Once again, Wolf Patrol would like the public to know why there are so many dog fights with wolves in Wisconsin. Since July 2018, there have been over 20 violent clashes between bear hunting hounds and gray wolves in Wisconsin, most in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
The annual fights have become an expected part of bear hunting traditions in Wisconsin, as more and more hound hunters are running their packs of dogs through national forest lands where wolves have recently returned, after having been pushed to the brink of extinction in the last century.
Every hound hunter in Wisconsin uses bear baits to lure bears close enough for their dogs to chase them. And while the baits themselves attract wolves, bears and other wildlife, the very presence of unleashed dogs running through wolf territory is a recipe for disaster. Another contributing element to hunting dog/wolf conflicts in Wisconsin is simply the way hunting hounds are raised and trained to fight the wildlife they are pursuing, despite the practice being illegal. Wisconsin’s hound hunters routinely encourage their hounds to be aggressive.
In September 2018, Wolf Patrol published the video of a Michigan bear hunter who had two dogs killed by wolves recently. In the video, Paul Robachek’s hounds are verbally encouraged to maul and fight a cornered coyote.
In the above video posted by Wisconsin bear hunter Walker Jones, the hound hunting party laughs and jokes as they illegally dig a live coyote out of its den so they can allow their dogs to kill it. Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) continues to turn a blind eye to the animal cruelty common in Wisconsin hound hunting practices, that is why Wisconsin’s hounders are comfortable sharing their cruel videos on Facebook.
In multiple other videos published by Wisconsin bear hunters Andy Dertinger, Ratt Nicks, Travis Britten and Nicholas Valenta, bear hunting dogs can be seen viciously fighting coyotes in the off season. Hound hunters in Wisconsin do not use their dogs for only one species, but often hunt not only bear, but often coyotes, bobcats and raccoons as well.
Bloodlust is encouraged in hunting dogs, and promoted as a marketable value when they are sold to other hound hunters, as has been documented this week on Wisconsin bear hunter’s social media accounts during the closing weeks of this year’s bear season.
Its time to get the hounds out of our national forests! If you train your dogs to fight wildlife, they should not be allowed on our public lands. If you agree, please send an email to Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials asking that bear baiting, hound training and hunting be ended in Wisconsin’s national forests.