Yesterday was the final day to legally hunt or trap wolves in Wisconsin. We began our day, as we have since the 29th, a 430am wake up, and into the field looking for hound hunters and trappers. We were happy not to find the hound hunters we encountered earlier in the week back in the field, regardless, we remained criss-crossing the county forest lands, happy that at least in this one area, no wolves were killed by hounds while we were on patrol.
The day took an interesting twist, when I was personally contacted by an active hound hunter who pursues bears and coyotes, but has also been on a few hound hunts for wolves as well, so he knows what he’s talking about. We agreed to meet in an open public place and spoke for 45 minutes about wolves and hound hunting in general.
Wolf Patrol commends this individual for having the courage to not believe stereotypes and misconceptions about our side, but instead endeavoring to develop his own opinion and I challenge our side to do the same. This meeting was not about convincing anyone of anything, it was about demonstrating that two opposing forces in an extremely contentious issue can meet and talk and recognize that little will change until we do.
As I expressed to this individual, wolf advocates need to step up, and get involved with DNR policy making processes, as the hunters and trappers do, if we ever are to expect real change. So don’t wait until the next wolf hunt starts to get involved, the work continues all year long. We have offered our services to aid the DNR in their annual wolf count survey, and for any other non-lethal work related to wolves, so if you are interested in participating, contact me directly.
As was mentioned on our blog site, we are also developing a working relationship with DNR. We maintain direct lines of communications with wardens and provide them with any information we find on our patrols of illegal hunting or trapping activity, something that even this one hound hunter supports.
This is what Wolf Patrol means when we say, “Paws on the Ground.” Be focused, remembering that it’s not about us or our individual personal beliefs or ideals, it’s about the wolves. They remain our number one constituents, and we have to learn how to stand before we know where to stand.
With the hunt now closed, we are headed to Madison, WI to support local and national activists who will be converging on the state capitol for a protest of the wolf hunt on Monday. Stay tuned. We have some special surprises planned that will be groundbreaking in our efforts to influence wolf policy in this country.