End Great Lakes 'Endangered' Status on Wolves
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The gray wolf population in the Great Lakes area, and specifically Wisconsin, has risen quite a bit. The population is believed by most to be much larger than what local DNR have published. It is also believed that the larger effect on important game, such as whitetail deer, than what is reported. Though it is impossible to get a perfect number on the wolf population, or deer kill count, better efforts could be made to get more accurate numbers.
The wolf population has grown quite a bit in the last 10 years and can be hardly considered endangered species, perhaps implementing a regulated season similar to black bear season in Wisconsin, would help keep numbers down and effectively manage these animals so that they are not over-hunted. The revenue brought in from tag sales may also help with wildife management. Many people throughout the Great Lakes area greatly upset, hunters in particular, about the lack of control on the wolf population.
Tensions are extremely high, and it won't be long before people start making rash decisions and taking population control into their own hands. This can and should be avoided, as many believe the population can support a regulated hunt deemed appropriate by Local DNR and the Federal Government. There is too much property, livestock, and pet damage caused by wolves in high denisty areas annually. Over $200,000 worth of damage a year in Wisconsin alone, and the state's reimbursement program falls on state tax payers. That number is steadily rising every year, and does not even include Wisconsin's neighboring states. It would be a win-win situation for all As the integrity of the wolf population will be left intact and only a small percentage would be hunted, sustainable numbers of these animals would be preserved to ensure future hunts in a balanced ecosystem.
The elk population is obviously rising in Wisconsin with the help of local DNR, but we would like to see it continue to rise so that one day we could have sustainable hunt for that as well. The same could be said about the moose, who are now finally starting to move back into Wisconsin and starting to breed. These larger game animals seem to be right in the heart of areas most populated with wolves, so it is reasonable to fear for the game's ability to reach safe and sustainable numbers.
If it turns out the numbers are too low to support a hunt, then perhaps a better alternative would be to relocate wolves from a high density area to one with zero wolf presence, with resources that could sustain them. That notion may not be the most popular idea, but it may be a good temporary solution to the population problem in certain areas. On the other hand, if the numbers are high, as most residents of region believe, perhaps both a combination of a regulated season and animal relocation can be implemented.
Thank you for your time,
Chase J Hein
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