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Wisconsin Wolf Hunts to Continue But Without the Use of Dogs

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October 05, 2012

Wisconsin Wolf Hunts to Continue But Without the Use of Dogs

By Chad Love

A hotly-contested Wisconsin wolf hunt can continue for now, but without the use of dogs.

From this story on jsonline.com
A lawsuit to prevent the use of dogs to hunt or trail wolves in Wisconsin has succeeded until at least Dec. 20, the date Judge Peter Anderson will hold the next hearing in the case. As the result, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued a statement Thursday alerting wolf hunters that "the season will proceed but without the use of dogs." The wolf hunting and trapping season is scheduled to begin Oct. 15. The use of dogs to pursue wolves had been authorized by state statute to begin Nov. 26. Groups and individuals filed a lawsuit against the DNR in August, claiming the department did not have adequate rules in place to prevent potentially deadly exchanges between wolves and dogs.

According to the story, Wisconsin is the only state to authorize the use of dogs to hunt wolves, but opponents claim the use of dogs to hunt or trail wolves violates state animal cruelty laws. Will this deter any of you Wisconsin hunters who were hoping to hunt wolves this fall?

Comments (12)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Hunting coyotes with dogs has been a recognized sport in the west for a hundred years or more. But wolves? Maybe on the plains but I don't think Wisconsin would lend itself to that kind of hunting being very productive. Sounds like a great way to lose your dogs! Wolves regularly kill and eat dogs around here, some of them as big as labs and huskies. I don't have a problem with the authorities stepping in and stopping people from doing really stupid stuff in the name of hunting. Especially if it could get some animals hurt unnecessarily. I hunt with my dogs but give me a blindfold and cigarette if I ever intentionally put them in danger. Not so sure some of the nuts that are arriving in town for big game opener this weekend are as intelligent so yeah the govt can step in and give them some guidance. I'm okay with that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Which animal is the lawsuit trying to protect, the wolves or the dogs? A potentially deadly exchange between the dogs and a wolf would kind of be the point of that type of hunting, wouldn't it? Don't get me wrong, I love my dogs, but mine are pets and not trained to hunt predators like some dogs are.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Hound hunting I do not like. Dog's get torn up by bear, cougar when using them to hunt. So what?..the hound huner just gets another dog. And in Yellowstone Park recently?..evidence of cougars killing wolves. Remember when you are out there in the woods hunting. A cougar could be hunting YOU.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wisc14 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

not plainning on hunting wolves. don't think dogs should be allowed to hunt wolves (i do think people should be allowed to hunt them just not with dogs). the wolf hunt regulations were kind of rammed through by some politicians with an agenda

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alex Grimaudo wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

This is probably gonna get me downvotes, but....

I am personally against wolf hunting. I see wolves as a part of the ecosystem that has been missing for so long that it has left a huge imbalance in the natural world. Animals whose populations were previously regulated by these natural predators are now breeding more efficiently than ever, and it is negatively impacting our delicate ecosystems. Without the wolves, animals such as deer, elk, moose, and most small game have experienced incredible growth in terms of their populations. We are always talking about how much these herbivores' populations are negatively impacting our crops and native plants, but yet we turn and hunt the wolves? These wolves could signficantly aid in game management if only we were able to keep them around. Therefore, killing a wolf is nothing more than aiding the imbalance of the natural habitat.

All of this doesn't even talk about the wolves' previous natural range. Wolves used to enjoy a free range that spanned all the way to North Carolina. Now most are moving to Canada. So why would we continue hunting them when their habitat is already deteriorating at such a rapid pace? Stick to hunting the herbivores people, it's environmentally and ecologically sound.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

@ Alex Grimaudo

That may have been true 200 years ago but it is not true now. It is a fact that elk were overpopulated in Yellowstone and that led to the decline of riparian habitats and a decrease in population of many plants and animals. Yellowstone was out of balance because wolves were absent, however outside of Yellowstone, the wolf had been replaced by human hunters. Then since the introduction of the wolves was not regulated, the wolves became overpopulated and decimated the elk population, swinging the pendulum past balance to the other extreme. Eventually, yellowstone will even out but that does not do anything for every other area where wolves have overpopulated and impacted game herds.

"Natural balance" does not mean what most people think it means. Most think it means that game populations stay at a constant healthy level and predators populations also remain stable in a miraculous balance of life. In reality, predators will continue to eat and multiply as long as there is food, eventually they eat themsleves out of a food supply and their population crashes also, over the next couple decades the prey base rebuilds followed by the predators and then another crash. Many places that we tend to think of as having always been havens of big game were in fact barren of such life when europeans first entered the scene.

What people need to understand is that there is no longer any such thing as "natural balance" unless we remove ourselves from the earth.

Nature was not out of balance without wolves because ungulate populations were regulated by human hunting.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bounty1 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

I guess that'll keep the dogs out of my wolf traps.

Down votes Alex Grimaudo?? You got that right.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Dogs have been helping humans to hunt for maybe a lot more than 30,000 years. I've heard that people who hunt with dogs really like the dogs a lot, it's not for me to judge them.

@elkslayer there is no balance of nature. University level ecology courses stopped teaching it long ago. Nature is in flux. Google it.

Yellowstone was not over populated with elk prior to wolves says the park service. www.nps.gov/yell/naturescience/northrng.htm Wolves were restored so that all the animals would be present in the ecosystem, and I have to admit that I like being in woods that have lots of variety of wildlife. Where we went wrong was in not managing wolves. They should have had careful limits put on their population until we understood them better, and only slowly allowed out of Yellowstone. Recent polling shows a hardening of anti wolf attitude in Montana. In some ways wolf reintroduction has been a failure.

Some hunters in Montana like being in hills that have griz, wolves, cats, the whole compliment of critters. I have to admit Montana also has a reputation of having the best, most ethical, skillful hunters.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nyflyangler wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

@Alex

Nice thought but nature rarely works that way.

Animals operate on the law of the maximum result for the smallest energy expenditure.

It's far easier for wolves to sustain themselves on farm animals, pets and the occasional unwary human than it is for them to catch wild animals.

Wolves as predators only work where there's no artificially introduced weakest prey into the ecosystem.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Schickster wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

First, I am a Wisconsin resident and hunter. Some "points" on this issue here:
A) Yes, this wolf hunt WAS "rushed" through our State Legislature. Was sufficient scrutiny given it by all of that body? My personal opinion, not by a long shot.
B) Wisconsin quite fairly compensates livestock owners for any losses due to wolves.
Another personal opinion: Wanna-be wolve hunters blame the wolves for not getting a deer,consider them "Big Game" (open your wallet & go out west for REAL big game) need dogs because they are lazy, unskilled hunters on their own. Yet, these same yahoo's will (and already do) request (and get) paid for dogs lost to wolves by the State. Ridiculous. Also, just look at the insane length of the season for this wolf hunt.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dedduck wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

there are too many predators already, man being the biggest predator. That's why you need a licence, wolves don't need one, they kill indiscriminately, so they have to be controlled.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dedduck wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

there are too many predators already, man being the biggest predator. That's why you need a licence, wolves don't need one, they kill indiscriminately, so they have to be controlled.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Hunting coyotes with dogs has been a recognized sport in the west for a hundred years or more. But wolves? Maybe on the plains but I don't think Wisconsin would lend itself to that kind of hunting being very productive. Sounds like a great way to lose your dogs! Wolves regularly kill and eat dogs around here, some of them as big as labs and huskies. I don't have a problem with the authorities stepping in and stopping people from doing really stupid stuff in the name of hunting. Especially if it could get some animals hurt unnecessarily. I hunt with my dogs but give me a blindfold and cigarette if I ever intentionally put them in danger. Not so sure some of the nuts that are arriving in town for big game opener this weekend are as intelligent so yeah the govt can step in and give them some guidance. I'm okay with that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wisc14 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

not plainning on hunting wolves. don't think dogs should be allowed to hunt wolves (i do think people should be allowed to hunt them just not with dogs). the wolf hunt regulations were kind of rammed through by some politicians with an agenda

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

@ Alex Grimaudo

That may have been true 200 years ago but it is not true now. It is a fact that elk were overpopulated in Yellowstone and that led to the decline of riparian habitats and a decrease in population of many plants and animals. Yellowstone was out of balance because wolves were absent, however outside of Yellowstone, the wolf had been replaced by human hunters. Then since the introduction of the wolves was not regulated, the wolves became overpopulated and decimated the elk population, swinging the pendulum past balance to the other extreme. Eventually, yellowstone will even out but that does not do anything for every other area where wolves have overpopulated and impacted game herds.

"Natural balance" does not mean what most people think it means. Most think it means that game populations stay at a constant healthy level and predators populations also remain stable in a miraculous balance of life. In reality, predators will continue to eat and multiply as long as there is food, eventually they eat themsleves out of a food supply and their population crashes also, over the next couple decades the prey base rebuilds followed by the predators and then another crash. Many places that we tend to think of as having always been havens of big game were in fact barren of such life when europeans first entered the scene.

What people need to understand is that there is no longer any such thing as "natural balance" unless we remove ourselves from the earth.

Nature was not out of balance without wolves because ungulate populations were regulated by human hunting.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Dogs have been helping humans to hunt for maybe a lot more than 30,000 years. I've heard that people who hunt with dogs really like the dogs a lot, it's not for me to judge them.

@elkslayer there is no balance of nature. University level ecology courses stopped teaching it long ago. Nature is in flux. Google it.

Yellowstone was not over populated with elk prior to wolves says the park service. www.nps.gov/yell/naturescience/northrng.htm Wolves were restored so that all the animals would be present in the ecosystem, and I have to admit that I like being in woods that have lots of variety of wildlife. Where we went wrong was in not managing wolves. They should have had careful limits put on their population until we understood them better, and only slowly allowed out of Yellowstone. Recent polling shows a hardening of anti wolf attitude in Montana. In some ways wolf reintroduction has been a failure.

Some hunters in Montana like being in hills that have griz, wolves, cats, the whole compliment of critters. I have to admit Montana also has a reputation of having the best, most ethical, skillful hunters.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Which animal is the lawsuit trying to protect, the wolves or the dogs? A potentially deadly exchange between the dogs and a wolf would kind of be the point of that type of hunting, wouldn't it? Don't get me wrong, I love my dogs, but mine are pets and not trained to hunt predators like some dogs are.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Hound hunting I do not like. Dog's get torn up by bear, cougar when using them to hunt. So what?..the hound huner just gets another dog. And in Yellowstone Park recently?..evidence of cougars killing wolves. Remember when you are out there in the woods hunting. A cougar could be hunting YOU.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bounty1 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

I guess that'll keep the dogs out of my wolf traps.

Down votes Alex Grimaudo?? You got that right.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nyflyangler wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

@Alex

Nice thought but nature rarely works that way.

Animals operate on the law of the maximum result for the smallest energy expenditure.

It's far easier for wolves to sustain themselves on farm animals, pets and the occasional unwary human than it is for them to catch wild animals.

Wolves as predators only work where there's no artificially introduced weakest prey into the ecosystem.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Schickster wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

First, I am a Wisconsin resident and hunter. Some "points" on this issue here:
A) Yes, this wolf hunt WAS "rushed" through our State Legislature. Was sufficient scrutiny given it by all of that body? My personal opinion, not by a long shot.
B) Wisconsin quite fairly compensates livestock owners for any losses due to wolves.
Another personal opinion: Wanna-be wolve hunters blame the wolves for not getting a deer,consider them "Big Game" (open your wallet & go out west for REAL big game) need dogs because they are lazy, unskilled hunters on their own. Yet, these same yahoo's will (and already do) request (and get) paid for dogs lost to wolves by the State. Ridiculous. Also, just look at the insane length of the season for this wolf hunt.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dedduck wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

there are too many predators already, man being the biggest predator. That's why you need a licence, wolves don't need one, they kill indiscriminately, so they have to be controlled.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alex Grimaudo wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

This is probably gonna get me downvotes, but....

I am personally against wolf hunting. I see wolves as a part of the ecosystem that has been missing for so long that it has left a huge imbalance in the natural world. Animals whose populations were previously regulated by these natural predators are now breeding more efficiently than ever, and it is negatively impacting our delicate ecosystems. Without the wolves, animals such as deer, elk, moose, and most small game have experienced incredible growth in terms of their populations. We are always talking about how much these herbivores' populations are negatively impacting our crops and native plants, but yet we turn and hunt the wolves? These wolves could signficantly aid in game management if only we were able to keep them around. Therefore, killing a wolf is nothing more than aiding the imbalance of the natural habitat.

All of this doesn't even talk about the wolves' previous natural range. Wolves used to enjoy a free range that spanned all the way to North Carolina. Now most are moving to Canada. So why would we continue hunting them when their habitat is already deteriorating at such a rapid pace? Stick to hunting the herbivores people, it's environmentally and ecologically sound.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dedduck wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

there are too many predators already, man being the biggest predator. That's why you need a licence, wolves don't need one, they kill indiscriminately, so they have to be controlled.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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