Politicians are spinning six percent increase in wolf population as all time high…

Is there such a thing as an honest politician?  If politicians & special interests get their way and delist the wolf, then they condemn them to be eradicated all over again.

Wolf recovery is a complex issue; a down right balancing act for the Wisconsin wolf. 

The wolf population grew by a mere six percent this year (from 866-956). Politicians are spinning that six percent as “wolf population at all time high” but let’s not hit the panic button already.

What’s at stake is a species at risk of extinction. The imperiled gray wolf has recovered to less than two percent of its original range in the lower 48 states.

What’s the cause? 

Wolves have been driven to extinction ever since men began developing expensive cattle breeds. We are looking towards Big Ag as the primary cause of wolf hatred. They’ll fuel the fire and throw the cash on it.  If we let them. 

It’s all carefully crafted propaganda to make the wolf look bad.

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.  Read more Click here

Have you written your letter to the editor yet?  Take action for wolves. 

Opinion editorial: Numbers don’t add up in wolf-hound debate

By Adrian Wydeven 

As often is the case with ecological issues, simple answers or solutions are often inadequate or incorrect. 
Everyone likes a good mystery, especially one where an unlikely candidate is revealed as the culprit. This “Ah ha!” moment is a staple of the genre and most of us can remember the satisfaction of discovering the one responsible. Sherlock Holmes, Colombo and Nancy Drew were the masters of the reveal.
Such a mystery may be playing out in Wisconsin right now with record high numbers of wolf depredations on hunting hounds. The initial suspect: record high wolf numbers. The initial conclusion: Increased advocacy for a hunting season on wolves believing that fewer wolves would mean fewer hounds being attacked by wolves.
However, just like the classic mysteries, there is more to this story.
No one disputes that the summer and early fall of 2016 saw record depredations by wolves on hounds in Wisconsin. A total of 37 hounds have been killed since July 1 — the beginning of the bear training period and hunting season. Plus, three other hounds were killed earlier in the year, for a total of 40 hounds killed in 2016.
Some people attribute the high number of hounds killed to the current record high population of wolves (866 wolves in late winter 2016) and the lack of wolf hunting season over the last two years. Seems like a logical conclusion, but things are often not as simple as they first appear.
Do wolf numbers correlate with wolves killing hounds? The evidence suggests this might not necessarily be the case. In 2012, only seven dogs were killed and yet there were nearly as many wolves in 2012 as there were in 2016 (815 wolves in late winter 2012).
In other words, the wolf populations in 2012 and 2016 were similar, yet these two years represent the highest and the lowest numbers of hounds killed by wolves in the last 13 years. Obviously, there is more to this story than just more wolves killing more hounds.
What else influences the interactions between wolves and hound dogs? Bear hunting culture and policy are two other important factors that could influence the number of hounds killed by wolves.
Could a change in bear hunting policy be a factor? Wisconsin is a major destination for bear hunting and training — with some of the highest bear densities and bear harvest success rates in the nation.

Prior to July 2015, people putting out bait and handling hounds used to train on bears were required to buy a Class B Bear Permit. The permit cost residents $14 and nonresidents $110. The permit and fees were eliminated in 2015 and now anyone can freely bait for bears, and train their dogs on bears. This may have increased baiting and training of dogs on bears in Wisconsin, putting more bear hunters and hounds in the hunt, especially from out-of-state residents with the license fee no longer a barrier.
Sometimes changes in regulations cause unintended consequences. The elimination of the Class B Bear Permit, which has led to more hunters baiting and training hounds on the landscape, plus the extensive baiting period in Wisconsin — about 145 days in Wisconsin vs. a maximum of 31 days in other states — may explain the recent spike in wolf kill on hounds.
I cannot state that the removal of Class B licenses is the only reason wolves are killing more hounds. More sleuthing may be required. Yet as often is the case with ecological issues, simple answers or solutions are often inadequate or incorrect.
The “Ah-ha!” moment may be more elusive in cases involving complex interactions between social and ecological factors. In the case of hounds and wolves, the initial culprit — the record high wolf population or lack of wolf hunting season — do not adequately explain the record numbers of wolf attacks on hounds. Like any good detective, it is important to look closely at all of the potential culprits before drawing conclusions.
Adrian Wydeven is a former wolf biologist at the Department of Natural Resources and the coordinator of the Timber Wolf Alliance at Northland College.



Featured image: John E Marriott

WPR Joy Cardin Show – Big Question: Who Should Control Wisconsin’s Wolf Population?

Aired September 14, 2016 Listen to Joy Cardin Show on Wisconsin Public Radio  Click HERE to listen to the broadcast- Supporters of a gray wolf hunt in Wisconsin will meet Thursday to discuss the animal’s increasing presence in the state and an uptick in the number of attacks on livestock, hunting dogs and pets. Our guests weigh in on this week’s Big Question: Should Wisconsin’s wolf population be managed by the state or remain federally protected as an endangered species? Guests are: Adrian Wydeven and Adrian Treves. 


The following is my comment and the host used part of (in bold) it at the end of the show:

If the state of Wisconsin could be trusted to manage a endangered species then state management would be ideal. But Wisconsin legislature made it an emergency law, Act 169 in 2011, that when the wolf isn’t on the endangered species list it will be hunted. Hunted with the barbaric method of using the wolf’s relative, the dog to track and trail the wolf. Wisconsin being the only state that allows the use of dogs to hunt wolves, quite literally throws dogs to wolves. This type of aggressive hunt on wolves right off the ESL is in no way healthy wolf management. It’s not managing an endangered species for its health, instead it caters to special interest groups with proven track records of hatred towards the wolf. I was at the Wisconsin DNR wolf advisory committee meetings and witnessed the anti-wolf sentiment first hand. When changing wolf management zone borders, Adrian Wydeven pointed out specific areas in Bayfield county that had a high rate of depredations and should hold a special hunt in there, the response was this: that hunters won’t go for that. And then another committee member stated in a question; isn’t that why we hold a hunt to manage problem wolves? The committee room burst into laughter, I kid you not. 

The only way to hold the state accountable for handling wolf management is to take it out of the hands of politics, put in back into the hands of science not politics that can change according to party lines, at the party in power. DNR secretary must be an elected position, by the people. Our state wolf management must be based on science not political rhetoric.  

In its current state wolves are protected, but certainly Not safe if these political clowns with failed conservation scores, like Jarchow & Tiffany get their way. I’ve worked on WI wolf recovery since 1999 as one of Adrian Wydeven’s WI DNR wolf trackers. Let’s get back on track managing the wolf for the health of the species, health of the land and learn how to live with wolves. There’s no big bad wolf here. Rachel Tilseth – Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin 


Featured image John E Marriott