Photo from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
I normally try to not shed light on misinformed or misleading letters to the editor of local newspapers. That being said I recently came across a letter to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel where the writer argued that Wisconsin’s upcoming wolf slaughter is “humane” and that they must be killed so that they do not die from disease. What? That argument makes me think of this clip from South Park:
This is not the first time that I have heard this argument. Deer hunters have been arguing for years that hunters are needed because deer are overpopulated and would starve to death if they were not killed. Then out of the other side of their mouth they say that the wolves are killing all of the deer, so now wolves need to be killed. Which is it? Wolves are the best defense against chronic wasting disease and other ailments that affect the deer herds. They should be embraced by the hunting community for keeping the deer herds healthy. But just the opposite is happening. It is no secret that many hunters want to eliminate anything that may get in the way of them getting that “big buck.”
Deer herds nationwide have been kept artificially high to provide for more “hunter opportunity.” According the the Wisconsin Department of Transportation there were 16,947 car crashes just in Wisconsin involving deer in 2010. Out of those crashes there were 14 fatalities and 389 injuries. Do the drivers involved in these crashes get reimbursed by the state of Wisconsin who is responsible for keeping deer numbers artificially high? No, but bear hounders get reimbursed when a wolf kills one of their dogs while terrorizing wildlife. Is that right? Wisconsin has over 1.14 million deer statewide AFTER all of the recent deer hunting seasons, yet the “authors” of the wolf kill bill, SB 411, used the “decimation” of the deer herd in Wisconsin as one of their justifications for this bill.
Please share your views on this.