Sunday, February 5th, 2023
Sunday, February 5th, 2023

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Wisconsin Letters to the Editor

Commentaries and letters are the opinion of the writers; not necessarily that of Wisconsin Outdoor News.

Without population numbers, DNR missing boat on wolf plan

After reading the draft wolf plan, it doesn’t, in my opinion, address key issues. The zones remain huge, which does not allow a targeted management of problem areas. To deal with problem areas the zones should be no larger than county size, otherwise it doesn’t matter how many tags are issued. You aren’t directing harvest pressure to areas where it is needed.

The sub-zones around reservations are pointless. No one believes wolf packs reside full-time on a reservation. Do packs range through? Sure, but given the minimal deer herds on the reservations, no one believes wolf packs just stay on a reservation.

The lack of population numbers in the plan does nothing for confidence in the plan. The DNR uses numbers to manage fish, deer, grouse, woodcock, bear, otter and bobcat, so why would the agency not use numbers for wolves? Without numbers there can be no confidence in the plan.

Finally, to meet management goals it should be understood that the tribes do not want to participate in any harvest. Therefore, they should not hold any number of permits hostage. In doing so, the tribes are preventing proper and effective wolf management.

Duane Harpster Boulder Junction

Let’s not sell Ma Nature

I just opened the most recent issue of WON. I was not at all surprised by the Commentary on Page 3 regarding an $862 billion industry.

Gov. Tommy Thompson knew its value and, after recognizing the DNR as a valued “cash box,” he built his Natural Resources Board. Appointments to the board are made by the governor, with approval from the Senate, usually a biased group of the same political persuasion as the governor.

So, in essence, we’ve allowed the state to be controlled by the legislature, using the NRB as a cash register. Does anyone think this group of politically motivated spenders represents Mother Nature? We keep losing control of habitat and harvest quotas to a group of wingtip-wearing “outdoorsmen/women.”

The lower U.S. loses 6,000 acres per day to urban sprawl. Our legislature is counter-suing the replacement of the chair of the NRB while continuing to mismanage habitat and set seasons/harvests to increase the “cash box” size.

If Wisconsin would lose 6,000 acres a day, the state parks would be non-existent in approximately 90 days. Hunters, trappers, and fishermen must unite and gain two members to the NRB.

We are all part of killing Ma Nature for dollars. Put pressure on your representatives.

They understand money and the need for a job.

Phil Parsche Cedar Grove

Easy, set annual wolf quota at 1,000

The annual wolf quota for state-licensed hunters and trappers should be 1,000 to build the deer herd in northern Wisconsin.

Frank Briski Algoma

Ban deer baiting

Why does the white-tailed deer have to suffer the indignity of having to eat whole kernel corn from the ground?

Why is “deer corn” allowed to be sold in counties with a baiting and feeding ban brought on by CWD?

Why are mineral blocks allowed?

It’s time for a two-week rifle deer season north of Hwy. 64. We could hunt the rut with a rifle. The first week could be for muzzleloaders. This would help out small businesses.

Fishing season should start on a Thursday to create a fourday opener.

James Ashbeck New Auburn

Really? What could possibly go wrong?

Paul Wright, of Hudson, used the first 10 words of his letter to agree we need no more taxes, then the next 150 words to explain why we should love paying taxes.

In all of my years of hunting and fishing I’ve never met a man who is so keenly aware of what’s best for everyone. My reasoning is too ludicrous to even debate.

So, yes, Mr. Wright, I would ask why we have the Feds controlling Wisconsin sportsmen’s money. What could possibly go wrong?

Brad Habeck Schofield

DNR draft wolf plan just won’t work

My recent posting regarding the DNR draft wolf plan on Wisconsin Outdoor News Facebook page caught the attention of a few claiming to be educated in animal behavior. We got into a discussion on what I see as wolf impacts, environmental and social. The discussion revealed an interesting dichotomy or schism in how the two sides look at the wolf impact.

They listed the total estimated deer herd of the state (1.5 to 1.7 million in 2006). They cited the 2000 record harvest and how it has been maintained through 2022. They listed a county deer kill in wolf territory before wolves and after wolves (1975-85 compared to 2011-21). They mentioned the objectives for deer herds by county (to increase deer in 18 counties, decrease deer in 11 counties and maintain in 43 counties). Of the 18 counties with the DNR goal to increase the population, 16 occur in northern Wisconsin).

When the wolves exceeded the goal of 350, reductions in the deer herd were recorded in harvest records, impacts on elk calving/survival were documented, and increased depredation payouts provided evidence of a growing issue. To counter, they presented the deer damage payouts, car-deer collisions and deaths, and claim deer cause more damage than wolves.

When pressed what impact the wolf has, they stated they already had. I pushed further for a side-by-side comparison by year showing deer kill in the presence of wolves. I was informed they do not look at it this way.

Our disconnect became clear.

They look at it from a high level. The state has a thriving deer herd in the presence of wolves. I look at the trend in wolf impact on the state and what has occurred due to unchecked expansion and growth, especially eclipsing the 350 plan goal by three times.

As a person interested in a positive wolf introduction and remembering cautions from the initial studies of the 1995 plan (revised 1999), I can see a real disconnect. We know the deer herd is healthy in the agricultural regions of the state. We also know the preponderance of crop damage claims and deer car collisions occur in those areas, as well. Their “high level” view does not explain why we should stick to the current plan population goal of 350 wolves.

We must recognize that the wolf has reduced the deer herd in wolf areas below a sustainable carrying capacity.

When wolves eclipsed 350, depredation payouts, wolf adverse encounters, and wolf negative social interactions and destructive environmental impacts have moved beyond tolerable to inciting vigilante management and building extreme resentment against the wolf. These are indicators of trends in wolf development and it is nothing but a negative trajectory. This is not productive relative to wolf introductions. Excess wolf populations limit use of lands for recreation, reduce opportunities for hunting, increase costs to the state, and reduce opportunity for a deer hunt, one of the primary cash resources supporting the DNR.

Michael A Morack Waukesha

Don’t take neck shots on deer

I read two articles with references to shooting deer in the neck in a recent issue of the Wisconsin Outdoor News. If the shooter is a little off target and misses the spine, the animal will run off and die a long and horrible death. I once came across a deer that was near death from a severed windpipe due to a hunter’s bullet apparently inflicted several days before. I was glad I could end its suffering.

As a hunting guide told me years ago, “shoot ‘em where they are the thickest,” referring, of course to the heart/ lung area.

Dale Kluth Clintonville

Online Opinions

This issue’s question ————————————————— Are you going to file comments on the DNR’s draft wolf plan?

Yes                         No

Online results from last issue’s question ———————- Do you think the DNR’s wolf plan should set a numeric population goal?

Yes 82%                No 18%

Vote @ Discuss @

Attention Readers

Wisconsin Outdoor News invites letters from its readers. All letters must have the writer’s name, complete address and phone number. (Phone numbers and addresses will not be printed.) Letters should be under 250 words. Wisconsin Outdoor News reserves the right to edit. Address letters to:

Letters to the Editor, Wisconsin Outdoor News:

PO Box 2180, Woodruff, WI 54568.




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