Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Last chance to speak up for the wolves

2012-07-08T05:00:00Z Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Last chance to speak up for the wolvesPATRICIA RANDOLPH | state columnist

“I ain’t got no home in this world anymore.” — Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie, born July 14, 1912, was a youth of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, poverty and injustice. He speaks for many of us today, with “no home in this world anymore,” including wildlife and, specifically, wolves.

Written comments on the draft rule for the 2012 wolf hunt must be received by 4 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at To register to testify July 17 in the final DNR wolf death panel in Stevens Point, contact Laurie Ross at 608-267-7420 or email

Bear hounders had a hand in the legislation that will allow the running of packs of dogs on Wisconsin’s 800 wolves and trapping, shooting and killing them day and night for four and a half months a year.

Laurie Groskopf, mouthpiece of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, complained in a July 3 email that the “goal” of 350 wolves, set in 1999, should not be a minimum goal. “You ignore the 18 county boards that have passed resolutions to get this number down to 350 (or less), the WWF (Wisconsin Wildlife Federation), the WCC (Wisconsin Conservation Congress), the Farm Bureau, and locals in wolf territory, who overwhelmingly want their lives back.”

Gaylord Yost, a retired forester, responded, “I understand what you mean by wanting their lives back. The number of kills made by wolves all over the nation continues to skyrocket and may someday reach those by automobiles and shootings. The wolf will never be able to survive an out of control human expansion into every corner of the globe. It will be gone like the wildlife and diversity that was once found and is swiftly disappearing in Africa and Asia. We just can’t let them stand in the way of ‘progress.’ ”

Wolves are as essential to healthy ecosystems as balanced weather, fresh water and good soil. All that is being destroyed by humans, not wolves.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s cozy relationship with the Department of Natural Resources deserves scrutiny. Farmers can attribute all missing calf losses above the normal 2.3 percent of their herd to wolves if one cow has been confirmed killed by a wolf that year. Payment per beef calf in 2011 averaged $825, per adult Holstein $1,500. Payments were $102 to $203 for dairy newborns, and $1,262 to $1,731 for medium-grade replacement cows. For deer farmers, payments for doe fawns were $125 and buck fawns $150, with up to thousands per buck.

From 2000-2011, there was a yearly average of 14 missing calves statewide, and payouts averaged $12,000 per year. With wolf delisting in hand, 2012 suddenly had 257 calves reported as missing, with a payout of $190,742. It looks like a system being gamed.

When I asked Davin Lopez, who works on endangered species at the DNR, why the surge in missing calves, he had no good answer. The state paid out $55,000 for six deer in 2010, and $20,000 for two deer in 2011. Davin explained that until 2012, applicants for deer compensation were paid what they asked. Hounders also claim $5,000 to $10,000 per dog they put at risk harassing bears and all wildlife. They are routinely paid $2,500 per dog killed.

Wolf hating and hounding, due to DNR largesse, are profitable enterprises.

The BBC recently released a documentary on the return of one very special wolf pack to Washington’s Cascade Mountains, the first to return to the American Northwest in 70 years. I urge you to watch them in the  “Land of the Lost Wolves” video.

To understand the challenges that face wolves, please read the entire article in Backpacker Magazine entitled “Dogs of War.” In the article, Gordon Haber’s study of the Toklat family group of wolves convinced him: “Sophisticated family groups are what set wolves apart. Their social organization represents the ultimate of any vertebrate. They have high levels of altruism, successful inbreeding, cross-generation learning, and genetic transfer. It’s a more sophisticated form of social organization than human societies. Which is why it burns me up when people say it’s the population, not individual wolves, that matters.”

Contrast Haber with Coke Wallace, a trapper described in the story who uses the distress call of a hybrid wolf pup to attract dozens of wolves to trap, shoot, dismember and skin. “A necropsy revealed that the alpha female sat in Coke’s trap for 10 days to two weeks, eating dirt and rocks.”

Haber’s informed outrage is palpable: “I’m watching one of the most valuable biological goldmines on Earth being treated like it’s not worth 10 cents by a bunch of ignorant, ill-trained state biologists who, quite frankly, are guilty of scientific misconduct.”

The DNR is an agency of death to our life support systems. Urgent citizen reform is needed.

Patricia Randolph of Portage is a longtime activist for wildlife. or

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(16) Comments

  1. Madravenspeak
    Report Abuse
    Madravenspeak - August 01, 2012 3:27 pm
    Ah - the white male obsession with control and demonizing the beautiful essential creatures they want to rationalize killing. The VERMIN, you refer to ( a projection, at best, of your own mental state) -is not a "problem" - it is lack of education and control of state agencies by killing obsessed good ole boys and their carefully indoctrinated progeny that is the "problem". Get em young and you can teach them trapping when they are two - killing when they are eight and get them for LIFE, addicted as a lifestyle to murder and mayhem as a club. Take em out on the trails and disrupt all wildlife with smokin' snowmobiles (maybe run over a few terrorized creatures for fun) and then the ATV's and night scopes and every weapon from BB guns to atlatls to primitives to crossbows to semi-automatics - to medieval traps and trail cams, lures and scents and don't forget the dogs (really perverse) - little Michael Vick wannabes.

    Nope we do not need trapping of any creature period. And killing is not conservation - is anti-conservation and is destroying what little wildlife we have left.

    Citizens have been asleep leaving their most precious world in the bloody hands of sadists who enjoy killing. This is not about going out and the :"hunter" thinks "My - how can I help my world?" This is about creating maximum killing to control the political structure for power and money and take take take.
  2. Madravenspeak
    Report Abuse
    Madravenspeak - July 11, 2012 11:59 pm
    800 wolves are not the problem. Humans should focus on their own real overpopulation and out of control predation of our planet.
  3. Madravenspeak
    Report Abuse
    Madravenspeak - July 11, 2012 11:43 pm
    The taxpayer is buying $1.6 billion dollars of public lands - that being the 90% of us who are not serial killers and nature haters and wildlife destroyers - but all of that land is now mandated to allow torture and the worst evil - trapping and hounding and murder murder murder.

    Trappers are the lowest of the low. They enjoy torturing and destroying our commonwealth. Bet you did not know that wildlife watchers - wildlife lovers not only finance 95% of our public lands, but also bring 10-40 times the tax revenue to state tax coffers. Wildlife torturers running their poor dogs on bears and all wildlife were paid MORE by the killing brokerage DNR in Wisconsin than all livestock losses.

    While humans predate on 3.4 million cattle (the major cause of aquifer depletion, water abuse, global climate change, topsoil destruction, wildlife destruction, and human obesity, heart disease and cancer) - the wolves predated on 85 confirmed cattle. A bit gluttonous and mean-spirited of you not to want to share a teeny weeny little bit. But that is the good ole boy way, isn't it. Serial killing and ignoramus rationalization of killing a mere 800 wolves while farming for 1.2 million deer, imbalancing nature and inviting CWD and other prion diseases.

    Wolves are SO much more just and restrained and decent than hunters - and trappers (don't get me started). I served on the trapping committee and saw more human depravity and cruelty than any human should have to carry as an image in one lifetime.

    State agencies are run on killing licenses which means ZERO democracy for the general public and MAXIMUM idiocy of rationale for killing by the killing obsessed.

    Wolves are a key species and the science is natural predators in natural numbers are top down protectors of biodiversity and the health of ecosystems. Man is destroying our climate, our water, our topsoil, our wildlife, our oceans, and our planet.

    So blather your trapping garbage on your outdoor killing pages - they are full of it.
  4. truthbetold
    Report Abuse
    truthbetold - July 11, 2012 4:17 pm
    Let me see ....... Wisconsin has set records every year for twenty years....Correct? Is it not time to start controlling them? Do people like you want another Minnesota....where the population has increased to a point where the excess is trimmed every year.... Yup, they have to kill wolves every year in Minnesota because they continue to get into trouble. Despite what the wolf huggers say things are not honky dory in Minnesota. 2900 wolves and every year they have to kill 200 of the vermin or depredation gets out of hand....and how do they do it...TRAPPING! ON THE GOVERNMENTS DIME! Does it make control better if the Trapper is paid by your taxes, does it make control better if the government traps the wolf at midnight or if the hunter shoots one at midnight, does it make control better if we leave wolf packs out there that hunt down domestic dogs on porches yet we don't let hound hunters send their dog after lone wolves tracks in the snow.... You complain about trapping yet continue to push for more wolves so that the only way of controlling them is TRAPPING and the taxpayer pays the bill!
  5. Madravenspeak
    Report Abuse
    Madravenspeak - July 09, 2012 4:37 pm
    It was winter, and Gordon tracked a collared wolf to a jumble of illegally set snares. Five caribou were tangled in them, all in various stages of decay. The wolf sat there, too, snared around the neck and foot. Gordon tried to do the right thing, calling the ADF&G, who told him the game commissioner would come set the wolf free. Gordon waited for hours in the -30°F cold before cutting it loose himself. The moment was cathartic. "He let me massage his head, muzzle, around his ears," recalls Gordon, practically mooning. "At one point, I was sitting on his back. He could have taken my head off."

    The wolf spared him, but the trapper didn't. Despite the illegal placement of the traps, the owner successfully sued Gordon for theft. Undaunted, Gordon continues to take matters into his own hands. Last July, he exposed an unauthorized aerial helicopter hunt. And he makes no apologies for liberating the black wolf. "There is no doubt in my mind," Gordon whispered to me as we sat in the brush last June, "that I would do the same thing again. It was the most incredible experience of my life."

    I hope you all will free any animal you find in a trap. Immoral laws necessitate civil disobedience on a massive scale.

  6. Madravenspeak
    Report Abuse
    Madravenspeak - July 09, 2012 4:33 pm
    I will be there . If anyone wants to carpool from the Portage area, contact me.
  7. Madravenspeak
    Report Abuse
    Madravenspeak - July 09, 2012 4:32 pm
    Unfortunately, many Democrats joined into the affirmative vote on this obscenity of planned slaughter of these majestic wolves. Scott Suder has been the anti-Christ for wildlife and a living Wisconsin since he was elected. He started with pushing running packs of dogs on bears. He is a moron - but worse than that, a sadistic pusher of torture. Worse than that, successful in this apathetic state.

    There will always be sadists and perverts - but it is the citizens of this state - the GENERAL citizenry that have turned their back on science and compassionate co-existence with innocent wildlife. They have allowed themselves to be kept ignorant and passive. They are accountable for not caring enough to understand the political system, the annual election of delegates to represent them (next one April 8, Conservation Congress elections in every county in Wisconsin in 2013) and allowing non-profits like the Sierra Club, Audubon Society and Nature Conservancy to be co-opted by killer membership to corrupt sane holistic policy on nature.

    Wildlife has been sacrificed totally for political power.

    I hold the general public accountable for this tragedy. And - of course, the newspapers and their propaganda through the outdoors pages only pandering to killers and sadists, glorifying head hunting. UGH.
  8. Madravenspeak
    Report Abuse
    Madravenspeak - July 09, 2012 4:24 pm
    "Next summer, a half-million people will come to Denali hoping to encounter a wild wolf. They will tap their savings and crowd into line for a backcountry permit, braving Alaska's unforgiving terrain to penetrate the heart of this great park. When they see a wolf, somewhere between the Teklanika pullout and Igloo Creek, they will believe that they have gained a clearer vision of God–or something very close to it. And for them, the power and purity of the Denali wolf will be unforgettably real." (from the Dogs of War" link in this Madravenspeak column). Please read it.

    Let's make Wisconsin the howling with wolves ecotourism place to go.

    More from the "Dogs of War" (worth your time to read):

    "Sometime after the 13 wolves were snared last spring, two escaped. A black Toklat male was spotted and never seen again. The other, an unidentified gray male with a grotesquely swollen head, appeared repeatedly near the park's entrance, blood caked around the wire still embedded two inches deep in his neck. I saw this wolf after my hunting trip with Coke Wallace, on a final drive into the park."

    "But Fleagle said what Fish and Game always says," Gordon told me. "'We don't see a problem because the wolves will repopulate' – as if there's no other consequence."

    This is a key element of wildlife management and farming - the individual suffering of each animal is irrelevant to the agenda of having a "repopulation" to kill for more trophy, skins and fun.

    "And yet, for Gordon, there is a consequence. He's invested too much, learned too much, seen things no one else has seen. Like wolves skiing down 60-degree slopes for the fun of it. Or wolf daughters "cooperatively stimulating" their mothers while the mothers copulated with their mates. Or a wolf chewing its dead mate's head out of a snare and carrying it back to the pair's den, then burying her body and howling from the bluff above her before running down and laying his beating heart across the stark blanket of blood-stained snow."

    Ernest Thompson Seton knew the depth of a wolf's grief and loyalty to family. His tracking of Lobo,his killing Lobo's mate in order to successfully trap him, and the grief he witnessed convinced him to become a champion of wolves for the rest of his life. He went from wolf trapper to wolf champion.

    Write into the NRB and tell them that a hundred years later, it is time that humans become as dignified and loyal as wolves. It's a HUGE leap - but it is past time for humans to evolve. Or lose their world and ultimately any living future for this planet.

  9. ricks11
    Report Abuse
    ricks11 - July 09, 2012 4:02 pm
    These anti-wildlife extremists SHOULD NOT BE PAID one cent when one of their hound dogs is killed by either a wolf or bear. They put their dogs in that position and know the risks and should not get one cent if one of their dogs is killed. Hound hunting should be banned. These people who hunt bears with dogs are ANTI-WILDLIFE. They care nothing for wildlife, only killing it and trapping it.
  10. ricks11
    Report Abuse
    ricks11 - July 09, 2012 3:59 pm
    just learned that several hunting/trapping groups got together over the weekend and they plan to speak before the Natural Resource Board on 7/17. Although DNR only allows one person to speak on behalf of an organization, members of the organizations can speak on their own behalf & apparently that is what they are planning to do. So, if possible, you are encouraged to attend the meeting on 7/17. To do so, you must register by 7/12. Deadline for comments is also 4 pm 7/12. See information below.

    Natural Resources Board to meet July 17 on proposed Wisconsin wolf hunting season

    Public encouraged to comment on board meeting agenda item

    MADISON – The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, the policy-making body for the Department of Natural Resources, will meet at 9 a.m. on July 17 (PDF)in the Spruce/Sands room at the Holiday Inn Convention Center, 1001 Amber Ave., Stevens Point, to consider an emergency administrative rule setting the final parameters of a fall 2012 wolf hunting season in the state.

    Information on the hunting season proposal can be found on the DNR website by searching for keyword “wolf.”

    A wolf hunting season was directed by the Wisconsin Legislature to start this fall. The legislature has set the season length and license fees, has approved hunting methods including use of hunting dogs and baiting, and has directed that both hunting and trapping be allowed and that hunting be allowed at night. Other aspects of the season, including quotas and permit levels, will be considered in the proposal before the board.

    The public must pre-register to testify no later than 4 p.m., Thursday, July 12, 2012. For consideration by the board, written comments must be received by the same timeframe. To register to testify, please contact Laurie Ross at (608) 267-7420 or via email at Written comments must be e-mailed to the Natural Resources Board at, or mailed to Laurie Ross, NRB Liaison, Wisconsin DNR – AD/8, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921.

    At the meeting, the Natural Resources Board will also hear an informational item on implementing wetland legislation in the state. As an informational item, no public input will be taken on the wetland item.

    Patricia, I hope you and many other wildlife advocates attend this meeting on July 17. The anti-wildlife extremists want many more wolves killed than 201.
  11. MAGRN
    Report Abuse
    MAGRN - July 09, 2012 11:12 am
    There is only one villan in this story and it is the man who according to the front page on the DNR web site was "instrumental in having the WOLF DELISTED" and that is Scotty, not the Big Bad Wolf. We stood in the cold and went to Madison to turn in signatures, but WI has spoken. They have no regard for our wildlife, our lakes, our air, our garbage dumps, so the bottom line here is they had their second chance, and they blew it. In November WI will have another opportunity to grasp at preserving our wildlife, streams, lakes, air and maintaining the beautiful state we all love, but right now the "FIASCO IN THE WOODS" will happen, as has been stated, day and night for four and a half months with traps, bows, bait, guns, dogs and morons who just like to see things dead to prove their masculinity due to short commings elsewhere. There are youth hunts, hunts for the handicapped, the regular deer season, but while all the animals are being "stirred up" the Wolf hunters with packs of dogs will be scaring everything into the previously set traps. Those bear dogs sure look a lot like running wolf to me, so no doubt there will be more casualties than has EVER happened in the past. Personally with CWD being discovered in the NW part of the state where it had never been found before is a good reason to leave the Wolf population alone, because if the DNR tries to get rid of it they just shoot everything, wolf are way more selective.
  12. Trail Wanderer
    Report Abuse
    Trail Wanderer - July 09, 2012 10:09 am
    What we have going for us now are politicians and extremist groups of people who are slowly trying to force upon the people a one party political rule. It is quite evident in the total lack of care or response for any other opinions or input relating to anything that the current crop of Republican politicians are doing - especially in the bill that set up the wolf hunt. Nothing in the bill could be classed as the business of the legislature other than it needed to authorize a wolf hunt. The rest of the bill makes a laughing stock out of the Natural Resources Board and anything that biologist with the Wisconsin DNR might wish to weigh in on. It takes away any kind of management. I would expect that the Wolf Bill was directly OKed by the current very environmentally concerned DNR Secretary so that there could be no nasty arguments within the DNR that might detract from the absolute cruel and outright barbaric treatment of wild animals that must spend their lives looking for something to eat amonst a continually uncontrolled or regulated spread of people. The state has gone backwards so swiftly in wildlife management it is unbelievable that it's real conservation organizations keep turning a blind eye to the disaster at hand. The state has become an example of what one party dictatorial rule is all about.
  13. Lynn Snyder
    Report Abuse
    Lynn Snyder - July 08, 2012 7:18 pm
    What is wrong with people that they think they have to destroy everything that they don't understand. Wisconsin should be ashamed of the way that they are letting killers rule their state. This is not hunting or sportsmanship, it is slaughter of innocent wolves that only hunt to survive and feed their young. Humans are destroying your state, not the wolves.
  14. william huard
    Report Abuse
    william huard - July 08, 2012 2:27 pm
    Hounders are SLOBS. They are thrill killers. They are many things, but "sportsmen" and "hunters" are not two of them. Everytime I think of hounds and wolves fighting I see the images of the youtube video from Turkey where a pair of wolves are tortured and killed by hounds as onlookers look on with enjoyment. This wolf hunt reflects poorly on hunters, hunting, and "wildlife mangement" in general. It shows how some people like Scott Suder ( the Bear Hunters Bit^&) view their role as responsible stewards of the enviroment..... I hope this hunt ends up in court. If it doesn't I hope and pray we get some video proof which shows the true nature of hounding. It isn't pretty and despite the pro- hounders blabbing about tradtition and how hounds have been used to hunt for thouands of years......this is 2012, and there should be no place for it today
    Report Abuse
    ONE_FAMILY - July 08, 2012 2:13 pm
    The wolf has been stereotyped in so many wrongful ways, and now will be tortured and murdered by those with dark
    minds. The same type of twisted, sub-humanoids that have "trained" dog breeds, over the years, (i.e., the german shepard, dobermans, rotts, and pitts), to reflect the evil in their mind, and force a canine's negative trait to surface ... hence, 'earning' a bad reputation, and a label that many find hard to forget, and fear, because of the imagery emblazoned. So it has been with the wolf, who as any family, only wants to survive in this world, and care for its offspring! I see man, by far, as being the cruelest of animals.
  16. suzyd
    Report Abuse
    suzyd - July 08, 2012 9:12 am
    We've got to keep fighting for the wildlife of Wisconsin or else the hunter (killers) and the state will get their wish to eliminate all we hold precious.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

What's hot

Featured businesses

Get weekly ads via e-mail