To the editor:

During the last week of February, as the moon was lighting up our snowy landscape, a barbaric sport sanctioned by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was underway. Snowmobiles and ATVs were chasing after and running down gray wolves to exhaustion.

The public had been given a mere 48 hours to comment on a February wolf hunt. The people were overwhelmingly opposed.

The DNR had originally planned to hold a wolf hunt season in November. Republican legislators demanded it start in February, likely afraid that the gray wolf could be returned to federal protection under the Biden administration.

The DNR disregarded years of scientific studies on the intrinsic and economic importance of sustaining a healthy wolf population. Following a controversial means of determining a sustainable quota, permits issued by the DNR gave the power to become a predator to hunters hungry for vile amusement.

In late February, pregnant females and their packs are highly vulnerable. Inhumane trapping, snaring, and turning trained hounds onto the wolves throughout the night gave no chance for these animals to defend themselves. It was nothing less than a gruesome assault of an animal revered by many as a source of awe and inspiration.

In barely 3 days, the quota was exceeded by nearly 100 wolves. The agency officially ended the spree that killed 20% of Wisconsin’s wolf population. How many animals continued to suffer, still held by snares and traps?

Last week, Wisconsin wolves were abused and slaughtered, absent the science on wolf management. The very agency responsible for good stewardship of our natural resources has failed us. This is a travesty of the worst kind.

A November season is planned. Where is the moral and ethical code of conduct for wildlife, for the Wisconsin Wolf population? Please contact your legislators, as well as Governor Evers, and Attorney General Josh Kaul. Let them know your opinion.

— Elaine Swanson


(3) comments

Dale Failor

There is a right way and a wrong way of thinning out over populated animals and this is the wrong way.

Timothy Dietzel

Many years back discussions were held in Park Falls Wisconsin by Adrian Wydeven with a goal of having a goal of 350 wolves roaming the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Many of us attended these meetings to have input to move forward with a successful plan for reintroduction and proper stewardship of Wisconsin gray wolves. Farmers, business people, hunting groups and Tribal representatives all had voices at these meetings to help form the plan for years going forward.

Problems began years later with livestock kills as the plan predicted. Problems began to occur when the funds to repay farmers for their losses fell short of moneys needed. Then some pets were killed. Then some tourists began having wolf encounters. Hunters reported deer numbers in areas had changed. This all aided the need to move forward with the original plan of controlling the numbers of wolves in Wisconsin.

Estimated numbers were between 1100 and 1200 wolves in Wisconsin. There is a format on estimating numbers by the DNR with cooperation of volunteers in the spring of every year. Sightings, collared and tracking devices, etc.

The DNR set a goal of harvesting 200 animals this spring. Actual kill was 216 to date. Information will be taken for more harvest seasons going forward. Input will be important as new issues have been found about wolf numbers, areas where wolves were harvested and safely reaching wolf number goals.

It is important to follow these plans moving forward. Wisconsin DNR has control of the gray wolves just as the deer herd, fishing regulations, etc.. after being delisted. Controlling the numbers and following the plan put forward by the DNR is important.

Dale Failor

The people that stormed the capital on Jan.6th pose more of a threat to our country than the wolves do. Lets see what our gov. does to them.

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