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In Sports Commentary

It's wolf hunting season in Wisconsin. (PHOTO: shutterstock.com )

Wolf hunting in Wisconsin is not fair game


The Barbarians are at our door and they look a lot like a 14-year-old girl with a cute smile who loves country music and plays clarinet in the school band.

But first, as they say, a little background.

In Wisconsin we now hunt wolves. What was once an endangered species is now fair game for a limited number of people who want to kill a wolf.

The decision to hunt the wolves is just the latest example of the white man running roughshod over the religion and belief of Native Americans. The Ojibwa consider the wolf a brother and a sacred member of their tribe. And just so you don't think I'm some crazed Indian lover, I think it's okay to use Warriors or Chiefs as school nicknames.

Let's get back to the sport of wolf killing.

The Department of Natural Resources figures there are too many wolves in the state. Maybe they're right, but how do you really know? Census workers don't walk up and knock on the wolf den and ask how many wolves live there.

But OK. We now have a wolf hunt that started in October and runs through February. You can shoot them or trap them. And there are just over 1,000 licenses out there, drawn from a pool of over 20,000 people who want to kill wolves.

This brings us to Megan Loka, the 14-year old girl from Tomahawk, which by the way is the Native American word for the thing that sometimes got buried in the heads of white people who misbehaved.

I read about Megan, who seems like a nice enough kid. However, she loves to trap animals and then kill them. She is president of the Future Trappers of Wisconsin, which sounds a lot like the Future Farmers of Wisconsin, except instead of hoes and rakes, they have sharp traps and guns. Another thing is that farmers try to grow things, trappers try to stop things from growing.

Well, as a gift, Megan got a license to trap wolves. And after a couple of days of no luck, she and her dad went to check the traps and, lo and behold, there was a wolf, caught in one of her traps. Megan was quoted as saying "my heart started pumping" when she saw the wolf.

She stopped her heart from pumping, apparently, and also stopped the heart of the wolf entirely when she fired her .22 rifle into the head of the wolf. It was a female and she weighed 62 pounds.

Megan says she is going to have a full body mount made of the pelt, whatever that is. She also said the skull would be displayed, and I know what that is.

Now, I don't know Megan. She's probably a great kid. And I am not one of those people who thinks animals are really just people with fur who eat with their hands. I think hunting is OK and fishing is relaxing, although you should probably throw it back if you don't need it for food.

But this trapping thing and then walking up and shooting the animal, strikes me as a little unfair and a lot barbaric. It's kind of like one of the easy games at the carnival, only this animal you have to kill before you get a stuffed one as a prize.

Also I think the wolf is kind of a majestic animal. It gets into a little mischief now and then and a dog or two or a cow or two may end up harmed. But it's nature, right? And I've learned that you "Don't Mess With Mother Nature."

And maybe, just maybe, I've got a little of that Ojibwa blood running through my veins.

Talkbacks

normmackey | Nov. 13, 2012 at 8:37 p.m. (report)

ome animals, like bottlenose dolphins and chimpanzees and bald eagles, aren't hunted simply because of human sensibilities, and we don't eat dogs or wear or display dog fur as a "trophy" rug, unless it is from a wolf. We don't claim managing domesticated dogs demands allowing dogfighting with the state taking a share of profits. What it that makes some people so insistent wolves be a game animal? Wolf packs have no more spares to give up than a human family has spare members. That trophy pelt/rug means a set of other wolves have to struggle on without the lost one's contributions, and experience despair, grief, and the added toil of fewer to hunt for the pups and defend the pack. Dogs remember their lost ones for longer than a wolf's short life in the wild, so that "trophy" is likely a loss they will mourn for the rest of their lives. I can't see it as anything but the epitome of bad taste, it shows that it happened and may still be affecting other wolves no matter how the hunter feels about it. Should educate someone, who probably does not want to be educated to the fact that their "clean kill" is still causing suffering to still-living animals they probably have never seen, and cannot undo it even if they wanted to? This young girl will probably never allow herself to know wolves enough to realize this, and end up simply demonizing them like so many others do for justification. Sometimes they even get upset when someone else listens and learns. These people need help, not enabling.

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quickened | Nov. 9, 2012 at 2:32 p.m. (report)

Dave, I think you should grow a huge handlebar mustache. That would be awesome

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DJFreeSpirit | Nov. 7, 2012 at 6:04 p.m. (report)

This is so sad on so many levels. Just when the state of Wisconsin could not step any lower they do this Hunt and allow the dogs as well. The Trapping is both barbaric and inhumane and I don't care how you look at it. You can call me whatever you want but as a hunter myself I was raised if you kill it you eat it. REAL HUNTERS DON'T HUNT WOLVES!!!

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TosaJim | Nov. 7, 2012 at 8:34 a.m. (report)

Trapping a wolf to transport them to another location is not the same as trapping a wolf with a steel foot trap...and I don't know that much about trapping animals...I can only tell you what I've seen. My cousins trap racoons and coyotes and I know that these animals suffered before they died.

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trapperbill | Nov. 7, 2012 at 12:54 a.m. (report)

tosajim you have no clue about trapping and the practice of the sport!!! it is wayyy more humane then the one weekend a year yuppie from tosa who tries to show people hes a man and shoots anything in the woods that moves. trapping is the way the dnr transplants animals from one area to another.......hard to do to an injured animal isnt it? you really show how distant from a sportsman you really are by your post. the wolf population in wisconsin has gone out of control!! it costs the tax payers 10's of millions of dollars each year from damage and senseless killing of animals in there territory. wolves kill just to kill... not always for food. do your research before you try to sound like you know what your talking about.......you sound pretty stupid when you don't.

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