Thursday, December 11, 2014

Despite the obvious, WI DNR let hunters, hounders break wolf kill quota

The carcasses of eight wolves shot and killed last week in Wisconsin - - six of which were chased down by packs of hunting dogs, records show - - could have been figuratively deposited at the doorstep of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources because the agency treated them as disposable, special-interest trophies.

This is the story of Wisconsin wildlife that was discounted, disrespected and dispatched by official state action.

As the 2014 Wisconsin wolf hunting season approached its DNR-established quota of 150 kills last month, it became clear that permissible delays in kill-reporting could push the total above 150 quota unless the agency moved pure-emptively to close the season.

But as we have seen so often from the Walker administration and his "chamber-of-commerce" DNR, science, facts and data don't count.

I'd posted several warnings on this blog about the probable overkill - - in other words, the intentional declaration that the rules didn't matter and some wolves were additionally disposable - - and data received Wednesday from the DNR through an Open Records request lets you plot how that overkill to 154 from 150 took place, with six of the final eight wolf killings occurring with the "aid of dogs" - - an only-in-Wisconsin practice.

Read on.

*  I urged the DNR on Sunday 16, 2014 to move towards closing the season because the quota of 150 wolves had nearly been met and I feared the agency's submission to powerful gun and hounding interests could lead the DNR to sit on its hands.

*  On Saturday, November 29th, I repeated my call for the DNR to close the season immediately.

Remember - - wolves in Wisconsin are managed, in trust, for the people of the state, and as a top predator, play a critical role in natural ecosystem operation. 

*  Again - - On Sunday, November 30th, and with 146 wolf kills already reported to the DNR , thus four legal kills available only- - I wrote that the DNR was setting the stage for an overkill unless it shut down the hunt immediately:


With only four legal wolf kills remaining under the current season's quota of 150, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources must close the season today or enable the intentional, quota-breaking overkilling of wolves beginning tomorrow after the gun-deer season has closed when hounders will be free to release their dogs against wolves and packs the hunter/trappers have tracked and located.

Noted on this blog, along with a senior DNR's hint that the quota might not be enforced.

The DNR gives wolf hunters 24 hours to register their kills - - see regulations - -  so many more than four could be killed and slowly reported before the DNR discovers the 2014 quota of 150 has been exceeded.
Wisconsin is killing its wolves
The DNR also gives legal wolf killers up to five days to present a wolf carcass for examination, meaning that evidence of illegal dog-wolf fighting could dissipate or be otherwise concealed.

To please some hunting and gun lobbies, conservative GOP legislators in 2012 made Wisconsin the only state in the US that permits dogs to participate in wolf hunting.

The wolf hunt set up quickly by GOP legislators in 2012 was and is so politicized that the DNR kicked the critics off its wolf advisory committee and gave the hunting and hounding interests inside control.

Wisconsin also allows the hounders to 'train' their hunting dogs against wolves year-round, regardless of the disruption to the wolves and anyone using the woods for hiking and other low-impact recreation.


I had recently asked the DNR for information about wolves killed after November 30, one day before the hounders could get into the action - - when the total was already 146.

Here's what the DNR reported back to me via an email under the Open Records statute  about wolves reported killed after Nov. 30:

1 on 12/1
4 on 12/3
3 on 12/4 
All were hunted with a gun, none trapped.  Six of the 8 were taken with the aid of dogs.
Is that the kind of management you expect of wildlife held in trust for the people of the state? 


Anonymous said...

Walker has earned a EEE rating as governor. He has stomped to death the economy, education and the environment in Wisconsin. Triple E should be a shoe size not a way of governing!

Tess13 said...

Complete assholes all around. I can't decide who I hate worse, Walker and his crony appointees or the rednecks killing these beautiful animals for fun. Tea Billy viagra.

Anonymous said...

You have to follow rules, they do not, they have no respect for our environment or our wildlife. I think what they are doing to the wolves is criminal, these Neanderthals can only think of one thing, killing. Then, they use the descendants of the wolves, dogs to hunt them. What an insult!