Some very simple math shows that the state of Wisconsin abused Native American tribes last February by allowing the killing of 218 wolves.
The state’s bag limit for state-licensed hunters and trappers was 119 wolves, while 81 wolves were allocated to several Ojibwe tribes.
But the tribes, who considered the wolf sacred, chose not to hunt their allotted animals. This means the state should have limited non-native hunters to 119 wolves.
Instead, 218 were killed – about 20% of the state’s estimated wolf population – until the state stopped its hunting after only three days. State-sanctioned hunters did, in fact, use their quotas and tribes (and then some) until the DNR stopped the season.
It was not the fault of the players and the players who paid for the hunting licenses. Let’s also acknowledge that it was hard for the DNR to predict how quickly wolves would be caught after years of protecting the animals (assuming they weren’t attacking livestock).
But last February’s wolf hunt was not fair to the tribes, who sued in court, saying their treaty rights were being violated. Apparently, the tribes are now concerned that a wolf season this fall will “replenish their share” of the animals, according to their lawyer.