With a highly disputed wolf season underway in Wisconsin, the tension between hunters and their opposition is clearly on the rise.
Dennis Nitz, a Wisconsin native and one of five people to kill a wolf last week during the state's first annual season, said he received death threats within minutes of posting his photos of the wolf to Facebook, according to the Journal Sentinel. Nitz was one of over 1,000 people to receive a permit, while over 20,000 people applied for the right to hunt wolves this year.
After extensively scouting the area he would hunt, Nitz said he and his wife sat in a natural blind made of sticks and branches and played a rabbit-in-distress call, drawing in as many as 10 wolves. From 50 yards away he shot the wolf, at which point he submitted the carcass to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, as required by state law.
Wisconsin continues to be a battleground state for the wolf issue, as animal rights activists have gone to court in an attempt to stop the season from taking place. One group, Stop the Wisconsin Wolf Hunt 2012, held a rally in Madison to protest the season, declaring it "a dark day for Wisconsin," according to the Journal Sentinel. The group also posted Nitz's picture to their Facebook page, where anti-hunters wrote things like "may you all suffer a fate much worse than these Majestic Creatures are. A very slow mauling by a Grizzly would be nice. What goes around, comes around. MURDERERS."
There's also been a heated debate here on Petersen's Hunting about Ron Hill's hunting dog, which was brutally killed by wolves earlier this month.
"It's a pretty wild topic," Nitz told the Journal Sentinel about the wolf controversy. "For me, this was the ultimate hunting opportunity in Wisconsin. These are the top predators and their population is growing and needs to be controlled."