Last month OutdoorHub reported on an animal rights group that planned on following Montana wolf hunters. Now, members of the same group say they’ll do the same in Wisconsin.
WUWM reported on Wednesday that the group announced their intent to track and document hunters during the state’s third annual wolf season, which also began Wednesday. The group’s leader, 48-year-old Rodney Coronado, said that they are simply there to observe the hunt, not to interfere. Still, the presence of the protesters leaves some hunters and wildlife officials rankled.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Chief Warden Todd Schaller said that while it is legal for the group to head into the woods to observe the hunt, no form of harassment or interference with the hunt will be tolerated. Schaller advised hunters who feel harassed to report the incident to the department, and that any hunter who feels threatened should immediately call the police.
Coronado stated that nothing of the sort will happen under his watch. The activist’s group opposes the state’s wolf hunt, but said his purpose in the state is to raise public support for ending the season permanently. The group is posting regular updates regarding their activities in Wisconsin on Facebook, and so far there seems to have been little in the way of a confrontation. On opening day Coronado posted a video to YouTube saying that he and his 10-person team were following two trappers near Douglas County, which you can see below.
Coronado is a very controversial figure in the debate over wolf hunting in the states that allow it. According to Vice News, the activist was formerly part of the Animal Liberation Front and spent nearly five years in federal prison for burning down a Michigan State University research lab. Coronado has since said that he will no longer use illegal actions to further his cause, but many remain wary of his checkered past.
Experts estimate that Wisconsin has a population of about between 815 to 880 wolves organized in 213 packs. The wolf hunting season will run through to February 28 and has a quota of 150 animals.