Four wolves killed during WI deer seasons. 1 Hunter arrested

spectr17

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Four wolves killed during deer seasons. Four animals shot; hunter arrested in female's death.

BY JOHN MYERS, Duluth Tribune

12/13/01

State and federal officials are investigating the illegal shooting of four wolves in Wisconsin during recent deer hunting seasons.

In Douglas County, Conservation Warden Lance Burns, stationed at Gordon, is investigating the death of a wolf found shot east of Solon Springs in the Shoberg Lake pack area.

In Price County, one shooter has been arrested and charged with shooting a wolf. The shooter said he didn't realize the animal was a wolf.

The other two wolves were shot in Clark and Juneau counties.

"It's unusual to have four shot in one season. It's unfortunate,'' said Ed Spoon, special agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigating one of the cases. "These are difficult cases to work. We're looking at the animal.... We're interviewing people who might have been in the area. We're searching the crime scene. That's where the publicity comes in, if we can get the word out and get some information.''

Anyone with information on the shootings can call (800) TIP-WDNR.

A $4,000 reward has been posted for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of those responsible for killing the wolves.

The reward money was contributed by the Defenders of Wildlife Imperiled Predator Reward Fund, Timber Wolf Alliance of Northland College in Ashland, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Timber wolves remain federally protected in Wisconsin under the Endangered Species Act. There are an estimated 250 wolves across the northern half of the state.

If caught, the shooters could face both state and federal charges. In federal court, a violation of the Endangered Species Act can bring up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

"Biologically, these unnatural deaths can significantly disrupt pack structure and alter natural cycles, particularly when alpha animals are killed,'' said Nina Fascione, director of carnivore conservation for the Defenders of Wildlife. "Politically, it's just dumb. At a time when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is looking to lessen federal protections for wolves in the Great Lakes states, citizens should be demonstrating good stewardship of this endangered species, not carelessness and lawbreaking.''

In the Price County killing, State Conservation Warden Kendall Frederick, stationed in Phillips, arrested a hunter for shooting a female wolf in an area about 8 miles northwest of Phillips. The wolf was shot on Oct. 27, the Saturday of the early Zone T hunt.

The defendant signed a statement acknowledging that he shot the wolf while deer hunting and stated that he did not realize it was a wolf. He has been charged with the unintentional killing of a wolf. The citation has been filed with the Price County Clerk of Court.

Both the Clark County and the Juneau County wolves were alpha males wearing radio transmitter collars. The alpha male of a wolf pack is the lead male and the alpha male and alpha female reproduce.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing the status of wolves in Wisconsin and may reclassify to threatened next year. That would allow federal agents to trap and kill problem wolves, but still won't allow the public to kill wolves. The Wisconsin wolf population has increased from none in 1970 because of natural migration of wolves into the state from Minnesota, where about 2,600 wolves roam.
 

Zeke

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I say take him out and let "the pack" take care of him!  Z
 

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