October 15th Starts a "Legal Wolf Hunt" in Wisconsin, Fast -tracked by Governor Walker and the Wisconsin DNR. that Includes Wolf vs Dog Fighting! The taxpayers of Wisconsin are already having to PAY FOR Dogs and other animals killed by wolves, but this is actually PUTTING DOGS AGAINST WOLVES, knowingly and willingly under LAW. Nothing less then State Dog-fighting. This needs to be BANNED or CHARGES NEED TO BE DRAWN AGAINST GOVERNOR WALKER AND THE WISCONSIN DNR for allowing this ANIMAL ABUSE TO GO - Forward! STOP THIS INSANITY OR FACE FEDERAL DOG FIGHTING CHARGES!
PAY THE TAXPAYERS BACK FOR THE COSTS OF KILLING DOGS ALREADY PINNED AGAINST WOLVES, THE WORLD IS WATCHING YOU WISCONSIN!
Wisconsin wolves cost taxpayers $1.5M in attacks
Wisconsin taxpayers have shelled out $1.5 million since 1985 to pay for damage inflicted by wolves on domestic animals in the state.
The payments came under a little-known program administered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that paid thousands for cattle, horses and pets that were eviscerated by the state’s growing wolf population.
What may come as a surprise is that taxpayers also paid $428,000 in reimbursements for hunting hounds devoured by wolves while tracking game like black bear and rabbits. The state paid $37,000 for 15 dogs killed last year, for instance.
That doesn’t sit well with a group of humane societies that want to shut down the state’s inaugural wolf hunt before it begins Oct. 15 because it allows hunters to use up to six dogs to track and trail wolves.
“We as taxpayers have been, and will be, on the hook for the human behavior of putting dogs in harm’s way in wolf territory,” said attorney Jodi Habush Sinykin, who is representing the group that filed the lawsuit in Dane County Court earlier this month.
As of June, the DNR had paid animal owners $214,794.16 this year for wolf kills, the most in state history, according to DNR records.
Last week, Habush Sinykin’s group filed supplemental information to make its case, including the number of wolf kills on dogs. Since 1985, 232 hunting hounds have been killed or injured by wolves, on top of 82 pet dogs who suffered gruesome encounters with their wild canine counterparts.
Funding for the reimbursement program will change with the controversial Act 169, which initiated this year’s hunt. Instead of taxpayer dollars, the money will come from application and license fees for the wolf hunt. As of Friday, the DNR already had received more than 11,000 applications at $10 each.
“This year the payments will also only be paid once per year, and will be prorated on the value of the loss and available funds,” said Bob Manwell, a DNR spokesman.
The funds previously came largely from general tax dollars, along with the optional endangered species check-off on tax returns and the wolf license plates issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles.
'Swift and furious'
The lawsuit hoping to end the hunt uses narratives of “swift and furious” wolf attacks on dogs that were hunting for other game.
That puts avid hunters like Andy Hemp, of Neillsville, in an ironic position. He has applied for a wolf permit and intends to use his hounds. But his story, and $5,000 reimbursement, is being used to argue against the hunt.
In 2008, he was hunting black bear near Round Lake in Sawyer County with his treeing hounds.
He remembers his dogs barking to indicate they had treed a bear right before they were attacked by wolves.
By the time Hemp made his way to the site — less than two minutes — two of his beloved hounds, Betty and Shelby, were dead.
Shocking photos and accounts by the DNR show the remains of the dogs: just heads, spinal columns and tails.
“It was like someone dumped a five-gallon bucket of blood on the ground,” Hemp said. “They had my dogs stripped right down to the backbone. There was no meat, no hide. It was like the perfect butcher had butchered an animal. The ribs were gone off the ribcage.
“I thought, ‘How could this happen so quickly?’”
Hemp stood over his dead dogs and protected the others in the party, but said he could hear the wolves circling him in the woods.
A DNR warden confirmed the wolf kill, and Hemp was paid $2,500 each — the maximum — for each of the dead hunting dogs. He defended the program as a price paid to hunters by non-hunters who enjoyed watching the wolf population rebound.
Unknown effect of hunt
Many hunters, like Hemp, think the hunt this year will reduce the number of wolf kills on dogs and other domestic animals. They say the wolves will learn to fear the dogs if they are used in the hunt
DNR Wildlife Damage Specialist Brad Koele said he expects attacks to go down with the hunt. The DNR also can issue permits to individual landowners to kill problem wolves.
He doesn’t anticipate problems with using dogs in the wolf hunt.
“It’s that hunter’s responsibility to take on that risk,” Koele said.
Koele pointed out the DNR will not reimburse hunters for hounds killed while wolf hunting, but critics say hunters will easily be able to claim they were hunting for another species, like coyote.
Wisconsin is poised to issue 2,010 permits this fall with a cap of 201 wolves harvested. Permit applications will be accepted until Aug. 31.
Neighboring Minnesota is home to more than 3,000 wolves, the largest population in the Lower 48. Minnesota also instituted a hunt this year, aiming to harvest 400 wolves.
They decided against using hounds, which aren’t allowed for bear, either, unlike in Wisconsin.
“There just isn’t the same hound hunting tradition in Minnesota, so it wasn’t as much of an issue,” said Chris Niskanen, spokesman for the Minnesota DNR.
Wisconsin will become the only state in the nation to allow the use of hunting hounds for wolves if the challenge fails.
The lawsuit will be heard Aug. 29 by a Dane County judge.
— Nick Penzenstadler: 920-996-7226, or email@example.com; on Twitter @npenzenstadler
A Dane County Court judge is still considering whether to approve the use of dogs in wolf hunting. An action to ban dogs in the hunt and training - - running off-leash to their deaths - - has been brought by humane societies.
Do hunters really love their dogs, or are they easily expendable?
Were last year's payouts to bear hunters who lost their dogs to wolves under a little-known DNR piggy bank opportunity payment enough?
Let's hope that this stupid sacrifice of dogs along with the added terror dogs bring to wolf packs and their young can be somewhat minimized
You can imagine my shock and disgust, as a Wisconsin resident, to learn that Wisconsin immediately enacted state legislation that allowed wolf hunting as soon as the federal government stripped them of Endangered Species Act protections. In fact, the federal government recommended a 5-year moratorium on commencing any hunt which was blithely disregarded by Wisconsin legislators, Gov. Scott Walker and the Department of Natural Resources.
Even worse, Gov. Walker signed Wisconsin Act 169, which allows the use of hounds to hunt wolves (only state to allow this). This will lead to horrific fights between these animals, making this a state of sanctioned dog fighting, which is currently a felony in Wisconsin.
The Wolf Advisory Committee, stacked with 7 pro-hunting representatives from groups such as The Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and the Wisconsin Bow Hunters Association, approved the taking of 32 percent of the current wolf population. When you include wolf mortality rates from other causes, Wisconsin might lose 50 percent of its wolves within one year!
So, strip the wolf of protections after spending years attempting to recover populations, spending millions of taxpayer dollars to bring them back from the brink of extinction and then allow them to be hunted by the states? Trapped? Poisoned? Hunted with dogs? For whose pleasure?