Yesterday, Tucker Cross, a bear hunter from Georgia posted two videos on Facebook addressing recent videos shared on Facebook by other bear hunters that show unethical hunting practices. The videos were shared by Wolf Patrol and have generated a lot of attention to bear hound training practices not only in Virginia but Wisconsin as well.
Wolf Patrol supports the call for hound hunters to not only refrain from posting graphic hunting videos, but also recognize that there are some unethical and illegal hunters that need to be held accountable by their own hunting communities. It shouldn’t be only Wolf Patrol that calls out this kind of behavior, but other hunters should recognize that the greatest threat to hound hunting is hound hunters themselves, who think cruelty and abuse is acceptable and worth sharing on social media.
I’m against bear hunting with hounds. But I support hunters like Tucker who recognize that nothing is gained when hound hunters abuse their prey or put their dogs at risk. Luckily, Tucker is a southern bear hunter whose dogs are not run in wolf territory as is the case in Wisconsin. Bear baiting is also not allowed in the states Tucker hunts and he acknowledges that its a unethical practice that creates problem bears and other conflicts.
Now its up to the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and all of its members to follow Tucker’s lead and call for an end to unethical practices disguised as bear hunting. Its time for Wisconsin bear hunters to recognize that their side gains nothing when they refuse to condemn cruel hunting practices currently allowed in Wisconsin.
Here’s a few simple things bear hunters in Wisconsin could do to demonstrate greater responsibility in their sport:
Support a registration requirement for bear baits on public lands.
Support a limit on the number of bear baits a hunter can use.
Support a ban on the use of chocolate in bear baits.
Shorten the bear baiting season from 7 months to 2.
Cease baiting and hound training/hunting activity in areas where wolves have depredated bear hounds.