Wisconsin DNR: 9 Wolves Shot & Killed During Deer Hunting Season

Story AP.

The Great Lakes states have been much more tolerant of the recovering wolf population than the Western States. It may be cultural and it may also be due to the incredible number of deer in the Great Lakes.

The deer hunt in the Great Lakes, like the deer and elk hunt in West, provides a lot of extra nutrition for wolves as they feed on the gut piles and take down the escaped wounded ungulates.

Nine dead wolves should be put in perspective. I suspect more than that are shot in Idaho than that during hunting season.  While some advocate a wolf hunt, in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana there has been a de facto wolf hunt year round. It is illegal, but its effects should be recognized.







  1. Jim Rosenberg Avatar
    Jim Rosenberg

    Hi Ralph, as a resident of Wisconsin and a recent visitor to the north woods and frequent reader of your website – I coudln’t help but respond. I have also backpacked in many parts of the Rockies. Hence, all the “problems” people are having with Grizzlies and wolves is quite perplexing. After all, I do believe wolves and bears inhabited this country long before we ever did! Of course, so did the native american “indians” and they fell victim of our quest to conquer the land! After walking on trails loaded with bear scat and hearing wolves howling so close it put a shiver up my spine – I had no gun as I trespassed in their land and felt I could become a fine entre’ for some hungry hairy beast! What a feeling! I was not in control of my destiny (or was I?).
    I had to live by their rules and peacefully co-exist as I was an uninvited visitor in their domain. A far cry from the suburban Milwaukee area (we do have quite a few Coyotes though) where again one of the major problems is stupid people with guns. We have carved out our little piece of our own reality where the laws of nature almost cease to exist. How dare anyone to think that we might face a situation when we visit or live in the north woods where one of the residents who we are imposing upon happens to kill a cow or a dog. I love my dog, but I would take the needed precautions in order to keep him safe. I don’t need to go buy a gun to kill off any potential threats to him or me.If something did happen – it would be a shame but I sure as hell wouldn’t blame a wolf or a griz just because he was on his quest for survival! Has anyone ever heard of “peaceful co-existence” – whether it be animals or people, we all could learn a few things from the animals and the peoples that we have oppressed!! Any losses to farmers and ranchers should be looked at as a “cost of doing business” when in a rural domain. They could also make some changes to prevent or lessen the interaction with the wild beasts that threaten their profit margins or life in a backcountry paradise! Ah, but we must control the population of these wild animals because they threaten our families and our livelyhoods – we need to “sterilize” the environment around us for our own “safety” and “reality!” Has anyone noticed how out of control our population has become. There are all these people being born and living longer who are a threat to us because they are using precious water, minerals, food and polluting what we have left of an environment! Does anyone feel the need to protect what we have from these “vultures” – I wonder?… Save the wolves and save ourselves!!

  2. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    I have to agree with Jim regarding our “out of control” population. My husband calls it “like mold on bread”. In my opinion this is the the most serious threat to life on Earth. Global warming is the result of this overpopulation.
    When ever I hear of a person being killed by a wild animal, including deer, I think “how many of them have we killed?” I have spent many weeks in Idaho and Montana wilderness areas and never felt apprehensive about any animal. This was not true in Alaska where I felt like an intruder in brown bear country. That was a wilderness experience.
    I once listened to a lecture by Ian McHarg. He was discussing mans destruction of ecosystems. After nearly all life was wiped out two paramecian got to gether and said “Okey, we’ll try again, but this time no brains”

  3. Andy Kilgas Avatar
    Andy Kilgas

    Normally when I hear someone speak of the ‘rights’ of animals or the rule of ‘first settlement’, I’m perplexed in that these words only have meaning or force from a notion of the existence of a fixed authority. Without a fixed reference point, or some objective truth, to govern our world (bios or zoe) we’re left with a world where either someone’s or something’s “rights” are trampled on by the majority or the powerful. I suppose the buffalo the poor native Americans killed for food and shelter would argue for his rights against the natives?
    The question is; how do conservationists who hold to an evolutionist, chance reality, world view come off as spokespersons for the “rights” of any form of life? Isn’t Nature the only force in a materialist’s world-view that wields any power? From an evolutionist perspective, it would stand to reason that if a deer hunter encounters a potential threat to his or her game … that the threat would be driven off or killed. It’s just natural evolution. Secondly, since we’re speaking for the animals and ‘their rights’, perhaps the brown bears and wolves feel the same exhileration Barb feels when they know there’s a hunter with a gun in the area? Lastly, ‘over population’ is a fascist idea you arrogant man. Who thinks such thoughts and who would decide that some are better than others? Fascism and the dehumanization of our world is Darwinian – Nitchiesque and horrifying and I’m repulsed by it. The truth is … you want a world created after your own belief system. I’m a believer in walking the talk … or were you just thinking of “others” needing to not populate? I believe the most reasonable thing Jim (and Barb … you too) can do is show us all the way of depopulation by removing yourself from this over-crowded world. Then I would believe you and yes, even donate money to make your home a shelter for an endangered species. P.S. – the world is all of ours … I expect a wolf to attack if it feels threatened … I expect I will do the same.

  4. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Conservationists as a whole have no particular overall belief system. The notion of “animal rights” is an extension of the notion of rights as developed by John Locke and others in the 17th and 18th centuries, and which have been broadened ever since.

    As a political scientist, note “scientist”, is say no one can prove that anyone or anything possesses rights in an abstract sense.

    If you are interested in “green thought,” I suggest you read Peter Hay “Main Currents in Western Environmental Thought.” There are many other overviews.

    You will find green Christians, feminists, atheists, liberals, conservatives, and more.

    Animal rights is not clearly even part of conservation.

    Ecologists, who are scientists, never speak of rights and are primarily interested in populations, not individual animals.

  5. SAP Avatar

    Andy wrote:

    “I believe the most reasonable thing Jim (and Barb … you too) can do is show us all the way of depopulation by removing yourself from this over-crowded world.”

    Andy – you may want to look up “hypocrisy fallacy” as a sub-fallacy of the ad hominen fallacy.

    Reductio ad absurdum is not in and of itself a fallacious type of argument, but claiming that people should not say anything about overpopulation unless they kill themselves is a reductio ad absurdum hypocrisy fallacy.

    Here’s a good site to start with:


    Ralph – good point that “conservationists” or “environmentalists” or what-have-you are not some monolithic orthodox group. There’s lots of diversity of thought, belief, and action. Look up George Lakoff’s “biconceptualism” for some interesting discussion.

  6. Andy Kilgas Avatar
    Andy Kilgas

    thank you Ralph. I generalized ‘conservationists’ poorly. Thanks for sharing the book title; sounds like an interesting read. I’m not a ‘green’ person per se but I must plead ignorance to a degree. From your e-mail I’m guessing it’s not a simple matter.
    Regarding science, latin: to know. It is true, if it can not be observed through empirical means it can not be science. But it interesting that John Locke the humanist, arguably influenced by reformer Samuel Rutherford’s “Lex Rex”, had such a large bearing on the founders idea of ‘liberty’ and the ‘rights’ of individuals. The Declaration of Independence uses the language “self-evident truths’ and ‘inalienable rights endowed by our Creator’. While not being able to prove these rights scientifically they arrested these ideas and applied them well to those of us who enjoy them today. Thanks again Ralph and I’ll look the book up.

  7. Jim Rosenberg Avatar
    Jim Rosenberg

    Response to Andy,
    I agree that you should plead ignorance to “some degree” as you missed my major point of my writing and you really should pick up a dictionary and look up the word FASCIST! ….”It’s easier to see the books upon the shelf than to see yourself!!”… My comment on over-population was more of an aside to my thoughts on “man” and his need to control and sterilize his environment from any other predatory animals. Any other animal has a right to exist on this planet as much as we do and we don’t need to control everything for our survival. As a matter of fact, by trying to control everything, we have put things so out of balance in so many respects that we are the ones who have created the impending doom of the whole planet!! Maybe you ought to read what I said – instead of what you think I said!!

    Fascism has nothing to do with anything I was saying!! Except, maybe because of the Fascist “regime” who is running our country and trying to dominate the world in many different ways including what species live or die!! Fascism is a government or any other small group of people who try to dominate everyone or everything else for their own gains. Whether it is material or whatever. My view is more of the one concerning our population as a whole and the animals of this planet as well. It is quite different from what a Fascist like you might think!!

    Ignorance and people who can’t think beyond the end of their noses is what has put this entire world and all of it’s inhabitants into such an out of balance, environmental nightmare!… By the way, The native “americans” survived off of the Buffalo and allowed to stay in existence because they also protected what sustained them. They didn’t kill them because they thought they were a threat or needed to control them. It was a source for food, clothing, tools, etc. It was the “white” man and his fascist” quest to conquer and spread his dominance over the “indians” who stood in the way of his fascist ideals and expansion!! He exterminated the Buffalo in order to help him exterminate the “indians.” Just as people consider wolves a threat to their cattle, deer or elk and want to exterminate the wolf. The “indian” understood that the wolf and any other predatory animals helped keep the herds of buffalo healthy and thriving! We destroyed all of that and continue on our desructive quest to control everything!! Man is the biggest threat to his “game” – more than any other predator on this planet because he shows no discretion on which animal he kills from the herd. The other predators weeded out the older or unhealthy and assured that the “strong” would survive and the herds of deer, elk or buffalo were kept healthy and thriving – we now have disease and famine among the “game” animals because of our ignorance. Man has wiped some species right of of the planet and endangered many others in his quest for expansion and dominance. He must exterminate any animal which poses a threat to his lifestyle or his expansion. What gives us the right to say which animals or species should survive or exist on this planet and which ones shouldn’t!! Fascists like you may think you have that right!!

    What I said related to being able to enjoy some of the few places left on earth where we can experience life in the wild – where we are not totally in control of everything, including our own destiny. Where we are a visitor and trespassing into another domain where we might actually in “danger” and must tread carefully and take precautions not to fall prey to another wild animal in his quest for his own survival.
    I don’t think you have ever experienced a feeling or an experience like that as you probably had to carry you gun for protection!! The shoe is on the other foot as it’s an exhilarating experience where you are not the “dominant” creature and in control of everything that may happen ….I’ve walked down trails with fresh Grizzly scat and had to be careful not to have an encounter which led to my demise! I had no gun, just my common sense! It scared the crap out of me when the Grouse popped up out of the brush and made my heart skip a few beats as I was fearful of encountering a Griz around any bend or over any hill. I did come close to a Griz and needed to back off and give him his space for my own survival – I didn’t, at one moment, think I wished I had a gun so I could kill it because it was a threat to me!! And, you know what, if it did kill me – it was because I was the visitor in his turf and I may have provided him with a good meal which he needed for his survival! Yup, Mr. Andy, I’d sure feel better about dying that way than enlisting in the Army and getting killed for some Fascist ideals of our government to spread it’s dominance for it’s own gain and spread “democracy” as they call it.

    So, Andy, maybe actually being in a situation similar to what I described would help you understand things from a different perspective for a change and being in a position coexistence instead of dominance- might instill a little more respect for the whole scheme of things in the “natural ” world – it really is good for the soul!!!

  8. Jim Rosenberg Avatar
    Jim Rosenberg

    I also see by the date of your response – almost a year after I wrote mine – that you probably never even got to read the linked article that made me respond originally. Before you make comment about one’s character, maybe you should have done some research – like actually reading the posted story about the hunters who basically killed the wolves just because they were there!! Then, maybe have read my whole post instead of just the part about overpopulation. Ignorant people basically wiped the wolves and other predators off the face of the earth because of competition, fear, quest for superiority, habitat destruction, etc. etc. – without understanding anything about the role every being on this planet plays in the balance of the whole ecosystem. My remark about the population was more tongue in cheek in the respect that man kills off any threat (bears, wolves, etc.) to him and his resources, game, prey, etc. – that since there were now so many people on this planet competing for the same food sources and natural resources that maybe man would look at himself as his own major competitor and/or predator for those precious resources!… Hence, to take a step back and think about how he may protect those resources and begin to control the numbers of his greatest competitor for his survival – MAN HIMSELF!!!! … Get it?? (like killing the wolves, etc.)


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan