Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Pretty Foxes Lobby the Capital Against Trapping in State Parks, but Legislators Don’t Understand Fox Language

06 Mar

Madravenspeak Column # 84 Foxes


“Foxes have the nicest nature of any animal I have ever met.  They are considerate and helpful, particularly toward young foxes.” ~ Mike Towler, Kent, England who saved a wounded fox ( see his video story here: )

The pretty foxes photographed sitting in the windows of the Wisconsin capital building were among citizen favorite images this season. The foxes were lobbying against trapping where it counts – the legislature. 

We can help them by drafting and supporting a ban on trapping.  Are Wisconsin citizens too busy to stop trapping, banned in 90 countries?  Uganda decided it was too cruel and indiscriminate decades ago.

Trapping has been expanded throughout Wisconsin’s state parks into all public lands. It is the one and only private for profit business that can take as many animals out of our public lands as the trapper can kill in an astonishingly long 7 months. Trapping starts mid-October throughout April, when wildlife is most vulnerable, leaving babies to starve.

The demand for animal skins is driven by Russia and newly rich China and Korea. Trapping is at a 30-year high. The Fur Council of Canada reports that it is “bunny cuffs and coyote fur ruffs that helped grow the retail fur industry to $15.5 billion last year, 45% higher than ten years ago”.  

Stoughton remains trapping central, thriving remnant of the old Hudson Bay Fur Company, stripping out Wisconsin’s commons to sell through Toronto auctions, annually.  Altogether trappers paid $98,000 to the DNR to destroy our wildlife for $5.6 million dollar return. Each killing brought in 19 cents to the trapper-pleasing DNR. Now new trappers “kill as many as you want for $5.”

The DNR is recruiting trappers as fast as it can among children and women. Trapping nights went up from  5.2 million trap nights in 2010-11 to 7.2 million trap nights in 2011-12 – a 39% increase in one year. 

588,098 animals (, table 5) are the “rough estimate” of kill – and with collateral damage of pets, stray cats, squirrels, birds of prey, songbirds, water birds, and wildlife too young to have marketable fur, or never retrieved,  it is probably closer to a million and a half. 4,557 Gray Foxes (worth $16.15 each)  and 6,159 Red Foxes (worth $26.35 each) were bludgeoned to death 2011-2012.   

How many citizens would pay $20 for a living fox? Not a chance. The DNR is only in the killing business.

It is time for fair take. The rest of us should start living wildlife, plant, and tree for profit businesses and demand 7-month seasons to go in with our trowels and live traps and take all we can get in that time frame. $5 sale on public lands! It’s called democracy.

I attended the rule-making obligatory sham “hearing” on hunting and trapping in state parks Thursday, January 23 in Fitchburg. About twenty people braved the cold to speak or register against the violence. One grizzled trapper activist, Corky Meyer, showed up to whine about not being allowed to trap from 11 p.m. until 4 a.m. when the parks are closed to all but campers. 

A Kegonsa State Park hiker said that hunters park illegally to haul out dead deer, and when reported, are not fined by park rangers. She was distressed watching a dying doe running out of the woods, collapsing in a pile of blood, while dogs harrassed her. Dogs are not supposed to be anywhere near deer.

Dr. Krebsbach, a veterinarian for Friends of Ferals, brought pictures of three cats rescued from “dog-proof” traps this season. Each had a leg amputated.  They are the few who survived.

Carolyn Schueppel whose border collie Handsome suffocated in a conibear trap two years ago, brought in pictures that prove that coyotes, cats and dogs are caught in the DNR’s “dog-proof traps”.

The DNR reported “no problems” with their takeover of our state parks for killing.

Jodi Habush Sinykin, the attorney who filed the lawsuit against running dogs on wolves, wrote that the DNR has misled (lied to) the public: “I have since uncovered that the DNR Notice is incomplete at best, outright deceptive at worst — in that the proposed permanent rules aim to expand access on the part of unleashed hunting dogs to any areas where hunting is allowed. Shame on the DNR for misleading the public in this manner.”

If you are walking your dogs in our parks, they must be on 8 foot leashes.But if you are a hunter chasing wildlife to kill, your dogs can run freely. If your dog gets maimed or killed in a legally set trap on our public lands, you can be fined for interfering with a trap and will be liable for your pet’s or child’s doctor or euthanasia bills. Hounders who put their own dogs at risk terrorizing wolves, coyotes and bears are rewarded lavishly when their dogs are killed.

Packs of dogs and the DNR smorgasboard of traps, guns and crossbows now threaten citizens who not only bought the parks but buy stickers to visit them.

Legislators do understand their constituents who vote. More humane stewardship of foxes would be kinder to all of us.   

You can sign a petition here|utmccn=(direct)|utmcmd=(none)&__utmv=-&__utmk=165619963   to end Wildlife Services which is the federal outdated agency that kills millions of wildlife every year.


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