As this column is published, I am in the 12th day of a hunger strike in solidarity with our bears and millions of other woodland creatures terrified by packs of dogs and traps, suffering and dying in this tragedy.
The Wisconsin my mother loved has turned into hell on Earth for me and my beloved innocent wild friends.
“These people think Little Red Riding Hood was a documentary.” — Alice Miller
The Department of Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Board have a new target on wolves of 275, up from 201 last year. DNR’s objective: To “begin” to reduce the population. Licenses to be sold: 10 times the quota or 2,750. With 117 wolves killed in the trophy hunt, 76 killed for depredation, 24 reported killed on the roads, 22 detected illegal kills, and five other miscellaneous mortalities, the DNR reports 244 wolves were killed last year. With a 70 percent pup mortality rate, miraculously DNR reports that the wolf population is almost the same as it was before the first “successful season.” Of course, these new wolf hunter volunteer trackers serve their own agenda.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Green Bay gives a conservative estimate of the “shoot, shovel and shut up” illegal kill of wolves as 100 annually. There likely were 350 wolves killed last year.
Science does not support this crime but only you can save the imperiled wolf. A Mason-Dixon poll commissioned by the Humane Society established that 81 percent of Wisconsinites do not want wolves hunted, and 87 percent opposed using traps, bait, and packs of dogs to kill wolves.
Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, told me that if 10 people contact a legislator on an issue, that is a red flag. The DNR disclosed that 1,439 Wisconsin citizens wrote in to protest against the slaughter of our wolves. Zero wrote in to support the wolf hunt.
William Bruins, a Walker-appointee dairy farmer, announced at the recent Natural Resources Board meeting in Wausau, “God created homo sapiens to be in charge.”
Alice Miller, who drove several hundred miles to attend the meeting, said, “This is supposed to be about science, not some board member’s religion.” A board member told Miller that she had to vote for the quota “or Scott Walker would shut down the board.”
Cory Gierhart, Eau Claire, a self-described avid hunter, contributed: “I hear from lots of individuals who are pro-wolf hunting that hunting and killing wolves is necessary to keep the deer population up. According to the DNR website wolves consume about 16,000 deer annually, while cars alone hit 27,000, and humans shoot 340,000 deer annually. By decreasing the number of wolves, the number of sick and diseased deer increase, weakening the herd.” (CWD is on the rise alarmingly fast.) Working from federal carrying capacity models, he reckoned the realistic carrying capacity for the wolf in Wisconsin as 1,236. “Rather than allow the killing of such an important and beautiful animal, I believe it would be more beneficial to allow the wolf population to grow on its own, and let it level off naturally. … Give farmers better aid for fencing rather than aid for dead livestock.”
Sue McKean, Madison: “I am willing to pay the DNR up to $3,000 a year to stop the hunt and wonder how many others would as well?”
At least four organizations opposed the hunt and high quota, including Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic and the Wisconsin Wolf Front. The latter has conducted a poll canvassing six counties and 6,000 citizens, with 94 percent against using dogs on wolves.
The Sierra Club deplored the complete bias of the Wolf Advisory Committee, stacked with hunters, trappers and bear hounders. The Sierra Club was denied participation in the committee despite its stakeholder status since inception.
James T. Wronka, Shawano, a conservative Republican, wrote: “I have great difficulty in pulling the levers in support of my party, who certainly do not represent conservation.” He added: “Unfortunately we still have a very small percentage of people who still get entertainment out of killing our children’s wildlife. Our whole lake community’s peaceful tranquility gets ruined every autumn by 2-4 hunters (it’s hard to call these people hunters with their modern equipment) …from sunrise to sunset their entertainment ruins a beautiful morning … with their replication of being in the war zones of the Middle East. All for a pound of feathers. … Yet this small minority get the backing of a small minority of people most of us would think would be on the side of wildlife, our DNR. We’ve tried talking with DNR and state government elected officials to see if the majority could overrule the rights of this minority population, but to no avail.”
The first hunt has not been fully evaluated and many unanswered questions remain. We don’t know the ages of the wolves killed or how the hunting/trapping season affected pack dynamics. Did depredations increase because of pack disruption? There were 1,439 citizens against, zero for a hunt, yet the DNR is pushing forward with a more aggressive second hunt.
There is a clamor for Natural Resources Board members to have the integrity to resign.
Luann O’Dell: “These meetings for the public to come and speak are just a cover-up. They don’t mean anything. … I can’t believe that we have to stand up there and try to protect our wildlife from the DNR.”
Kurt Schlapper, Brooklyn: “Please let the wolves raise their pups and families in peace as we should have the right to do also. No life is above another, we are all equal in the eyes of God.”
But we are not all equal in the eyes of the Natural Resources Board, Legislature and DNR playing God.
“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.
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.
It is time to end trapping. Now. No more turning a blind eye. This is the time of the great awakening. It is the responsibility and privilege of every one of us to create a new and loving world.
The Department of Natural Resources has forfeited the pretense of science or humane stewardship of nature in Wisconsin by encouraging trapping. It has zero fealty to its mission statement: “To protect and enhance our natural resources, our air, land and water; our wildlife, fish and forests and the ecosystems that sustain all life…” The DNR has long been a farce; it is just a maximum wild slaughter facilitator. It must be dismantled and restructured.
Read entire article here: