Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Wolf-dog fighting and shooting trapped wolves may again stain WI woods

The renewed permission to hunt wolves in Wisconsin and other states suddenly announced by the Trump administration is just another sacrifice of natural resources belonging to all the people which this administration has zero interest in protecting.
Wisconsin is killing its wolves 
It's particularly reprehensible that the wolf-harvesting killing lobby comprised of so-called sportsmen [Sic] and the organized pro-gun movement wants you to believe that state governments are just where so-called wolf management should reside.    

In fact, Wisconsin's most recent wolf hunt as ordered up by the Legislature under the fast-tracked direction of then-State Rep. Joel Kleefisch showed precisely why it's a bad idea to let states 'manage' wolf-hunting.

* What Wisconsin 'managed' in wolf hunts between 2012 and 2014 came complete with only-in-Wisconsin use of dogs in the hunt that made a mockery of animal cruelty law and standards.

* Not to mention with the participation of a state advisory panel stripped of nearly all its wolf-hunting opponents.

* So little wonder that the state-'managed' wolf hunt led to three straight years of known kills in excess of what the DNR had approved through its so-called managing until a federal judge correctly halted the blood-letting in Wisconsin and other states:

Trappers with iron devices, then head shots, and hunters using only-in-Wisconsin-allowed dog packs have about another hour finished the 2014 'hunt' by registering the killing of four disposable wolves above the DNR's non-quota quota that was exceeded days ago
This tolerated overkill is now in its third straight year - - yielding a total of 11 registered extra kills (and God knows how many other illegal 'shoot, shovel and shut-up' poachings have taken place.)
I warned about this probable overkill before Thanksgiving, having urged the DNR to close the hunt then as the 'quota' was nearly filled. 
A final thought:

Wisconsin is facing a growing threat to its deer herd and a big piece of its outdoors economy through chronic wasting disease now impacting 55 of 72 counties.

If only there were only a top-of-the-food-chain predator carnivore that could kill weak deer and help manage the forest as nature intended.

A natural predator that does not kill indiscriminately, or in excess, and ranks as a threat to deer far below cold weather, hunters and collisions with vehicles.
According to the Wisconsin DNR, "Each wolf kills about 20 deer per year. Multiply this by the number of wolves found in Wisconsin in recent years (630), and approximately 13,000 deer may be consumed by wolves annually. 
This compares to over 40,000 deer hit by cars each year, and about 450,000 deer shot annually by hunters statewide. Within the northern and central forests where most wolves live, wolves kill similar numbers of deer as are killed by vehicles (about 13,000), and about 1/10 of those killed by hunters (127,000 in 2008). Wolves are a factor in the deer herd, but only one of many factors that affects the total number of deer on the landscape." 
I suppose there will be more litigation, and, in Wisconsin, all eyes will be trained on how thoroughly the GOP-led legislature can again display disdain for the natural world.  

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