Among the kill everything hunting and trapping groups there continues to be all kinds of deceptive propaganda about how wolves are “decimating” deer herds in Wisconsin and elk herds in the west. Today I received this comment from someone who has a handle of “critterkiller79”:
“WTF is wrong with you people? Do you not understand that the state of WI’s whitetail deer herd is basically non-existant in Northern WI (wolf country) since the wolf population has sky rocketed the last ten years? Wolves are awesome creatures, but like any other species, their population needs to be monitored to prevent over predation of other wildlife, mainly whitetails in WI, and elk in Montana & Idaho. Do you think because wolves are “precious” that no action should be taken when they kill farm animals and people’s pets? Do you think because they’re “precious” that it is ok when their population is 200%+ above what the state’s wildlife agencies say it should be? That is the scientific “informative information” that all of you have over looked. Do some research before you start writing a bunch of BS nonsense.”
Science? How about the science of the Wisconsin DNR:
From the above map it sure looks like the northern Wisconsin deer herd is “nonexistent.” According to the DNR map most northern counties had between 10,000 to 20,000 plus deer. “Nonexistent?” I don’t think so.
“Wisconsin had 1.14 million deer after the 2011 hunting seasons, according to an estimate released Tuesday by the Department of Natural Resources.”
The statewide herd is essentially unchanged from the same time last year. But it’s still 44% higher than the state’s overwinter deer population goal.”
And even in areas where wolves are supposedly “decimating” the deer herd they are less than 20 percent below their “goal.” Meanwhile hunters killed:
“Hunters registered 347,711 deer in the 2011-’12 Wisconsin seasons, including 193,954 antlerless, 150,839 bucks and 2,918 deer of unknown sex. Unknowns are the result of incomplete or improper deer registration forms.”
It sure seems to me like Wisconsin is one big game farm for whitetail deer. The poor “sportsmen” might actually have to look a little harder for their deer because with the presence of predators the deer act like they are supposed to. What is next? Are hunters going to demand legislation that the deer must stay in certain areas and present themselves for “harvesting” by the great white hunters of this state?
Then there is the recent discovery of a deer with Chronic Wasting Disease in northern Wisconsin. Right in the middle of wolf country.
So do you trust the “science” from “critterkiller79”, the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, and their seven lawyers who wrote the wolf kill bill or the state experts who were excluded from testifying? How about the science from UW Professor Adrian Treves:
Of course “bar stool biologists” like the above commenter will always have something to complain about. There are always “too few” deer. While the “great white hunter” sure seems to have trouble finding deer, the drivers of this state certainly have no issue. In 2010 there were 16,947 car/deer crashes in Wisconsin. 14 people were killed in these accidents, 65 people suffered incapacitating injuries, and there were at least 204 less serious injuries. Did the 800 wolves in the state kill 16,947 deer? I doubt it. How many people did wolves kill or injure in Wisconsin? The answer is ZERO. Maybe there should be a “harvest” season for those vicious cars that hit 16,947 deer that could be killed by “sportsmen.”
Of course I am sure that those facts will not be enough “science” for the commenter because they didn’t come from the NRA, SCI, the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, or the deceptively named hunting group, the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation.
Then there is the mass anti-wolf hysteria in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Elk populations since 1984 have skyrocketed by 44 percent. Wolves were reintroduced to these states in 1995, yet the elk numbers keep climbing. These groups claim that wolves are “decimating” the elk herd in these states but their numbers went from 715,000 in 1984 to 1,031,000 in 2009. The same groups that are bragging about the massive increase in elk numbers are also the same ones spreading the anti-predator hysteria in these states. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation loves to brag about how the elk numbers have exploded, but then they speak out of the other side of their mouth and talk about how wolves are destroying the elk herd. Which is it? This group just gave Montana $50,000 to “manage wolves.” In other words the money is to kill even more wolves to allow the “game farm” mentality to continue. Why not just make these entire states into giant “canned hunting” enterprises so that the “great white hunters” can pretend to be “conservationists” without competition from predators?
Some hunters have even noticed the double standard and the insanity of the anti-wolf hysteria. Here is an outstanding opinion piece from Todd Wilkinson in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle:
There is this very disturbing mindset among the “great white hunters” in this country that vilifies anything that gets in the way of that trophy to hang on the wall. We must fight back against this mindset and present these people with FACTS. What species are the true threat to our ecosystem? Science shows that it certainly isn’t the gray wolf. It is far more likely to be the cammo clad “great white hunter.”