Wisconsin’s hasty wolf season is based on fraud.
The federal government named tribes and wildlife professionals to manage wolves. Politicians are neither, yet secretly authored the Wolf Management Act.
In surveys, the large majority would accept a “season designed to reduce depredation,” targeting problem wolves in farm/wood areas, satisfying experts, Native American tribal leaders, the public and farmers. Careful, selective population reduction.
But politicians chose to satisfy a small fraction of hunters.
Politicians (ignorant of species’ preservation) wrongly wrote detailed wolf legislation with bear hound hunters (hostile and threatening to wolves) who receive special “dog payments” for hound depredation claims. Payments the public opposes due to loose compensation rules.
Indiscriminate statewide killing does nothing to help farmers and everything to help frustrated hunters, eager to kill wolves for no valid reason except for “fun,” a fur hat or wall hanging, or revenge for protection wolves received.
Livestock depredation is deceptively exaggerated.
Verified depredation actually involves a small amount of farms and wolves, costing $15,500 last year. The only compensation payments the public supports.
But taxpayers also paid $191,000 for “missing calves” (alleged, requiring no evidence of wolves). Lax compensation rules enable fraud. Last year, an unbelievable 257 calves “disappeared.” Normally, the number ranges from zero to 25. The Department of Natural Resources told me “Two farms had skewed the numbers.” (This suspiciously bloated wolf damage year comes right before legislators introduced a wolf season bill.)
Human threat is deceptively exaggerated and is actually almost nonexistent. Scary fairy-tales must be spread that are never reported or verified, though anyone can call for help because liberal lethal and non-lethal control methods exist.
Deer are not decimated by wolves.
Wisconsin has 1.14 million deer that have more than doubled since wolf migration. Eight hundred wolves eat a meager amount, about 13,600 deer annually. Valuable wolves discern and eliminate weaklings and suppress disease, strengthening the deer herd. Wolves keep deer moving, avoiding over-browsing, maintaining forest biodiversity.
Blame wolves for unsuccessful deer hunting when it is lack of effort or just bad luck. Hunters were recently criticized (Kroll Report) for wanting so many deer the herd would destroy the landscape.
Key legislators acted secretly, dishonestly and undemocratically to achieve this aggressive season and do not deserve public office.
Shirley Clements, Fond du Lac