On February 26, 2018, five pro-hunting Wisconsin politicians called on the state’s Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to disallow Wolf Patrol’s founder, Rod Coronado from participating as a volunteer tracker for the DNR’s Large Carnivore Survey. In a letter sponsored by the same trophy hunting supporting legislators who want to snare, trap, shoot and hound wolves in Wisconsin, the letter alleges that since 2014 Wolf Patrol’s founder has harassed hunters and sexually assaulted a former crew member.
Wolf Patrol’s response is simple. Harassing hunters and sexually assaulting people in our society is illegal, and if Wolf Patrol or its members have done either, then why haven’t we ever been charged with such crimes? Wisconsin’s hound hunters continue to imply that myself or other Wisconsin citizen’s in my organization are engaging in illegal activity by peacefully monitoring hunting activities on public lands, which is slanderous and creates an environment where hunters feel entitled to intimidate and physically assault those exercising their constitutional rights.
In 2015, Wisconsin state legislators were told by members of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association that The Right to Hunt Act (RHA) was needed to address the harassment Wolf Patrol was committing against hunters in the state. This April it will be two years since the laws passage without it ever being enforced against Wolf Patrol or any other citizen monitoring hunting activities. Despite the unconstitutional RHA, Wolf Patrol has continued its work monitoring controversial hunting activities that put federally protected wildlife at risk. Since 2015, Wolf Patrol and its founder Rod Coronado have worked with state and federal law enforcement officers, reporting illegal hunting practices discovered in northern Wisconsin, without ever being charged with violating any crime or being told by law enforcement that any of our actions were illegal.
Wolf Patrol will stand by our actions. I am also personally willing to defend and be held legally accountable for my behavior on public lands, but what we as an organization want to know is whether Wisconsin’s politicians like Tom Tiffany, Adam Jarchow and Joel Kleefisch believe hunters should also be held accountable for the very real harassment, torture and killing of wildlife that Wisconsin’s politicians call hunting and want hidden from public view?
That is our crime, to reveal the truth of how wild animals are treated on our public lands in Wisconsin. The above video was filmed during Wisconsin’s 2017-18 bobcat season and was shared by Ryan Roth of Park Falls, Wisconsin. These and other videos Wolf Patrol has shared over recent years show the kind of animal abuse that Wolf Patrol has been exposing in Wisconsin. This is what politicians in the back pocket of Wisconsin’s trophy hunters and the NRA don’t want you to see, and that is why they are trying so hard to criminalize Wolf Patrol’s exposing of the truth.
Wolf Patrol has also been informed that Wisconsin’s pro-gun and hunting lobby have lobbied the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to investigate Wolf Patrol and Rod Coronado’s activities in Wisconsin and the lead author of the Right to Hunt Act, state representative Adam Jarchow is helping spread misinformation that implies that Wolf Patrol has violated the law.
What is especially interesting to note in the call on the DNR to exclude Wolf Patrol from its annual wolf survey, is that those politicians making that call are also pushing legislation that would literally end the DNR’s Large Carnivore Survey. Assembly Bill 712/Senate Bill 602 if passed, would cut all funding for any DNR’s wolf-related work.
Efforts by Wisconsin’s politicians to limit the ability of any citizen to exercise their constitutional rights to oppose controversial practices on public lands should be condemned, especially when it is done under the guise of protecting the rights of animal abusers disguised as hunters. Representative Adam Jarchow has proudly served trophy hunters by passing legislation that is so unconstitutional that no county prosecutor in Wolf Patrol’s field of operation in Wisconsin will charge our members with it.
Representative Joel Kleefisch’s attempt to legitimize other politicians calls for action against Wolf Patrol by joining in the witch hunt is simply laughable in light of his list of hunting violations that he has been prosecuted for in the past. Kleefisch has repeatedly been cited and warned by DNR conservation officers for exceeding his limit on turkeys and geese, and personally chaired the committee arguing that Wisconsin’s conservation officers be limited in the work they can do to prosecute wolf poaching cases. The five Wisconsin politicians calling for action now would like to see Wolf Patrol members criminalized for exposing not only the illegal hunting practices of their own trophy hunting constituents, but their own illegal activities as well.
Wolf Patrol remains committed to continuing its campaign of citizen monitoring of controversial hunting practices that put federally protected wildlife at risk and will continue throughout the coming days and weeks to participate in the WDNR’s Large Carnivore Survey in northern Wisconsin.
“Representative Joel Kleefisch No Phony Hunter, He’s Got The Citations to Prove It”: