The Wisconsin DNR sanctions and encourages the killing of thousands of black bears every year.
The licenses are dirt cheap - -$14-to-$49 - - and, as the agency says, there is big "harvest" every year.
In 2010, 8,910 harvest permits were available and hunters responded by harvesting more than 5,000 bears, the highest bear harvest documented in Wisconsin history!And does the DNR remove the obstacles!
You can put out bait to lure the bears and run hounds against them.
Should a hunter's dogs get killed by during the hunt, or by wolves drawn also by the bear bait or when protecting their pack's territory - - even if this should happen in an area publicized by the DNR as a known wolf caution area - - the DNR will reimburse hunters up to $2,500 per bear-hunting dog killed by wolves in the only such payment program in America.
Though the payments might fall along with the wolf population as the legalized wolf hunt in Wisconsin, now two years old, has led 374 known wolf kills, principally by trappers who then shoot the animals in the head.
The 'harvest' hit 257 in 2013/14, with 35 wolf kills assisted by tracking dogs - - and yes, Wisconsin is the only state in America to allow dogs in a wolf hunt, thanks to a bear/wolf hunting lobby is strong in Wisconsin.
And yet despite all these special favors and payments and a state government now in thrall to hunting interests there is a certain type of 'sporting' enthusiast who feels entitled to more shoot bears whenever the need arises.
What is wrong with hunters like these three, and why did the authorities let them off with fines and the loss of their hunting privileges for a year after they couldn't tell a straight story about how a trophy-sized bear was killed out-of-season.
|Photo courtesy of Emery Orlikowski of Green Bay, from DNR|
Why doesn't the state come down harder on such scofflaws and send a message to others that this kind of behavior deserves and will get severely punished?
Wildlife in Wisconsin doesn't belong to the hunters. These animals are supposed to be 'managed' by the state and the DNR, as trustee, in the public interest.
Regrettably, that case was not one-of-a-kind.
Remember this crew that running an illegal bear killing operation up North?
Four men who had been the subject of a six-year undercover investigation by state and federal authorities have been convicted of charges related to illegal bear hunting in northern Wisconsin.
John J. Kellogg, 48, of Gillett in Oconto County, was charged in 2011. The complaint indicated he had turned illegal hunting into a commercial enterprise involving the illegal transfer of Wisconsin bear hunting tags, and his guiding services.
The investigation led to Kentucky wildlife agents posing as "houndsmen" willing to buy dogs from Kellogg and hunt illegally in Wisconsin with his help. They paid $1,000 for bear tags belonging to other people, $400 and $500 to Kellogg for guiding services, and more for processing the kill into bear meat and rugs.And there was the bear hunter managing the so-called sportsman's group that was going to do some
Turns out the bear hunter had on his resume the payment of a forfeiture for shooting a bear to which he was not legally entitled.
[Andy] Pantzlaff then shot the bear with a heavy-caliber revolver either once or twice to ensure it was dead — his account varied. Pantzlaff only had a "Class B" license — cheaper and easier to get than a Class A — that allowed him to handle his dogs but not to shoot unless someone in his party was in danger.
Initially, Pantzlaff lied to the warden about who had really shot the bear but on further questioning he admitted that the hunter with the valid Class A license hadn't done the shooting, the records show.Little surprise that even after that tawdry funding plan ran aground the group still hadn't filed the proper paperwork to quality for the tax-exempt status it claimed it had.
Scoff at one law, scoff at others.