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MADISON (WKOW) — The highly debated wolf hunt has come and gone, but the controversy is far from over.
Friday night several demonstrators gathered outside the state’s Department of Natural Resources building to pay tribute to the 117 wolves killed this season.
Many have been protesting this hunt since it first came up last January. Since then the issue has been discussed in several court proceedings clarifying issues from using dogs to hunting at night. However, the message for a few dozen demonstrators is simple: they simply want it to end.
“We want to honor the wolves that lost their lives to this unnecessary hunt,” one demonstrator says.
The hunt that was the first of its kind. After years of being on the nation’s endangered species list, wolves are no longer the top predator in Wisconsin.
“The wolf is an iconic, beautiful animal very much like us. It is appalling that we are allowing this to happen in our state,” says demonstrator Patricia Randolph.
The group honored the 117 wolves with poems and songs, even lighting candles for each individual wolf, then blowing them out to symbolize their last dying breath.
Down the block a lone demonstrator on the other side of the issue speaks out against wolves that threaten her way of life.
“The wolves in our area, they have been coming onto our lawns,” Shelly Seiler explains. “There was a neighbor dog that was attacked and killed by one.”
Seiler says over the past two years she’s seen the population near her Columbia County home double in size. Without the hunt she’s afraid the population will be out of control.
“We are dairy farmers so there is a small concern about that.”
Demonstrators argue that’s not the hunting they’re concerned about. It’s the trophy hunting that they believe is unnecessary.
“They were on the endangered species list due to hunting, then we bring them back from the brink of being endangered to hunt them. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me,” says demonstrator Melissa Smith
The Department of Natural Resources has said during this entire debate that an organized wolf hunt will not threaten the local population. Friday’s demonstrators not only question that statement, but argue the DNR’s decision to approve a hunt was motivated by money and not what’s best for the species.
A candlelight memorial is planned to honor the 117 wolves killed in this year’s Wisconsin wolf hunt. The memorial will take place in front of the State Natural Resources Building.
Volunteers are needed to help set up candles. If you can help please come between 4:00 – 4:15.
The memorial will include candles, the ringing of bells, and a poem for the wolves.
I know that I am not alone in wanting to honor the 117 wolves who were killed in the Wisconsin hunt this year. It is our intention to symbolize the wolves’ lives and deaths at this memorial.
Alliance for Animals and Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic also support this event.
“With the wolf hunt season winding down, I think Ted Nugent said it best: ‘It’s a free-for-all, baby’… all I gotta say is wack n stack.” — from the Wisconsin Wolf Hunting facebook page
It was just a few days before the school massacre at Newtown, Conn. At the Natural Resources Board meeting on Dec. 11, 66 people had assembled from all over Wisconsin, most to speak against Act 168, imposing hunting and trapping on state and county parks.
Christine Thomas, the board member who earned her seat by starting the organization Become an Outdoor Woman (BOW), showed up in a full length fur coat, knowing most people had come to protest trapping in our parks. The first order of business was a celebration of the “successful” deer kill. Thomas raised her arms in a victorious hoot to the revelation that 33 percent of 29,000 first-time deer hunters were women. Another holler celebrated the 10 percent increase in 10- and 11-year-olds buying the new $5 cheapie “kill your first deer” license.
Visitors complained afterward that the board, in its special-interest delirium, is obviously out of touch with the general public.
Several state representatives spoke. Rep. Jeffrey Mursau, author of the amendment to take over state and county parks for trapping and hunting, put the audience in its place: “Hunting, trapping and fishing are constitutional rights. Peace and quiet are not constitutional rights.” Rep. Brett Hulsey, who voted for the bill, said that he had been hearing from his constituents. “It is too broad. We may have gone too far, and may have to fix it.”
Friends of State Parks have raised millions of dollars and volunteered thousands of hours for our parks. Alienated, they may disband.
Board member Jane Wiley revealed that 7.5 million acres of public land, over 99 percent of the total, are open to the 10 percent who hunt. About 60,000 acres, less than 1 percent, were previously set aside as for the 90 percent of the public enjoying safe quiet sports and wildlife viewing.
As one speaker said, “That is a lot of sharing.”
After four hours of testimony, board member William Bruins proposed that the board tell the Legislature that having already reviewed the parks for hunting and safety issues, and given public sentiment, they would vote to keep the parks at the previous level of hunting, without trapping. The Legislature had been hearing from an awakening irate general public. Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp intervened, saying that this would violate the intention of the Legislature. (So much for the people.)
Chairman David Clausen, a farm veterinarian and an avid hunter, cast the deciding vote against leaving the parks at 2012 hunting levels. He also nixed an amendment to flag traps so that the public could avoid them, saying that the 8,000 trappers “would be upset and might have traps or dead animals stolen.” No mention of wildlife and safety stolen from millions of park supporters. So it was proposed, and unanimously passed, that all parks be newly opened to trapping and hunting Nov. 15-Dec. 15 and for all of April.
Who do they kill in April, when wildlife have babies? Turkeys are killed April 10-May 21. Otters and beavers can be trapped for six months Nov. 3-April 30. Coyotes, possums, skunks, weasels, and snowshoe hares can be killed year-round, with no reporting and no limit, leaving babies to die.
Michael Moore, filmmaker of “Bowling for Columbine,” speaking the morning of the Newtown school killing, said that even if we banned assault weapons, required background checks for all gun sales, and provided free mental health care, “We would still be the sick and twisted, violent people we have been for hundreds of years.” I would add we teach kids of any age to trap, and 10-year-olds to handle guns and kill innocent animals for sport. How can adults live in denial that teaching senseless state-sponsored violence to children can have any good result?
National Rifle Association members should be shunned like dealers in tobacco, alcohol, domestic abuse and child trafficking. They peddle death. Gun violence kills 9,000 people a year in this country. Nine children are killed every day. Compare that to 150 gun deaths a year in Canada or Germany.
In 1996, 35 people were killed in an Australian massacre. That country of macho gun lovers banned semi-automatic weapons and it bought back 650,000 guns. They have not had a mass shooting since. If there is no buyback and millions of semi-automatics are left in circulation, we can expect more massacres. But we have massacres daily in Wisconsin – loving, innocent animals just like our pets bludgeoned, tortured and killed en masse.
This is a death culture. As President Obama said, “We don’t have to tolerate this. …We have to change.”
Please sign the petition to keep Wisconsin parks safe.
Rescues, bans, and protests—any way you look at it, 2012 was an eventful year for animal activism. As I began reflecting on the last 12 months, I was heartened by just how vocal people were, and how their speaking out for animals helped to create positive changes. Our voices didn’t always result in an all-out victory, but even when they didn’t, we can still claim some success. Rather than rank these stories, I’ve put them in chronological order. Here are 12 for ’12:
12 Animal Activism Stories That Made Headlines in 2012 « Striking at the Roots.
RedneckRifle Association is at it again with their insulting and extremist kill everything agenda. Today they put out a release whining that the Natural Resources Board, who for once listened to the citizens of Wisconsin, and sharply limited the plan to turn all state parks into massive killing grounds. While the plan still allows the trapping sadists to still practice their torture in the parks, they only get one month rather than the seven that the extremists in the DNR proposed. But of course the DNR and NRA are appalled that non-hunting users won’t have to dodge bullets and traps from October to May.
“I don’t feel it will meet the expectations of the Legislature,” said DNR secretary Cathy Stepp.
Well guess what? The Legislature works FOR the citizens, but apparently the Walker regime seems to forget that. Back to the release from the National
RedneckRifle Association. Did you know that anyone who cares about their safety in a state park is a “radical activist?” And they promise that this fight is not over. From their release:
As a result of this egregious action taken by the NRB, hunter access to additional state parks in the fall will be limited to one month (from November 15 – December 15) and from April through the third week of the spring turkey season. This is a fraction of the increased opportunity intended by the state legislature. The NRB used the baseless claim of protecting public safety to restrict hunter and sportsmen access and opportunity on taxpayer-owned land. The NRA and its members throughout Wisconsin are extremely disappointed in the actions taken by the Natural Resources Board.
This fight is far from over!
Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated about developments related to this issue and upcoming plans to rectify this injustice affecting Wisconsin’s hunting community.
Injustice? Really? Baseless claims? So the vast majority of Wisconsin citizens who do not hunt or trap are expected to dodge bullets and traps for SEVEN months to appease the NRA? So they are all “radical activists?” What is the real injustice here? Keep it up NRA. And they wonder why you get blamed every time there is a mass shooting with extremist attitudes like this? – Read the full article here.
NRA Insults Everyone Who Cares About the Safety of Our State Parks « Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic-Vote Our Wildlife.
MADISON, Wis. – A fifth wolf-hunting zone is closing in Wisconsin, leaving just one open.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said Thursday that hunting and trapping of wolves in Zone 6 covering most of the southern two-thirds of the state will be closing at 5 p.m. Friday.
That leaves just Zone 3 in central Wisconsin open to wolf hunting. The quota in that zone was 18 wolves and seven have been harvested.
The quota in Zone 6 was 18 wolves. The 18th wolf was harvested on Wednesday, which triggered the closing process.
The goal was to harvest 116 wolves during the state’s inaugural hunt this year which began Oct. 15 and will close Feb. 28 or when harvest goals are reached.