Bloodbath in Wisconsin: 216 Wolves “Reported” Killed, 97 Over Quota

Photo rights owned by Margaret Gompper. Used with permission and copyrighted.

If anyone claims to be shocked at the massacre that occurred to wolves this week in Wisconsin they have not been paying attention. Before we delve deeper here are the numbers as presented by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources at a Thursday afternoon press conference.

  • 216 wolves “reported” killed as of Thursday at 3:00 PM out of a non-tribal quota of 119
  • 53 percent were male and 46 percent were female
  • 86 percent were killed by hounders
  • 5 percent were killed by trappers
  • 9 percent were killed by baiters and night killers
  • DNR Law Enforcement reported a “normal” level of violations
  • DNR Law Enforcement also said that they relied on “self compliance” from the wolf killers

Perhaps the most horrifying aspect of the entire DNR press conference yesterday is that they don’t think that they did anything wrong despite the kill almost doubling the quota. In fact one telling thing that several wildlife advocates picked up on is the cavalier attitude displayed by the DNR’s carnivore “specialist” who described the kill numbers as being “slightly over” the quota which seemed to imply that he does not respect or acknowledge the tribal declaration.

The conditions this week, with fresh snow for tracking on Monday and Tuesday in northern Wisconsin, and a large number of hounders set the stage for a rapid wolf kill.

Paul Smith- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 2/25/2021

The fact that 86 percent of the “reported” wolves killed were killed by hounders should certainly not come as a surprise. The hounders have had six years to prepare for this and have been able to legally “train” their dogs on wolves 24/7 since federal protections ended on January 4th of this year. Observers on the ground witnessed hounder parties of sometimes a dozen hound trucks, snowmobiles, and countless hounds being used against a single wolf or a pack. The DNR apparently decided that using snowmobiles to chase wolves was also acceptable along with their likely illegal allowance of night killing, and the introduction of snares.

Make no mistake that this wolf slaughter was planned and coordinated in such a manner so that entire packs would be wiped out in minutes because the hounders knew EXACTLY where they were. This was not a “hunt” or anything close. This was an all out assault through the use of hounds, snowmobiles, and multiple shooters to take out as many wolves as possible by taking advantage of the DNR’s lax enforcement and the ridiculous 24 hour reporting loophole. We have said all along that if the hounders and wolf killers are able to immediately upload their snuff photos to Facebook and Twitter why do they need 24 hours to log on to the DNR’s website or call to report?

Trolls Gonna Troll

The levels of arrogance and smugness being put forth by the wolf killers and their supporters belies what this is really all about. It is really all about a subset of violent men, and some women, blaming a wild dog for every single failure in their life while exhibiting a bravado that would be laughable if their actions weren’t so deadly and vile. In recent days the wolf haters have stepped up their trolling on pro-wildlife social media pages by making threats and insults toward wildlife advocates. Then they play the “victim” when their comments are deleted and they are banned from the pages. Our Facebook page moderators have quickly disposed of these anti-wolf comments and banned those posting them without giving most a second glance. However a handful of these comments and those making the comments really stood out. One commenter in particular caught our attention because the name sounded so familiar.

Comment left on the Our Wisconsin, Our Wildlife Facebook page yesterday by a convicted child neglect and animal abuser that is currently on probation.

Upon further research this is why the name sounded familiar. From a November 20, 2019 article:

Court documents show 30-year-old Scott Troestler and 30-year-old Erin Troestler have each been charged with three counts of mistreatment of animals- intentional or negligent violation, two counts of improper animal shelter/ space, two counts of intentionally provide improper animal shelter sanitation standards and one count of failing to provide proper drink to confined animals.

A Chippewa County criminal complaint says EMS found the home to be the “worst residence they had each seen in their careers by far”. Children were removed from the home and a search warrant was later conducted for poor living conditions and removal of animals.

Officials removed 22 cats and dogs and they were then taken to the Chippewa County Veterinary Clinic where an evaluation was done on each animal. Many of the animals were listed as having ear mites, having roundworms and bacteria skin infections among other things.

The criminal complaint listed the home had no running water or functioning toilets, what appeared to be a black mold on the west wall, a bathroom covered in human feces and urine, large amounts of feces on top of a pile of clutter in the room where toddler beds were found and holes in the walls that animals were using as an exit point. Officials noted feces and clutter in almost every room.

A child and animal abuser that has the nerve to come on a pro-wildlife social media page and post something like he did is indicative the mindset of so many wolf haters in this state. When we did public record searches on several of the trolls that left violent or threatening comments on our page there seemed to be a very common thread. Many were convicted domestic abusers, poachers, thieves, felons, deadbeats, multi-time drunk drivers, and generally just all around dregs. Not all of course but there were enough to make it clear what traits tend to be more than an anomaly among the most threatening and outspoken of wolf haters that troll our pages. I suppose those folks also blame wolves for them not being able to control their criminal tendencies……

Moving Forward

It’s no secret that the Wisconsin DNR massively dropped the ball this week in so many ways. That being said the true fault for what encompasses state “management” of this species is multifold. Managing a species through hatred and revenge killing is unfathomable for most in society and I am sure even quite a few hunters. The anti-wolf zealots in the special interest groups, extremist activist judges, state legislature, Congress, Natural Resources Board, and the DNR itself just cannot understand or refuse to understand why people fight so hard to restore federal protections or to stop the killing of this species. The answer is right in front of their faces and was on full display early this week. What occurred Monday through Wednesday in Wisconsin was not “management.” It was a well orchestrated slaughter that encompassed every vile killing technique short of artillery. The sheer glee shown by the killers as they exhibited the bloody and ripped up wolf carcasses was quite unsettling to many but fitting for a state known for serial killers and callous political extremism. This is Wisconsin and those violent men and women are a significant chunk of our populace that justify such behavior as “heritage” or “tradition” as if that makes everything okay. It’s not okay. It never has been okay, and it never will be okay.

Despite all of their bluster and current power, these people are a minority and a small one at that. Events like we saw this week in Wisconsin created far more “antis” than any animal rights organization could ever hope to. In my decade plus of doing wildlife advocacy, I have never seen so many people new to the movement getting involved and I have never seen such anger and passion like I am seeing today. There is a hunger for demanding equal representation in wildlife “management” decisions and how these agencies are funded. There is also a growing desire to see the complete and total reform of how the Natural Resources Board and the conflict of interest controlled Wisconsin Conservation Congress “leadership” are made up. The good old boy killing cartel network will make that extremely difficult but as public opinion shifts and our side continues to gain momentum, they are going to be in for quite the shock. I know that the events of recent weeks have left many of you disgusted and horrified with how wildlife is “managed” in this state and how those decisions are made. Now is the time to channel that energy into demanding equal representation and changes to these institutions and practices. Not just for wildlife but also for democracy itself.

Action plans to come.