Some Native Americans Against Wolf Hunting

By KBJR News 1

October 18, 2012 Updated Oct 18, 2012 at 11:56 PM CDT

Solon Springs, WI (Northlands Newscenter) - Wisconsin Wolf's hunting season is in its fourth day and the Department of Natural Resources hopes it will help with wolf management.

But some in the Native American community feel the state is not respecting their values and religious beliefs.

The debate continues over the recent Wolf Hunting season in Wisconsin.

"I think it should be banned altogether," Tony DePerry, a Solon Springs community member, said.

"We support the idea of the hunting season," Adrian Wydeven, a carnivore specialist for Wisconsin DNR, said.

This week is wolf awareness week and coincidentally, it's also the opening of Wisconsin's wolf ever wolf hunting season.

Some members of the Native American community feel their efforts to preserve the wolf population have been ignored.

"What is making me most upset is the idea that they opened the season without informing us. They say they did, but they didn't until the last minute," DePerry said.

Tony DePerry says wolves have ceremonial significance to his community and he is concerned about what he sees as an already low population.

"They don't want to listen to our ways of life. They don't want to listen to it," DePerry said.

"The fact that we have a hunting season indicates that the population is doing very well. The hunting season will be one of the ways we manage problems and reduce conflicts," Wydeven said.

There are roughly 850 wolves in the state of Wisconsin and Tony believes more than one quarter of those will be gone this hunting season.

"I'm going to be blunt. You know. we don't need to go out there and show off to say, hey I done it, we done it...But what do you do with it when you're done with it?" DePerry said.

DePerry is concerned that hunters are pursuing the sport and trophy status versus utilizing the meat and other contributions from the wolf.

"I want respect. I want them to leave those animals alone to say, hey, look what we’ve done,” DePerry said.

State DNR officials say because of the growing wolf population, under story plants, deer herd and trout stream conditions have improved.

The state removed the wolf from its list of endangered and threatened species list in 2004.

Justin Reis, NNC. jreis@northlandsnewscenter.com