Environment | Opinion

Column: Wisconsin overreacted to Ojibwe ceremonial elk hunt

"When Wisconsin’s Chippewa killed one juvenile bull elk near Clam Lake in mid-September for spiritual and cultural purposes, many citizens and the Department of Natural Resources screeched as if the tribe shot and devoured a goose that laid golden eggs.

DNR spokesmen described it as a breech of faith, even though the tribe informed the agency the previous week they were considering the idea. Rather than give the Chippewa rational reasons to scuttle the plan, the DNR claimed the hunt could threaten public safety and disrupt the elk’s harems and breeding patterns.

Oh, please. Who allowed such bunk to make the final draft of DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp’s protest letter?

A handful of tribal elders hunting for one elk could not be more dangerous than the hundreds, if not thousands, of Northwoods residents and visitors who routinely shoot recreationally behind homes and in backyards and woodlots without incident. And killing one male elk — whether a mature bull or 18-month-old spike-horn — will not doom reproduction. We regularly lose more elk to autos, wolves and liver flukes."

Get the Story:
Patrick Durkin column: Elk killing calls for better partnership (The Green Bay Press-Gazette 10/7)

Related Stories:
Ojibwe tribes planning for a ceremonial elk hunt in Wisconsin (9/12)

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