Wolf Hunt proponent charged with animal cruelty

The U.P. Wolf Hunt is now in its fourth week and so far, a total of twenty wolves have been harvested – almost half of the season’s quota. Twelve of those twenty wolves were killed in Wolf Management Unit B; a unit that saw more livestock depredations than all of the other units combined. In fact, since 2010, 96 of the 158 wolf attacks on cattle took place on a single farm in the area.

But, as ABC 10’s Rick Tarsitano reports, the 68-year-old farmer in charge of those herds has a history of poor animal husbandry that may be catching up to him.

John Koski’s reputation for animal care has been suspect over the years with multiple reports of dead cattle being left to rot in his fields. Aside from being an attractant for wolves, his practices violated the Dead Bodies Act – a misdemeanor punishable by a minimum fine of $300 or imprisonment for a minimum of 30 days, or both. It’s a small price to pay when compared to the $32,000 in restitution given to Koski as compensation for his lost cattle.

To prevent future attacks, the DNR issued Koski three donkeys. Two died as a result of alleged neglect and dehydration, and the third was removed in February due to poor health. Nine months later, on December 3rd, Koski was arraigned in Ontonagon County District Court on a misdemeanor charge of abandoning cruelty to two or three animals.

If convicted, Koski faces up to one year in prison, a $2,000 fine, up to 300 hours of community service, or any combination of those penalties. The judge may also order Koski to pay for the housing and veterinary care given to the donkeys, along with a psychiatric evaluation. If the court deems Koski unfit to care for animals, he may be ordered to not own or possess one.

Only time will tell with Koski’s next hearing set for December 17th