Please follow: 
Wolves of Douglas Co @rachelwt72
Dedicated wolf advocacy, education, and methods of coexisting with wolves 
Western Wisconsin

"Wolf hounding is barbaric, in-humane and archaic and has no place in a civilized society." Rachel Tilseth 

We can take action to help our Wolves in Wisconsin. Please contact The Wisconsin Department of Tourism:

Voice your concerns on hounding wolves and wildlife, tell them that not only is the practice of wolf hounding barbaric, but that wolves are essential to Wisconsin's wild areas. Tell them that you want wolves kept wild and free and ask your followers and friend to do the same. 

Thank you to Rachel with Wolves of Douglas County.


 Please sign all ban trapping petitions below these news articles. 
Let's put an end to this antiquated and barbaric practice. 
Time to join the 21st Century and walk away from the cruelest hunting practice known.

Earth Journal
By Ron Meador  01/31/14

There is no clear scientific evidence connecting wolf hunting to reduced livestock losses due to depredation.

Photo credit: gray wolf CC/Flickr/Derek Bakken
This week's legislative hearing on wolf management by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources roamed all over the landscape, topically and philosophically, but for me the most interesting portions centered on "depredation conflicts."

That's a wildlife manager's term for losses of livestock and pets, and you will recall that reducing those losses has been a significant rationale for the sport trapping and hunting seasons inaugurated in the fall of 2012.

But are the seasons working? In a solid three hours of testimony, I didn't hear a single indication that the killing of 562 wolves by sportsmen, and another 430 by government agents and landowners, and who knows how many by poachers, is having an effect at all. Or ever will.

Whether Tuesday's testimony before the House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources will have any effect on state policy is equally dubious; it was an "informational hearing" only, and no legislation to change course is under consideration. An effort last year to suspend the hunt for rethinking went nowhere.

Dan Stark, the large-carnivore specialist who heads the wolf program at DNR, was the department's main presenter. He told the panel that, in fact, the incidence of verified wolf depredation in 2013 was significantly lower than in 2012.  But it was probably just the weather:

One explanation could be that we had an extended winter last year. There is some correlation between winter severity and depredation conflicts, so when we have a severe winter, typically the following summer we see fewer conflicts; when we have a mild winter, we typically see higher depredation conflicts.

Here's the statistical breakdown for both years:

In 2012, which marked not only the beginning of the hunt but also the transfer of intensive government trapping for depredation control from federal authority to the DNR, 122 complaints of wolves killing livestock or pets were verified and 295 wolves were killed in response.

Of these, 262 were trapped by the DNR; 17 were trapped, and 16 shot, by landowners empowered to kill wolves on the basis of losses within the past five years.

In 2013, only 70 complaints were verified and 135 wolves killed.

Of these, 110 were trapped by the DNR; 4 more were trapped and 8 shot by landowners under the five-year rule; another 130 were killed by state-employed trappers in a new program begun last year.
For comparison purposes, sport trappers and hunters reported taking 413 wolves in 2012 and 149 in 2013, somewhat more than the DNR's targets of 400 and 132.

The 2012 tally of wolves killed over depredation, Stark said, was the highest in state history. But for 2013, "this level of depredation conflicts and wolves trapped has probably not been observed since the early 1990s."

Those characterizations drew a pointed rebuttal, after the hearing, from Maureen Hackett, founder of Howling for Wolves.

She provided me with U.S. Department of Agriculture data from the period 1996 through 2011, when the feds were in charge, and the data do show that in six of those 16 years, the numbers of wolves killed for depredation control were smaller than the 135 Stark had cited as a low-water mark in 2013. All six were in the current millennium.

However, the figure of 70 verified depredation complaints for 2013 —65 livestock, mostly calves, and 5 pets —does seem to represent at least a near-record low. Only once from 1996 through 2011 did USDA record a lower total; and the annual average in this period was about 50 percent higher, by my calculation, at 107.

At this point you may be thinking: Huh—70 animals lost in a year (or 107, take your pick), and this is a big honking problem?

Precisely that point was highlighted by Howard Goldman, senior state director in Minnesota for the Animal Humane Society of the U.S. He pointed out that there are 165,000 calves in Minnesota's wolf range, which maybe kinda dwarfs a loss of 65 to depredation.

Graphic credit: wolf range
Minnesota DNR

Dan Stark, the DNR manager in charge of the wolf program, said the territory in which wolves are being detected has expanded very little in recent years, and the "occupied range" — in which wolves are routinely present — is smaller still.
Turning again to my trusty calculator, I find that if Goldman's calf count is correct, the casualties reported by Stark represent a loss rate of .00039 percent.

Goldman's testimony prompted a sharp rejoinder from Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, who used to be a DNR conservation officer and investigated complaints about depredating wolves. He said it was "bogus" to rely on the figure of 65 livestock kills because the real losses could be three or four times higher than what investigators can verify.

Which, if true, could mean a loss rate as high as .00157 percent.

The USDA figures supplied by Hackett show that, typically, half to two-thirds of reported depredation kills are verified.

Responding to friendly questions from Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar, Stark said that the DNR spent $250,000 on depredation control in 2012, nearly all of it for the trapping.

He also noted that this amount doesn't include compensation payments for confirmed livestock losses. That's a program in the state Agriculture Department, and in 2012 it paid out $119,659 on 81 complaints. In fiscal year 2013, the payout was $113,714 on 94 complaints.

Asked by Rep. Jason Isaacson, DFL-Shoreview, if the department was putting any effort into "nonlethal control" — better livestock protections and wolf-deterrent methods that have been shown to work in some situations — Stark said the department is working on a brochure.

Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, was curious about how much effort has been required of the DNR to address wolf poaching — which I suppose could be considered a form of reverse depredation by humans.

His question brought the DNR's enforcement chief, Maj. Phil Meier, to the microphone, who said there were six cases in 2012, zero in 2013. Titters from the audience ensued.
Meier was unable to say how the cases were prosecuted or what the penalties were. Hansen observed that with the beginning of sport seasons, the Legislature had lowered the restitution value of poached wolves from $2,000 to $500.

Because non-DNR speakers were held (rigorously) to three-minute time limits on their remarks — just what you want in an informational session — some of the most interesting testimony was cut off just as it was getting started.

For example, there was Adrian Treves of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, a Ph.D. ecologist whose focus is on predator-prey ecology and wolves in particular, and who has been watching closely the resumption of sport trapping and hunting in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

He and colleagues have developed methods of predicting with 91 percent accuracy where depredations will occur, he said, and half of them occur on just 7 percent of the land in Wisconsin. This predictive power has led him to advocate, "as a scientist, for a scientifically designed hunt in Wisconsin which would target specifically livestock depredators."

Treves was just getting going when his time ran out, but he was called back toward the end of the hearing and asked for his opinion about how sport trapping and hunting affect depredation. His answer was worth the wait:

"We do not have any experimental studies of that question ... So the strict scientific answer is, We don't know."

It's not even clear, he said, that "lethal control" programs of intensive trapping in areas of high livestock losses, of the type federal agencies and now the DNR have relied upon in Minnesota, are very effective in reducing depredation.
The best study to date of correlations between federal trapping programs and depredation rates was led by the DNR's Elizabeth Harper, he said, but "it doesn't have very strong conclusive results."

"There are a lot of opinions out there," he said. "But we just don't know."

This is perhaps the point that matters most to Hackett and others who are urging the DNR to consider undertaking efforts to promote nonlethal controls.

"We know a lot about how to kill wolves," she told me. "The question is whether we can ever learn to live with them."

The video of Tuesday's hearing is available here, with the wolf section beginning just after the one-hour mark; and the DNR's wolf-management pages begin here.



By John Flesher  
AP Environmental Writer
January 26, 2014 - 4:14 am EST

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan — Most of the wolves killed during the recent hunt in Michigan's Upper Peninsula probably belonged to packs that have caused problems for people, which partially fulfilled a primary objective of the season even though fewer animals were shot than expected, state wildlife biologists say.

Twenty-three gray wolves died in the state's first regulated hunt of the predator since the upper Great Lakes population was dropped from the federal endangered species list in 2012. The Department of Natural Resources had set a target of 43 wolves for the season, which ran from Nov. 15 through December.

But DNR officials told The Associated Press last week that 17 of the kills happened in places within known territories of packs with reputations for "conflicts," a term that includes repeatedly attacking livestock or pets and exhibiting "fearless behavior" around people.

The places where wolves were shot were typically within 5 miles of a farm or other location where conflicts had occurred, said Adam Bump, a DNR fur-bearing animal specialist. It's not a stretch to link the wolves with those places because packs frequently travel 10 to 20 miles daily, he said.

Together, the data suggest — but doesn't guarantee — that most of the wolves taken were problem animals, Bump said. The agency had described reducing human-wolf clashes as justifying a hunt in places where other control measures, including allowing owners to shoot wolves assaulting livestock or pets, were proving inadequate.

"From my perspective, the first hunt with all the unknowns we had was a success," he said. "I'd guess that virtually every person who hunted wolves had never hunted wolves before. They're learning new techniques."

The DNR will continue processing information such as age and reproductive data collected from inspection of wolf carcasses and responses to a hunter survey, Bump said. The agency also will update the state's population estimate, which last year totaled 658.

But the findings did not convince groups opposed to wolf hunting, who are pushing ballot measures in the November election that they hope will prevent it from happening again in Michigan. Their leaders argued that farmers and dog owners already had legal authority to use lethal force against wolves attacking their animals under laws that took effect when wolves were stripped of federal protection.

"At no point did we see any thorough analysis by the DNR that this new system was not working before rushing into allowing an open season," said Jill Fritz, state director of The Humane Society of the United States and the director of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, which is campaigning to end wolf hunting.

DNR statistics show a sharp drop-off in wolf depredation between 2012 and 2013. The number of attacks dropped from 43 to 20, while livestock deaths fell from 64 to 13. Those figures suggest lethal controls were succeeding and should have been given more time, said Nancy Warren, an Upper Peninsula resident and regional director of the National Wolfwatcher Coalition.

Brian Roell, a DNR wolf biologist, said the decline probably resulted largely from last year's long, snowy winter, which made it easier for wolves to catch deer. Wisconsin and Minnesota, the other Great Lakes states with wolves, had similar reductions in depredations during the same period, he said.

The DNR required hunters who shot a wolf to report the location and submit the carcass for inspection. Five were taken in an area of Gogebic County making up the westernmost wolf hunting zone. Fourteen were killed in a zone including portions of Baraga, Houghton, Ontonagon and Gogebic counties, while four were taken in the easternmost zone with portions of Luce and Mackinac counties.

In addition to knocking down wolf numbers in those areas and eliminating problem animals, the DNR's goal was to make the survivors more fearful of humans and less likely to cause trouble in the future, Bump said. Several more seasons would be needed to determine how well hunting is accomplishing those things, he said.

"I think it was successful," said Drew YoungDyke, spokesman for the Michigan United Conservation Clubs. "The goal wasn't to reduce the overall population. They didn't take more than they wanted to."

The DNR may propose rule changes to improve hunters' success rate, including allowing trapping, which was prohibited last year in Michigan but is allowed in Wisconsin and Minnesota, Bump said. He acknowledged the practice would draw strong resistance.

Fritz said trapping is inhumane, but, YoungDyke said it should be considered. Modern foot-hold traps don't have the painful gripping "teeth" of older models but keep wolves from escaping until hunters arrive to finish them off, he said.

Even as such tactics are debated, a more fundamental question is whether wolf hunting will continue in Michigan.

Opponents hope to gather enough voter signatures to force referendums on repealing two recently enacted laws allowing the hunts. Supporters, meanwhile, are circulating petitions for a pro-hunting measure that could gain legislative approval and effectively nullify the statewide votes.

A pending lawsuit is challenging the federal government's decision to remove wolves from the endangered list. If successful, hunting would be banned once more.


“A friend of Footloose Montana, a hunter, rancher and 7th generation Montanan speaks out about trapping and ethics in hunting!

I grew up as a member of a 7 generation pioneer Montana ranching family. We were and still are outdoorsmen and spend every opportunity hiking, fishing and hunting in the Montana outdoors. Hunting was not done to acquire trophies to hang on the wall, or a rug to lay upon the floor, it was an opportunity to help supplement the family’s food larder through the winter Months. My grandfather, with whom I spent uncountable hours with in the forests taught me hunting ethics from the time I could fill a pair of boots and had the strength to keep up with him. As hunters, we followed strict personal rules when it came to taking an animal. Take no more than what was legal and no more than what our family could eat. We relied on our expertise in stalking and getting a close to the animal as possible, and if we could not take an animal cleanly, we passed it by. By cleanly, I mean as close as possible to an instant kill. Watching or having an animal suffer due to our poor hunting ability was unthinkable.

It is my belief that most hunters today still maintain those kinds of ethics as it applies to hunting. But there are a few that display conduct that shames the rest of us. These are what I refer to as Slob hunters, and these are the ones that portray the rest of us with a horrible image to the non-hunting population. The slob hunters are the ones that post stickers all over their trucks with slogans such as “Wolves, smoke a pack a day, or the only good wolf is a dead wolf, etc”. The slob hunters are the same type that knowingly put traps out where the contraption is more likely to capture a domestic animal or pet than it is likely to capture the trapper’s intended victim. These are the same guys that post their rantings and pictures of tortured, suffering animals all over Facebook for all to see. These are the same guys who show their lack of upbringing by waving their arms, making faces at Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks commissioner’s meetings while muttering loudly as someone with an opposing view presents their testimony. These are the same guys that who verbally attack others at meetings, within newspapers, or write sick comments on other people’s facebook pages trying to intimidate, all because someone may have a different outlook than their own.

The Slob hunters and trappers are the people that are the biggest threat to hunting in North America. It’s not the non-hunting communities, nor is it the Anti-hunters who threaten the future of hunting. The biggest threat to hunting over all is and will continue to be the slob hunters within the hunting community itself. The Slob hunters are the ones that tear down fences on private land, use Forest service signs and out houses for target practice. These are the guys that run their ATVs off designated roads and trails, tearing up the terrain, these are the guys that gut shoot a rancher’s cow, or horse that happens to be standing out in the middle of a field. These are the guys that feel they need to take semi-automatic rifles into the field with 30 round magazines, along with a few 12 packs of beer in the back seat. These are guys that leave their empty beer cans alongside road ways, or in camping areas for someone else to pick up.

So often I have heard, “Trapping is part of Montana’s heritage and tradition” and to that I must reply, “It may have been a part of our state’s history, but that does NOT mean it needs to be a part of our future!” I detest trapping in all forms, and those that utilize trapping for sport or profit. Sport? What Sport? Trapping, no matter how you look at it is nothing more than blatant cruelty that inflicts needless suffering upon an animal.
The hunting communities should best begin to realize that it’s NOT the non-hunting population or even the Anti-hunting communities that are the biggest threat to hunting in North America. It’s the Slob hunters and trappers within the hunting community itself that is the biggest threat to the hunting tradition.

I strongly believe the majority of the hunters today do care about and maintaining strong conservation values for the land as well as wildlife in general. They believe and follow certain ethics while hunting and the principle of “Fair Chase” is an example.

The Boone and Crocket club defined “Fair Chase” as the ethical, sportsman like, lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage over such game. Use of any of the following in the taking of game is considered UNFAIR chase:

* Spotting or herding game from the air, then landing, pursuing and shooting those animals
* Herding, pursuing or shooting game from a motor boat or motor vehicle
* Use of illegal electronic devices attracting, locating, or observing game, or for guiding hunters to such game
* Hunting game confined by fences, enclosures, or game transplanted solely for the purpose of commercial shooting
* Taking game illegally or using illegal methods against regulations of the Federal government or any state, province, territory, or tribal lands.
Personally I would add two more to Boone and Crocket’s list and that would be:
* Hunting and shooting of an animal over bait
* Hunting and killing of pregnant animals. What is ETHICAL about that??

We can thank the hunting communities, through their efforts, for the millions of acres of wilderness and wild lands set aside for wildlife. But the hunting community must realize that times are changing and the hunting communities alone can no longer fully support conservation. Our wild lands are constantly under attack by big money organizations, the oil, and livestock industries for example. America is losing its open lands and as the land goes, so does its wildlife. It is IMPERATIVE that both the hunting communities and the non-hunting communities work together and get politics as well as special interests out of our forests. There is absolutely no reason that either side should not be willing to sit down and work together to accomplish our basic mutual goal of preserving wild lands and wildlife for future generations to enjoy.

As I have attended many Fish, Wildlife and Park public and commissioner meetings, I note that the majority of speakers pushing for unethical practices come from the Trophy hunters, the Outfitter association, or domestic livestock associations. We cannot afford to allow these people to continue to dictate policy that will affect the future of our wildlife and wild lands. Its way past the time that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks puts aside political agendas and begins to manage, and preserve ALL our wildlife as that department was originally tasked to do. Our future and hunting depends on it.

I support Footloose Montana and applaud this organization’s efforts to eliminate trapping upon public lands.
Thank you!

Steve Clevidence”















From Born Free U.S.A.


Trap Free Montana Public Lands

Trap Free Montana Public Lands 
is on Facebook

Trap Free Montana Public Lands

Thank you to Wolves and Writing for sharing Trap Free Montana Public Lands


December 12, 2013

Dear Friends,
Body-gripping traps are outdated and inhumane devices used to hunt furbearers. But equally outdated is the fact that they can still be set in many national wildlife refuges. Thankfully, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) has reintroduced the Refuge From Cruel Trapping Act (H.R. 3513) and we need your help to get Congress to act quickly on this legislation – for the sake of wildlife and nature-lovers alike. 

H.R. 3513 would ban all body-gripping traps — such as snare, Conibear, and steel-jaw leghold — from being used or possessed on national wildlife refuges (NWRs). The brutality of these traps is shocking; they can crush limbs and organs, and animals often remain trapped for days, in massive pain, before dying. Trapped animals can suffer severe physical injury, psychological trauma, thirst, hypothermia, and predation. Some animals chew off their own limbs to escape, only to die days later. The suffering caused by trapping is not limited to target animals; domestic pets, endangered species, and humans often become caught in traps, resulting in painful injury or death.

NWRs were established to provide a safe haven in which wild species could thrive and people could enjoy the serenity of nature. Animals and people should have the freedom to enjoy these refuges without the threat of stepping into a body-gripping trap. Please urge your Representative to support this crucial bill. 

We have a historic opportunity to make a real difference for magnificent wildlife across the country! 

For the animals,




ABOUT 100 COUNTRIES - EXCLUDING THE U.S., CANADA AND Russia - have so far banned the use of leghold traps on the grounds that they are inhumane and indiscriminate. 

Britain (where they are called gin traps) was one of the first countries to outlaw them in the 1950's and the European 
Union banned steel-jaw leghold traps in 1995.
Thank you to Ole Vikshaaland 







Photo credit uploaded by Walter Eisenstein 




12/05/2013 - 09:55
What a year for the animals of the west coast. On the heels of our own trap ban victory in Nanaimo, news hit this week that the city of Los Angeles, California, is moving forward with their desire to ban traps.

The original motion, introduced earlier this year by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, points to the inherent cruelty of traps as the primary motivator for the proposed ban. While Council had been expected to instruct the City Solicitor to write up a by-law, instead the motion has been passed to the Animal Services Commission for further review.

According to a report in Echo Park-Silver Lake Patch, “once the Animal Services Commission hears a report from officials of the Animal Services Department, the council's Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee will again take up O'Farrell's proposal before it is sent back to the full City Council.”

We applaud Councilman O’Farrell’s efforts and will continue to monitor this situation closely.


The ban was proposed by CD13 Councilman Mitch O'Farrell.

A proposal that would outlaw animal traps in the city was referred today Los Angeles' Animal Services Commission, which is expected to consider the issue next month.

The City Council had been scheduled to consider instructing the city attorney to write an ordinance barring "the use of animal traps or snares that maim, kill or cause inhumane suffering," but the issue was instead referred to the commission, which overseas the Animal Services Department.

Trapped animals sometimes chew off their legs when struggling to break free, and snares could crush animals' vital organs or strangle them, according to a motion introduced earlier this year by Councilman Mitch O'Farrell.

Such traps are already illegal for the public to use in Los Angeles. Only employees of pest control companies with city permits are allowed to trap animals considered a nuisance or dangerous.

Once the Animal Services Commission hears a report from officials of the Animal Services Department, the council's Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee will again take up O'Farrell's proposal before it is sent back to the full City Council.

O'Farrell, who last month asked that the ban be "fast-tracked," said the traps can also ensnare all manner of unintended critters, including rabbits, deer, birds, cats and dogs.

Once caught in traps or snares, animals might be killed by other animals or suffer from dehydration, blood loss, hypothermia or drowning, according to The Humane Society, which O'Farrell's motion references.

Meanwhile, trapped coyotes, foxes and wolves face "slow and painful" deaths because they have strong neck muscles that allow them to "prolong their struggle," according to the Humane Society.

The Humane Society "advises that trapping should not be considered a wildlife strategy, in that trapping does not ensure a stable wildlife population, control disease or control nuisance wildlife," according to the motion.

State law requires that any wildlife that is trapped must be released on site or euthanized, and that the traps must be monitored daily.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.