Wisconsin's First Wolf Hunt Fuels Lawsuit

More than 10,000 applications for wolf hunt permits have been submitted for a season that the Wisconsin Humane Society and others say shouldn't involve hunting dogs without more rules in place.

Concerned for the safety of hunting dogs brought along during Wisconsin's first wolf hunt this fall, the Wisconsin Humane Society has joined other groups in a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resoures and Natural Resources Board.

The lawsuit, filed in Dane County Circuit Court, asks the court "to stop the DNR from authorizing the use of dogs for wolf hunting until reasonable rules are established to protect dogs from injury or death, according to a press release from the society. Other plaintiffs include outdoorsmen, hunters, volunteer trackers, and other Wisconsin animal welfare organizations.

When the state passed a law permitting the hunt, it included use of dogs for tracking and trailing — and it directed the DNR to set in place rules for use of these domestic animals, said Anne Reed, executive director of the Wisconsin Humane Society. She added: "They didn't do it."

"Wisconsin has just become the only state to allow dogs in wolf hunting, and we have done it with rules that do virtually nothing to protect dogs from being ripped apart by wolves," she said.

Wolves were given federal protection in the early 1970s, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal. The paper wrote that farmers and citizens reported more threats to dogs, deer and cattle as the wolf population grew out from northern Minnesota.

In January, the gray wolf was removed from the federally endangered species list in Wisconsin and other Midwest states, according to the Wisconsin DNR website. The DNR said it hoped to maintain the population at a healthy level and address problem areas of wolf attacks. A New York Times blog item said the Wisconsin wolf population is about 800.

"Wisconsin regulations will treat the gray wolf as a protected wild animal, which means that authorization from the DNR is required before a person can attempt to 'take' or kill a wolf," the website said.

More than 10,000 applications for wolf hunt permits have been submitted, and only 2,010 will be chosen via a lottery system, according to GazetteExtra.com. The hunt runs from Oct. 15 through the end of February. Applications cost $10 and are being taken through Aug. 31.

The Humane Society and others involved in the suit believe that wolf attacks on dogs being used in other animal hunts are proof that stronger regulations are needed before this season starts up.

"The DNR has paid more than $427,000 since 1985 to hunters whose unleashed hounds were killed by wolves while pursuing bears in known wolf pack areas," Reed said. "One-hundred and ninety-two dead hunting dogs in total, not to mention the 40 more treated for injuries at an additional cost of $20,000." (See attached PDFs.)

Reed said the law lacks training requirements for dogs, and leash restrictions that would keep hunting dogs in "safe proximity to their handlers," do not exist.

Bill Cosh, a spokesman with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, has said the DNR is "disappointed" by the lawsuit, but added little other comment, according to the New York Times.

Jamie August 18, 2012 at 05:04 AM
Mary, I believe we have the canadian gray wolf here in WI. And yes you are right coyotes will take down a mature buck occasionally but that might be why we basically have no limit hunting on them. Number one killer of fawns is by far the black bear, because of their sense of smell(sometimes smelling food for miles) ! And I beg to differ on your comment about houndsmen being dumb, as these guys are quite intelligent and I've seen these men,women and children in show great respect and love for their hounds, and all animals for that matter! Trappers and houndsmen are probably the most decent people I've ever met in the area unlike the weekend warrior types in the woods, that the non hunting community portrays all hunters to be !!!!! I can't speak for tosa, but you claimed him to be uneducated but I believe you have some to learn for yourself ,don't you think ?
jbw August 18, 2012 at 10:22 AM
Meh. I'd rather see the mass-manufactured and engineered recreational pets wiped out than the wolves, that actually have some legitimate place within a functioning ecosystem. But no, we have to not only keep spending millions to breed and buy more new pets, we need to pay to control and shelter millions more that have become "unwanted". People who love their animals don't love them enough to end the cycle, it seems. I'd have to agree with the sentiment that the new law without any rules or guidance seems a bit ill-conceived. What kind of hunter would send a dog after a pack of wolves? We are talking about a hunt that is really tiny in scope compared to deer hunting, though, since the wolves are still very few in number, so the consequences are somewhat limited. Those wolves were eliminated the first time to help create a huge overpopulation of deer for more deer hunting profits, after all, nevermind the rampant disease it caused. The least valuable animals of all, of course, are my fellow humans. We have surpluses in the billions in that population, most of whom have nothing but a modest to large net negative contribution to the functioning of this world, with the largest amounts of waste and destruction per capita originating in this country. But our lives are more important because we wrote books that say so, right?
$$andSense August 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM
For you intellectual types that have a disdain for the human race, here are three rules for you to live by. 1. Do not procreate. 2. Off yourself without harming others. 3. Off yourself soon.Suicide is the most sincere form of self criticism.
adam August 18, 2012 at 01:34 PM
@$$andSense, please do not offer advice without first following it yourself. Thanks. I hope it works out well for you.
laurylandhardy@gmail.com August 18, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Tosa townie, I have a question, in rereading your comments you said you shot a " a mother doe and fawn" during bow season 2 years ago and witnessed this encounter of wolves "tearing apart a live mother doe and fawn". How is it they where they still alive if you shot them? I was raised in a family of hunters and taught to kill with one shot to prevent animals from needlessly suffering.
$$andSense August 18, 2012 at 05:20 PM
adam The three rules apply to you as well. You are wasting my precious air keeping you alive. If you don't like people, then it is unfortunate that your mothers' didn't abort you or drown you at birth.
Mary Anderson August 18, 2012 at 06:14 PM
You may have $$, apparently not much sense. Your kind has been over breeding unchecked for years. Perpetuating idiocy and bad temperaments in any breeding program is most notably done by the uneducated and the ignorant. Take a real hard look in your "mirror, mirror on the wall" try hard not to believe "You are the fairest of them all". Betcha can't do it.
vocal local 1 August 18, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Hey Folks, I've watched the comments. I respect the opinions and suggest all call their state assemblymen and state senators monday morning, send them an e or do both putting the pressure on them to act. I favor allowing the sportsmen to shoot with tranqualizer guns or trap and turn them over to the DNR for sterlization and release. The cost of the license can off-set costs and area vets, state, and county vets can be enlisted to assist. It's the most humane measure of population control. CALL MADISON
$$andSense August 18, 2012 at 07:59 PM
This is comical. Wolves should be treated as one more welfare recipient per the taxpayer's dime. Now that is really special. I will contact the Natural Resources board and recommend they allow every landowner aggreived by wolf predation to allow them to shoot them on sight (with lead bullets, not drugs) and make it punishable to interfere with the landowners right to do so. This should make the Mary A. Disney's scream with horror. We do exist. Have for a long time like the native's of this country and those like myself whose ancestors came from old Europe. Oh, the horror! The horror! (hehehehehe) Best go get some more Kleenex Mary. Your tears and angry spittle are shorting out your keyboard.
Mary Anderson August 18, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Ern....Yes that would be the way to do it, let property owners cull the problem wolves. I already stated that in an earlier posting. Try reading for comprehension perhaps you lack the "sense" Oooo big surprise there. YOU wanna play? you need to perform a little better than throwing around inane insults. I live in wolf country and raise livestock, I get them on my game cam, If they caused me problems I'd could practice the 3 S's instead of whining about the "big bad wolf". I know... "the horrors". That's a big difference from hunting the whole population during the denning/heat cycle using dogs. This issue should never have become an absolute. However if you can't/won't use critical thinking and instead prefer acting as a sheeple then I can imagine there are only 2 colors in existence for you.
$$andSense August 19, 2012 at 01:10 AM
The 3's! Excellent! Another convert! Love it! Same goes for feral cats and dogs. White tail deer/Canada geese/turkeys/etc./etc. Too many of them is not good. We can all get along within limits. Wolves are a completely different class. These are not feral dogs. These are highly intelligent creatures that will stop at nothing for a meal if allowed to go unabated. Do I appreciate their existence? You betcha. Have come across them on my land in Shawano Co. Beautiful but dangerous if you treat them like a deer or squirrel. They are nothing like coyotes which are cowards in comparison but can also be a big problem. My point is, people need to be informed of the danger wolves represent, especially when they move into urbanized areas, and they will. 40 years ago it was never thought that deer and geese would invade our villages and cities, yet they have. The average person has no hint of the intelligence or predatory skill of a wolf. I respect wolves for what they are but do not want their presence among people to go unchecked. Fair enough for a compromise?
Mary Anderson August 19, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Moderation is key to everything. Kinda funny we have very few feral cats or dogs in the North woods. Could it be because of wolves? In reality it the complete overabundance of coyotes and the fisher. Which also raise havoc with the ruffed grouse and red fox population. Maybe we need MORE wolves to keep them in check. Or at least push their abundance farther south to Shawano Co.
$$andSense August 19, 2012 at 03:11 AM
South to Shawano Co? A friend of mine on the northern fringe of Ozaukee Co. has photos and video of them on his land. They howl from time to time (hunting calls). This is less than 25 miles from Milwaukee Co. A wolf can cover that distance in less than a day. Get my drift about the unchecked range? This will get out of hand.
$$andSense August 19, 2012 at 03:24 AM
BTW "Kinda funny we have very few feral cats or dogs in the North woods." When my family lived in Shawano Co. we made sure of the same thing. Strange how a shotgun or rifle took care of that problem, along with the excess coyotes. Uh, oh. I just set off the Disney types again. Shame on me!
vocal local 1 August 19, 2012 at 07:03 AM
15 or more years ago on family property in Oak Creek there was a wolf den on the property. I only saw it once. The property is adjacent to the green strip corridor. Two years ago a cougar was sited across the street. When I moved into the house the wolf abondoned the den. I later learned of a party that lost their domestic wolf and suspect that was the occupant of the den. Again, the only humane population control is sterilization and release. The Wisconsin Humane Society has a free feral cat program. They will rent one the trap, sterilize the cat, lop off one ear tip for identification as a feral and allow it's release at the trap site. Controls the problem without slattering unsuspecting animals. Call Madison..
$$andSense August 19, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Controls what problem? I do not want your free running or feral cat or dog, sterilized or not, on my property, crapping, digging and making a general nuisance. And I certainly do not want wolves, sterilized or not, preying on whatever it wants on my property. Call the dopes in Madison? For what? Lock and load I say.
vocal local 1 August 19, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Ignorance and intolerance begets more of the same so here it goes: I don't want you or your kids on my property. Stealing, destroying, you as a dog walker allowing your pet to crap in and destroy my flower beds. Lock and Load? You better think again. Yes, I have the Castle Law. Still I will be arrested, Jailed, arraigned, possibly allowed bail if I can afford it and freed if I can obtain good defense. You support killing unsuspecting defenseless life. Go back to europe and take your decendants with you.
$$andSense August 19, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Did I hit a nerve or what with you granola? My kids have been raised with the same respect I was towards others' property - stay off unless invited. Not sure about the stealing and destroying part unless you apply that to hunting which I love. Venison is delicious. "you as a dog walker allowing your pet to crap in and destroy my flower beds. allowing your pet to crap in and destroy my flower beds". True, I have a dog but he stays in our fenced in yard. Never once crapped or peed on someone else's property. And he is "fixed". Do I know you? "Lock and Load? You better think again. Yes, I have the Castle Law. Still I will be arrested, Jailed, arraigned, possibly allowed bail if I can afford it and freed if I can obtain good defense." What is that about? The topic is wolves that went to feral/free running pets. Now you are gearing up to shoot people? Way too much info there pal. Get some help. "You support killing unsuspecting defenseless life." Guilty as charged. I have unwittingly contributed to the supply of road kill on our highways but have not gone out of my way to make it a reality, So, you got me there. Should I have swerved and taken out the motorist and their occupants in the oncoming lane to avoid the travesty of killing the defenseless critter? "Go back to Europe and take your descendants with you." Unless you harken from Asia or Africa, I think your share the same beginnings. Share the ride back?
$$andSense August 19, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Now that's not very nice. You may hurt other's sensitive feelings posting like that. Personally, my "special" 30-06 reloads will do the job on most things that need to be "corrected".
Gregory Kluck August 19, 2012 at 10:54 PM
I wanna pet the nice doggie.
Mary Anderson August 20, 2012 at 11:26 PM
You know what? I have and it was the absolutely the most fabulous thing ever. Years ago a guy had 2 male Arctic wolves that he would bring into bars. (he was a local) They were enormous, gentle and friendly. I will never forget their beauty, presence and generosity in a throng of drunk people. Better behaved than most dogs I know.
Mary Anderson August 20, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Mary Anderson August 20, 2012 at 11:37 PM
OMG! They are invading the city! Whatever will the people do? Either that was hybrid or your friend can't tell the difference between a real wolf and "brush" wolf.
Mary Anderson August 20, 2012 at 11:50 PM
So you ARE a city dweller! Feral cats and dogs don't have a snowballs chance in hell in the wilds of WI. They are free meals here. No need to get the 30-06, not to mention that it's the wrong gun for the job, unless you're a sloppy shot.
$$andSense August 24, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Mary. Most of us know the difference between a brush and timber wolf. "So you ARE a city dweller! Feral cats and dogs don't have a snowballs chance in hell in the wilds of WI. They are free meals here. No need to get the 30-06, not to mention that it's the wrong gun for the job, unless you're a sloppy shot." Yes, a village dweller with lots of land in nothern WI. Step out to 300 yards and I will show you, standing behind me because I am not threatening you, that I can plant the hurt on a wolf, deer or anything else to be connected with at that distance. A 22 or shotgun does not cut it. Your favorite caliber at that distance?
Mary Anderson September 02, 2012 at 02:26 AM
22-250 works wonders as a varmint rifle. A 17 is brilliant but you won't get the distance. Thank goodness someone with two brain cells quashed the dogs. Gah! I can't believe it was even advocated.
Wolflover13 October 12, 2012 at 03:01 PM
seriously? if a dog is chasing a bear a wolf is not going to randomly jump out and kill your dog. in all likely occasions the bear turned around and killed the hound. a predator will not attack a dog while a bigger and angry predator is in the same area. its just not going 2 happen
carol October 22, 2012 at 11:12 PM
I agree with you Brittany..i'm totally against it
vocal local 1 October 24, 2012 at 09:56 AM
Neither the elect or the DNR is listing to the majority on this issue. The hunt will occur. Your without voice per your voting so live with it or examine who you are voting for. VOTE the deadbeat INCUMBENTS OUT.
Gregory Kluck October 24, 2012 at 03:15 PM
I found some stats on wolves attacking humans...it's a rare occurrence. http://www.aws.vcn.com/wolf_attacks_on_humans.html


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