Wednesday, January 9, 2013

WI Wolf 'Harvest' Without Dogs Proves Lobbyist Wrong

The DNR ended Wisconsin's wolf hunt not long ago after hunters produced the authorized 'harvest' of 116 wolves  - - well, 117, actually.

Anyway - - 55 of the animals, or 47%, were killed by sharp-shooting hunters; the rest were shot after being snared in leg traps, DNR data showed.

But for the purposes of this commentary, 55 is the number to keep in mind. Gun hunters took that many.

Because of a court ruling now lifted, dogs were barred from this first so-called modern-era hunt - - though dogs - - maybe even tricked out with GPS units like those carried by bear-hunting hounds and tracked by their owners - - will be let loose against wolves in the 2013 hunt unless the Legislature acts to join all other wolf-hunting states and bar it.

Perhaps Legislators in their reconsideration to prevent inevitable wolf-dog fights would look to the words last fall of hunting coalition executive director Bob Welch, a former GOP State Senator from Red Granite and a twice-unsuccessful GOP candidate for the US Senate.

A prolific lobbyist in the 2011-'12 session, state records show, with clients  that included the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Welch had predicted hardly any hunters would be able to shoot a wolf without dogs to chase and corner them:

Bob Welch, executive director of the Wisconsin Hunters Rights Coalition, an organization that was active in lobbying for the season and also in authoring the legislation creating the hunt, said hunters who cannot use dogs won't kill wolves.

"I think it would be very unlikely you'd even get one," Welch said.
55 Wisconsin hunters proved otherwise.

Keep dogs out of the hunt, and deliberate animal cruelty out of the Wisconsin woods.

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