Lately this blog has been gaining a significant crop of new readers and wildlife advocates that have been elated to have found a source that will actually report the thing that I do. I am both proud and humbled at the positive feedback I am getting for publishing this blog. I am willing to bring to light the issues and opinions that many of us harbor but are afraid to put out there. One of the best things about increased readership of the blog is that wildlife advocates and average citizens from Northern Wisconsin finally feel that they have an outlet to express their frustrations and disdain over what is essentially the extremist hunting group and hounder based anarchy that the Wisconsin DNR turns a blind eye to or even encourages. As a follow up to my blog post yesterday about livestock interests scamming the wolf “depredation” system I am going to share an email that I received from a northern Wisconsin resident, that I know to be of the highest integrity, and her interactions with farmers up there.
As I was reviewing the depredation figures from year to year on the DNR chart, red flags started popping up big time. Taking into consideration years prior to wolf hunting and comparing the past three years; numbers substantially grew. Interesting considering wolf population should have decreased due to hunting or did the population rebound so significantly, that more depredation took place? With this in mind, read on.
Whenever I run into a local around here; I pose a few questions in friendly conversation to see how they respond. Yesterday, I ran into a farmer who raises beef cattle north of me. He stated he lost many cattle last year due to the hostile winter. His neighbor also raises livestock. He lost 15-cattle due to wolves. His neighbor tried convincing him to make a buck and claim the losses were due to wolves. He would not do it. Solid proof…you cannot trust farmers or the USDA. More importantly, this must be the same farmer who claimed 15-cattle killed by wolves on the DNR chart. It is the only claim for 15-cattle. How ironic is that? Now who do you believe? This kind of deceit is what controls Congress. It WAS nice to know there are some honest farmers around here though. Another recent conversation was with a (position removed). He knows I’m a wolf advocate. He is not. We were discussing wolves; his argument was about his friend who operates a hunting outfit out west. His business is dwindling due to wolves hunting all the elk. The (position removed) travels out there to hunt and has no luck. He stated, “Every time we call the elk in, the wolves come”. I wasn’t sure how to comment because it seemed like a natural thing to me. What do you expect? He also stated he believes a wolf would eat a child. I walked away waving him in disbelief.
This kind of confirms what many of us have been speculating about all along. The whole “wolf depredation” program is one giant scam for irresponsible ranchers and hounders and is used as propaganda whenever talk of delsiting wolves or opening a killing season approaches.
I would also like to share the experiences of a Northwoods resident that I received a few weeks back about how hounders have ZERO regard for property rights and the toxic mindset that revolved around their “sport.”
I live in northern WI in a remote spot. Acres away from anyone. I live w/wolves. Their numbers have decreased substantially in the past 2-yrs. I’ve caught poachers and reported them to the Federal warden and WI DNR as my property butts Nicolet National Forest. I’ve chased poachers with my shotgun. The quota for wolf harvest had been met 4-months prior. I have met w/Andy, Game Warden in my area on several occasions and he is very receptive to the problem. I spoke w/Dave MacFarland, DNR Large Carnivore Specialist and shared my concerns. Other than law enforcement, natural resource enforcement, Sierra Club and a handful of concerned individuals it seems WI residents show little or no concern regarding poaching or maintaining a healthy ecosystem. They seem oblivious to the government playing Russian Roulette with the preservation of our wildlife. Wolves are necessary to complete our ecosystem. Delisting them again is pure ignorance as WI US Representative Reed Ribble is currently pushing through congress. It seems the DNR has had their hands tied as the Bear Hunters Association gathered accomplices from NRA, Hunters Rights Coalition and Safari Club International to write a wolf hunt law and get it passed previously. The ATV clubs are even regulating the DNR as to where ATV signage should be placed. Apparently, DNR personnel w/degrees in enforcement and biology, etc are somewhat powerless to the less educated clubs who are dictating the policies. Obviously, the sport and recreation is more important than the science.
Fact is, it is science and biology that feed the sport. Then there are the hateful, crude comments from wolf haters who hunt them because they are evil or because they blame deer population reduction to wolf kill. This category if idiots are delirious. More deer are killed from road kill than wolf killing deer. During hunting season, I have half dozen or more hounds trample through my property for 2-weeks straight every day at the same time causing havoc with no hunter in sight. Whether these are bear hounds or illegal wolf hunting hounds they are illegally trespassing and chasing wolves, migrating birds, young sand-hilled cranes, and a long laundry list of wildlife. I hold a Scientific Collector’s License w/the state & US Fish & Wildlife. I also photograph wildlife and this outburst is destructive to my work and landscape much less my dog. They roam unattended. In my opinion, it seems our recreational clubs are intervening where and when they should not be. Farmers/ranchers are blaming wolves for lost livestock. And the general public…where are you? Science is not in the best interest of the clubs, wolf haters, or US Reed Ribble, etc. Look what Idaho is doing…making a contest out of wolf slaughtering. The real issue is economics. The planet is over-populated causing the need for more food. Many ranchers are honest, working hard to produce meals to put on tables. However, wolves have always lived here and farmers/ranchers were aware of that when they made the decision to raise cattle, sheep, dairy cows, etc. The percentage of wolves killing livestock isn’t even substantial. Ranchers get reimbursed. Bottom line: delisting again is just an ugly excuse to slaughter wolves for sport. The real issue is over-population of the human race. What will it take to keep wolves on the endangered species list and balance our ecosystem? Brains.
If you are a northern Wisconsin resident and wish to share your experiences with hounders, trappers, and anti-wolf people, I encourage you to comment on this post or use the “Contact Us” link at the top of the page. Your name and information will not be published but we would love to hear your stories and share them with other like minded wildlife advocates on this blog.