The Hungry Orphaned Black Bear Cubs…

Mother bear sends her cubs quickly up a tree, as she makes herself the decoy, and leads the mob of hounds away from her precious cubs. Exhausted she climbs a tree, the mob of hounds hollering below, the sounds of men is heard along with a shot of thunder ending mother bears life…

The following is a fictional story based on natural history of Wisconsin’s black bear.

As mother bear dies she slips from the tree branch hitting the ground below, and the mob of hollering hounds begin to nip and bite at her lifeless body. The men turn her lifeless body over exposing her belly, discovery they’ve killed a mother Black Bear by mistake, and it’s illegal to kill any Black bear accompanied by a cub or cubs. The men decide it’s an easy fix because they never saw any cubs during the chase because they lost sight of their dogs. High tech collars with radio telemetry tracking devices are used to follow the dogs from up to five miles or more away from the chase.

The mother’s cubs cling to the upper branches of the tree balling loudly, but go silent when they hear the shot of thunder in the distance. The nine month old bear cubs begin searching for the scent of their mother in the air around them. They’ve been taught to stay in the tree until she calls for them. The cubs sit quietly in the tree waiting for the all clear signal from their mother. Its unbearably hot in September, and the cubs are getting thirsty. They chew on tree leaves like their mother taught them to get some needed moisture. The cubs wait into the night with no all clear sign from their mother. During the night the cubs are awakened by sounds of brother wolf and sister barred owl. The cubs go silent when they hear these calls just like their mother taught them to do. The cubs begin to feel hunger pangs in their stomachs as the first morning light hits the tree tops. The cubs ball loudly calling for their mother. Tears run down their cheeks. There is no sign of their mother. The hungry and thirsty cubs scurry down the tree trunk to the forest floor. They put their noses into the air and begin smelling it for any signs of danger just like their mother taught them.

The cubs will stay with their very protective mother for about two years. In that two years she will teach them everything they need to know in order to survive. But what happens when two nine month old orphaned black Bear cubs are left to fen for themselves in the Wisconsin north woods? All because of greedy men? Find out what happens to the Hungry Orphaned Black Bear Cubs in the third installment of the series on WODCW’s blog…

Today, where the wild-creatures-live has become a war zone in Wisconsin. And it’s all in the name of sport. Hunter’s dogs run through the woods in pursuit of bear disrupting families; bear cubs are separated from their mothers, foraging black bears are kept on the move, and how about the White-tailed deer forced to protect her fawn from packs of free roaming hunting dogs in pursuit of bear. Gray wolves defending their pups kill hunter’s dogs in a never-ending-game.

Individual species should and must be managed for the good of the species and the habitat it depends. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources estimates; most recent data indicates the bear population is currently estimated to be just under 29,000 bears. DNR manages bear population size through regulated hunting. In the end, black bears are managed for economic gain through hunting.

Watch the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources promotional video about hunting Black Bear

A cause for concern….

The baiting of black bear starts in April and goes through to the end of September. That’s roughly six months of intentional food subsidies being fed to a carnivore. Not to mention, that’s a lot of disruption to the black bear’s natural habitat. Over four million gallons of bait is dropped in the woods for the purpose of hunting black bear. Bears are fed donuts, gummy bears, and cereal. Donuts have a high volume of calories, some doughnuts contain partially hydrogenated oils, which aren’t healthy for the heart, and most doughnuts are made with white flour. Glazed doughnuts contain 210 mg of sodium.

Black bears are omnivores that eat food of both plant and animal origin.

It’s no surprise that baiting black bear is a cause for alarm. It’s been controversial for a number of years. But what’s interesting now is the research points out a number of problems resulting from the baiting of black bear.

Female consumption of high caloric food subsidies can increase fecundity (the ability to produce an abundance of offspring or new growth; fertility), and can train cubs to seek bear baits. According to the research this can increase a population above its ecological carrying capacity.

Black bears are omnivorous and spend spring, summer & autumn foraging for Native Forage, included known bear foods; berries, acorns, grasses and sedges, other plants, and white-tailed deer.

Today, black bears in Wisconsin are being conditioned to search out human foods placed at bear baiting stations. This is influencing the black bears natural habitat. Researchers found that; humans are influencing the ecosystem not only through top-down forces via hunting, but also through bottom-up forces by subsidizing the food base.

The Researchers found that if food subsidies (bait) were removed, bear-human conflicts may increase and bears may no longer be able to subsist on natural foods.

High availability of energy-rich food can also alter denning chronology, shortening the denning period.

In 1963 Wisconsin allowed the use of dogs in pursuit of black bears. It’s been an expensive mistake both in the lives of dogs & Wildlife. Hunter’s are compensated $2,500.00 for each dog killed by wolves during training & hunting with dogs in pursuit of black bear.

Please Take Action…

Contact your Wisconsin State Legislature:

Click here for more information.

Bill Lea has been observing and photographing Black Bears.

The Featured Image and the following is from Bill Lea Photograply’s Facebook post:

It always makes me nervous when I see cubs playing high in a tree even if mom is right there overseeing everything. Sometimes I have even watched mother bears initiate play with their cubs while in the treetops. Cubs can and do fall from trees on occasion suffering injury or even death at times. But overall, bears feel about as comfortable and at ease in tree limbs high above the ground as they do on the ground itself. It is just so natural for them to be up there. Nonetheless, I still worry about them when they are so high, especially when they decide to play — even if mom is next to them making sure everybody behaves. Regardless, it is great fun watching a bear family interact and enjoy life together on the ground or high above in the treetops..

Please Take Action: Only You Can Prevent #Extinction…

As a child growing up in the sixties I learned to respect our fellow creatures and to set things right. But…

“The More Things Change, The More They Remain The Same.” ~Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

Today, where the wild-creatures-live has become a war zone in Wisconsin. And it’s all in the name of sport. Hunter’s dogs run through the woods in pursuit of bear disrupting families; bear cubs are separated from their mothers, foraging black bears are kept on the move, and how about the White-tailed deer forced to protect her fawn from packs of free roaming hunting dogs in pursuit of bear. Gray wolves defending their pups kill hunter’s dogs in a never-ending-game.

In 1963 Wisconsin allowed the use of dogs in pursuit of black bears. It’s been an expensive mistake both in the lives of dogs & Wildlife.

There will come a day when the voice of the wilderness is heard no more if we continue down this destructive path. Killing is not conservation, and we cannot ignore the rights of our wild fellow beings any longer. As human populations grow worldwide more & more wilderness is lost.

Please Take Action…

Find your legislators here.

The Gray wolf is a part of Wisconsin’s wild legacy. Wisconsin’s wolf recovery began in the late 1970s.

In 1963 Wisconsin allowed the use of dogs in pursuit of black bears. It’s been an expensive mistake both in the lives of dogs & Wildlife. Hunter’s are compensated $2,500.00 for each dog killed by wolves during training & hunting with dogs in pursuit of black bear.

#BanBearHounding

WODCW Opinion Editorial: Criminally harassing protected gray wolves is a violation of the Endangered Species Act

By Rachel Tilseth 

In 2016 41 dogs were killed in the pursuit of bear in northern Wisconsin.  Are any wolves being injured or killed in the decades-old conflict between bear hunters and wolves?  In a call to the USFWS services Great Lakes Office I asked them that question. USFWS didn’t have an answer for me.  My concern is that when USFWS investigates a wolf depredation on a hunting dog; do they investigate if any wolves were injured or killed as a result of the encounter?  Wolves are an endangered species protected under the Endangered Species Act.  The word “protected” was the sticking point for me.  Criminally harassing protected gray wolves is a violation of the ESA. 

There is hope for a solution to the deacades-old conflict between bear hunters and wolves, and it’s a legal one.  

On August 2nd a letter was sent to USFWS: “This is a formal request for an investigation of alleged criminal violations relating to the illegal take of the federally protected gray wolf (Canis lupus) in Wisconsin. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (“PEER”) has learned of ongoing illegal harassment of the gray wolf by hound hunters in Wisconsin.” Letter from PEER 

The Criminal Complaint Cites State Payments for Hunting Dogs Killed in Wolf Clashes was filed on August 2, 2017 by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
The Criminal Complaint from PEER

“Washington, DC — Hunters unleashing packs of dogs to tree bears in Wisconsin woods are criminally harassing gray wolves in violation of the Endangered Species Act, according to a complaint filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The complaint cites state payments to hunters to compensate for hunting dogs killed or injured in clashes with wolves as evidence of violations.”

The last sentence in the above paragraph makes it perfectly clear that the evidence is,  “…state payments to hunters to compensate for hunting dogs killed or injured in clashes with wolves as evidence of violations.”

Wolves a protected species under the federal ESA are being harassed. 

…“Endangered species are legally protected from human activity which adversely affects the animals, not just physical injury but harm to habitat or breeding. Loosing packs of dogs on them absolutely constitutes an adverse impact.” Said,  Staff attorney Adam Carlesco (PEER)

In a previous Blog I asked this question; Considering the decades of conflict between bear hunters and wolves; is this becoming harassment of an endangered species?  Isn’t this illegal? 

The conflict between bear hunters and wolves has been occurring for decades.  In a Wisconsin Public Television special about Wisconsin wolves;  the conflict between bear hunters and wolves was addressed back in October 2010. Watch the the following video. 

The conflict between bear hunters and wolves is a reality, and it continues to play out every summer in Wisconsin’s north woods. 

Bear hunter holds up a dog killed by wolves

Hunters using dogs in pursuit of bear in the norths woods of Wisconsin run their hounds right through wolf rendezvous sites (where wolf pups are kept). Wolf pups are only about three months old when hunters begin running their dogs on bear. They run hounds through known wolf caution areas; even though WDNR sends out alerts to avoid those areas. In 1982 Wisconsin started a wolf depredation program. Wolf depredation program pays $2,500.00 per hunting dog. In 2016 thirty-seven bear hunting dogs were killed in the pursuit of bear. Several bear hunters received multiple wolf depredation program payments, and even ones with criminal charges; such as poaching a black bear. WODCW’s Blog

We have no way of knowing if wolves are being killed during these encounters occurring every summer; between dogs that are in pursuit of bear, and wolves that are defending their pups. In the PEER criminal complaint, criminal take can occur when a hunter’s activities, “…as appears to be the case here.” The “hunter’s activities” of running dogs in pursuit of bear through wolf rendezvous sites. Read the definition of criminal take from the press release: 

“Under the federal Endangered Species Act, criminal “take” does not require proving that the hunter intended to hurt a wolf. Take can occur when a hunter mistakenly shoots an endangered species believed to be a non-listed animal. Criminal take can also occur when a hunter’s activities, though not specifically directed at a listed species, result in take of a listed species, as appears to be the case here.”  PEER criminal complaint

Bear hunter’s activities, as in use of dogs in the pursuit of bear can be considered criminal “take” in this criminal complaint.  PEER in a Letter to the USFWS law enforcement requested a full investigation:

William C. Woody
Chief, Office of Law Enforcement
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
5600 American Boulevard, West, Suite 990 Bloomington, MN 55437-1458
RE: Request for Criminal Investigation – Violation of the Endangered Species Act
Dear Chief Woody:
This is a formal request for an investigation of alleged criminal violations relating to the illegal take of the federally protected gray wolf (Canis lupus) in Wisconsin. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (“PEER”) has learned of ongoing illegal harassment of the gray wolf by hound hunters in Wisconsin. These activities have led to adverse effects on breeding patterns and the habitat of the gray wolf. PEER believes these activities constitute prima facie evidence of ongoing criminal misconduct.”  Letter

A response from the president of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association Star Tribune article,  “Wisconsin tradition – hunting bears with dogs – comes under attack by wolf advocates” Wolf advocates attack Wis. reimbursements.  By Josephine Marcotty Star Tribune AUGUST 11, 2017, stated, “…also there are many more wolves, period.  Also, the wolves have now devestated the deer population in northern Wisconsin, they have become more aggressive in their search for food, and thus more likely to target our dogs.”   Carl Schoettel, president of Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, full response to questions from the Star Tribune

Wolves are responsible for taking 6% of White-tailed deer population in wolf range in 2014

A “Study sheds light on top causes of deer mortality” conducted in 2014 found that; “…In fact, human hunting was responsible for about twice as much deer mortality in northern Wisconsin than the other four causes combined.  The rates of mortality were human hunting 43%, starvation 9%, coyote 7%, wolf 6% and roadkill 6%.”  Source

Who’s responsible for the record number of dogs killed by wolves in 2016?  We know wolves are killing hunting dogs that run through rendezvous sites where wolf pups are kept.  It’s absurd to lay blame exclusively upon an endangered species, wolves in this case. Laying blame on a wild animal that is defending offspring from the activity of human hunters is irresponsible.  

For over a year now, I’ve been saying (WODCW Blog) it’s the “loosening” of regulations as the probable cause for the high number of hunting dogs deaths. In PEER’s letter to USFWS requesting a full investigation what the cause is: 

“Furthermore, in 2015, the state eliminated the “Class B” bear hound training licenses. While a Class A license or “kill tag” is still required for any hunter wishing to kill a black bear, the Class B licensing requirements have been rescinded. See Wis. Stat. 29.184(3)(a) (stating that no license is required to, among other things, train a dog to track bear or assist a holder of a Class A bear license). Class B requirements mandated that a prospective hunter seeking to train hounds obtain a permit from the state to do so. A Class B permit allowed a hunter to bait bears, train dogs to track bears, act as a back-up shooter, or assist a hunter pursuing a bear. Now both residents and non-residents may run hound dogs through Wisconsin’s wilderness for training purposes unchecked and without licensed oversight from the state.” PEER Letter

Harassment or pursuit of a wolf while hound hunting is prohibited by the ESA. 

More from PEER criminal complaint:

“Harassment or pursuit of a wolf while hound hunting is a prohibited act as evidenced by the plain language of the ESA’s “take” definition, which includes harassment and pursuit. However, over the course of Wisconsin’s 2016 hunting season, forty-eight hounds were killed by wolves, twenty-one of which occurred on public lands, and more than fifteen of those acts occurred after hunters were informed of the fact that they were hunting in “wolf caution areas.”18 The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources creates specific “wolf caution areas” that warn hunters of previous instances of wolf attacks on hound dogs in a hunting or training situation. To aid hunters, the DNR website features an interactive “Gray Wolf Depredation Mapping Application” which “shows all verified wolf depredations and threats on livestock, hunting dogs and pets as well as verified human health and safety conflicts.”19 Lastly, DNR has an e-mail and text alert system to inform residents about wolf activity in their area.20”  PEER criminal complaint letter to USFWS

Such action is in obvious conflict with Congress’ intent to protect a fragile species and constitutes a criminal violation of the ESA.

Additionally, because hound training season in Wisconsin takes place when wolves are raising their pups, the fact that hounds are running through clearly identified wolf territory unchecked means that such actions directly impair the wolves’ ability to breed, feed, and find shelter; activity specifically protected by the plain language of the ESA’s implementing regulations. 50 C.F.R. 17.3. Such action is in obvious conflict with Congress’ intent to protect a fragile species and constitutes a criminal violation of the ESA.  PEER criminal complaint letter to USFWS

In a conversation with USFWS Great Lakes Region office over a month or so ago, I asked them if they would investigate bear hunters using dogs in pursuit of bear, because this activity or sport was getting out of hand; not only were a record number of hunting dogs being lost, but I began to think wolves were being harassed by this activity.  Hunters were repeatedly going into Wisconsin DNR Wolf caution areas. “Wolf caution areas are created to warn hunters that a specific pack has attacked a dog or group of dogs. Bear hunters are urged to exercise greater caution if they plan to train hounds or hunt bear with hounds near any caution area, especially if near an actual kill site.”  From the WDNR wolf caution website

USFWS never got back to me, and my next step was to call PEER, because I had heard good things about their work.  In the end, PEER took my concerns seriously, the result is a criminal complaint letter requesting USFWS law enforcement to investigate.  There is hope and it’s a legal one. We are now awaiting a response from USFWS. 

In 2017 minimum wolf population estimates was 925. 

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Featured photograph by Wisconsin DNR 

Harassment of an endangered species in the north woods of Wisconsin began July first

Hunters using dogs in pursuit of bear in the norths woods of Wisconsin run their hounds right through wolf rendezvous sites (where wolf pups are kept).  Wolf pups are only about three months old when hunters begin running their dogs on bear. They run hounds through known wolf caution areas; even though WDNR sends out alerts to avoid those areas. In 1982 Wisconsin started a wolf depredation program.  Wolf depredation program pays $2,500.00 per hunting dog. In 2016 thirty-seven bear hunting dogs were killed in the pursuit of bear. Several bear hunters received multiple wolf depredation program payments, and even ones with criminal charges; such as poaching a black bear. 

That’s not even the worst of it. 

In 2015 Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association (WBA) worked at loosening regulations for bear hunters using dogs in pursuit of bear. It’s a mystery as to just how many dogs in pursuit of bear are running through the woods during training & hunting. Why is this a mystery? Because a change in regulations took place that removed the Class B bear training & hunting license. Because of that change it’s impossible to know; just how many dogs in pursuit of bear are running through the woods. It’s all carefully crafted propaganda to make the wolf look bad. 

During the 2016 Wisconsin bear hunting season 37 hunting dogs were lost in the pursuit of bear. A few Wisconsin legislators claim these deaths were due to the high wolf population of 866 in 2016, but there’s a whole lot more to this story than meets the eye. Adrian Wydeven, former Wisconsin DNR Head Wolf biologist, wrote in a opinion editorial: Numbers don’t add up in wolf-hound debate, written on November 12, 2016 and suggested that:  “Do wolf numbers correlate with wolves killing hounds? The evidence suggests this might not necessarily be the case. In 2012, only seven dogs were killed and yet there were nearly as many wolves in 2012 as there were in 2016 (815 wolves in late winter 2012).”  

There’s a decades-old conflict between bear hunters and wolves taking place every year in Wisconsin’s north woods. 

I started working on the Wisconsin wolf recovery program as a volunteer Winter Wolf Tracker in the year 2000. I lost track of how many “no-wolf” bumper stickers were encountered in a day of tracking in the the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. This conflict between bear Hunters and wolves is decades-old. 

In the 1960s Wisconsin started allowing the use of dogs in the pursuit of bear. At that time there were maybe a handfull of wolves in Wisconsin if any. Wolves were not a threat to bear hunters because they were all but wiped out of Wisconsin by the 1960s.  It all changed for bear hunters when Wisconsin Wolf recovery began in the late 1970s.  

Watch the following video by Wisconsin Public Television 2010

Wisconsin’s wolf depredation program began in 1982, and soon afterwards bear hunters running dogs in pursuit of bear began receiving payouts. The payouts for wolf depredations were paid in the effort to help compensate hunters, livestock owners and residents living in wolf recovery areas.

In 2017 $99, 400.00 was paid for hounds killed in pursuit of bear, 2016 training & Hunting season, according to the Wisconsin annual wolf damage payment summary. Did the Wisconsin wolf depredation program reimburse bear hunters who knowingly ran their hunting dogs through WDNR wolf caution areas?  

WDNR puts out wolf caution areas:

“When wolves attack dogs in hunting or training situations on public land, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will create wolf caution areas to warn hunters that a specific pack has attacked a dog or group of dogs. Bear hunters are urged to exercise greater caution if they plan to train hounds or hunt bear with hounds near any caution area, especially if near an actual kill site.” 

The following is a spreadsheet of wolf depredation program payouts to bear hunters using dogs in pursuit of bear in 2016:


Harassment is the act or an instance of harassing, or disturbing, pestering, or troubling repeatedly; persecution according to Webster’ dictionary. Let’s add the topic of the harassment being an endangered species, such as; Wisconsin’s wild wolf. 

Considering the decades of conflict between bear hunters and wolves; is this becoming harassment of an endangered species. Isn’t this illegal? 


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Featured image by John E Marriott

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About The Author

Rachel Tilseth is the author and founder of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin founded 2012 to get the dogs out of the wolf hunt. Tilseth has been involved in Wisconsin’s wolf recovery since the year 1998. Tilseth is an artist, art educator & grandmother living in the north woods of Wisconsin. 

Opinion Editorial: Wisconsin is the only state in the nation that compensates hunters when wolves kill their animals…

A hunter gets up to $2,500 per dog — even when a hunter violates state rules or releases hounds in areas the state Department of Natural Resources has mapped as dangerous because of wolf activity...According to an Opinion Editorial in the Wisconsin State Journal Read on:

Stop payouts to bear hunters for dead dogs

Wisconsin State Journal editorial

Here’s an easy assignment for state lawmakers who oppose wasteful spending and who favor personal responsibility: Stop paying tens of thousands of dollars a year to irresponsible bear hunters whose hounds are killed by wolves.
Wisconsin is the only state in the nation that compensates hunters when wolves kill their animals. A hunter gets up to $2,500 per dog — even when a hunter violates state rules or releases hounds in areas the state Department of Natural Resources has mapped as dangerous because of wolf activity.
So far this year, a record 28 hunting dogs have been killed by wolves, the State Journal just reported. That could cost the public some $70,000 in unjustified payments. And bear season is just beginning.
Most of the dogs that have been killed were being trained for hunting on public land. Owners release their dogs to track and chase bears up trees, where the bears can be easily shot.
That’s not much of a challenge, which is why most hunters don’t use dogs to tree bears. Bear hunting with dogs is expensive and cruel to the animals that are hurt.
Wisconsin has more than doubled the number of bear hunting licenses it issues over the last decade. But only 10 percent to 15 percent of the bears taken from the woods were killed by hunters using dogs to tree them, according to the DNR.
That begs the question: Why does Wisconsin even allow bear hounding. Many states don’t.

State wildlife experts aren’t sure why more dogs are being killed this year. Wisconsin’s wolf population has grown, but not significantly in the areas where the dogs are being attacked.
Wisconsin has relaxed its hunting regulations. A license is no longer needed to train dogs in the summer, which is when wolves are raising their pups. That may cause wolf packs to be more aggressive about protecting their territory and young when they spot a hunting dog nearby.
Another factor is Wisconsin’s liberal law on baiting bears. While some states limit baiting to 30 days a year, Wisconsin permits the practice for about 145 days.
Besides killing hunting dogs, some wolves have attacked livestock. In total, about 58 domesticated animals (including the dogs) have been killed or injured by wolves this year, mostly in northern Wisconsin.
The state compensates farmers for lost livestock at market value. That seems fair, since farmers aren’t creating the conflict, and the cost is less than for dogs. The DNR, for example, reimbursed a farmer $800 for a calf last year.
Despite some difficulties, the return of the wolf to Wisconsin after near-extinction is welcome. The DNR counted nearly 900 wolves last winter. The wolves help control deer and other animals that damage crops, and they restore ecological balance to our forests.
The state shouldn’t pay hunters who lose hounds to wolves after disregarding rules and the DNR’s advice. The Legislature should stop the offensive payouts to a minority of bear hunters who don’t deserve compensation for risky behavior.

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Featured image John E Marriott Photography
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Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin is working to legislatively ban bear hounding in Wisconsin for more information and how you can help click HERE 

“Make no mistake, bear hunting is blood sport, especially with hounds…”

…direct quote from the author, Dale Bowman, of a recent article; Loose the hounds: Following bear hounds in northern Wisconsin, in The Chicago Sun Times, on August 22, 2016.  The author of this article rode along with a family of bear hunters using dogs in pursuit of bear in another Wisconsin. 

Read on:

NORTHERN Wis.–Snorting, the black bear crashed through brush with hounds snarling and baying just behind, unseen in the lush summer green. Standing on a forest road, I timed it well enough to snap a photo as the bear broke across in a full-stretch dark streak.
“Do you think you could have shot it?’’ asked Pat, patriarch of a hound hunting family.

No,’’ I said. “I would not have even gotten a shot off.’’

Not sure what I expected from tagging along on training hounds for bear hunting, but it was one of my all-time experiences, doubly so because our 15-year-old daughter Sara wanted to come along.
Make no mistake, bear hunting is blood sport, especially with hounds. So our host family of hound lovers, Heath, son of Pat, his wife Laurie and their daughter Sierra, asked that I not use their last name.
And I mean family. Heath began going along as a 3-month-old; he and Laura started Sierra about as young.
Their home pays homage to bears from decorative paws outside to bleached bear skulls and cured hides inside.
It was truly primordial, beautiful in animal athleticism.
Bear season in Wisconsin runs five weeks, this year beginning Sept. 7. There is a split between using dogs and not using dogs (no dog hunting is allowed in Zone C). Otherwise, this year the first four weeks are open to non-dog hunting, the final four weeks for dog hunting only with a three-week overlap in the middle. There is differences of opinion between bait-sitters and those who hunt with hounds. Read full story by clicking HERE

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You can help Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin’s legislative campaign to end the sport of bear hounding in the north woods of Wisconsin
Wisconsin Residents experiencing any of the following conflicts due to bear hunters use of dogs in pursuit of bear during training or hunting times are encouraged to file written complaints:
A). Trespassing on private property by bear hound hunters that have not asked for permission, and especially if you’ve posted private property/no hunting signs 
B). Noise complaints of baying hounds at night that interrupts sleep 

C). Encountering large packs of free ranging bear hunting dogs while using public lands where you feel for your safety 
 We need these complaints written in order to file a: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to support our legislative campaign to end bear hounding in the the north woods of Wisconsin. Will gather all these complaints to present to legislators.

You can write a letter to your legislator asking them to back Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin’s campaign to end bear hounding in the north woods of Wisconsin. Click HERE to find your legislator
Watch for updates concerning Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin’s campaign to end bear hounding in the north woods of Wisconsin. 

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Featured image: Bill Lea Photography 

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Disclaimer *not affiliated or aligned with Wolf Patrol

Top story in Wisconsin as hound hunters lose two more dogs in pursuit of bear in Douglas & Sawyer counties 

On Saturday July 9th two more dogs were killed, one in Douglas county was a Black and Tan, male, 6 months old, and the other in Sawyer county was a Walker, female, 7 years old. These two hound hunting dogs are the third fatalities as the result of wolves protecting pups at rendezvous sites. Dogs may be trained statewide by pursuing bear in Wisconsin starting on July first resulting in bloody wolf-on-dog-fights.

The first hound hunting dog fatality took place just four days prior on Tuesday July 5th in Sawyer county was a Walker female, 6 years old. 

To date that makes three hound hunting dog fatalities as a result of running dogs on bear 

WI DNR wolf caution area is created for hunters that are training dogs on bear to alert them about wolves that are actively protecting a rendezvous site.  There are two new wolf caution areas in Sawyer & Douglas counties as of today’s date. View Dog depredations by wolves for 2016 (listed by date) on WI DNR website by clicking HERE

Wolf pups are born around mid-April and are approximately two and a half months at the time WI bear hunters begin training dogs on bear starting July first. Typically wolves leave their pups at a rendezvous site for safe keeping to be watched over by a babysitter. The pup’s family members keep a close eye on the rendezvous site while off hunting.

Adult wolves are very defensive of pups at rendezvous sites and end up killing dogs that come into contact with pups near rendezvous sites. Dogs run in large free roaming packs up to 6 at a time in pursuit of bear.  
During training on bear hunting dogs wear collars equipped with radio telemetry devices. The dog’s handlers are often miles away from the scene in bear trucks monitoring the hounds with radio telemetry or even satellite GPS training and tracking systems. GPS training and tracking systems may have a range of up to ten miles. 

In 1963 when dogs were first used in the pursuit of bear wolves had been extirpated in the state of Wisconsin. Today there are 222 wolf packs in Wisconsin. 



Handlers that lose dogs to wolves defending their pups can be reimbursed up to $2,500.00 per dead dog. It’s a win win situation for hound hunters that send their dogs in pursuit of bear during training and hunting. *please note: WODCW is not implying that hunters leave thier dogs out for wolves to kill on purpose to collect money. 
Running total thus far to be paid out equalling $7,500.00 for dead hound hunting dogs

For more history on this controversy between WI hound hunters and wolves click the following blue highlighted words: Dogs may be trained statewide by pursuing bear in Wisconsin starting on July first resulting in bloody wolf-on-dog-fights

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Featured image: Wolf Pups by John E Marriott Photography