Monday, December 3, 2012

A Reader's view: Wolf hunt shows lack of respect for wilderness

December 03, 2012

What’s going on? A killing frenzy? This wolf hunt is beyond disgusting and opened a door exposing abuse of power by politicians.

Wolves were removed from the endangered-species list in January and already are being trapped and shot. A four-month season is ongoing in Wisconsin, day and night, with trapping, electronic calling devices and bait. Possibly dogs, too, if the Dane County judge approves it Dec. 20.

Why? The bill authorizing the hunt reportedly was co-written by the Bear Hunter Association, Hunters’ Rights Group and Safari International. Gov. Scott Walker was elected with support from these groups. This seems like payback.

The Department of Natural Resources wrote a wolf-management plan in 1999 when the population was approximately 200. This plan determined management could be implemented when the population reached 350, meaning the DNR could shoot a few or have a limited hunt. That 350 was never meant to be the maximum population. Now, it seems, there are more wolf-hunting licenses than wolves.

The DNR already allowed farmers to trap and shoot problem wolves on their property. Depredation payments for livestock and pets lost to wolves are astonishing. The DNR paid $20,000 for two deer killed in a canned hunting area, I read. Fix the fence!

According to the DNR, each wolf kills about 20 deer a year; approximately 16,000 deer are killed by wolves annually. Wisconsin has about 1.4 million deer.

Wolves prey on the sick and weak, which helps prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease and other diseases.

Wolves are public trust. They belong to all the citizens of the state and, according to a DNR survey, more than 75 percent of people are against this hunt.

There’s no biological reason to kill wolves. It’s disheartening to see a lack of respect for life, wilderness and ecology.

Write your representatives.
Cathy Miller