Three more hunting dogs killed in the pursuit of bear…

Hunters began running dogs in pursuit of bear for training on July first. Wildlife Services confirmed that the following dogs were klled in pursuit of bear took place over the weekend: A Plott Hound on 07/29/17 in the Town of Gordon, Douglas County.  A Walker Hound on 07/30/17 in the Town of Drummond, Bayfield County.  A Walker Hound on 07/30/17 in the Town of Round Lake, Sawyer County. Six dogs have been killed in pursuit of bear since the opening of July first training season.  DNR Wolf caution areas states: Hunters are reminded to use the caution-area maps on the DNR website (dnr.wi.gov, keyword “wolf depredation”) to help reduce conflicts.

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. More information on this on WODCW’s Blog

The needless deaths of three more hunting dogs comes on the heals of good news for wolves in the Great Lakes Region.

Wolves in the Great Lakes region and Wyoming won another reprieve Tuesday when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the animals must remain under federal Endangered Species Act protection.

The appellate court backed a district court decision that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service still hasn’t shown that it properly followed federal laws when it declared wolves partially “recovered” across just a portion of the animal’s historical range. To read more about this appeals court decision click HERE

Price tag for nine dead hound hunting dogs in the pursuit of bear is $22,500.00 

Updated: July 26, 2016 another hound dog fatality. In Lincoln county a Plott, female, 6.5 year old dog brings total to ten. 

Dogs may be trained statewide by pursuing bear in Wisconsin starting on July first resulting in bloody wolf-on-dog-fights The following is the latest list of hound hunting dog fatalities as a result of pursuing bear near wolf den sites (called rendezvous sites). 

On 7/22/2016 Bayfield county a Black and Tan, male, 2.5 year old, in Bayfield county. On July 23 three more hound hunting dog fatalities. One a Redtick, 6 year old male, in Bayfield county, a Plott female 1.5 years old, in Iron county, and a Bluetick in Douglas county. Then, on July 24, a Walker, 7 year old, in Douglas county. There has been five hound hunting dog fatalities in a four day period on July 22 through July 25, 2016.  Prior to July 22 there were four and as of July 24, 2016 there have been nine hound hunting fatalities in the pursuit of bear since July first. 

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 now five new wolf caution areas as of today’s date. View Dog depredations by wolves for 2016 (listed by date) on WI DNR website by clicking HERE
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 is $22,500.00 for nine dead hound hunting dogs in the pursuit of bear 

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. 

Is it time to re evaluate the use of dogs in pursuit of bear? 

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 by: ​ ​ W I L D L I F E A N D N A T U R E P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y C A I P R I E S T L E Y




It’s not an easy life for a wild wolf pup…

Wolf pups are generally born in mid April. Gestation period is about 63 days for wolf pups.  At birth they weigh only one pound, and their eyes are closed. At 12 to 15 days after they open their eyes and at two weeks the pups can walk. At three weeks the pups come out of the den for the first time. 

 

Wolf pups are born with blue eyes. At sixteen weeks their eye color changes to a yellow-gold. It’s rare but some wolves will have blue eyes. 

From pup to adult member of the pack 
10 – 13 days: the eyes open

Three weeks: pups explore their den

  

Four to five weeks: pups take short trips outside the den and the pups start to eat regurgitated meat from the adults

Six weeks: pups will travel around the den but not far

Six to eight weeks: pups are weaned and stay at a rendezvous site with a babysitter, usually older sibling

12 weeks: pups go on hunts with the pack

15 – 28 weeks: pups get their adult teeth

Seven to eight months: begin to hunt with the pack

Life in the wild is not easy

Mortality for wolf pups is around 45% and pups are preyed upon by Eagles and bears. Wolf pups often die from starvation and malnutrition. 
 

Wolf pups are raised within a closely nit family called a pack. Wolf pups quickly earn or learn their status within a pack. The wolf family is led by an alpha pair. Pups are taught how to hunt by the pack members. 

  

Educational resources for more facts on wolves, educational and political sources

www.livingwithwolves.org

Timber Wolf Alliance – Adrian Wydeven/wolf biologist 

www.medicineofthewolf.com

www.isleroyalwolf.org

Nelson Institute – Carnivore Coexistence Lab – Dr. Adrian Treves

www.projectcoyote.org

Defenders of Wildlife basic wolf facts

www.earthjustice.org

www.wolvesofdouglascountywisconsin.com

Humane Society of the U. S. – wolves 

National Geographic – wolf facts 

Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center 
*photographs public domain