Payments for Hunting Dogs Killed by Wolves is a Scam

By Paul Collins

The Legislature Joint Finance Committee has reportedly slipped a provision into the budget that would allow for immediate payouts for hunting hounds allegedly killed by wolves rather than waiting until the next calendar year.

Think about that for a minute.

The state of Wisconsin pays out $2,500 each time a hound is killed to people who allow their dogs to run loose on public lands with no oversight and no permit required.

In 2016 the Wisconsin DNR paid out $104,767.91 for dead hounds and vet bills for hounds allegedly killed or injured by wolves.

Let’s put this into another context.

The hounders are practicing their sick “sport” of their own free will and with no oversight from the government in the form of a license. When something goes wrong while they freely participate in their “sport,” it somehow becomes the responsibility of the government to pay them for their “loss”? How does that make any sense?

Does the government pay you if you crash your bike on a government-owned bike trail? Does the government pay you if you sprain your ankle while playing basketball at a government-owned park? Does the government pay you when you strike one of the deer that they insist remain at artificially inflated levels to appease Wisconsin’s “sportsmen”?

No, they don’t. So why are taxpayers forced to reimburse reckless legal animal fighters while they practice their sick “sport”?

The latest action by the Legislature to further encourage legal dog fighting at no risk to the hounders is appalling and shows that this state is incapable of “managing” wolves or any other form of wildlife. What’s next? Placing an ATM in the middle of the woods for even faster payouts?  This scam needs to end — and end soon.

[Published in the Cap Times on June 13, 2017]

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