Charges OK’d against hunters accused of videotaping dogs mauling a coyote, hitting another with a truck

By John Barnes |
on January 15, 2015 at 6:31 AM, updated January 20, 2015 at 7:42 AM

The Criminal charges have been authorized against two Upper Peninsula hunters accused of urging hunting dogs to attack a wounded coyote and videotaping the squealing animal, court records show.

The hunters also were investigated after both allegedly videotaped a wounded coyote deliberately hit by one of the hunters’ truck, an Freedom of Information Act request found.

Each incident was witnessed by one of the the men’s young sons, according to records.

The two men, both from Ironwood, face felony and misdemeanor charges.

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 One hunter, 45, faces one count of killing/torturing animals, a four-year felony. The hunter also faces four misdemeanor counts: general violation of wildlife conservation, two counts of abandonment/cruelty to an animal, and taking game from a vehicle. Penalties range from 90 to 93 days in jail.

The second hunter, 34, also faces one felony count of killing/torturing animals and one misdemeanor count of abandonment/cruelty to an animal.

The hunters have been under investigation for videotaping three hunting dogs mauling a coyote one had shot. They also were being investigated for running down a coyote with a truck, then videotaping the injured animal before killing it.

The allegations are detailed in court records obtained in August. The documents detail videotapes that had been uploaded to YouTube by one of the men. They have since been taken down, though copies exist.

In one video uploaded Feb. 20 and titled “Hounds Fight Wounded Yote,” hunting dogs Doc, Duke, and Cooter bound through snow toward the mature coyote. Already shot and wounded, according to the video narrator, the coyote lies nearly motionless in the thigh-high drifts. Its eyes blink.

“This is going to be some live action,” the man says as he aims the video camera. “There he his. There he is. Get him, Doc. Get him. … We’re going to get Cooter in here. He’s a machine.”

High-pitched wails punctuate the wooded silence. The coyote is near death at the end.

The second YouTube video was allegedly taped by one of the hunters after his truck was used to strike the animal in the road, authorities said.

The video, called “Yota kills a Yote,” was found during a search of the videographer’s home on May 12, and was taped in Ironwood Township, records state.

“The coyote was struck with a motor vehicle on purpose and left to lay alive in the road after it was videoed for minutes before killing it,” Conservation Officer Grant Emery wrote in the sworn affidavit.

Later, in a separate document, Emery wrote, “The coyote in the video that had been run over by (the hunter’s) vehicle was lying in the road, still alive, and it takes several minutes of talking and videoing before the animal is killed,” according to court documents.

Eventually, the videographer handed the camera to his friend, who began taping. The first man took the revolver “and dispatched the coyote,” Emery wrote.

The cases were investigated by the law enforcement division of the Department of Natural Resources.

Arraignment of the men could happen as soon as Monday in Gogebic County District Court.


The original story, including an edited version of a graphic video documenting the described events, can be found here

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Posted by on February 26, 2015 in Uncategorized


ALERT: Save Our Wolves!

wolf pups

A bill introduced by Rep. John Kline, a Minnesota Republican, would prohibit placing Great Lakes wolves on the list of endangered and threatened species and put the states in charge of managing their populations. Ribble offered a separate measure that would require the Fish and Wildlife Service to reissue previous rulings that dropped wolves in the three Great Lakes states and Wyoming from the list.

URGENT: Five Wisconsin representatives of 8 and Ron Johnson have signed on to these wolf – hating efforts: Ron Kind, Sensenbrenner, Paul Ryan, Glenn Grothmann, and Sean Duffy. With a Republican house and senate – they will pass it through or attach it to a budget bill. Please contact these people and the three remaining representatives and Tammy Baldwin to fight back for wolves. This will be voted on by the entire house and senate at the federal level – so all citizens must call their “representatives” in the senate and house. PLEASE! Notify your membership organizations that you want our wolves protected with the Endangered Species Act intact!

Unfortunately, the federal Wisconsin representatives who are co-signing this effort to bypass the Endangered Species Act to destroy the few wolves left in Wisconsin – do not accept emails from people who cannot vote for them (from outside of their districts in Wisconsin) but they can be called or you can go to their web sites and leave a message in their contact “form” or express yourself on both venues. I called them all and am following up with education about the number of wolves already destroyed and other support from my column links. Assuming these people can be persuaded by reason or science is an iffy consideration.

The five who agreed to support this cruelty are:
Paul Ryan (R) 202-225-3031
Ron “Kind” (D) 202-225-5506
Jim Sensenbrenner (R) 202-225-5101
Glenn Grothmann (R) – 202-225-2476
Sean Duffy (R) 202-225-3365

At the federal level one of the bills (HR884) was designed and promoted by Ribble (R) who studied to be a minister of some sort! What a betrayal of God’s creation, eh? 202-225-5665

The two who did not sign on (YET) are Rep. Mark Pocan (D-02), (202-225-2906) or and Rep. Gwen Moore (D-04), (202) 225-4572 or (I thought there were three but it is five against and two for – good old cruel Wisconsin).

Please contact them so they know people care about this!

Baldwin, Tammy (D – WI) Senate
717 Hart Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5653
Website Contact:

Ron Johnson signed on for when it gets to the senate:

Johnson, Ron (R – WI) Senate
328 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5323
Website Contact:

Please contact all of them against any bill that weakens or goes around the Endangered Species Act or returns jurisdiction of wolves to the states or delists them.

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Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak:The wisdom of John Livingston: ‘The Fallacy of Wildlife Conservation’

54dd14929599f.preview-300 Baby otters

“I think it (hunting) always was abnormal behavior. It was the fullest expression of the commodification of nature.” — John Livingston (1923-2006)

This column is a resource for people interested in rescuing wildlife as our brothers and sisters — and in the living earth surviving intact for its own sake. It is a challenge to conservationists. Today it focuses on the wisdom of John A. Livingston.

Livingston, who died in 2006, served as executive director of Canadian Audubon in the 1950s, left to produce “The Nature of Things” for CBC television in 1962-1968, then taught ecology at York University. This column consists primarily of excerpts from Farley Mowat’s 1990 interview with Livingston, which is included in “The John A. Livingston Reader,” published in 2007. The reader also includes “The Fallacy of Wildlife Conservation,” originally published in 1981, and “One Cosmic Instant: A Natural History of Human Arrogance,” first published in 1973.

Mowat died in 2014 at the age of 92. He is described in an obituary as a Canadian environmentalist who wrote 45 books, selling 17 million copies. Most famous was his 1963 book “Never Cry Wolf” about flying into the Arctic as a biologist on a solo mission to study wolves. “He portrayed wolves as patient and gentle with their own, sometimes even fond of practical jokes. They adopted orphan puppies and babysat for other wolves’ pups. They never killed more than they could eat.” He named one wolf father George. “George,” he added, “was the kind of father every son longs to acknowledge as his own.”

In the 1990 interview, first published in Mowat’s book “Rescue the Earth: Conversations with Green Crusaders,” Livingston describes why he is decidedly not a conservationist: “In practice, conservation is now resource development … only defined in terms of human utility — in effect saying that everything was created by an almighty beneficence for human use.”

Mowat: “In other words, the original meaning of conservation has been perverted to mean exploitation of nature for human gain?”

Livingston: “Maximum economic return is what the word has come to mean. … It is the antithesis of preservation. … Preservationists are not to be taken seriously because they don’t share in the ethos of the necessary primacy of human enterprise.”

Livingston describes how the core self-centered human insistence on separation from, and being superior to, nature and other beings pertains even to human-caused destruction of life on earth: “Our birds, our endangered species, our woodlands, our swamplands are disappearing. Our natural heritage — I despise that attitude. Nobody in the respectable conservation movement is talking about nature for her own sake. Only individuals like you and me are weeping solitarily for nature for her sake.”

“Why don’t naturalist groups, especially, have the guts to stand up and take a position against sport hunting and fashion fur? That would be too emotional. Can’t do that because we have to play ball with the bureaucrats. That’s the part that hurts more than anything else, that organizations begun by people with a deep abiding love of nature are becoming indistinguishable from the conservation bureaucracy itself. The only movement left that is speaking from the heart is the animal welfare movement.”

When Mowat asks him about sport hunting, Livingston replies, “I can’t get around the idea of people getting their jollies by maiming and wounding and killing. Hunters deny they do this, of course. … People have written whole books about hunters communing with nature. They say a mystical experience is derived from this blood-letting, which I simply cannot understand. … They say we evolved as predators. I deny this. We evolved as gatherers with a little bit of hunting on the side. The hunting instinct is no more ingrained in us than any other aberrant behavior.”

Those of us standing for respect for all life endure the constant violence to other living beings as a persistent deadening of our quality of existence. We suffer with our wildlife, suffer with the farm animals on the path to violent slaughterhouses, suffer with the lab animals tortured because of outdated useless experiments that do not predict or promote human health. We do not want this suffering to continue to be “normal.”

Livingston and Mowat discuss this profound sorrow:

Livingston: “It’s aberrant behavior for people to be wearing the furs of living beings for ostentation, for status symbols, as prestige goods.”

Mowat: “Like having lampshades made out of tattooed human skin?”

Livingston: “I don’t think it’s essentially any different. Can you imagine this sort of thing happening in nature? It is anomalous behavior from the top down. I see it as anti-social in a fundamental way because I firmly believe in inter-species social organization. I am absolutely convinced that inter-species relationships are the ultimate relationships. We start with individual selfishness, then our relationships sphere begins to expand. There’s mother; there’s family; there’s the tribal self, and that eventually transcends to the inter-species self. At that stage, the essence of feeling one has for nature is selflessness. The individual self dissolves in the overall relationship.”

Consider this: “Inter-species relationships are the ultimate relationships.” Merging with nature and empathy with animals, wildlife and all that is becomes bliss. In spiritual tradition, this is the essence of enlightenment.

A 1988 Livingston talk, “Cultural and historical perspectives on nature,” can be found on YouTube.

Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Sherwood, and others have introduced bills to go around the Endangered Species Act and strip federal protection from Great Lakes and Wyoming wolves. Wisconsin Congressmen Sean Duffy, Glenn Grothman, Ron Kind, Paul Ryan and Jim Sensenbrenner have signed onto Ribble’s bill. Please contact all Wisconsin members of Congress and ask them to say no to this legislation neutering the Endangered Species Act. Also please sign and network this petition to save wolves.


Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Uncategorized


So Much at Stake: Annual DNR 82nd Election of SOLE ADVISORY TO THE LEGISLATURE, April 13

ALERT: DNR Annual Spring Meeting | DNR 2015 Questionnaire | Educational Help Needed | Call for Candidates |

DNR 2015 Questionnaire

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Spring Meeting is to be held state-wide on Monday, April 13. This is THE opportunity to not only complete this year’s questionnaire, but more importantly, to have a voice in what direction the DNR takes on a variety of issues. Here’s more information.

The DNR’s 2015 questionnaire can be found here. In summary, the attachment contains information regarding:
Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) Delegate Elections which are to take place at 6:30 p.m. on April 13 PRIOR to the start of the DNR portion of the Annual Spring County Conservation Meeting/Hearing (instructions and delegate eligibility requirements are provided on page 3)
State-wide Electronic Balloting on Proposed Statewide Wildlife Management Rule Changes (questions 1-71 presented on pages 11-39 of the questionnaire, the majority of which pertain to fish management (white ballot); Ag Damage/Ad Hoc WCC Committee Advisory Questions (questions 1-41 on pages 41-54 of the questionnaire, the majority of which pertain to trapping, hunting and/or hounding of our wildlife, including deer, bear and wolves; and Information regarding Citizen Introduction of Written Resolutions to be Voted on by the Public in Attendance at the Meeting.

Among other things, the DNR is proposing:
– a hunting season on sandhill cranes (this was also proposed last year)
– removing time restrictions on trapping performed on all public lands (allow trapping to occur 24 hours/day – devastating to wildlife)
– expanding the area of the state run by dogs on bears (southward throughout central Wisconsin)

The questionnaire contains endless fishing “refuge” removals and fish season tweaking that citizens completing the survey will need to get through before issues pertaining to trapping and hunting make their appearance (this is intentional as pro-trapping and pro-hunting interests try to discourage those who are not in their camp by boring them to death with fish!).

The proposal to allow a sandhill crane hunting season appears as QUESTION 24 (page 49 of the questionnaire). There are 700,000 sandhill cranes in North America and 17 states have hunting seasons including two states in our flyway: Kentucky and Tennessee. A management plan approved by 31 states and Canadian provinces in eastern North America established that the Eastern Population of sandhill cranes was large enough to be hunted and established a process for a state to apply for a limited quota based hunting season. In Wisconsin, the state legislature must approve a quota based hunting season on sandhill cranes before the DNR can develop a season.

Proposed as QUESTION 7 on page 13 of the questionnaire is the elimination of trapping hour restrictions. Subdivision of Bear Management Zone C (central Wisconsin) is addressed under QUESTION 71 (page 47), and solicitation of support to allow for bear hunting with dogs in the portion of Zone C north of highway 21 and for an earlier opening to the bear season in Zone C is requested under QUESTIONS 4 and 5 (page 42).

Educational Help Needed

Please let me know if you can make an educational effort. Some 82 years of special interest control is taking a dire toll on the balance of and existence of life. Lead shot left in the environment kills over a million songbirds in Wisconsin and countless water and predator birds. From the Mass Extinction Underway web site (





SALT-WATER FISH EXTINCTION SEEN BY 2048 (Science Magazine– 2014)



Call for Candidates!

Monday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m. in every county in Wisconsin is the election of 2 of 5 delegates per county to “represent” all citizens in the sole advisory to the legislature, DNR, and Natural Resources Board in governing our public lands, waterways, extraction in mining and fracking, and wildlife. It has been dominated 99% by one special interest: hunters/trappers/hounders. Studies show that wildlife watchers and peaceful citizens have purchased 94% of our public lands, and pay into non-profits 88% of their revenue – yet we are totally not represented. We are looking for humane people who care about the earth and web of life that sustains all of us to run as candidates in every county. If you know people who would run (2 per county – a 2-year and 3-year position), I was a Dane county delegate 1999-2002 and can explain how little time and effort it involves to help nature and wildlife in this time of mass extinction and threat to life on earth. Contact me at

For those of you willing to run as candidates, I am thinking we devise a simple questionnaire centered on the sandhill cranes, trapping, bears, and the wolf hunt to take out to the street of major education centers in our county – and as we find people who agree with us, commit them to attending the April 13 election to vote for us. In most counties, just 200 people showing up to vote for a candidate would take that county. In many small rural counties – the attendance is only 20-40 people annually. A couple of weekends of street campaign and conversation should be able to educate and locate those people giving us an email list to build on.

You can look at the 2014 results of voting by county here: (The first statistic under each county is the total attendance for that county – then you can look at how they voted on issues like white deer and tundra swan kills to see how dominated by hunters – or not – is that county). The attendance should give an idea of how many people it would take to win election in that county. Add 20 and set to work!

What do you think? Would you be willing to run for election and find a running mate for your county? Would you be willing to campaign for it?

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Posted by on February 9, 2015 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Can we save the animals — and ourselves?

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“Habitat loss and degradation, and exploitation through hunting and fishing (intentionally for food or sport, or accidentally, for example as bycatch) are the primary causes of decline.” ~ World Wildlife Fund report

Wildlife populations across the world have plummeted 52 percent in the past four decades, due to human impacts, the World Wildlife Fund reports. And hunting is a huge factor, according to WWF: “When habitat loss and degradation is compounded by the added pressure of wildlife hunting, the impact on species can be devastating.”

Some 90 percent of the fish have disappeared from of the seas due to human activity, including overfishing. Scientists, ever cautious in predictions, say that by 2048 there will be no more saltwater fish. Freshwater species have declined 76 percent overall. Those are the findings of a 2006 study led by Boris Worm, Ph.D., of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The World Wildlife Fund’s 2014 Living Planet Report tracked more than 10,000 populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish all over the world. More than half the world’s vertebrate wildlife individuals have disappeared in just 40 years because of humans. It is a disastrous trajectory. For more than 40 years, humans have exceeded the capacity of earth and her nonhuman creatures to recover.

A recent report prepared by the Stockholm Resilience Center shows that humans have overrun four of the nine “planetary boundaries” that make the earth habitable. Those tipping points are biodiversity extinction rates, deforestation, climate change and the flow of nitrogen/phosphorus (used on land as fertilizer). Will Steffan, lead author of the report, describes a “zone of uncertainty” we have entered that needs urgent attention now — not in a perilous and irreparable future.

At the rate things are going, Earth in the coming decades could cease to be a “safe operating space” for human beings. Two core boundaries — climate change and biosphere integrity — have been identified, and either could drive the Earth system into a new state if it is substantially and persistently transgressed.

A 2014 study led by biologist Stuart Pimm of Duke University found that, unless human behavior changes quickly, the earth will experience massive extinction and will cease to exist as we have known it.

“The conclusion that the world’s dominant economic model — a globalized form of neoliberal capitalism, largely based on international trade and fueled by extracting and consuming natural resources — is the driving force behind planetary destruction will not come as a shock…” Jon Queally wrote recently at CommonDreams. The deterioration aligns with the population explosion of humans since the 1950s and global capitalism commodifying wild beings and nature for take.

The Smithsonian Channel in February is featuring a documentary called “Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink.” Sean B. Carroll, UW-Madison evolutionary biologist is a contributor.

During a interview Carroll said, “(I)f we do business as usual, that’s (mass extinction) a certainty. Since, say, 1800, with the Industrial Revolution and the way we have fished the oceans, timbered the forests, developed the land and basically removed creatures simply through conflict or hunting or harvesting — that’s the path we’re on. … (T)he populations are much smaller than they used to be in history. So ranges of creatures are really reduced and their population sizes are really reduced so they’re very vulnerable to the next insult.”

He continues: “There’s some great stories in that arena where especially in parts of the world where people have come to appreciate that things being left intact and alive are more valuable than their being harvested … There’s thousands and thousands of species at risk.”

The studies described above do not make recommendations for solutions, but some solutions are obvious:

• Slow human population growth (the very core of the problem). Stop arbitrary population control of other species and manage our own.

• End slaughterhouses. Animal agriculture and dairy are 51 percent of the cause of climate change, and also are the excuse for trapping and trophy killing wildlife to facilitate and subsidize grazing on public lands. Deforestation of the Amazon and Indonesian rain forests is driving extinction in the most biodiverse remnants of the world while expanding monocultures of soybeans and grains to feed animal agriculture worldwide. Ancient aquifers are depleted to service 70 billion farm animals for slaughter. It is unsustainable.

• Dismantle the state wildlife killing agencies funded by hunting (killing) licenses. Replace them with humane stewardship agencies funded with general public funds available from wildlife watching and eco-tourism. End trapping, hounding and hunting.

• Locally, participate in the annual elections for delegates to our sole advisory body (the Conservation Congress) to advise the Wisconsin Legislature on these urgently needed changes — coming up Monday, April 13, 2015, at 6:30 p.m. in every county in Wisconsin — and run for one of the two delegate (of five) positions open every year in every county.

• Rewild: Set aside from the land used to feed and grow tame species for slaughter large core areas of protected land for wild species and connect them with corridors for migration. Return large natural carnivores to the landscape.

• Support rapid transition from extractive, dirty energy to renewable solar, geothermal and wind.

• Recognize, as Pope Francis declares, that all animals have souls.

It took 5 to 10 million years for Earth to recover from the last major extinction. Recognize crisis as opportunity — but this one is beyond the tipping point. Organize locally. Now.

Animal lives matter.


URGENT ACTION ALERT: Wisconsin legislator Reid Ribble, 202-225-5665 or here online, is building a bipartisan effort to permanently remove Endangered Species Act protections from Great Lakes and Wyoming wolves, doing an end-run around the Endangered Species Act. It will be done the same corrupt way wolves were delisted originally — by attaching a rider to a funding bill. The courts (wolves’ only protection) would not be able to protect our wolves. You can find all of Wisconsin legislators who will vote on this at the end of this article. Please contact them to oppose this ignorant effort. You can send them this column for context.

Read more:


Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Uncategorized


Announcement: 2015 Midwest Wolf Stewards Conference!

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Timber Wolf Alliance are pleased to announce the 2015 Midwest Wolf Stewards Conference will be held at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin on Thursday, April 23 to Friday, April 24, 2015.  We will send formal registration materials and more details to you in late February.

If you wish to be considered for a presentation at the conference, please send the title and abstract by February 20, 2015, to Dr. Erik Olson ( It is likely that the number of proposed presentations will exceed our ability to schedule them all. Dr. Olson will let you know if your proposal has been accepted by early March.

A block of rooms is available at the Chequamegon Hotel (715-682-9095), one mile north of the campus. With the special conference rate, rooms range from $89.99 to $107.99 per night. Tell them you are with the Wolf Stewards Conference to obtain this rate. Prices include a hot breakfast.  Note:  Wisconsin state employees should request a ‘state rate’ room when making your reservation.

A number of other very good and convenient motels are available in a range of prices.  A full listing of local lodging options is available here:

For those who plan to fly, the Duluth, MN airport is approximately an hour and half drive from Ashland.

Thank you for your interest in this year’s wolf stewards meeting, we hope to see you in April!


David MacFarland, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Mark Peterson, Timber Wolf Alliance, Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute

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Posted by on January 27, 2015 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Wolves’ reprieve short-lived if Ribble bill succeeds

wolf jan 2015

“I am truly concerned by the fact the DNR is becoming a fostering institution for psychopaths. The DNR in the state of Wisconsin is a complete shame.” ~ Maria Horn, citizen communication to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

As wolf biologists breathe a sigh of relief with the recent federal court-ordered merciful end to destruction of wolves in the Great Lakes region, congressional Reps. Reid Ribble, R-Wis., Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Dan Benishek, R-Mich. are preparing legislation to permanently remove protections for wolves in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Wyoming. Wolves were delisted three years ago in another legislative maneuver in defiance of Endangered Species Act requirements.

This is wolves’ last stand.

To protect wolves, please contact your federal representative and senator now (202-224-3121) to urge them NOT to support legislation or riders that:

• Permanently delist gray wolves in the Great Lakes region (NO to the Ribble bill). This bill would legislate delisting as was done in 2011 and 2012, and would not be subject to judicial review. Only the courts have protected wolves.

• Delist gray wolves nationwide.

• Weaken the Endangered Species Act.

The week in October when the DNR-permitted killing spree resulted in 18 wolf deaths more than the DNR’s arbitrary quota, the DNR received over 1,500 emails from Wisconsin citizens and people around the country and the world in protest. Many tried to describe the benefits of natural wolf populations on ecosystems, including deer control. With 25 percent of 2-year-old bucks here dying of chronic wasting disease, one would hope science — and mercy — would prevail.

Instead, 154 wolves (87 males, 67 females) were killed in the 2014 season: 123 in traps, 22 with firearms, three with bows, six by dogs. Hound hunters turned in no wolf carcasses for voluntary inspection (to determine whether dogs and wolves fought). With 257 killed in 2013 and 117 killed in 2012, 528 wolves have been killed “legally.” Additionally, 76 were killed on farms for “depredation control” in 2012, and another 24 are known to have been killed on roads, so add another roughly 300 killed these three hunting years. Joel Trick of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told me that, before the hunt started, a very conservative estimate of wolves killed illegally is another 100 per year. Add in the hounding of coyotes year-round statewide — the “oops, I thought it was a coyote” excuse — and the access to wolves with dogs throughout the year and that illegal kill is probably double. Given 75 percent annual wolf pup mortality, with wolves dispersed and traumatized, it is likely we are set back 30 years in wolf recovery. It took 38 years, millions of Endangered Species Fund dollars, and thousands of volunteers to bring wolves back to a toehold of survival with 800 to 850 wolves. We have few wolves left in Wisconsin.

In retaliation to the federal relisting of Wisconsin wolves on the Endangered Species list, state Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst ( wants to defund any DNR wolf protection. He is calling on federal legislators to “review” (weaken) the Endangered Species Act.

The DNR’s carefully chosen wolf committee wanted to kill off wolves, down to the outdated and arbitrary number of 350 set over a decade ago. It is obvious they have already surpassed their agenda. Peter David, wildlife biologist for the Great Lakes Fish & Wildlife Commission, whose wolf committee participation is required by law, is the only pro-wolf panel member. He has said, “350 is totally inappropriate … the wolf population by the way biologists count wolves would stabilize (on its own) at about a thousand considering what is known about wolf habitat.”

Elizabeth Huntley, a wolf activist from Kenosha, asked the DNR under the Freedom of Information Act for the incoming emails and comments following the end of this year’s wolf hunt, and was told that hours of work by staff would entail a fee of $239. This, of course, was to be a deterrent. She persevered.

The tone of 99.5 percent of these emails was outrage, horror and anger.

Comments included calls to boycott Wisconsin tourism and products, a demand to prosecute overkilling as poaching, comparisons to the horrors of the dolphin slaughter in Japan, an indictment of gross incompetence, “exterminating wolves like cockroaches,” and social media response that “the world is watching, thinking of you as a bunch of bloodthirsty killers.” Wisconsin was described constantly as an ignorant, backward and immoral state. A.C. Otey asks, “How do Wisconsin animal cruelty laws permit foothold traps when it is stated ‘cruel’ means causing unnecessary and excessive pain or suffering or unjustifiable injury or death?”

Many references were made to social media postings of a grinning hunter gloating over a mother wolf he killed, with her pup still alive in a trap in the background, suffering. “How do you people sleep at night?” asks Adam Benzion.

Democracy is so eviscerated that it appears that public opinion does not matter to the DNR.

In order for the Department of Natural Resources to resemble anything like its mission mandate (to protect nature and wildlife for all citizens and become a humane steward), it will take an educated, involved public demanding reform. The main reform is to create democracy in the funding, participation in, and stewardship of our commons. As long as state or federal wildlife agencies are funded by killing licenses, ammunition and gun taxes, they will remain profoundly corrupted by that source of financing and will continue to promote the destruction of wildlife.

And wolves will not have a chance.

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Posted by on January 19, 2015 in Uncategorized


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