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BLACK RIVER FALLS — A state plan to hunt wolves is being met by resistance by some western Wisconsin residents who say killing more than half of the state’s wild wolves goes too far.

Others say it’s not far enough.

Wisconsin’s first wolf hunt begins Oct. 15.

There are 812 documented wolves in Wisconsin, with established packs in Monroe, Juneau and Jackson counties, area considered part of the wolf’s primary range.

The state has a long-range goal to trim the population to 350.

John Kraemer of Chippewa Falls says the quota is too high.

He and about 60 others attended a meeting Friday in Black River Falls, where officials from the Department of Natural Resources presented their plan to cull the wolf population.

Kraemer said killing that many would have a negative impact on wolf genetics.

“Are they out just to get rid of them just like in times past?” Kraemer said. “It seems kind of crazy to me.”

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill April 2 authorizing the wolf hunt. Wolves were considered extinct in Wisconsin from 1960-75 before returning on their own from Minnesota.

“They naturally moved back into the state,” DNR wolf specialist Adrian Wydeven said. “They were not reintroduced into Wisconsin. They got here on their own.”

The DNR estimated the state’s wolf population at 25 in 1980, and it has continued to increase since, to the point the animal is no longer considered endangered.

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Now, wildlife experts are concerned the population has grown too large. Reports of wolves preying on livestock have increased, and there are concerns the animals are outgrowing their habitat.

Under the bill, livestock depredation claims are to be paid from hunter license revenue.

Livestock owner Werner Haas of Hixton questioned the changes in depredation claims.

If the revenue is insufficient, the payments are pro-rated. The DNR has paid $1.4 million in depredation claims for livestock and pets since 1985.

“Do you know what a beef cow costs?” Haas said. “If you want to keep the timberwolf in Wisconsin, you had better treat the cattle producer decent.”

Jim Johnson of Hixton challenged the idea of the wolf as a benign animal. He said they have a negative impact on the deer population and threaten human beings.

“These things are actually vicious, vicious animals,” Johnson said. “Right now they have no fear of humans.”

The hunting bill sets the license fee at $100 for a resident and $500 for a non-resident. The application fee is $10.

The season runs from Oct. 15-Feb. 28, and DNR officials anticipate a harvest of 142-233 animals.

DNR biologist Bill Vander Zouwen said it’s difficult to predict the hunter success rate or how long it will take to get the population down to 350.

“We really don’t know what it’s going to be,” he said. “We’ll know next year.”

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(17) comments

drwho

No salad for you, Abe. Chew on a bone.

HonestAbe

I prefer boneless ribeye ;)

Dagda

2hoots, it's just like a conservative to make excuses and to abandon principles (e.g., personal responsibility) when it's inconvenient.

Mathis

Aww... this sucks... stupid walker

2Hoots

To those that don't want wolf hunting: buy all the licenses you can, put in for all the permits available. Buy whatever is available. That would do two things: 1) keep the hunters from getting as many kill tags; and 2) you would be finally contributing financially to the control of wild animals in Wisconsin.

Anti-hunters can scream all they want about the misguided reasons they have for not hunting, now they can soak up all of the licenses and just not go hunting. Duh!

Dagda: you might wanna get a license too. Can I also recommend spending a night on a farm to see what the cattle are doing all night long? Blaming farmers for their losses to wild critters as 'inattentive'? Dumb A**!

Dagda

So, the politically correct position is to absolve the farmer from ANY responsibility from securing their own herd? Yep, lets pay them for their irresponsibility and their inattentiveness. I hope you don't call yourself a conservative, because you make for a pisspoor one.

Dagda

'Do you know what a beef cow costs?' Hass said. Depredation by wolves is the cost of doing business. Spend more time with your cows if you don't want to lose them I wolves... Or lightning, drowning, fence wounds, and the myriad other causes of mortality. I have no sympathy, nor do I support subsidizing a farmer for his inattention.

Mr BlueCollar

There had to be at least one fruit cake here. Spend more time with your livestock? That livestock is for your benefit looney, so you can fill you body with enough energy to keep spewing your stupid comments.

drwho

go vegetarian. won't have to worry about wolves, Mr. BC.

HonestAbe

Deer are vegetarian, humans are carnivores. Vegan-ism by humans is a hobby ... guess they don't know how to have a moderate, healthy diet.

Vegetarianism, welcome to the world of popping supplements (because it's not healthy). Anemic ? At least you didn't hurt a cow.

LOL

drwho

Re Abe below: Humans are omnivores, not carnivores. And properly managed, a vegetarian diet is perfectly healthy. No supplements needed. Furthermore it's a lot more efficient and humane than pumping nutrients through animals then killing them for food.

HonestAbe

drwho ... Definition ; A carnivore meaning 'meat eater'.

An omnivore is a kind of animal that eats either other animals or plants.

So, in summary, we are carnivores, as we are meat eaters.

Dagda

'there are concerns the animal is outgrowing its habitat'
This will always be the case as long as the human population appropriates nature for its uses.

drwho

Gee Abe, those wolves you describe sound an awful lot like---humans!

got2hunt

There are many flaws with the law. One being with the preference system for furure years. It should be the same as it is for bear hunting. You buy a preference point until you get drawn.

huntsgeeze

awwww to shoot those cute sweet puppy looking cainines? I would use an 30:06 maybe a 243 or might use the 270. the lic fee is to high should be 25 bucks. 2- for 50 3 for 75 and 4 for 100
1 wolf is way tomany wolfs. they serve no purpose at least a mosquito is food for bats.

HonestAbe

The ones that are fighting the hunt, are you willing to pay for the damage they do?

If not, then you don't have a leg to stand on and something needs to be done. There used to be a bounty on them for a reason!

Indian art, movies, cartoons, have all softened the look of the wolf as a cute cuddly majestic creature. In reality, they scare, kill, hunt, track and stalk and they don't know wild game apart from kids, pets and other possible meals/victims.

It will only get worse if not put in check. Pay up or shut up.

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