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WI: Farmers concerned over Shawano County wolf attacks

By Jorge Rodas

SHAWANO COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – Shawano County farmers are looking for solutions, wondering what they can do to protect their livestock after two deadly wolf attacks this month.

One attack was in Gresham, the other in Bowler, both towns west of Shawano. In one case a dairy cow was killed, in the other a dog.

Tim Paiser’s dairy cattle are his livelihood, so their safety is a big deal to this Shawano County farmer.

“Every day you’re wanting to know if there’s going to be anything else out there that’s been attacked.”

Adding to his frustrations are the limitations he faces in protecting his cattle.

“Right now I can’t protect them. I mean, if it’s out there killing one of my cows, I got to do nothing.”

“Wolves are again federally protected,” Wisconsin DNR District Wildlife Supervisor Jeff Pritzl said, “under the Federal Endangered Species Act, and so lethal control isn’t an option in almost all cases.”

Even when they attack pets or livestock on private property.

“They’re disrupting my livelihood that I worked, my family and me and everybody else that worked hard for,” Paiser said.

Which is why he wants to the state to re-take regulatory duties over the wolf population — something the DNR says it wants to do but has to wait for the federal government to decide on.

Paiser says waiting could lead to tragedy.

“The cow, yeah, it hurts. Can be replaced. Dog, yes, it’s a family dog. Can be replaced. Can’t replace a child, and it can happen.”

Paiser says he still sees fresh pawprints in the area, so he’s sure wolves are still around, which only adds to his frustration.