Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

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State roundup: Thank Wis. organizations for taking lead in response to wolf plan

WISCONSIN HUNTERS AND TRAPPERS might want to take a minute to thank the Conservation Congress and Wisconsin Wildlife Federation (WWF) for taking the lead in reviewing and commenting on the DNR’s draft wolf management plan that is now out for public review and comment.

Both groups have filed objections to the plan; three by the congress and 32 by the WWF.

I would think most hunters and trappers would want to take time to comment on this draft plan. It’s an important document for hunters, trappers, livestock producers, and even pet owners.

As the document stands now, it appears as though wolf protectionist groups have convinced the DNR to open with what I’ll call a soft plan. I don’t think I’m overstating that position if the WWF came up with 32 objections.

The WWF’s decision to send a letter to the DNR outlining all of those objections was nearly unanimous. The only WWF Board of Director member to vote against doing so was Tom Hauge, former DNR Bureau of Wildlife director. Hauge is also a member of Wisconsin’s Green Fire. That group supports the DNR’s draft wolf plan.

The WWF’s Laurie Groskopf and Matt Lallemont did the heavy lifting by sifting through the draft wolf plan and developing the initial list of objections. The group then came to its final decision during a meeting Saturday, Dec. 10, in Wisconsin Rapids.

That was after WWF board members heard from the DNR’s large carnivore biologist, Randy Johnson, the night before. This is a big deal, folks. You can have a hand in what the final plan looks like. Please take the time to review the plan, the congress and WWF objections, and then file your comments by the Feb. 28 deadline.

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READERS WILL SEE A REFERENCE IN CUFFS AND COLLARS that DNR game wardens in the Shawano area were involved in the pursuit of three escaped emus during the gun-deer season.

Yes, that’s right, three emus. Well, one of those big birds helped Asher Torbeck, a Waunakee police sergeant and Appleton native, fill his buck tag while hunting on family land near Gillett. Torbeck was hunting in an area with a high fence deer farm behind him when he saw a large animal walking on two legs. When he got a better look, he recognized it as an emu and wondered why an emu would be walking under his stand.

The next day, the emu came back again and this time the big bird’s presence helped Torbeck anchor a six-point buck. As the buck approached, the emu stood up, causing the buck to stop in its tracks.

“They were just looking at each other like, what in the world are you?” Torbeck said.

After about a 10-minute stare down, the buck turned, giving Torbeck the shot he needed.

“I thought, ‘Who else can say they shot a buck while an emu was running a distraction for him,’ so I ended up shooting the buck and looked at the emu thinking the bang might scare it, but the emu is still standing there,” Torbeck said.

The three big birds had escaped from their owner, Summer Theys, 16, and their Cecil enclosure a few days before the gun deer season. Torbeck helped return “his” emu.

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