In the Media

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin in the Media

Since 2011, after wolves were delisted and Wisconsin’s legislators, under Scott Walker’s Conservative party, mandated a wolf hunt, when wolves were not listed on the endangered Species list: I’ve been garnering the press to bring attention to the plight of Wisconsin’s wild gray wolf! Wolf Hounding Fact Sheet: Wisconsin, quite literally, throws dogs to wolves! I’ve been working to draw attention to how wolves in Wisconsin have become political ploys!

When I became a volunteer Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Winter wolf tracker in the year 2000, there were just 66 wolf packs. I was assigned a wolf tracking block in Douglas County, Wisconsin. The gray wolf population flourished while under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. Thirty years after Wisconsin began its wolf recovery program, I witnessed it disappear altogether. Wolf recovery went from zero to sixty, resulting in three consecutive wolf hunts, mandated by the conservative controlled state legislature.

Op Ed: NRB Politics Threatens Wolf Recovery

WORT Radio’s Access Hour Presents: Ma’iingan (Wolf) Relationship Plan, Monday March 8th at 7:00 PM

I’m Rachel Tilseth, author or Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin. I invite you to join me this Monday on the Access Hour, where I’ll be hosting an in-depth conversation about the Ma’iingan Relationship Plan, and Native People’s perspective about the recent wolf hunt, with guests Marvin DeFoe & Peter David. On this Monday, March 8th at 7pm on the Access Hour right here on WORT.”

View full article link here

Wolf Connection Podcast

Rachel Tilseth has been a volunteer winter wolf tracker for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources since 2000. Rachel has also worked with the Wisconsin Wolf Recovery Program since 1998. She is an author for the Wolves of Douglas County News website as well as an artist, educator and environmentalist. 

Rachel joined us to discuss the recent wolf hunt in Wisconsin that took place in February of 2021, and the steps that are being taken to change how wolves are managed in the state. Listen here:

Wisconsin Public Radio Interview

Natural Resources Board Sets Harvest At 200 Wolves

Unanimous Decision Follows Judge’s Order That A Wolf Hunt Must Proceed. By Danielle KaedingMonday, February 15, 2021, 1:15pm Updated: Monday, February 15, 2021, 6:30pm

Wolf advocates have also expressed concerns over holding the harvest in the middle of the animal’s breeding season. Rachel Tilseth, wolf tracker and founder of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin, fears holding a hunt now will only lead to negative outcomes for both hunters and wolves. 

“They’re very territorial. So now you throw dogs into that — what’s going to happen there? It’s going to be a bloodbath,” said Tilseth. “There’s going to be a lot of fighting. Also, how is that going to affect the population if the females are pregnant right now? That’s going to have an impact on the health of the population.” Read full interview here.

Rachel Tilseth: Brutal wolf hounding starts — only in Wisconsin, Dec 2, 2013

Dear Editor: Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin wants to remind people that starting Dec. 2, Wisconsin will allow the cruel and inhumane practice of “wolf hounding.”

Wisconsin is the only state in the nation that allows packs of GPS-tagged dogs to run down wolves and kill them. In a June poll taken in our state, by the Humane Society of the United States, 85 percent of Wisconsinites did not want hounding to take place.

We want Wisconsinites to know what will happen when packs of dogs are unleashed on wolves. It is not a fair fight. The “hounders” are allowed to outfit their dogs with homemade collars, which are fitted with nails and shards of steel, which will lacerate the mouths of the wolves once wolves try to fight back.

WODCW is working with Sen. Fred Risser to remove the dogs from the wolf hunt. However, Sen. Neal Kedzie has stalled Risser’s Senate Bill 93 bill in committee, despite volumes of emails and calls to Kedzie’s office. We ask you to call and email your opposition to wolf hounding in order to end this bloodletting.null

There has never been a more important time for the people of Wisconsin to show they are not going to give in to a small group of people who want to torture animals for fun under the guise of “sport.”

Is this what Wisconsin citizens want to be known for? 

Rachel Tilseth


Invited to be a panelist speaking against the use of dogs to hunt wolves in the hunt.

Rachel Tilseth standing.

Compromises elusive when it comes to wolf hunt, Patrick Durkin, Gazette Media correspondent August 1, 2014

Tilseth tracked wolves from 2000 to 2013 as a volunteer in the DNR’s winter tracking surveys. She opposes the wolf season, especially provisions that allow hounds to track wolves after Dec. 1. “Wolf-hounding is cruel and inhumane,” Tilseth said. “It’s a return to the days when hunters drove wolves to the brink of extinction.” Tilseth believes the statewide goal should be 1,000 to 1,500 wolves. Click here to read more.

DNR Secretary Confirms That Wolf Hunt Opponents Were Removed From Advisory Committee

Cathy Stepp Says Staunch Hunting Opponents Weren’t Being Productive Members Of Advisory, by Chuck Quirmbach, Thursday, June 26, 2014, 11:30am

Rachel Tilseth of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin was a volunteer DNR tracker of wolves for about a dozen winters, and attended a few meetings of what used to be called the Wisconsin Wolf Stakeholders Group. Tilseth testified about the wolf hunt proposal during Wednesday’s meeting.

She later said she didn’t care for Stepp’s remarks.

“I was just appalled that somebody like Cathy Stepp, who’s in charge of this important issue, is saying something like that,” said Tilseth. “It sounds to me like it’s a committee that they want made up of wolf-killers.” Click here to read full interview .

Column: Examining the results of recent wolf survey

The much-anticipated DNR public wolf survey was just released. It was an extensive study of attitudes of Wisconsin citizens on sharing our natural world with the wolf.

DNR Public Attitudes Towards Wolves Survey: The Good, Bad and the Ugly

By Rachel Tilseth on August 28, 2014

This is ‘marvelous’ news for Wisconsin’s wild wolves. I was in attendance at the Wolf Advisory Committee(WAC) where the wolf survey was explained and discussed. First of all, I was pleased to be a part of this social survey on wolves as part of focus groups that met in December of 2013.null

Finally, we have proof-positive that the citizens of Wisconsin support wild wolves. There were different clusters of groups used to determine the results and here is an example: the southern part of the state was labeled as non wolf range and most of the northern counties were labeled wolf range. The results showed citizens in both clusters support wild wolves in Wisconsin. The results were positive, with 83% of non-wolf range and 69% of wolf range citizens. Click the following link for the full article:

USDA Experiments With New Tool To Deter Wolves

Foxlights Latest Method To Keep Wolves Away From Livestock

Wildlife officials in Wisconsin are experimenting with a new tool called Foxlights to help farmers and producers keep wolves away from livestock.

They were invented by an Australian sheep farmer to keep away foxes. Rachel Tilseth is founder of the advocacy website Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin and a distributor of the lights. Tilseth sold 25 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture APHIS-Wildlife Services in northern Wisconsin and said they deter wolves from coming near livestock.

“It can be seen from a mile away,” she explained. “It operates with a six volt battery giving up to 12 months of nonstop protection. A light sensor automatically turns it on when it’s at dusk and turns it off during the day.”

Tilseth said the lights are relatively inexpensive at $85 on up. Wisconsin Wildlife Services installed the lights recently on a Douglas County farm experiencing wolf problems. David Ruid, supervisory wildlife biologist with Wildlife Services, said he’s optimistic about their effectiveness, but cautions that lights haven’t always kept wolves away from livestock. Read more:

Why the last legal form of dog fighting is taxpayer-subsidized

Digital Journal spoke with the founder of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin, Rachel Tilseth, about the practice of wolf hounding.

The interview

First, could you explain what wolf hounding is to the readers?

What is wolf hounding? It is a form of hunting that uses dogs to chase the wolf to the hunter so he can kill it. Wolf hounding is a barbaric practice and a return to the time when wolves were considered vermin. Wolves are far from vermin status as they were allowed to recover on their own in Wisconsin starting in the 1970s. Wisconsin monitored wolves and allowed them to establish territories free from human interference. That is until 2011 when the Wisconsin legislature enacted law, Act 169, which allowed wolves to be hunted once they were taken off of the endangered species list. Wolves were now designated a game animal that could be hunted and killed. Wisconsin became the only state to allow wolves to be hunted with the use of dogs.

Letter: Propaganda used to make the wolf look bad

Rachel TilsethLetter to the Editor March 2017

As with any cause, a biased or misleading view can be used to promote, to publicize a particular political cause or point of view. Here we have several anti-wolf politicians making claims to distort the public’ view of wolves; wolves are decimating the White-tailed deer herds, attacking livestock and killing hunting dogs. Let’s set the record straight; wolves do hunt White-tailed deer, have killed some livestock and did kill 37 bear hunting dogs. But in reality; is there a big-bad-wolf here? Let’s get the facts before we sanction the killing of an endangered species. Read full article here:

Volunteers serve as Wisconsin wolf detectives

Nora G. HertelUSA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin 2017

It’s detective work, said Rachel Tilseth, the 63-year-old volunteer tracker and wolf conservation advocate behind the website Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin. She and Steve Meurett, a 57-year-old volunteer tracker and deer hunter, took USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin out to witness a morning of carnivore tracking in the Wisconsin snow.

“After you hear the whole pack howl, you’re hooked. I got hooked,” Tilseth said. She has helped monitor wolves through winter tracking and summer howl surveys since about 2000. “I’m attracted to the fact that they’re pack animals, that they’re very intelligent. That they’re finally back.” Read full article here:

“Ally of the Grey Wolf”

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