At one time in Wisconsin, the timber wolf population was extremely dire, even being listed as an endangered species. By 2004 (although the timber wolf has faced problems for many years before 2004) it was put on the list of "protected wild animals." From 2004 until 2011, the timber wolf went on and off different endangered and protected animal lists. I want to make this clear - I'm not too opposed to hunting deer (not that I personally would do it.) Deer hunting is great for our state's economy and it brings in money we desperately need, since King Walker has no plans to raise taxes on the 1% or create jobs. But I think when it comes to animals that were once state and federally endangered, I can't believe hunting is even in the picture. And I'm not the only one who feels this way. The Humane Society of the United States and other animal groups are threatening legal action if these wolf hunts do not stop. Act 169, the law Walker signed legalizing the hunting of timber wolves, is the worst thing to happen to them since being endangered. If these hunts continue, no matter what DNR secretary and Walker sheep Cathy Stepp says, the wolf will go right back to where it started. Its numbers will dwindle until it's almost gone. There is an entire delicate ecosystem that gets disrupted when one animal dies out. A food chain wrecked. It reeks havoc on our earth.
Thankfully, Native American tribes here in the state helped keep 85 out of the designated-for-slaughter 116 wolves from being killed during this years hunt. As we saw with the whole mining fiasco, Scott Walker and his ilk are very disrespectful to the wishes of our states many tribes. Stepp essentially told the Chippewa tribe "too bad, so sad" when they argued that they have rights to many of the wolf packs in Northern Wisconsin. In fact, she has been fighting tribes every step of the way over this and other issues pertaining to hunting in the state. Here is her DNR all upset that the Chippewa were granted permission to hunt deer at night, regardless that the DNR has permitted legal wolf hunting at night to Wisconsin hunters.
But this is what I find most ironic about this entire thing. Act 169 also lays the groundwork for the use of dogs to track down wolves. Now, we're not talking about taking your dog pheasant or duck hunting. We're talking about ON PURPOSE using your dog to go find wolves. One of the main complaints against wolves is that they are attacking dogs. A small number of pets are killed each year by them. If the fear that wolves will eat your dog is so great that it requires slaughtering them, why are you using them to track and bait the wolves? Not to mention, that seems like animal cruelty to both the dog and the wolf. The law allows for up to 6 dogs per licensed hunter. Here's a tip - if you don't want wolves eating your dog, then don't use your dog to bait them. It's like waving a pork chop in their face and not expecting it to bite your hand.
The reality is is that wolves, bears, coyotes, hawks, fish, even the raccoon who eats your garbage, were all here first. We kicked them off their land. Because urban sprawl and climate change are growing at rates that seem to be faster than the speed of sound, animals are becoming more and more displaced. They are losing their natural homes in large numbers. We have no right to punish them for it. We need to learn to coexist now more than ever. If we're going to survive together, we need to learn respect our wild counterparts.
"The Earth does not belong to man; Man belongs to the Earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated…I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by people from the cruelty of human kind" -Mahatma Gandhi
"A good deed done to an animal is as meritorious as a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is a bad as an act of cruelty to a human being."
"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."
-Francis of Assisi