come in and likely kill hundreds of them with wolves already present and it’s the wolves that are going to turn Camp Ripley into a “dead zone?” This kind of disingenuous garbage is exactly why wolves should NEVER be returned to state “management” and why the judge relisted then in the first place. When disingenuous politicians pretend that because they allegedly see more than one wolf a “calamity” is about to occur and they must be killed off is EXACTLY why states should never again regain “management” of this or any endangered species.

I for one am sick and tired of wolves, Native Americans, and other convenient scapegoats being blamed for an alleged “lack of deer.” Deer in Wisconsin and elsewhere have been subjected to year round unlimited kill tags, bow seasons, gun seasons, ag killing, etc. and they wonder why the numbers have finally come down “close” to where they should be? Wolves make an easy scapegoat when one refuses to look in a mirror and see the bushy faced, camo hat clad person looking back at them that is really responsible for the alleged “lack” of deer.

Please tell Rep. Heintzeman to stop spreading this kind of propaganda and misinformation about wolves.

533 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
651-296-4333

E-mail: rep.josh.heintzeman@house.mn

Isn’t it time for the great white hunter to admit that it’s not about “conservation” or the idea that they “care” about wildlife? If it were all about “caring about wildlife,” “putting food on the table,” “controlling populations,” or whatever the killing cartel propaganda of the day is then why do canned “hunting” facilities exist in such abundance? Better yet why do agencies like the Wisconsin DNR hand raise and release tens of thousands of non-native Asian ring-necked pheasants strictly as living targets to be blown out of the sky immediately after release?

Its time for the great white hunters to admit that their “sport” isn’t about any of the justifications or excuses for why they do what they do. It’s all about KILLING more, more, and more and NOTHING better get in the way of that, especially nature itself. No matter how many or what type justifications bloodsport enthusiasts use, it all comes down to the KILLING and that can no longer be justified with fake platitudes and pretending to “care about wildlife.”

The next blog post will be about Florida’s reckless bear slaughter and how it parallels Wisconsin’s wolf slaughter.