Here are some good reasons why the two bills AB712/SB602 soon to be voted on in Madison should be strongly opposed. These bills are designed to effectively endorse the poaching and killing of wolves in the northern part of the state. Furthermore, future wolf monitoring efforts by the DNR would be effectively curtailed for lack of funds.
The first reason these bills should be opposed is this: Indiscriminately killing wolves actually increases livestock losses by breaking up family packs and leaving young, inexperienced wolves desperate to find easy prey. Second, relatively few livestock losses are directly attributable to wolves. In any case, a host of nonlethal husbandry methods, such as putting birthing animals in sheds or pens, erecting electric fencing, using guard animals, prompt carcass removal, installing lights designed for the purpose, and flags tied to wires have been shown to be effective in decreasing the very few livestock losses that actually occur in Wisconsin.
Finally, studies show that hunters have a far greater negative effect on populations of deer, elk, and moose than wolves do. Wolves take only the oldest, weakest, or injured animals, improving the health of the herd and staving off death by slow starvation if the herd grows too large. Conversely, human hunters seek out the healthiest, breeding-age animals to kill, which ultimately harms the herd. In the past two years, the Wisconsin DNR has reported a sharp increase in deer harvest numbers in the Northern Forest Zone —where the wolves reside.
Geoffrey D. Robinson