It took- for trigger-happy hunters in the US state of Wisconsin- exactly three days to slaughter around 20 percent of the wolf population.
216 animals were killed in the bloodbath that took place at the end of February. Experts estimate that there were between 1,000 and 1,200 wolves in Wisconsin before the hunt.
The reason for the permit for the three-day hunt was ultimately an oversight by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Wisconsin is the only US state in which the regulation of the wolf population is normally carried out by officials of the authority –
a shooting quota is set annually, which is based on standards for sustainability and the protection of the wolf population.
Observations about the development of packs play a role. As a rule, only very old or sick animals or a few problem specimens that were noticeable through livestock cracks are shot down – the quota rarely exceeded 100.
However, since the Trump administration abolished numerous protections for wolves last year, hunter lobby groups and some Republican MPs have called for open wolf hunting.
The state of Wisconsin also wanted to hold one hunting, but only in the fall and not in the spring – because they were still waiting for new data on the population development and then wanted to incorporate this into the determination of the shooting rate.
But then the supervisory authority was taken by surprise by a lawsuit filed by the powerful hunting lobby group “Hunter Nation Incorporated” from the state of Kansas, which is 1,000 kilometers away.
According to the change in the law by Trump, the court ordered the supervisory authority to immediately permit hunting and allow applications for hunting permits.
The supervisory authority had no choice but to obey the court order – they simply had not recognized the legal situation in time and thus lost valuable time, for example, to develop control mechanisms.
More than 2,000 applications for hunting permits were received, and almost all of them had to be approved overnight, without careful scrutiny.
The authorities tried to prevent the worst by setting a maximum shooting quota of 119 animals at the very last moment – but by then the hunters were already in the forest and were busy shooting at it.
They did not only kill old or sick animals or problem specimens but all wolves that came before them, including numerous young and female animals.
The decision and the route of the hunt caused widespread horror and indignation.
Peter Davis, a biologist from the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission: “The high number of hunters who were out with their dogs caused this increase in the quota – there was no time at all to carry out effective controls here.”
Dr. Adrian Treves, professor of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and founder of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab, considers the hunt to be completely irresponsible: “Especially at the end of February and beginning of March, many wolf packs are bringing in offspring. Now fertile males and pregnant wolves have been shot down without any sense or understanding, this will have devastating consequences for the wolf families and population developments. “
There is also anger and sadness among the indigenous peoples living in the region.
Marvin Defoe, a leading member of the Red Cliff Tribe, said in a radio interview with WORT: “It has been shown that it cannot go on like this. We urgently need to ensure that the protection provisions for wolves, as we had them, are put back into force. “
There are already calls in other US states with Republican majority voters to hold hunts similar to those in Wisconsin, especially in Idaho and Montana (!!!)
But Republican MPs have also called for open hunts in states that recently voted democratically, for example in Michigan and Minnesota.
Numerous environmental protection associations in the USA, including the mighty Sierra Club, are now calling on President Biden to put the wolf back on the list of animals requiring special protection by federal law and to put an end to the gunslinger.
In addition, environmental protection groups have filed several lawsuits in the competent federal courts, which are supposed to prove the illegality of the actions of the Trump administration.
But the mills of the law paint slowly, and the checks by the authorities can take time.
Another powerful environmental group is the Center for Biological Diversity, which co-signed the lawsuits.
Collette Atkins is the mammalian director and trained attorney there.
For them, the situation is very threatening: “The Trump administration has reduced the Endangered Species Act to just guaranteeing the survival of endangered animal species.
But that is not what the Endangered Species Act is – it expresses the concept of restoration as a guiding principle, and it means the restoration of biotopes and life forms.
In the last few years before the Trump administration, we had satisfactory growth rates of around 10% in wolves. If we now allow what happened in Wisconsin everywhere, it will set us back 40 years. We will certainly not just stand by and watch. “
One can only hope that President Biden, with a clear policy for the protection of species, will define the guidelines as quickly as possible and thus prevent further massacres like the one in Wisconsin.
And I mean…Using dogs to run wolves to death before they are shot, is not hunting, is murder
And trapping which was also allowed leaves these animals to suffer horrible pain and intense anxiety until they are finally killed.
This article mentioned that the majority of wolves killed were female and that it is currently breeding season. So two generations were destroyed by the slaughter of WI.
This massacre shows us is how quickly a criminal group of hunters and poachers can reduce a wolf population to the level where it’s going to be endangered again.
Everything that hunters do, regardless of what they say and what they actually do, serves only one goal: to preserve the hunt, to preserve their urge to kill!
This post reminds me of what the early settlers thought of Native Americans.
Seems the “solution” was the same.
We can replace Native Americans with wolves in the post.
Americans really haven’t changed much.
My best regards to all, Venus