Tag Archives: wolf hounding

On Wednesday January 13, Wisconsin Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage will Hold a Hearing on Reinstating the Wolf Hunting Season

Take action to protect Wisconsin’s grey wolf. There is a hearing on the wolf hunt this Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 10 am. Room 412 east.

Wisconsin grey wolf. Photograph credit snapshot Wisconsin.

They will be accepting public comments. On January 13, 2021, the Senate Committee on Sporting Hearing , Small Business and Rural Issues, and the Assembly Committee on Sporting Heritage will hold a joint informational hearing on reinstating the wolf harvesting season in 2021.

Joint Committee on Sporting Heritage 10:00 am

This is a informational hearing only and public comments are allowed.

Click on Senator’s name for contact information and let them know you want the Wolf Management plan updated along with a public wolf attitudes survey.


Senator Stafsholt (Chair)

Senator Petrowski (Vice-Chair)

Committee Clerk

Shelby Schmudlach

Legislative Council Staff

Anna Henning

Members

Senator Stafsholt (Chair)

Senator Petrowski (Vice-Chair)

Senator Wimberger

Senator Smith

Senator Wirch

The chair is Senator Rob Stafsholt a bear hunter with a bone to pick because he uses dogs to track and trail bears. Watch the following Wisconsin Public Television show on the committee chairmen Chairman’s Email:
Sen.Stafsholt@legis.wisconsin.gov

Rachel Tilseth, wolf tracker and founder of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin, said she’s glad to hear the DNR is holding off on a wolf hunt. WPR

“I oppose a recreational hunt on wolves because we have to take a look at the species and manage the species for its health,” she said.

She would like to see an updated wolf management plan that includes broad public input along with an updated survey on public attitudes toward wolves.

Wisconsin’s Green Fire released a report outlining its recommendations for wolf management. Source

The following news article is from Wisconsin Public Radio

Adrian Wydeven, a former DNR biologist, now serves as co-chair of the wildlife work group for Wisconsin’s Green Fire. He said in a briefing on the report before the DNR’s announcement that the group is proposing the agency maintain the wolf population.

“Until a new wolf conservation plan is in place, we encourage (them) to maintain the population near current levels, which are estimated to be between 866 to 1,034 wolves,” said Wydeven. 

He said it’s important the wolf population not be drastically reduced until a new management plan is developed.

Fellow group member, Peter David, a wildlife biologist with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, said during a briefing on the report that they’re also making recommendations that the state have separate wolf committees and wolf stakeholder groups in the development of a wolf management plan.

“That’s really in the best interest, I think, of the Wisconsin public,” said David. “It also, frankly, I think, serves the tribes better to separate out some of the best science recommendations and those social recommendations and keep those distinct from each other until some sausage has to be made with them in the end.”

The group is also recommending changes to state law to ensure the agency has authority over the wolf harvest and wolf management. They also want to ensure that tribal rights and interests are considered in management plans since the wolf is culturally significant to Wisconsin tribes.

Wisconsin hunters killed 528 wolves in the three seasons a hunt was held in the state before the animal was placed back on the endangered species list.

Wisconsin law, Act 169 states: if the wolf is not listed on the federal or Wisconsin endangered list, the department shall allow the hunting and trapping of wolves…

Photograph of a Wisconsin gray wolf. Credit Snapshot Wisconsin.

It’s very evident that if something isn’t done to change the law gray wolves in Wisconsin will be hunted. The United States Fish & Wildlife Service, USFWS will soon be making a decision whether or not to delist wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota & Michigan. More information about proposed delisting can be found on The Federal Registry.

History of gray wolves in Wisconsin

The Gray wolf was extirpated from Wisconsin’s forests by the 1950s. Then, Gray wolves began entering Wisconsin through Minnesota, and by the late 1970s Gray wolves were establishing home territories in Wisconsin. The newly created Wisconsin Wolf Recovery Program began monitoring packs, and soon wolves were establishing territories throughout Wisconsin’s northern & central forests. The most recent wolf population is an estimated 944 gray wolves are living in Wisconsin according to the over the winter wolf count July 2019 WDNR.

Wisconsin’s Gray wolf population has begun to show signs of stabilizing. State officials say the state’s latest wolf count is further evidence that Wisconsin’s wolf population might be stabilizing. Volunteer trackers reported between 914 and 978 wolves from April 2018 to April 2019, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Scott Walter, DNR large carnivore specialist, said that’s about a 1 percent increase from the last monitoring period. “The last three winter track surveys suggested fairly similar numbers of wolves and that follows really two decades of sustained population growth,” said Walter. “It looks like numbers are leveling off.” Source Wisconsin Public Radio

In 2011 just as gray wolves were about to be delisted the Wisconsin state legislature rushed to create a law. Wisconsin Act 169, is a law that mandates a hunt when wolves are NOT listed on the Endangered Species List.

As the USFWS begins the process of delisting, the question at hand is: will Wisconsin throw ‘dogs to the wolves again like they did in 2013 & 2014? Wisconsin Act 169, a law, allowed for hunters to use dogs to track & trail wolves. Beginning in 2012 there was very little public input in how Wisconsin wolf hunts were run. This lack of public input was due to a hunter-stacked Wolf Advisory Committee (WAC). A committee that was in charge of overseeing how the hunts were managed, and the members were appointed by then Secretary of the WDNR Cathy Stepp.

Several DNR staff are on the recently created Wolf Advisory Committee, as are representatives of several pro-hunting groups. A smaller number of wolf hunting skeptics also remain on the committee, including a representative of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.  WPR reporter Chuck Quirmbach June 2014 

At a WI DNR meeting secretary Cathy Stepp admitted, “When we’re charged to manage and to implement a hunt, coming in and telling us, ‘Don’t hunt wolves,’ is not a productive way to run a committee, frankly,” said Stepp. “That’s just the candid way to lay it out. We had to have people who were willing to work with us in partnership, and be willing to help us and advise us along the way in implementing state law.” Source WPR June 2014

WDNR’s Wolf Advisory Committee met once a month to recommend how wolf management in Wisconsin should be done. Here is a list of Cathy Stepp’s hand Picked WAC, that she thinks better suited to, “…people who were willing to work with us in partnership…”:United States Fish & Wildlife Service(USFWS), United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services(USDA WS), Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission(GLIFWC), Wisconsin County Forest Association(WCFA), Wisconsin Conservation Congress(WCC), Safari Club International(SCI), Timber Wolf Alliance(TWA), Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association(WBHA), Wisconsin Bowhunters Association(WBA), Wisconsin Cattlemans Association(WCA), Wisconsin Trappers Association(WTA), Wisconsin Wildlife Federation(WWF) and 10 WDNR biologists. WODCW blog

One of Secretary Stepp’s hand picked WDNR Wolf Advisory Committee Members is Wisconsin Cattlemans Association(WCA) Earl Stahl. Stahl is for delisting wolves and holding a wolf hunt. 

On 12/26/16 Stahl made his stand clear in a Opinion Editorial for the Wisconsin State Farmer “Wisconsin agreed to the original delisting of wolves with the understanding that the population would be capped at 100. The delisting allowed wolves to migrate from Minnesota and the U.P. in spite of the fact that the Wisconsin DNR documented wolf packs in the state in the 1960s and late 1970s.” Earl Stahl 

Seems clear to me that this DNR Wisconsin Wolf Advisory Committee member, Earl Stahl, thinks wolves are a problem and they only way to manage them is with a wolf hunt. This is how then DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, appointed by the Walker Administration, managed an endangered species. There was no transparency in Secretary Stepp’s DNR Wolf management process. Many Wisconsinites disapproved of Stepp’s management of the wolf hunts.

The barbaric act of Wolf-Hounding is legal in Wisconsin and was sanctioned in 2011 by the legislature. Wisconsin Act 169, is a law that mandates a hunt must be held when wolves are NOT listed on the Endangered Species List.

Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves. The barbaric act of Wolf-Hounding is legal in Wisconsin and is sanctioned when wolves are NOT listed on the Endangered Species List. In 2011 Wisconsin State Legislators backed by Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, rushed to create a law, Wisconsin Act 169, that mandated a wolf hunt just as Gray wolves were about to be delisted. Wisconsin law Act 169 ordered the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to oversee a wolf hunt. In 2013 the brutal act of “wolf Hounding” began in Wisconsin. On December 06, 2013 the first two wolves were killed by the use of dogs reported By Chuck Quirmbach of Wisconsin Public Radio. In 2013 & 2014 wolf hunters used dogs to track and trail wolves until a federal judge ordered them back under federal protection.

About the photograph: This young Wisconsin Gray wolf lost his life to hound hunters in the last sanctioned wolf hunt to use dogs in 2014. On December 19, 2014 a Federal judge ordered gray wolves in the Great Lakes returned to the protection of the Endangered Species List. A little too late for this young Gray wolf being proudly displayed as a trophy for this Wisconsin hound hunter.

The following is from the Wisconsin DNR wolf hunting reports 2014-2015: Wisconsin wolf hunters and trappers harvested 154 wolves during the 2014-15 season. This was a 60% decrease from the 2013-14 harvest of 257 wolves. The 2014-15 harvest was comprised of 87 males and 67 females. Wisconsin requires state-licensed hunters and trappers to obtain a wolf permit to harvest a wolf. Permits are issued through a 2 stage process. The first 50% of permits are issued through a random lottery in which all applicants are entered. The second 50% of permits are issued based upon the cumulative preference points of applicants which give unsuccessful applicants from prior years a greater chance to obtain a permit. Each permit allows the harvest of one wolf by any legal method. Legal methods include trapping with foothold traps and cable restraints, hunting with the use of electronic calls, bait and the aid of dogs.

On December 19, 2014 a Federal judge ordered gray wolves in the Great Lakes returned to the protection of the Endangered Species List.

Gray wolf at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin.
Photo by USFWS

In conclusion, if USF&WS delists the Gray wolf in the Great Lakes Region, Wisconsin citizens must push for greater transparency in a wolf management plan, that allows for citizens input at every step in the decision making process; The plan must protect the health of the Gray wolf population, account for pack dynamics, include proactive measures to mitigate wolf livestock conflicts and to educate the public on how to live alongside gray wolves. A trophy hunt on gray wolves is about power not Conservation and has proven to be detrimental to wolf management. The Gray wolf is part of Wisconsin’s wild legacy.

At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst. ~Aristotle

*Wolf hunters are not reimbursed for dogs killed by wolves during a wolf hunt. But bear hunters are reimbursed when their dogs are killed while in pursuit of bear.

Out of all the states that hunt wolves, only Wisconsin allows hound hunters to use unleashed packs of dogs to hunt wolves…

Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves. The barbaric act of Wolf-Hounding is legal in Wisconsin and is sanctioned when wolves are NOT listed on the Endangered Species List. In 2011 Wisconsin State Legislators backed by Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association rushed to create a law, Wisconsin Act 169, that mandated a wolf hunt because Gray wolves were about to be delisted. This law, Act 169 mandated a wolf hunt when gray wolves are not listed on the Endangered Species Act. Wisconsin law Act 169 orders the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to oversee a wolf hunt. In 2013 the brutal act of “wolf Hounding” began in Wisconsin. In 2013 & 2014 wolf hunters used dogs to track and trail wolves until a federal judge ordered them back under federal protection. Now it will start all over again if the senate’s version of H.R. 6784 calling for Gray wolf delisting in the lower 48 states and prevents any judicial review of the decision passes in the senate. Wisconsin’s Gray wolf could be delisted in 2019! Wisconsinites need to let Governor elect Tony Evers know about state law, Wisconsin Act 169, that sanctions the use of dogs to hunt wolves “Wolf Hounding” when wolves are not listed on the Endangered Species Act. You can reach Governor elect Tony Evers (here) at his transition website and he wants to hear from Wisconsinites!

About the photograph: This young Wisconsin Gray wolf lost his life to hound hunters in the last sanctioned wolf hunt to use dogs in 2014. On December 19, 2014 a Federal judge ordered gray wolves in the Great Lakes returned to the protection of the Endangered Species List. A little too late for this young Gray wolf being proudly displayed as a trophy for this Wisconsin hound hunter.

On Friday November 16, 2018 the House of Representatives, passed a bill, H.R.6784 – Manage our Wolves Act calling for Gray wolf delisting in the lower 48 states and prevents any judicial review of this bad legislative decision.  This bill now goes to the senate, but not likely to pass. However, the Senate could attach wolf delisting riders on budget bills. In Wisconsin we must become proactive before possible delisting, because; Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves. The barbaric act of Wolf-Hounding is legal in Wisconsin and is sanctioned when wolves are NOT listed on the Endangered Species List. We must change the law, and our new Governor could use his “line item veto power” to strike out parts of the Law, Act 169, that mandates wolf hunts.

In the photograph Wisconsin wolf hunters proudly display their trophy wolf taken by the use of dogs “Wolf Hounding” sanctioned by the Wisconsin State Legislation.

Under governor Scott Walker’s administration stripped the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources of sciences & practiced a hush-hush policy that denied public access. But on November 6th 2018 Wisconsinites elected a new Governor Tony Evers!Governor elect a Tony Evers will take office on January 7, 2019. Wolf advocates take action and let Governor elect Tony Evers know about state law, Wisconsin Act 169, that sanctions the use of dogs to hunt wolves “Wolf Hounding” when wolves are not listed on the Endangered Species Act. You can reach Governor elect Tony Evers (here) at his transition website and he wants to hear from Wisconsinites! Please share this blog about the barbaric act of “Wolf Hounding” with the Governor elect Tony Evers!

 “There has never been a more important time for the people of Wisconsin to show they are not going to give in to a small group of people that want to torture animals for fun under the guise of “sport.”  ~Rachel Tilseth

The following is a wolf hounding fact sheet:

Out of all the states that hunt wolves, only Wisconsin allows hound hunters to use unleashed packs of dogs to hunt wolves. Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves.”Hound hunters traditionally train their dogs to focus on specific prey by releasing their dogs to surround, attack and terrorize a prey animal (e.g. a bear cub or fox) for hours on end (up to 16 hours/day) enclosed in a small, open barrel or “roll cage.” At this point it remains disturbingly unclear as to how hound hunters will train their dogs to pursue wolves instead of other animals—will it be by capturing wolves and allowing their dogs to attack them in barrels and pens? How isn’t this worse than illegal dog fighting?

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, charged with overseeing the wolf hunt, has no rules in place that require hound handlers to report dogs injured or killed in the pursuit of wolves during a hunt. In fact, there is no monitoring or certification program whatsoever in place for the use of dogs in the wolf hunt; thus the state has little ability to hold hound hunters accountable for training or hunting violations or to prevent deadly and inhumane wolf-dog confrontations (e.g., hunters allowing dogs to overtake and kill rifle-shot wolves). These circumstances explain why Wisconsin stands alone: using dogs to hunt wolves is no better than state-sponsored dog fighting.

Two wolves were taken by the use of dogs on December 6, 2013.

Hound handlers are equipped with high tech radio telemetry devices that allow them to track GPS-collared hunting dogs from long distances. They are often not able to catch up to hounds that have a wolf at bay to prevent deadly fights between dogs and wolves. As proof of this, to date, Wisconsin has paid nearly $500,000 to “reimburse” hound-hunters for hunting dogs injured or killed by wolves. See link WDNR Dog depredations by wolves

Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves.”

According to DNR regulations, hound handlers are only allowed to use up to six dogs at a time to trail wolves. But handlers often replace tired dogs with fresh ones and younger dogs. It is common for a handler to be unable to retrieve the tired dogs, and end up with up well over 6 dogs chasing one wolf, potentially twice or even three times as many. There is no monitoring system in place to ensure that only 6 dogs pursue wolves.

At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.  ~Aristotle

*Wolf hunters are not reimbursed when wolves kill dog/dogs while in pursuit of wolves, but are when in pursuit of bear.  

Join Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin’s campaign to end Wolf Hounding

 Contact us wolvesdouglasco@gmail.com

TAKE ACTION: contact Wisconsin Governor Elect Tony Evers (click here)  and make it clear you do not sanction Wolf Hounding in Wisconsin!

The Wisconsin legislature sanctioned “Wolf Hounding ” with 2011 Wisconsin Act 169 that allows the use of dogs to track and trail wolves. 2011 Wisconsin Act 169

Politicians have no Idea of the Gray Wolf’s Intrinsic Value to the Land…

… the party in power only values economic growth, and caters to special interests where the big money is concerned. In the featured photograph is a young gray wolf that was one of the last to die in Wisconsin’s wolf hunts that took for three years from 2012 to 2014. This young Gray wolf was taken by a wolf hunter using the barbaric practice of Wolf-Hounding; an age old hunting practice that pits large packs of dogs against a gray wolf.

This young male gray wolf was born far too late, his fate sealed by a hunter’s desire for an opportunity to shoot a trophy wolf for a pelt to be used as a rug by the fireplace or a mount for a game room.

It was a few decades ago that Wisconsin’s Gray wolf was placed under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, and Wisconsin’s Wolf Recovery Program was born. When I became involved in the program in the year 2000 there were only 66 gray wolf packs in Wisconsin. Today’s Gray wolf population estimates are 945 individuals. I never imagined that Wisconsin would become so reckless in its management of the Gray wolf, but they did. In 2011 just a couple of months before USF&WS delisted them, Wisconsin legislators rushed through Act 169 designating grays wolves as a game animal to be hunted.

This is how the state of Wisconsin manages an endangered species just off the list. Is that not reckless?

Like naughty school boys, without batting an eye, or having any idea of the Gray Wolf’s intrinsic value upon our planet, politicians work to return management of Gray wolves to states like Wisconsin; where the party in power only values economic growth., and caters to special interests where big money is concerned.

Senator Barrasso is working to revise or rewrite the Endangered Species Act to accommodate extractive industries, such as oil & gas, mining and lumber. The majority in power is clearly trying to rewrite the Endangered Species Act in favor of big monied special interests that want the land (animal’s land it protects) and this would place endangered species in even more danger of extinction. Please be the voice for the Gray wolf. #ExtinctionIsForever

#GetInvolved like Ani Conrad from California! Post your selfie today!

First step in the campaign to end Wolf-hounding in Wisconsin is Awareness…

The public is unaware that dogs are used to hunt wolves in Wisconsin when they are not listed on the federal or state endangered species list. Wisconsin’s state legislature sanctions the barbaric sport known as Wolf-Hounding. 

The Wisconsin legislature sanctioned Wolf-Hounding  under   “2011 Wisconsin Act 169” allowing the use of dogs to track and trail wolves.  2011 Wisconsin Act 169.

WODCW Wolf Hounding Fact Sheet: Wisconsin, quite literally, throws dogs to wolves…

Out of all the states that hunt wolves, only Wisconsin allows hound hunters to use unleashed packs of dogs to hunt wolves. Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves.”Hound hunters traditionally train their dogs to focus on specific prey by releasing their dogs to surround, attack and terrorize a prey animal (e.g. a bear cub or fox) for hours on end (up to 16 hours/day) enclosed in a small, open barrel or “roll cage.” At this point it remains disturbingly unclear as to how hound hunters will train their dogs to pursue wolves instead of other animals—will it be by capturing wolves and allowing their dogs to attack them in barrels and pens? How isn’t this worse than illegal dog fighting? 

“There has never been a more important time for the people of Wisconsin to show they are not going to give in to a small group of people that want to torture animals for fun under the guise of “sport.” ~Rachel Tilseth 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, charged with overseeing the wolf hunt, has no rules in place that require hound handlers to report dogs injured or killed in the pursuit of wolves during a hunt. In fact, there is no monitoring or certification program whatsoever in place for the use of dogs in the wolf hunt; thus the state has little ability to hold hound hunters accountable for training or hunting violations or to prevent deadly and inhumane wolf-dog confrontations (e.g., hunters allowing dogs to overtake and kill rifle-shot wolves). These circumstances explain why Wisconsin stands alone: using dogs to hunt wolves is no better than state-sponsored dog fighting.

Wolves are currently protected under the ESA, but there are several bills in congress that call for delisting wolves. When wolves are not listed Wisconsin wolf hunters will use dogs to hunt them under the guise of sport. 

Hound handlers are equipped with high tech radio telemetry devices that allow them to track GPS-collared hunting dogs from long distances. They are often not able to catch up to hounds that have a wolf at bay to prevent deadly fights between dogs and wolves. As proof of this, (during the bear hunt’s use of dogs) to date, Wisconsin has paid over $500,000 to “reimburse” hound-hunters for hunting dogs injured or killed by wolves. See link WDNR Dog depredations by wolves

Please Join WODCW’s campaign to end wolf-hounding in Wisconsin. 

According to DNR regulations, hound handlers are only allowed to use up to six dogs at a time to trail wolves. But handlers often replace tired dogs with fresh ones and younger dogs. It is common for a handler to be unable to retrieve the tired dogs, and end up with up well over 6 dogs chasing one wolf, potentially twice or even three times as many. There is no monitoring system in place to ensure that only 6 dogs pursue wolves.

In 2013 & 2014 Wisconsin sanctioned the use of dogs to hunt wolves. 

Take Action to end Wolf-Hounding in Wisconsin 

Join Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin’s campaign to end Wolf Hounding.  Contact us: wolvesdouglasco@gmail.com 

Contact your Wisconsin State Legislator and make it clear you do not sanction Wolf Hounding in Wisconsin!

At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst. ~Aristotle

*Wisconsin allows the use of dogs in pursuit of bear, and has a reimbursement program of $2,500.00 for each dog killed by wolves defending their pups.  There is NO reimbursement during wolf-hounding. 

Wisconsin’s citizens want to resolve the “decades-old” conflict between bear hounders and wolves through the legislative process 

Many animals are harmed (through suffering and killing) to serve human interests and values without due consideration of other animals’ interests and intrinsic value.  ~Compassionate Conservation 

Wisconsin can no longer afford to go back, back to the old way of thinking;  the killing of wildlife in order to conserve them. For example; Wisconsin spent decades on wolf recovery, recovery of an imperiled species that was hunted to near extinction; then in a shocking twist, the state of Wisconsin legislature mandated a trophy hunt of wolves fresh off the Endangered Species List; 

If the wolf is not listed on the federal endangered list and is not listed on the state endangered list, the department shall allow the hunting and trapping of wolves and shall regulate such hunting and trapping as provided in this section and shall implement a wolf management plan. In regulating wolf hunting and trapping, the department may limit the number of wolf hunters and trappers and the number of wolves that may be taken by issuing wolf harvesting licenses. 2011 Wisconsin Act 169, wolf hunt.

Compassion for animals should be fundamental for conservation because poor conservation outcomes are often consistent with the mistreatment of animals. ~Marc Bekoff

During the 2016 Wisconsin bear hunting season 37 hunting dogs were lost in the pursuit of bear. But instead of looking at current conservation policies; wolves, that were defending their pups against free ranging hunting dogs in the pursuit of bear were wrongly being scapegoated. 

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 licence. Because of that change it’s impossible to know; just how many dogs in pursuit of bear are running through the woods. 

Wolf pups are born around mid-April and are approximately two and a half months at the time Wisconsin bear hunters begin training dogs on bear starting on 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. WODCW Blog

However, there is a lack of regulations with bear hunting & training and it has led to a conflict between wolves and bear hunters. Once the training & hunting class B license was removed, that change allowed for an undetermined number of dogs running through wolf habitat. That could definitely be the cause of the 37 bear hunting dog deaths. 


Wolves that were defending their pups against free ranging hunting dogs in the pursuit of bear are targeted by special interests instead of the real problem; that being,  conservation policy favoring the killing of one species to save another, for the benefit of sport hunting. 

For decades there has been a conflict between bear hunters and wolves in the north woods of Wisconsin, and now that conflict has become one of the reasons Wisconsin legislators want to delist wolves. Watch the following Wisconsin Public Television show from the year 2010.

Wolves are an imperiled species, that are a part of Wisconsin’s wild legacy, and are being pushed to the brink of extinction by conservation policies that favor a group of fringe hunters. These special interest, fringe hunters take advantage of the current political environment.  They cause harm to wildlife by the “loosening” of regulations; they pushed for the removal of the Class B bear training & hunting licence that allowed for an undetermined number of dogs running through wolf habitat. That could definitely be the cause of the 37 bear hunting dog deaths. 

Therefore; the legislative process will move forward; to remove the use of dogs to hunt wolves (when wolves are taken off ESL this is one of the methods used to hunt them in Wisconsin), runnng dogs on bear is causing conflict between bear hounders, wolves and northern residents.

The following is a Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Wolf Hounding Fact Sheet:


 Out of all the states that hunt wolves, only Wisconsin allows hound hunters to use unleashed packs of dogs to hunt wolves. Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves.”Hound hunters traditionally train their dogs to focus on specific prey by releasing their dogs to surround, attack and terrorize a prey animal (e.g. a bear cub or fox) for hours on end (up to 16 hours/day) enclosed in a small, open barrel or “roll cage.” At this point it remains disturbingly unclear as to how hound hunters will train their dogs to pursue wolves instead of other animals—will it be by capturing wolves and allowing their dogs to attack them in barrels and pens? How isn’t this worse than illegal dog fighting?
 “There has never been a more important time for the people of Wisconsin to show they are not going to give in to a small group of people that want to torture animals for fun under the guise of “sport.”  WODCW Blog 


Here’s how you can help;

Contact at wolvesdouglasco@gmail.com 

Please contact us if you have filed written complaints with your local law enforcement concerning issues with bear hounders.

With a guiding principle of ‘first do no harm’, compassionate conservation offers a bold, virtuous, inclusive, and forward-looking framework that provides a meeting place for different perspectives and agendas to discuss and solve issues of human-animal conflict when sharing space. Source 

*Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin is made up of concerned citizens who volunteer their time to make changes for the betterment of Wisconsin’s wolves and wildlife. WODCW is all volunteer and is not a non profit. 

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin does not partner with or align with the ideas or actions of Wolf Patrol, Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf or Wisconsin Wolf Front. 



In Wisconsin wolf hunters plan to run dogs on wolves during mating season…

Wisconsin wolf hunters plan to run dogs on wolves during mating season.  January and February are prime breeding times for wolves. Wolves are very protective of their families at this time of the year. 

In 2006 while tracking wolves I found signs of the alpha pair’s mating ritual.  On a snowy north wood road I found alpha pair scent markings about every 10th of a mile. The whole family was in on this mating ritual, from subordinate individuals to the alpha pair. Subordinate individuals make squat urination signs, and the alpha pair make raised leg urination. Typically only the alpha male and female make the raised led urination scent markings. 

These markings were made at the edge of their range. As I stated earlier, wolves are very territorial at this time of the year. At a mile down the road, I found a small, about a foot tall, snow covered pine tree with rusty-red colored urine on it.  The rusty-red colored (blood in it) urine meant the alpha female was in estrus. I felt honored to have found these signs of wolf-love in the woods.  

Can you imagine the carnage that will happen if wolf hunters run dogs on wolves during prime breeding times? There are no regulations in place for running dogs on wolves, yet they plan to hunt wolves using dogs. Wisconsin is the only state that uses this barbaric method of hunting, known as wolf hounding.  Wisconsin quite literally throws dogs to wolves.

Wolves were hunted into near extinction, then thanks to the Endangered Species Act have started to recover over the last forty years. Wild wolves are a part of Wisconsin’s wild legacy. Wolf recovery began in the late 1970s. It’s wrong to hunt an imperiled species just off the endangered species list. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past. There are currently two bills in congress that call for delisting wolves in Wisconsin and three other states. 

Please take action to stop the War on Wolves Act call your members of congress 

Click HERE to take action

Running of the Hounds, Nowhere to Hide in the North Woods

Here lies OSCAR killed by bear  Sept. 22, 1984 and is proof that dogs die while hunting bear. I took the featured photo while out tracking wolves two weeks ago. Bear claws are hollow and filled with bacteria, and if a dog  isn’t out right killed by the bear, the infection from the wounds will finish the job.

Bear hunters would have you believe they are saving your life by sending in dogs to chase bears. How? By educating the bear with hound hunting dogs.

“When you take away the use of the hounds, you take away the opportunity to educate those bears to what is known as aversion conditioning,” explained Josh Brones, the Government Affairs Coordinator for the United States Sportsmen’s Alliance.” Quote is from KRCRTV

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Bears are scared of dogs already. Even a toy poodle scares them off.

Bear hounders start feeding bears sweat treats starting in April. How is this sporting?

Baiting a wild animal so they will stick around long enough for  the hunter to get a kill shot.

The American Dentist who killed Cecil the beloved lion used bait to lure him out of a protected reserve. Then shot him with an arrow and left him to suffer. This inhumane act caused outrage by millions of people demanding his killer be extradicted and tried.

Yet, here in Wisconsin it is common practice to bait a bear with Cheerios to lure them in for a kill shot (but it is not legal to accually shoot the bear over a bait pile). It is common knowledge that  bears love sweats.

I will remind you that, it is not just wild bears hunted with packs of hunting dogs. Bobcats, coyotes and wolves are hound hunted.

If wolves are removed from the Endangered Species List they will be hunted with hound dogs.  Wolf hound hunts took place in 2013 and 2014 in Wisconsin. Packs of dogs engaged wolves in bloody fights and hounders bragged about it amonst themselves within their own twisted circles (confirmed by a reliable source).

Wildlife in Wisconsin is harassed ten months out of the year.

Wild bears in WI are tracked and trailed with packs of radio collared hound hunting dogs. How is it sporting? Hound handlers are often miles away from the chase sitting in their vehicles or sitting at the neighborhood tavern.

I’ve been out in the woods many times late into the night on wolf howl surveys and have heard lost hounds baying. Where are their handlers? Nowhere in sight.

Does Wisconsin condone the hounding of wildlife? It is all legal.  Even the grusome act of penning is legal here.

Captive wildlife, is brought in over state lines into Wisconsin for the purpose  of entertainment. Oh but, they call it education,  it is mutilating & torturing captive wildlife by dogs in training. In a fenced in pen with grown men watching.  It is called penning and it is all legal in Wisconsin.

Featured Image Copyright by Rachel Tilseth 

Warning the following video is grusome but it is a reality that is happening in Wisconsin. From penning facilty where hound dogs are set lose on fox and coyote

What can you do?

Call your elected representatives and express your outrage that this is legal in Wisconsin.