Tag Archives: Science

Controversial Wisconsin Natural Resources Board vote on November 2021 wolf hunt

WPR A Look At The 2021 Fall Wolf Hunt Quota Of 300 By Tim Peterson Air Date: Friday, August 13, 2021, 4:00pm

Wisconsin Public Radio speaks with reporter Danelle Kaeding and retired wolf biologist Adrian Wydeven to learn more about a controversial new quota set for a fall wolf hunt in Wisconsin.

Listen to Recording from Wisconsin Public Radio

And you can catch the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board meeting on YouTube

John E. Marriott Photography credit

People & Wolves Talk Show will be interviewing Voyageurs’ Wolf Project Lead “Thomas Gable”

Learn all about the Voyageurs Wolf Project’s latest news & research. Host: Alexander Vaeth, Producer: Rachel Tilseth. Air Date: Thursday August 5, 2021 Time: 06:00 PM CST. Streaming on: YouTube People & Wolves Talk Show Channel https://youtu.be/4U8TDcuyKzE and Talk Show di persone e lupi —Lupi Italiani Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/TalkShowdipersoneelupiitaliani/

The Voyageurs Wolf Project is focused on understanding the summer ecology of wolves in and around Voyageurs National Park in the iconic Northwoods border region of Minnesota, USA. Interview will be livestreamed on People & Wolves Talk Show https://youtu.be/4U8TDcuyKzE and for our Italian followers you can find the show on Talk Show di persone e lupi —Lupi Italiani. And viewers will be able to ask Voyageurs Wolf Project questions through the comments section.

Click on the following blue highlighted words to view on People & Wolves Talk Show YouTube link for the livestream click here.

Thomas Gable
Project Lead
Voyageurs Wolf Project 

Tom is the project lead for the Voyageurs Wolf Project and he recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. He has been studying wolves in the Greater Voyageurs Ecosystem since 2014 when he started his Master’s at Northern Michigan University. Gable is particularly fascinated by wolf-beaver interactions and much of his graduate work to date has focused on understanding how wolves hunt and kill beavers, and conversely how beavers avoid fatal encounters with wolves. Much of Gable’s early interest in wolves stemmed from encountering wolf tracks, kills, and the occasional wolf while exploring the wild places around his family’s cabin just outside of Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario during the winter. During and after his Bachelor’s in Biology at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, Gable worked as a wolf research technician in Grand Teton National Park and on the Minnesota Wolf and Deer Project in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). His time in the BWCAW fostered a deep appreciation and love for the iconic Northwoods of Minnesota.

People & Wolves Talk Show Host Alex Vaeth

Alex Vaeth

Alex is a volunteer wolf tracker with the Wisconsin DNR, and a Spanish teacher by training. He completed his graduate studies in Spanish at Middlebury’s language schools in Vermont, USA, Madrid, Spain, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. He teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and volunteers as a medical interpreter in the city’s community clinic. Alex spends nearly all his free time in the woods tracking and monitoring wildlife with remote cameras and is also keenly interested in wolf advocacy and research.

People & Wolves Talk Show

We educate so you can advocate.

People & Wolves Talk Show works with dedicated professionals to document the conscious relationships between People & Wolves. People & Wolves Talk show shares stories of people working to coexist with wild wolves. Wild grey wolves are now struggling for survival worldwide. People & Wolves Talk Show works with filmmakers, scientists, academics, journalists, writers, fine artists, Wildlife photographers and musicians, that share a common interest to produce, to share educational stories of People & Wolves.

The show’s producer is Rachel Tilseth. Tilseth is a freelance writer, fine artist & educator, and environmentalist. I believe there’s no big bad wolf. There’s only myths driven by ignorance which education can be the cure. I’ve been a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Winter Wolf Tracker since the year 2000. I worked with the Wisconsin Wolf Recovery Program as a volunteer since 1998, and as a result learned about the lives of wild gray wolves. I became reluctantly involved in the politics surrounding gray wolves in 2012. I say reluctantly because “politics” can be a dirty business. Wisconsin’ wolves needed attention drawn to the barbaric way in which they were being hunted during the three years Wisconsin held wolf hunts back in 2012 through 2014. On December 19, 2014 a federal judge ordered them back on the Endangered Species List. Wisconsin is the only state that sanctions the age old & barbaric wolf-hounding. Wisconsin quite literally uses dogs to hunt wolves. I founded Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin as the way to draw attention to the plight of Wisconsin’s gray wolf. I received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education in 1992 from UW-Stout, graduating with cum laude honors.

The following video from Voyageurs Wolf Project if of a Wolf’s point of view

There’s been so much news & research coming out of Voyageurs Wolf Project since our last interview that aired on August 2020. Mark your calendars. Air Date: Thursday August 5, 2021 Time: 06:00 PM CST Streaming on: YouTube People & Wolves Talk Show Channel https://youtu.be/4U8TDcuyKzE and Talk Show di persone e lupi —Lupi Italiani Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/TalkShowdipersoneelupiitaliani/

About Voyageurs Wolf Project 

The Voyageurs Wolf Project, which is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota and Voyageurs National Park, was started to address one of the biggest knowledge gaps in wolf ecology—what do wolves do during the summer? Our goal is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the summer ecology of wolves in the Greater Voyageurs Ecosystem in northern Minnesota. Specifically, we want to understand the predation behavior and reproductive ecology (e.g., number of pups born, where wolves have dens, etc) of wolves during the summer.

Photograph courtesy of Voyageurs Wolf Project. Learn more about the project at http://www.voyageurswolfproject.org

All videos courtesy of Voyageurs Wolf Project

Learn all about the Voyageurs Wolf Project’s latest news & research. Host: Alexander Vaeth, Producer: Rachel Tilseth Air Date: Thursday August 5, 2021 Time: 06:00 PM CST Streaming on: YouTube People & Wolves Talk Show Channel https://youtu.be/4U8TDcuyKzE and Talk Show di persone e lupi —Lupi Italiani Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/TalkShowdipersoneelupiitaliani/

Grey Wolves & White-tailed Deer: Urban Legend versus Scientific Fact

Stats are from 2019, but still hold true in 2021 proving there is no scientific basis for a wolf hunt in Wisconsin or anywhere else!

“Minnesota has also become the number two all time Boone and Crocket trophy white- tailed deer producing state, followed by Wisconsin. This might suggest that wolves and deer are co-existing very well.”

Wolves and Deer 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources estimated 1.8 million White-tailed deer statewide. The 2018-2019 midwinter count estimated that there are a minimum of 914-978 Gray wolves in Wisconsin, in 243 packs.

Producing a trophy White-tailed deer

Minnesota has developed one of the largest deer herds in the nation while simultaneously restoring the gray wolf to an estimated 3,000 animals. Minnesota has also become the number two all time Boone and Crocket trophy white-tailed deer producing state, followed by Wisconsin. This might suggest that wolves and deer are co-existing very well.
Wolves may even play a role in helping to increase the health and fitness of the overall deer population by culling the sick, weak, and the old and leaving the healthier animals to reproduce and thrive.
From Wolves and Deer in Wisconsin WDNR website
Wisconsin’s White-tailed doe with fawns photo credit Snapshot Wisconsin

Misleading the public

Considering that all the data points to “wolves and deer are coexisting very well” why do we only hear negative news about the gray wolf? Case in point From a staunch anti wolf website. Wisconsin Wolf Facts claims that Gray wolves killed more deer than hunters. The cherry picked data claims wolves are killing more deer than the gun-deer hunters in the 2019 season:

“Gray wolves are now responsible for killing more white-tailed deer in four counties of one Great Lakes state than annual the number of deer killed by gun-hunters, according to data released this week by Wisconsin Wolf Facts.” The group is headed by Lauri Groskopf, a hunter that lost two dogs to wolves while bear hunting a few years back. Wisconsin Gray wolves photo credit Snapshot Wisconsin

Laurie Groskopf has a seat on the Wisconsin Wolf Management Plan Committee.

The following table is being widely distributed to pro wolf hunting groups in the hopes that if gray wolves get delisted this cherry picked data will serve as proof that a wolf hunt is needed.Table from Wisconsin Wolf Facts shows incomplete data from Wisconsin White -tailed deer hunt 2019 

The above table only shows results from gun-harvest summarizes for 2019. This table conveniently scapegoats the gray wolf, proving it’s biased data.

In reality when WDNR data of Deer Mortality in Wisconsin’s Northern and Central Forests data has Wisconsin black bear estimated deer kill at 33,000 compared to gray wolves deer kill estimated at 13,000. Deer

Mortality in Wisconsin’s Northern and Central Forests From WDNR 2019

Gray wolves in Wisconsin’s Northern and central forests are helping to keep white-tailed deer healthy by culling the weak, the sick and the old. Gray wolves are providing Wisconsin’s deer hunter with a stronger and healthier White-tailed deer. 

Science versus anti wolf bias 

A single gray wolf while hunting comes across an abandoned White-tailed deer bed, and gently blows upon it causing all the particles to flow up into the wolf’s olfactory sense. The wolf then can determine if the blood in the tick, that fell off the deer the night before, contains pus in it. Wisconsin’s Northern and Central Forests data has Wisconsin black bear estimated deer kill at 33,000 compared to gray wolves deer kill estimated at 13,000.

Perhaps White-tailed deer have become wise to deer baiting and may be eating at night while hunters are sleeping.

Today’s white-tailed deer hunter sits in a tree stand waiting for an unsuspecting deer to approach and eat the corn or apples used for deer bait. The baiting of White-tailed deer for hunting is allowed only in areas where there is no CWD present. Wolves have a sense of smell 100 times greater than humans and they use this keen sense while hunting. Photo credit NPS

In summary 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources estimated 1.8 million White-tailed deer statewide. The 2018-2019 midwinter count estimated that there are a minimum of 914-978 Gray wolves in Wisconsin, in 243 packs. “Minnesota has also become the number two all time Boone and Crocket trophy white- tailed deer producing state, followed by Wisconsin. This might suggest that wolves and deer are co-existing very well.”

Wolves may even play a role in helping to increase the health and fitness of the overall deer population by culling the sick, weak, and the old and leaving the healthier animals to reproduce and thrive.
From Wolves and Deer in Wisconsin WDNR website

Following video is from the Great Lakes Symposium

The remarkable Canis lupus (Gray Wolf) …

…Designed by Mother Nature herself.

A gray wolf walks over to a vacated white-tailed deer bed and gently blows on it. This causes all the particles to flow up into his/hers highly tuned olfactory system (the nose). “Ah ha, says the wolf,” the deer tick’s blood is full of pus from a tooth infection. The deer tick had feasted on the white-tailed deer’s blood the night before. The deer tick’s blood now reveals a sick (unhealthy) animal. This shows how the gray wolf keeps the white-tailed deer herds healthy. This is nature’s design, original, and most certainly not man made. There’s-no-big-bad-wolf-here…only politicians with agendas…

Let’s save the Gray wolf because he/she saves us (human-kind) in the end. In the past, less than a hundred years ago, vast herds roamed throughout the planet. The vast herds were wiped out by trophy hunting & human encroachment, and now live in small pockets of wilderness surrounded by human settlements. In these small pockets animals are forced to share habitats, and just think about the consequences of different kinds of ticks eating & spreading disease all on the same animals; Animals that are isolated in pockets of wilderness surrounded by human settlements. Then, there’s Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) that if left unchecked could potentially spread to humans through infected deer. We need more research on how gray wolves help stop the spread of CWD.

The planet needs Canis lupus (Gray wolf) and other large carnivores. Large carnivores can detect diseased and weak animals.

How might wolves affect chronic wasting disease in elk and deer in Colorado? The following is from Colorado State University Extention

…One study developed a mathematical model predicting that selective predation by wolves would result in a more rapid decline in CWD in deer compared to hunting by humans…

Source

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a contagious and fatal neurological disease found in deer, elk, and moose.  It is caused by the transmission of an abnormal protein called a prion.  CWD is relatively widespread in Colorado.

Wolves are predators that chase prey. Wolves tend to target slower, more vulnerable individuals, including sick and diseased animals. One study developed a mathematical model predicting that selective predation by wolves would result in a more rapid decline in CWD in deer compared to hunting by humans. The model suggested that wolf predation may help limit CWD. There has been no field study to test this prediction. However, wolf predation has been shown to help control disease (tuberculosis) in wild boar in Spain.

Insight can be gained from other predators. Studies in the Front Range of Colorado showed mule deer killed by mountain lions were more likely to be infected with CWD than mule deer killed by hunters. This suggests that mountain lions select infected animals when targeting adult deer. Such selective predation by mountain lions, however, did not limit CWD transmission in deer populations with high infection rates. Unlike wolves who run when hunting, mountain lions are considered “ambush” predators that sit and wait for prey to pass. Such predatory behavior might make them less likely to detect sick animals compared to wolves.

When carnivores eat infected prey, CWD prions can remain infectious in carnivore feces. But, canines appear to be naturally resistant to prions.7We therefore would not expect the number of prions to increase in their digestive tracts. In fact, CWD prions may be degraded as they pass through the digestive system. While predation may not eliminate CWD from deer or elk populations, predators that selectively prey on infected animals would be expected to reduce the number of infections. This would be more likely in areas where wolves are well-established. Source

People & Wolves Talk Show Host Alex Vaeth Interviewed Adrian Wydeven now on Vimeo

Organizations Leading the Way in Wolf Education & Recovery

Making a difference for Wisconsin’s wild grey wolf.

A Wisconsin Grey Wolf. Photograph credit Al Sherwinski

The following two organizations have been around for decades and have proven track records on educating the public about grey wolves. Both these organizations regularly hold wolf education seminars led by expert wolf biologist & professionals in the field.

Timber Wolf Alliance (TWA) “The Timber Wolf Alliance is committed to investigating the facts and relies on research to dispel myths and unfounded fears associated with wolves. TWA provides training in wolf biology and ecology, develops and disseminates educational materials on wolves, and supports volunteers to help with wolf monitoring efforts.” http://www.timberwolfalliance.org

“Northland College started the TWA in 1987 with the Wisconsin DNR and other organizations to promote wolf recovery and educate people about wolves in the state. In the early 1990s, TWA expanded to promote wolf recovery into Michigan as wolves began to recolonize that state.” http://www.timberwolfalliance.org

Timber Wolf Information Network (TWIN) “Mission: To increase public awareness and acceptance of the wolf in its natural habitat and its ecological role in the environment.” http://www.timberwolfinformation.org

Wisconsin’s Green Fire Voices for Conservation was established in 2017 in response to recent developments at the state and national level that threaten science-based practices and long-term vision in natural resources management.”

Wisconsin’s Green Fire (another organization) “urges the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to immediately resume work on developing a new state wolf conservation plan using the best science and public attitude data available on wolves. WGF strongly recommends that WDNR reestablish a two-faceted advisory committee structure, described in our full statement. This will allow for an inclusive and transparent wolf governance process that reflects public perceptions and incorporates the latest social and ecological science on wolves in Wisconsin.” http://www.wigreenfire.org

Look to these three organizations to make a real difference for Wisconsin’s wild grey wolf!

The grey wolf has always been a part of Wisconsin’s wild legacy. —Rachel Tilseth

Wisconsin’s Green Fire Hosting a Webinar Panel Discussion on Gray Wolves

A Wisconsin gray wolf. Photograph credit Snapshot Wisconsin.

Opportunities for Collaboration: A Shared Vision for Wolves in Wisconsin from www.wigreenfire.org

Wednesday, August 26, 11:00am to 12:30pm How: Space is Limited and Registration is Required. Register

“The Western Great Lakes states could soon see the federal de-listing of gray wolves which have made a historic comeback in Wisconsin since they were eradicated in the mid-1900s. Current state legislation mandates a wolf hunt when the species is not listed under the Endangered Species Act and limits DNR, Tribes and the public from having input on when, where, how and if such harvests should occur. The most recently approved state wolf management plan from 1999 needs to be updated to include the latest ecological and social science in wolf conservation.” http://www.wigreenfire.org

Join us for a lively discussion with our panelists on envisioning a future for wolves in Wisconsin. We’ll cover a bit about the history of wolves and wolf management in Wisconsin, why an inclusive and transparent process is essential to effective wolf management, what public perceptions of wolves can tell us about coexistence, and how our neighbor, Minnesota, is managing its resident wolf population. Panelists: Adrian Wydeven, WGF Wildlife Co-Chair; Jodi Habush Sinykin, Midwest Environmental Advocates; Peter David, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission When: Wednesday, August 26, 11:00am to 12:30pm How: Space is Limited and Registration is Required. Register

About Wisconsin’s Green Fire

Wisconsin’s Green Fire supports the conservation legacy of Wisconsin by promoting science-based management of Wisconsin’s natural resources. http://www.wigreenfire.org

The Gray Wolf & White-Tailed deer…

Predator & Prey Dynamic…

One feeds the other, while the one is kept in a healthy balance by the other. The Gray wolf has an amazing olfactory sense! A wolf walks up to an abandoned White-tailed deer’s bed, and gently blows on it. Then, all the particles, the scents, flow up into the wolf’s olfactory sense; allowing them to determine if the tick’s blood contains pus.

Photography credit: Gray wolf in Finland by Niko Pekonen

Wolves have a sense of smell about 100 times greater than humans and they use this keen sense while hunting!

Take Action!

Tell congress to keep the gray wolf on the Endangered Species Act!

To find you congressman click here.

The remarkable Canis lupus (Gray wolf) …

…Designed by Mother Nature herself.

A wolf walks over to a vacated white-tailed deer bed and gently blows on it. This causes all the particles to flow up into his/hers highly tuned olfactory system (the nose). “Ah ha, says the wolf,” the deer tick’s blood is full of pus from a tooth infection. The deer tick had feasted on the white-tailed deer’s blood the night before. The deer tick’s blood now reveals a sick (unhealthy) animal. This shows how the gray wolf keeps the white-tailed deer herds healthy. This is nature’s design, original, and most certainly not man made. There’s-no-big-bad-wolf-here…only politicians with agendas…

Politicians are working to delist wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan listen to WXRP by Ken Krall and Rachel Tilseth on the House Bill.

Photo of wolf belongs to owner. Graphic design by WODCW

Let’s save the Gray wolf because he/she saves us (human-kind) in the end. In the past, less than a hundred years ago, vast herds roamed throughout the planet. The vast herds were wiped out by trophy hunting & human encroachment, and now live in small pockets of wilderness surrounded by human settlements. In these small pockets animals are forced to share habitats, and just think about the consequences of different kinds of ticks eating & spreading disease all on the same animals; Animals that are isolated in pockets of wilderness surrounded by human settlements.

Federal epidemiologists also have identified 11 other tick-borne diseases that you and your family can catch:

Anaplasmosis, caused by bacteria, can be fatal in about 1% of cases, even in previously healthy people.

Babesiosis is caused by microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells and is treatable. The tick that transmits it is about the size of a poppy seed.

Colorado tick fever is a viral infection transmitted from the bite of an infected Rocky Mountain wood tick, which lives in the western United States and Canada in areas 4,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level. This disease has no treatment.

Ehrlichiosis, caused by bacteria, appears with flu-like symptoms. It is treatable has been fatal in about 2% of cases.

Powassan disease, which comes from a virus, has no specific treatment for the virus. Although only 75 cases have been reported in the past decade, it can develop into encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, or meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord.

Q fever comes from a bacteria that naturally infects some animals such as goats, sheep and cattle, so ticks that feed on an infected animal can transmit the disease. Only about half the people who get Q fever will have symptoms, but those people can develop pneumonia or hepatitis.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever, caused by bacteria, can be transmitted via at least two types of dog ticks and Rocky Mountain wood ticks. The disease can be severe or even fatal if not treated within the first few days of symptoms that include headache, fever and often but not always a pink, non-itchy rash that starts on wrists, arms and ankles.

Southern tick-associated rash illness has an unknown cause, but researchers know that lone star ticks transmit this disease that can act like Lyme disease but isn’t caused by Lyme’s bacteria. An antibiotic can treat the symptoms.

Tick-borne relapsing fever, a bacterial infection, also can be transmitted via lice. The rare infection is usually linked to sleeping in rustic rodent-infested cabins in mountainous areas, but if not treated victims can face several cycles of three days of 103-degree fevers, headaches and muscle aches and a week without.

Tick paralysis, thought to be caused by a toxin in tick saliva, is rare but can paralyze a victim and is often confused with Guillain-Barre syndrome or botulism. Luckily, within 24 hours of removing the tick, the paralysis typically subsides.

Tularemia first infects rabbits and rodents, and the ticks that bite them infect humans. One telltale sign of infection is often, but not always, an ulcer on the skin where the bacteria entered the body; lymph nodes also become infected. USA Today 2017

The planet needs Canis lupus (Gray wolf) and other large carnivores. Large carnivores can detect diseased and weak animals.

Genetic Research Shows No Hybridization Between Mexican Wolves and Domestic Dogs

“This study, showing no hybridization with domestic dogs found within this population, was important because it again confirms the genetic purity of the Mexican wolf,” said Rinkevich, who is often involved in the listing and delisting of endangered and threatened species in her role as an endangered-species biologist. “That genetic information is important to conservation efforts.”

The study by Fitak, Rinkevich and Culver netted genetic data from the largest population of Mexican wolves that is now publicly available for all geneticists to use in future research. For Fitak, that might mean delving deeper into the amount of inbreeding in the Mexican wolf as the captive breeding program continues. Until then, an important question about one endangered species, the Mexican wolf, finally has been answered.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-06-genetics-purity-mexican-wolf.html#jCp

The Mexican wolf has been listed as an endangered species since 1976. Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A captive breeding program has brought the Mexican wolf from the brink of extinction to current population estimates of no fewer than 114 Mexican wolves living in the wild. The breeding of such a small population brings with it genetic…Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-06-genetics-purity-mexican-wolf.html#jCp

Will the Government Ever Get it Right on Delisting the Gray Wolf in the Great Lakes Region?

These and other questions come to mind as the Federal Government Working On Removing Gray Wolf From Endangered Species List . Will Wisconsin be transparent in its management of the Gray wolf population, and once again allow for greater pubic input as it did prior to the 2012 USF&WS delisting decision.

In 2011 WISCONSIN ACT 169 legislation mandated a trophy hunt on the newly delisted Gray wolf. Wisconsin Act 169 allowed reckless management policies such as; Out of all the states that hunt wolves, only Wisconsin allows hound hunters to use unleashed packs of dogs to hunt wolves. Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves.” Wolf Hounding Fact Sheet

In 2013 & 2014 Wisconsin sanctioned the use of dogs to hunt wolves.

This reckless management of the Gray wolf was overturned as part of Humane Society of the United States lawsuit of USF&WS’s 2012 delisting. In December 2014 a federal judge put Gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes Region back on the Endangered Species List. USF&WS appealed the 2014 ruling, but the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., ruled Gray wolves in the Great Lakes region should remain on the endangered species list, July 2017.

Besides the horrific wolf management policies by the state of Wisconsin, problems exist within the way USF&WS determines criteria for wolf delisting in the Great Lakes Region in 2011. It’s seems USF&WS got its “hand slapped” by a judges ruling for trying to delist using the following:

“The proposal identifies the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of wolves, which includes a core area of Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin, as well as parts of adjacent states that are within the range of wolves dispersing from the core recovery area.” USF&WS Press Release 2011

But then, on July 2017, the three-judge panel unanimously said the wolves should stay under federal protection. The judges wrote, “The Endangered Species Act’s text requires the Service, when reviewing and redetermining the status of a species, to look at the whole picture of the listed species, not just a segment of it.”

As the Associated Press reports the judges ruled that,

“The service had not adequately considered a number of factors in making its decision, including loss of the wolf’s historical range and how its removal from the endangered list would affect the predator’s recovery in other areas, such as New England, North Dakota and South Dakota.”

Just how reckless is Wisconsin in its management policies of the Gray wolf?

If the Gray wolf in Wisconsin gets delisted tomorrow; it’s a law that a wolf hunt must take place:

“If the wolf is not listed on the federal endangered list and is not listed on the state endangered list, the department shall allow the hunting and trapping of wolves and shall regulate such hunting and trapping as provided in this section and shall implement a wolf management plan. In regulating wolf hunting and trapping, the department may limit the number of wolf hunters and trappers and the number of wolves that may be taken by issuing wolf harvesting licenses.” 2012 Wisconsin Act 169

A brief history on Wisconsin’s reckless management of it’s wolf population, 2012 through 2014.

Wisconsin’s Wolf Advisory Committee is not far and balanced. In other words, there is no transparency in WI DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp’s Wolf management process (WDNR secretary at the time).

WDNR Wolf Advisory Committee met once a month during the legislatively mandated trophy hunt on Wisconsin’s Gray wolf. The WAC recommend how wolf management in Wisconsin should be done. Here is a list of Cathy Stepp’s (WDNR secretary at the time) hand Picked WAC, that she thinks better suited to, “…people who were willing to work with us in partnership…”:United States Fish & Wildlife Service(USFWS), United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services(USDA WS), Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission(GLIFWC), Wisconsin County Forest Association(WCFA), Wisconsin Conservation Congress(WCC), Safari Club International(SCI), Timber Wolf Alliance(TWA), Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association(WBHA), Wisconsin Bowhunters Association(WBA), Wisconsin Cattlemans Association(WCA), Wisconsin Trappers Association(WTA), Wisconsin Wildlife Federation(WWF) and 10 WDNR biologists. WODCW blog

Several DNR staff are on the recently created Wolf Advisory Committee, as are representatives of several pro-hunting groups. A smaller number of wolf hunting skeptics also remain on the committee, including a representative of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.  WPR reporter Chuck Quirmbach June 2014 

At a WI DNR meeting secretary Cathy Stepp admitted, “When we’re charged to manage and to implement a hunt, coming in and telling us, ‘Don’t hunt wolves,’ is not a productive way to run a committee, frankly,” said Stepp. “That’s just the candid way to lay it out. We had to have people who were willing to work with us in partnership, and be willing to help us and advise us along the way in implementing state law.” Source WPR June 2014

I was was interviewed on June 2014 regarding DNR secretary kicking off wolf hunt opponents 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.”

Recap of the last two years in the never-ending political rhetoric designed to stir public sentiment against an endangered species.

Wisconsin’s annual nine-day gun deer hunt sees increase in statewide buck harvest 2016. The largest change in buck harvest occurred in the Northern Forest Zone (30 percent increase from 2015) after two consecutive mild winters and limited antlerless tags. From WI DNR Press Release 

The increase in buck harvest is hopeful news, because fringe hunters, along with some politicians are claiming that wolves are killing all the deer. This news puts a damper on republican Senator Tom Tiffany’s efforts to delist the wolf.

“A Great Lakes Summit in September 2016, was organized by two Republican lawmakers from northern Wisconsin, Sen. Tom Tiffany and Rep. Adam Jarchow, who hope control of the wolf population returns to state governments.” MPR News

The 30 percent buck increase in the Northern Forest Zone (where the wolf lives) is good news as DNR’s own scientific data is proving wolves aren’t eating all the white-tailed deer in northern Wisconsin.

Yet, certain politicians in Wisconsin refuse to believe scientific fact.

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’ veiw 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 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.

Are wolves killing more livestock?

Let’s take some statistics from The Wisconsin Gray Wolf Monitoring Report for the period of 15 APRIL 2015 THROUGH 14 APRIL 2016 and read the graphic for yourself. There were 52 wolf depredations on livestock.

There were 52 wolf depredations from April 15, 2015 through April 15, 2016. To put it in perspective, that was 52 livestock deaths by wolves out of 3.50 million head of livestock in Wisconsin. Read for yourself:

“The total inventory of cattle and calves on January 1 rose 3 percent from 2014 to 2015, to 3.50 million head. The number of milk cows rose by 5,000 head to 1,275,000 head and the number of beef cows rose 25,000 head to 275,000 head. On the U.S. level, slaughter prices rose to $153.00 per cwt. for cattle and $255.00 per cwt. for calves. As a result, Wisconsin’s value of production rose 33 percent to $1.92 billion.”  Source: USDA Wisconsin statistics

Wisconsin’s wild wolf is the most talked about animal of late.  Politicians in Wisconsin have villianized the wolf, and are pushing to delist him.  It’s no secret that one cannot trust politicians. Politicians are in competition between competing interest groups or individuals for power and leadership; they’ve created propaganda to make the wolf look bad.

Politicians have removed science from wolf management and replaced it with political rhetoric. They put together a Wisconsin Wolf Advisory Committee with stakeholders primarily from the hunting community.

The WAC is heavily slanted towards recreational trophy hunting of wolves with 9 citizen pro wolf hunting organizations to 1 pro wolf citizen organization. Further, according to Cathy Stepp this committee is more productive than opponents of the wolf hunt. There is evidence to the contrary that shows the WAC productiveness is comparable to reality TV’s Housewives of NYC.  From WODCW’s Blog

In conclusion, if USF&WS, the government, gets it right this time in delisting the Gray wolf in the Great Lakes Region Wisconsin citizens must push for greater transparency in wolf management. Because trophy hunts are about power not conservation. We owe the Gray wolf, that was exterminated from our forest, an ethical & compassionate conservation management plan, because we have done enough harm to this iconic predator.