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Wolf hunt debate: Have scientists fallen prey?

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Wolf hunt debate: Have scientists fallen prey?

It’s not that they think wolves are cute. It’s that they think — erroneously, perhaps — that the species is ecologically indispensible.

Late in the afternoon of Oct. 15, Dennis Nitz hunkered down in a hunter’s blind fashioned of tree boughs in a forest clearing near Eau Claire. It was the day Wisconsin hunters began gunning for wolves — the state’s first hunt since the animals were taken off the federal endangered-species list.

Playing a recording of suffering-rabbit sounds, Nitz called in a 72-pound wolf, which he shot as it stood broadside, 47 yards away. That evening Nitz posted photos online.

Within minutes he received death threats.

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