May 10, 2011

Wolf hunting in Wisconsin.

"I would say that, absolutely, people want a hunt... I don't mind when there are a few wolves, but I talk to a lot of people around here and they're pretty much upset with the number of wolves we have here."

49 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

I am not into wolf hunting, but ironically it might be good for the wolves in the long run. A heathy fear of humans will decrease livestock attacks. And if rural counties benefit from wolves being around (by hunters coming in and spending money)--you have more incentive for more wolves in areas where they currently are not.

Rural land owners fear wolves because they worry they will be a financial burden. If they turn out to be a financial benefit, and they know they can defend their livestock, their will be less opposition. Yellowstone has showed wolves can be an economic plus.

Plus, it is very hard to hunt wolves without dogs or a helicopter, and I am pretty sure Wisconsin is not proposing that. Like having an open cougar season (with no dog tracking) you will find not very many cougars get actually shot each year.

phx said...

I don't begrudge Field and Stream-type hunting to anyone, and yet.

What I don't like (or at least don't understand) is the hunter who gets an unexamined thrill for killing something defenseless, for the sake of killing something.

I don't want to be self-righteous about this, I kill more animals through my diet than any hunter in America probably does, and I know a lot of hunters that seem to fit that mold and they're okay guys with me.

But indulging in the act of killing for fun is something that's hard for me to understand.

Trooper York said...

To you have to buy wolf tickets to be able to hunt the little beasties?

Scott M said...

@phx

I can't think of one hunter, and I know a lot, that believe the actual act of killing is the most enjoyable part. There is pride in the the ability to make a difficult shot work, but that's different than bloodlust for the sake of bloodlust.

It's similar to fishing (which I don't particularly enjoy but know tons that do). The killing of the fish is the least of it. The equipment, craft, and skill involved up to, including, and after are the real enjoyment.

MarkG said...

Unfortunately I think wolf-hunting is necessary. The best thing for the species is to keep them frightened of us.

The guys who will take up wolf hunting are going to be the most boorish, white-trash fat fucks out there, however. Same with bear hunters and cougar hunters.

edutcher said...

What Fred said; thinning out the herd is usually to the good.

Wolves were hunted a hundred years ago for the same reasons proposed now.

phx said...

ScottM: I believe and accept that. Even so, as you say the hunters don't believe the "actual act of killing is the most enjoyable part." Killing is obviously a part of the pleasure nevertheless.

My problem again is that I don't understand that many people find killing a defenseless animal at all pleasurable.

Fred4Pres said...

phx--that is because you never did it. It is okay not to want to do it, but legitimate hunting is not going to some game farm and shooting some animal in a paddock. Unexamined killing? While I have not hunted in a while, I have hunted. While it often results in an animal being killed, it is not a blood sport as you might imagine. The dynamics of hunting are far more subtle and rich than you might ever understand.

As for unexamined killing, contemplate the horror that chicken on your plate went through.

If you are into wild life, you have to recognize that we are part of the environment too. And the best way to maintain big predator species such as wolves, cougars, and brown and black bears is to allow land owners in their range to manage and benefit from their presence.

Scott M said...

Killing is obviously a part of the pleasure nevertheless.

I don't enjoy cleaning up after sex at all. Does that make it part of the pleasure?

phx said...

ScottM: Okay, so your take is that the killing part is NOT part of the pleasure. Just to understand what you are saying/arguing.

MarkG said...

Aldo Leopold shot a wolf once. Sad story.

traditionalguy said...

Wolves are still worthless, murdering, bloody savages. Not that there is anything wrong with that, if we really are dedicated to restoring nature to its pure state before man was living here. Of course that fantasy world also means our suicide.

Scott M said...

Okay, so your take is that the killing part is NOT part of the pleasure.

My experience with hunters and hunting myself is that the planning, the gear, the skill are the fun/pleasurable parts. While nobody I know is squeamish about blood and such, I don't know anyone that revels in it.

That being said, I'll never understand typical deer hunters. I have never had any desire to sit and wait when hunting. Hunting is an up-n-at-em activity.

Fred4Pres said...

MarkG, while some hunters fit your description, those are the guys least likely to get a deer, let alone a wolf or cougar.

I have been going in cougar habitat for years (and I am pretty good at spotting wildlife) and have seen one. I know they are around, they are just amazing at not being seen. You can hear wolves, but they are pretty good at not being seen too.

I want to see more wolves, bears and cougars in this country, but the best way for that to happen is to not try to impose them on land owners who will have to live with them.

MarkG said...

Bears and cougars are hunted with dogs and radios. The dogs chase down and tree the animal. The "hunter" then drives his ATV as close to the tree as his can. Then he waddles the rest of the way and shoots the animal out of the tree.

I don't know how wolf hunting will be done. It won't be something that requires physical exertion on the part of the hunter, however. You can bet on that.

chuckR said...

Overpopulation through special treatment doesn't do animals any good. I could only wish the local deer population (60+ per sq mi) had a healthy fear of humans. Instead, they are like herds of furry locusts. Its amazing what they will eat in winter, in extremis. Still not gonna request that WI send us some predators, though.
There are very few places to hunt due to proximity to houses, plus there is an active Bambi lovers contingent and you can't even legally have a slingshot to annoy the bleepers. For a while I had hopes a bow hunter would put the fear of G-d in some survivors, but then my daughter stopped dating him. Bah.

Fred4Pres said...

Trooper, you know fish and wild will never pass up an opportunity to get some more funding!

Which is something MarkG might note, hunters pay for wildlife and have a political stake in its management.

MarkG said...

Now that I think of it, I bet wolf hunting will include chasing down a wolf on a frozen lake using a snowmobile.

Steve Koch said...

What is amazing is that it takes several years for the state scientists to set up the hunt. The goal was to have 350 wolves in Wisconsin, the current population of wolves in Wisconsin is 800. Why not immediately sell 100 permits for the counties where wolves are the biggest problem? That will bring the population down to 700 wolves, which is still twice as big as the original target population.

BTW, there are now rifle tasers (it is actually loaded into a shotgun shell and fired from a shotgun). IIRC, the range is 100 yards. There should be no limit on tasering or pepper spraying wolves that go onto farmland or suburbs. It is essential to instill the fear of man into wolves and bears.

phx said...

ScottM: If you won't come out and say "The killing part is fun" then it seems to me you are just sweeping it under the rug. Unless you really believe the killing part is not at all fun or pleasurable.


That's what I meant by "unexamined thrill" (probably should have said "unexamined pleasure").

Titus said...

Being from Wisconsin I went hunting and fishing with my father all the time.

Squirrel, rabbit, deer, black bear, partridge, pheasant, duck, geese, turkey, etc.

I never shot anything though but that was because I had a horrible aim.

Do you know you can hunt doves in Wisconsin? That just sounds harsh.

Scott M said...

ScottM: If you won't come out and say "The killing part is fun"

I'm pretty sure that's exactly what I'm saying. If you need it spelled out for closure, though, the killing is not part of the fun/pleasure/etc. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it's nonetheless true.

PatCA said...

"It is essential to instill the fear of man into wolves and bears."

And coyotes, Steve. In CA they waltz onto lawns in midday. This "defenseless" animal idea is so pervasive that people are accused of cruelty when shooting a mountain lion invading their back yard.

I asked a local game official why a coyote has a right to free rein in our neighborhood but our cat doesn't. No answer. The animal supremacy movement will not admit that herds have been restored and pose a danger at this point.

Beep said...

Because you own your cat.

Fred4Pres said...

MarkG, bear and cougar hunting with dogs has been greatly reduced over the years. The trend is definitely against that.

It is illegal in Oregon, and California (except for fish and wildlife which does it to then shoot cougars with tranquilizers for research or to kill problem cats). You can still do it in Idaho, Montana and to a limited extent in Washington. There is a strong push in Oregon to reverse the dog ban given increased problems with cougars in that state.

Hey, treeing a cougar and shooting it is not my idea of sport (especially when all the work is done by the guide and his dogs). But to the extent it is happening, those people pay a lot of money into local economies which makes keeping cougars around worth it.

Fred4Pres said...

MarkG said...
Now that I think of it, I bet wolf hunting will include chasing down a wolf on a frozen lake using a snowmobile.

5/10/11 10:37 AM



Chasing down wolves with snowmobiles? I find that reprehensible.

Now chasing down hippies with snowmobiles? Count me in!

Penny said...

This might have been overheard at a local watering hole on a Friday or Saturday night.

"I would say that, absolutely, people want a hunt," said Arnold Popp, a hunter who lives near Mercer on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage. "I don't mind when there are a few wolves, but I talk to a lot of people around here and they're pretty much upset with the number of wolves we have here."

MarkG said...

I asked a local game official why a coyote has a right to free rein in our neighborhood but our cat doesn't.

One is wild and one is domestic.

Triangle Man said...

What is amazing is that it takes several years for the state scientists to set up the hunt. The goal was to have 350 wolves in Wisconsin, the current population of wolves in Wisconsin is 800. Why not immediately sell 100 permits for the counties where wolves are the biggest problem? That will bring the population down to 700 wolves, which is still twice as big as the original target population.

The 350 number was a target for growth when the wolf was endangered that represents an estimate for a minimally sustaining population. The article points out that the "carrying capacity" is not clear yet, but might be a number around 700 - 800 which would lead to a sustainable hunt of 30 - 60 wolves.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My experience with hunters and hunting myself is that the planning, the gear, the skill are the fun/pleasurable parts. While nobody I know is squeamish about blood and such, I don't know anyone that revels in it.

This is what most hunting and fishing enthusiasts enjoy. The process. It isn't about slaughter. It is HUNTING and skill.

If phx doesn't participate, that is OK. It isn't for everyone.

Personally, I wouldn't go hunting for something that I wasn't going to eat, with the exception of ground squirrels who deserve to die. (kidding....sort of)

However, when the numbers of predators becomes unbalanced and they are no longer afraid of people, you get situations like in the previous thread about the boy and the bear.

That being said, I'll never understand typical deer hunters. I have never had any desire to sit and wait when hunting. Hunting is an up-n-at-em activity.

Deer hunting must be much different in the Midwest than where I have been hunting in the West. You have to walk (quietly) for miles and miles over rugged terrain. Often your shot will be over a very long distance. I don't know anyone who uses a tree stand and sits on their butt waiting for the deer to come tripping lightly by.

I haven't been actively hunting in over 10 years (camping yes..hunting no), but when I did this is where we went.

rdkraus said...

The first rule of wolf hunting is: we don't talk about wolf hunting.

Really.

The US has "rules" about hunting wolves. The ranchers, farmers, and residents who have to "live with" wolves have different rules. They're not going to talk to you about those rules.

WineSlob said...

Killing's Fulfilling and Thrilling
To Those Shilling for Sitting-Duck Killing
They Claim It's the Hunt
But Let's Be Brutally Blunt
Nonessential Killing is Bloody Well Chilling.

Calypso Facto said...

I bet the 800 estimate is low. I and others I know see wolves crossing the northern and mid-state highways often now. And upstate deer numbers are way down. Probably time for some hunting permits.

MarkG said: "Now that I think of it, I bet wolf hunting will include chasing down a wolf on a frozen lake using a snowmobile."
Somehow I doubt it, but thanks for getting my hopes up!

PatCA said...

So what if a cat or dog is "domestic" or is taken care of by a human? Wild animals rely on humans for food as well.

MarkG said...

Perhaps the best way to deal with wolves is to lessen restrictions for farmers and ranchers to shoot wolves on their property.

However, there's probably a group of people in the Wisconsin DNR whose jobs rely on having sport hunters to "manage." And tourist dollars, yada yada, yada...

MarkG said...

So what if a cat or dog is "domestic" or is taken care of by a human? Wild animals rely on humans for food as well.

Picture a deer coming in to feed in your back yard. Cute. Now picture your neighbor's cows doing the same thing. Just as cute?

ken in sc said...

When the animal supremacy people say that cougars, bears, or wolves are no real danger to humans, what they mean is they can't kill enough of us to put a dent in our population. Greens always think in terms of populations, not individuals. They are collectivists.

BTW, I think both hunting and fishing are good excuses to get out of the house, smoke cigars, play cards, and drink more than your wife will normally put up with. NTTAWWT.

Calypso Facto said...

And where are the Forest Service warnings? This unmanaged population is a $2 million windfall waiting to happen for some enterprising parents camping with a small child for bait.

Fred4Pres said...

Sometimes hippie cross country skiers try to use snowmobile trails.

Nothing like gunning past them and then rooster tailing them. Just be ready if they try to jab you with their poles.

Not that I have ever done that.

Fred4Pres said...

Calypso Facto said...
And where are the Forest Service warnings? This unmanaged population is a $2 million windfall waiting to happen for some enterprising parents camping with a small child for bait.

5/10/11 11:32 AM



Before you know it people will be having kids just to leave them around where problem bears and cougars are. Ka-ching Ka-ching!

Charles said...

Shoot, Shovel, Shut-up...

Fred4Pres said...

And for suburban deer going for your flowers, an excellent way to get them to move on (other than tryng repelants, sprinklers, etcl) is a decent bb gun. It does not break the skin (like an airrifle will) but they definitely stop hanging out so much after that. You need to get them at night too, or they quickly just change their schedule.

A bow and arrow works too, but with a blunt arrow that does not penetrate.

johnvert said...

Wisconsin now has more wolves than many western states. The unmanaged population will result in problems, it's just a matter of time.

chuckR said...

Fred4Pres

You can be all proprietary about your snowmobile trails as long as they didn't involve diverted highway funds.

And in your later comment - what good is a blunt arrow against deer - it won't lead to a nice venison stew.

mariner said...

phx,
Killing is obviously a part of the pleasure nevertheless.

You've never hunted, but you're SURE you know this.

Right.

David said...

Who set a "goal" of 350 wolves? On what basis? Did it make any sense?

And why is 850 wolves too many? Is there a problem with the number of wolves? What is that problem? is it real or is someone making it up?

In most (all?) of the west, ranchers are compensated the full value of livestock killed by wolves.Why won't that work in Wisconsin?

The huge overpopulation of deer is destroying the Wisconsin hardwood forest. Humans can't kill deer fast enough. They graze the slow growing hardwoods and softwoods abound. Would more wolves help to fix this problem?

There are a lot of eagles around these days. Too many, I think. Let's shoot some.

What happened to the usual skepticism of Althouse commentors? Some "expert" says we have too many wolves. Yeah, say the former skeptics. Too many wolves. Let's shoot some.

What we need is a longer open season on experts.

Freder Frederson said...

And upstate deer numbers are way down. Probably time for some hunting permits.

Gee, doesn't this show that wolves are a good thing? It is widely recognized that deer populations are out of control. Wolves are very good at controlling deer populations.

One of the reasons people, especially hunters, hate wolves so much, is that they kill the slow, stupid deer very quickly. Hunters have a much harder time finding deer when wolves are around.

As for wolf attacks on humans, please provide documentation. Even the incidence of other predator attacks on humans (e.g. bear, cougar) is insignificant compared to the other risks of being in the back country. You are more likely to be struck by lightning or hurt in a fall than even see a bear or cougar, let alone attacked by one.

Michael said...

Wolves should be captured and then taken to Madison and released. The clinger farmers and ranchers and country people,hillbillies to liberals, cannot properly deal with the wild things of nature. The wolves will be at home in Madison and the good citizens will prove their love of nature and their profound understanding of how things work.

Michael said...

Wolves should be captured and then taken to Madison and released. The clinger farmers and ranchers and country people,hillbillies to liberals, cannot properly deal with the wild things of nature. The wolves will be at home in Madison and the good citizens will prove their love of nature and their profound understanding of how things work.