Wisconsin’s Dubious Wolf Population “Increase” and Taconite Tommy Strikes Again

The modern Wisconsin "sportsman." Still Wisconsin seems "shocked" that this offends people.
The modern Wisconsin “sportsman.” This is what Wisconsin’s calls “responsible management.”
Normally wildlife advocates would find news that Wisconsin’s small wolf population is allegedly growing to be welcome. However one only has to look at those doing the counting this past winter to see why there is major reason for skepticism in the increased numbers.

In 2014, following the mass slaughter of 257 wolves by guns, traps, arrows, and dogs, the over winter count showed an estimated number of 660 to 689 wolves in the state. This was a 19 percent drop from the previous year. In the fall of 2014 the “great white hunters” slaughtered 154 wolves and shorty after a federal judge returned wolves in the Great Lakes to the Endangered Species List because of inadequate state “management plans” and lack of proliferation in historical habitat.

Immediately following the delisting of wolves in the Great Lakes the usual suspects of the anti-wolf cabal of killing cartels and big ag started pushing stories in the media of mass hordes of wolves decimating the livestock of the poor poor farmers struggling out in the prairie lands of Minnesota and Wisconsin. It would have been laughable of the gullible media didn’t print the anti-wolf propaganda and misinformation as fact. Almost immediately following the judge’s ruling the anti-wolf factions in congress led by Wisconsin Tea Party extremist (G)reed Ribble and fake “Democrat” Colin Peterson of Minnesota introduced legislation that would strip Endangered Species Act protections from wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming and forbid our Constitutional right of judicial review for laws and agency regulations. Apparently this bill and other even more extreme anti-wolf bills were not able to gain much traction as stand alone bills in Congress so the anti-wolf factions are now attempting the tried and true method of gutting wolf protections by attaching a “rider” bill to the appropriations bill for funding the Department of Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency. This tactic worked in 2011 when the disgustingly anti-wolf Obama Administration allowed and signed a spending bill with an attached rider removing ESA protections from wolves in the Northern Rockies. The anti-wolf zealots are now hoping history repeats itself this year.

That is a little background as to where our small wolf population stands now and how we got here.

Yesterday, near Wausau, Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources held an informational meeting to announce the results for this year’s wolf population survey. The DNR’s Large Carnivore Biologist, Dave MacFarland, announced that the DNR estimates that there are between 746 and 771 wolves in Wisconsin. This is a 13 percent increase over the numbers released in 2014. Immediately following the meeting the anti-wolf barstool biologist/killing cartel leaders started spreading their flat out lies and propagandist misinformation. Take for example member of the DNR’s anti-wolf group stacked “Wolf Advisory Committee” and head of the killing cartel and anti-wolf Wisconsin Bowhunters Association, Mike Brust, spreading his barstool biology for all to see:

“Wolves aren’t dumb. They’re going to go where the food is, the food for wolves is whitetail deer. So as they run out of their resource, their food source is up north. They’re going to move further south, and that’s where we’re running into conflicts,” said Mike Brust, Wisconsin Bow Hunters Association.

Brust fails to mention who and what these “conflicts” are of course. The greedy Wisconsin deer hunters apparently are upset because their on-demand killing now requires a little more work than setting out bait piles and waiting to arrow a hungry and unsuspecting deer. As with anything rural a scapegoat is required to account for all their economic and lifestyle failures so this time wolves make a convenient one for northern Wisconsin. Even the rabidly anti-wolf DNR made very clear that wolves have a negligible at best impact on the Wisconsin deer population.

The D.N.R. says each wolf can kill about 20 deer per year, but that’s still about 10 percent of what hunters take.

“Deer die from a variety of causes, including wolves, but again, wolves don’t seem to be a primary driver of the deer population,” said MacFarland.

Another reason for wildlife advocates to be highly dubious of the numbers released yesterday is because of just who is doing the counting. In 2012 following the passage of the draconian and sadistic Wisconsin Wolf Kill Bill, Act 169, a large number of professional wolf trackers resigned in protest at how the DNR was setting out to persecute this species with reckless killing seasons that included the use of dogs. Recently the DNR welcomed 50 bear hounders and trappers to the ranks of wolf trackers. You read that right. The Wisconsin DNR enlisted the rabidly and openly anti-wolf factions to be responsible for conducting the wolf surveys in the state. This list includes the most vocal and rabidly anti-wolf zealot in the state, Laurie Groskopf. Still trust those numbers? A year ago the population was around 660. Another 154 were “legally” killed last fall. These numbers don’t even take into account the numbers illegally killed, killed by trigger happy farmers, or those killed by the USDA’s Wildlife Services goons for alleged “depredations.” Yet, magically the population is reported to have INCREASED by almost 100 animals? You bet I am skeptical and will be taking a long hard look at how the DNR and their anti-wolf “trackers” came about these numbers.

Taconite Tommy Strikes Again

In a legislature and state government stacked with extremists and arrogant self important types it takes a special kind of asshole to keep making headlines for outlandish statements or actions. No shock that the special one is once again state senator Taconite Tommy Tiffany (R-GTAC). After throwing a hissy fit over not being able to kill enough bobcats and having his sugar daddy’s mining project pull out of the state, Tiffany set out to gut the DNR’s science division because they had the nerve to tell the truth and not what old TT wanted to hear. Now Taconite Tommy is demanding that the DNR ignore all this science stuff and focus on providing “opportunity for hunters.”

Senator Tom Tiffany supported the proposed mine, but says the negative analysis is not the reason he supports cutting the bureau that produced the report.

“This Bureau of Science Services – some of us just believe just went off and did their own thing at times and I think …it’s very important for them to stay focused on being able to offer more opportunities for sportsmen,” Tiffany says.

Tiffany says he’s most concerned about the time and money the science bureau has funneled into studying Chronic Wasting Disease – CWD – that has plagued the state’s deer herd.

“There’s been $45 million spent on CWD research in Wisconsin. And I understand early on, maybe 10 or 15 years ago, they might spent $10 million, even $20 million finding a way to eradicate it or find a cure. But after they weren’t successful they began to throw good money after bad,” he says.

Tiffany also blames the bureau with making recommendations that diminish hunting and fishing opportunities.

“And it’s not just deer hunting, the Minocqua Chain of Lakes now this year is shut down for walleye hunting. Imagine that, one of the premier chain of lakes in northern Wisconsin and you cannot keep a walleye on there; and it has a real economic impact,” Tiffany says.

He says enough with studies, it’s time to put money into rebuilding opportunities for sportsmen.

Enough with studies? Wow. The self serving arrogance of this man is astounding. Hunters account for an estimated 10 percent of the state population. Coincidentally Dane County also accounts for 10 percent of the state population. Guess which one Taconite Tommy and his ilk are catering to and which ones are being ignored and shut out of almost everything in state government?

Tiffany and those like them have remade the Wisconsin DNR into a “game farm” operation for the state of Wisconsin while weakening their statutory obligation to enforce environmental laws and set regulations. Later in the same article it is refreshing to see former DNR wolf biologist, Adrian Wydeven, finally speak up about the gutting of science from the DNR and how “non-consumptive users” are ignored.

Adrian Wydeven says it would be a mistake to decouple research and wildlife management. He is a wildlife biologist and headed Wisconsin’s wolf recovery efforts.

“There are different layers of scientists, and the people in the field are managers. And the managers don’t have time to do the research. That’s one of the benefits of having scientists within the agency. They’re very focused on doing research for the things that the managers most need,” Wydeven says.

He says weakening the science component could wreak havoc. “Which means there’s greater risks of over harvest of populations, over harvest in certain regions. But one of the other issues I also see there seems to be almost no voice right now for wildlife concerns beyond consumptive users,” Wydeven says.

Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you, Dr. Wydeven. With the often meek and middle ground comments we have gotten from him since he left the DNR I let out a cheer when I read this one. We NEED voices like Dr. Wydeven to speak up and call out arrogant and self-serving types like Taconite Tommy. While his comments were measured here and don’t call out Tiffany by name, I am heartened to see a emphasis on how LIVING wildlife advocates have no voice in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that Taconite Tommy cares one bit about over killing anything. The ONLY thing that matters to people like him is the killing itself and making more of it available for his bloodthirsty brethren.

In the meantime it’s time to bombard your local newspapers with letters calling out the actions of people like Taconite Tommy and those in Congress hellbent on destroying wolves and the Endangered Species Act in the process. Also please contact your representative and senators to tell them to leave their hands off of wolves and the ESA and NO DELISTING until the state take their responsibilities seriously and implement “management” plans that aren’t focused on near eradication and recreational killing. Enough is enough. Find your representatives and senators below.

Find Your Senators and Representatives

One Comment Add yours

  1. Melissa Smith says:

    I don’t know how to wrap my mind around this increase or around Adrian wydeven. You hit it right on the head, it’s all dubious. The numbers game, the opinions of biologists and the future of wolves

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