Tuesday, September 18, 2018

WI hunters lose two more hounds to wolves

The WI DNR reports two more hunting-hound/wolf encounters in the last five days that left two dogs dead. 

One was a ten-year-old Plott hound like this one. 
Through an only-in-Wisconsin program, hunters can collect up to $2,500 from the DNR for each such dog lost, even if the dog was allowed to run off-leash in known wolf activity areas, or if the owner was a repeat payment collector - - even a scofflaw. 

The program also reimburses livestock and pets owners for animals killed by wolves, but owners of hunting dogs have received the most money, a DNR record shows.

Twelve hunting hounds have been killed in Wisconsin this year - - the majority during 'training runs' against bears - - and another twelve were injured, according to the DNR. 

Wolf hunting and trapping was outlawed years ago in Wisconsin after wolves were nearly wiped out. Legal wolf killing was reinstated by Wisconsin legislation between 2012 and 2014, then was banned again by a federal judge.

Various efforts to reinstate wolf hunting in Wisconsin, Michigan and elsewhere have failed, though Trump's Interior Department wants to loosen prohibitions against trophy hunting in Alaska. 
The Trump administration is moving to reverse Obama-era rules barring hunters on some public lands in Alaska from baiting brown bears with bacon and doughnuts and using spotlights to shoot mother black bears and cubs hibernating in their dens. 
The National Park Service issued a notice [in May] of its intent to amend regulations for sport hunting and trapping in national preserves to bring the federal rules in line with Alaska state law. 
Under the proposed changes, hunters would also be allowed to hunt black bears with dogs, kill wolves and pups in their dens, and use motor boats to shoot swimming caribou.
The Interior Department has also opened federal nature preserves to more hunting and fishing nationwide, including one in Trempealeau County.

Here is more information about the Wisconsin bear hunting season which began September 5th.

In the DNR information below, note that three hounds have been killed not far from each other in separate encounters with wolves in Bayfield County. 

The DNR does not provide on its website detailed information about the circumstances of the hound/wolf encounters.

09/13/2018Lincoln1 dog killed (Plott, male, 10 years)Lincoln depredation siteLincoln depredation location map [PDF]
09/14/2018Bayfield1 dog killed (Walker, female, 4 years)Bayfield depredation siteBayfield depredation location map [PDF]

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