FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2021
Eau Claire, WI — Hunters for Wolves, a newly formed coalition of sportsmen and women, have put up three billboards in Northern Wisconsin on Highway 53, Interstate 39 and Interstate 94 to raise awareness about Wisconsin’s wolf hunt and management plan. A third billboard will debut June 14th, 2021 in Wausau. World-renowned wildlife photographer, Jim Brandenburg, donated designs for the project. Hunters funded and released the billboards which include the website www.huntersforwolves.org, advocating for healthy ecosystems, scientifically and ethically managed to protect our wildlife for present and future generations.
The group says that wolf hunting reflects badly on real hunters and the February hunt demonstrated that hunting organizations, and the influence of hunting lobbying groups, do not represent true mainstream hunters. Wolves are the only species being managed down to a bare minimum number (350) based upon outdated opinions and politics. This hunt came despite the objections of the tribes, the original hunters and stewards of this land, which their “brother wolf” calls home.
Unlike with deer hunting, wolf hunters and trappers can operate at night and use packs of dogs to run down wolves. With canid on canid conflict, it becomes a blood sport — no more than an organized dog fight, which is illegal in the U.S. Wisconsin is the only state to authorize the practice, arguably the most controversial and most opposed aspect of this state’s wolf hunting regulations. Killing wolves breaks up packs. These broken family units are often forced to find prey that’s easier to kill, such as domestic pets and livestock. Consequently, wolf hunting ends up hurting already struggling Wisconsin farmers.
Other ethical sportsmen and women are encouraged to visit www.huntersforwolves.org and sign up to join and receive future action alerts.
The following are statements from a coalition of mainstream hunters that support wolf conservation:
“I was raised in Northern Wisconsin, by a hunting family on a dairy farm. But many hunters do not believe in killing wolves for sport. We believe in sustainable hunting and fair chase ethics. I’ve read Sand County Almanac, and the science surrounding this animal and Ive seen first hand, the land around my hunting cabin change with the presence of wolves, more birds, more native plants and cleaner streams. I neither worship or hate the wolf, but believe wolves’ benefits to the Northwoods far outweigh any negatives. And I have no problem filling my freezer with venison and was lucky to draw a bear tag last year. Wolves are not our competition; CWD, bad science and old hatred are.”
– KR, Taylor County, Wisc.
“We are blessed with a healthy population of wolves in Wisconsin and wolves were here long before us, doing what predators do to survive. We humans have a habit of trying to manipulate the environment to produce more of what we want and less of what we don’t, even to the point of removing wild animals from wild places when we believe they are competing with us. Wolves have made a comeback, and I count that as a good thing. When I am in the woods, I am thrilled at the idea of seeing or hearing a wolf as it makes for a more complete outdoor experience. I didn’t always think this way, but have seen how wolves influence the environment with their presence. I wouldn’t kill one any more than I would shoot a bald eagle. Hunters need not worry that predators will wipe out a herd. I lost the entire pack of wolves on my property after years of positive ecological changes, I fear this will set our conservation efforts back a decade or more until wolves are able to find their way back home. It’s too early to have a season on wolves, and completely unnecessary. Are deer a bit harder to find because their behavior has changed? Sure. But who wants to shoot bambi in a barrel over a corn pile. That’s not sportsmanship.”
– Pat Clark, Dodge County
“Let me be the first to say ethical hunters and farmers are some of the best conservationists. We understand habitat and management, conservation and restoration probably more than anyone living in Madison or Milwaukee. As a lifelong conservative, even I know these wolves we have now are improving my hunting land and are good for ecology. I do believe predators are a part of our world and some wild animals kill and eat other animals to live. Some are predators, some are prey and we should respect that, as the First Nations people here always have.You can’t eat a wolf, and good people do not kill for fun or hatred. I thoroughly enjoy listening to wolves howl on their own from my hunting cabin porch after having a successful hunt myself, be it deer, grouse or rabbit.”
– Doug J, Vilas County, WI
“As an avid and passionate hunter (who has killed and eaten 26 elk over the years) I am absolutely disgusted that no hunter-based conservation organization — most of which claim to support and defend sound, science-based management of wildlife — are speaking out against this wolf slaughter which is a clear violation of the North American model of wildlife management these organizations claim to uphold. At best, many hunters and hunting-based organizations are remaining silent for fear of being ostracized; at worst, most hunters and hunting organizations are supporting this. More and more I feel like an anti-hunter who hunts. It’s embarrassing, appalling and outrageous.”
– David Stalling, former state director of MWF
“I only hunt birds—pheasant, grouse, quail that may dismiss my credibility with the mammal hunters but I will say this about wolf and bear hunting—pursuing wolves with dogs, snowmobiles, GPS trackers and baited traps is not fair chase and is borderline barbaric.”
– Mike Duren, Vilas County
“Wolves and other species have managed themselves for thousands of years. Our indigenous teachings have always guided us to live in harmony with other creation for their demise only leads to ours.”
– Jon Greendeer, Ho-Chunk Nation, Jackson County, WI
“The vile and disgusting way that this wolf hunt was carried out with an out-of-state group from Kansas is beyond appalling. This is something I would recognize more during the Walker regime. We obviously need an updated management plan from the 1999 management plan that calls for 350 wolves with in Wisconsin. The chronic wasting disease numbers have not gone down at all and our wolf numbers in the north have probably kept chronic wasting disease from getting more established. Immediately holding a wolf hunt in the state at the end of the winter in the breeding season was a serious mistake.The way that it was carried out with hunting night vision scope’s and hounds was nearly criminal on the behalf of the DNR. When 100 wolves or 50% of them we’re supposed to be given to the tribes I just don’t see how 89 is 50% of 220 plus. The number of 216 total wolves killed during the February Wolf slaughter is likely under reported number as well.
I cannot accurately describe in words my displeasure of the Wisconsin DNR and the lack of leadership that they had during the February 2021 wolf slaughter. We have been getting our deer in Adams County tested for many years. We have not had any incidents of chronic wasting disease. I live close to Mead wildlife area and the sight of wolf tracks on New Year’s Day 2021 during the holiday hunt made my heart contempt. To know that several of the wolves that live within 5 miles of my home were taken out bothers me greatly. And the method that they were taken out on that Monday is even more troublesome. I no longer can feel good that there has been a CWD-resistant palisade or some type of protection given to some deer in the area where our local wolves were hunted down with hounds during the end of the breeding season. Again, words cannot accurately describe my level of disappointment With the natural resources board and the Wisconsin Department of natural resources.
So I am again stating that we need to increase the amount of wolves within our state management plan for wolves within the state of Wisconsin to keep the population of wolves hunted with an annual state hunt would have devastating effects on our ecosystem and most definitely are pre-species along with our predators. I’m not sure how some of you could possibly have gone through natural resources training and not gotten the lesson of the importance of a keystone species. We need these predator prey relationships to be developed and increased, not decreasing the amount of predators. If we want to have anything resembling a sustainable ecosystem or a sustainably managed natural resources department, we need to re-write the wolf management plan this year before any type of state hunt is discussed for the year 2021-2022.”
– Erik Schyvinck, Portage County, WI
Great Lakes Wildlife Alliance
Great Lakes Wildlife Alliance