An environmental group based in Washington D.C. claims bear hunters are harassing wolves in Wisconsin. Public Employees For Environmental Responsibility (PEER) is calling for a criminal investigation because 22 bear hunters received payments from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources after wolves killed their dogs.
“PEER appears to be yet another out-of-state fringe organization whose long-term goal is to destroy Wisconsin’s hunting heritage,” Luke Withrow, Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association vice president, told Wisconsin Public Radio. “Wisconsin bear hunters have been using hounds in our hunts for the entire time since wolves were reintroduced into the state and the recovery of the species has occurred while this activity has gone on. If there were harm being done, the wolf would not have fully recovered to the point where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with the state DNR, have concluded that the wolf is eligible to be removed from the endangered species list.”
Wisconsin’s wolf management plan calls for 350 animals outside of reservation areas. At last count, there was a minimum of 866 wolves in the state.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation strongly supports state-based management of all wildlife including bears, elk, wolves, deer and other species in line with the North American Wildlife Conservation Model.