September 8, 2019:
Reports are just coming in for the number of bear hounds killed this weekend during Wisconsin’s bear hunt which began on September 4th. So far, 18 bear hounds have been killed by wolves since the state’s two-month hound training and bear baiting season began on July 1st. The actual kill season runs until October 8th.
The latest depredation which resulted in an injury, not death of a bear hunting hound, took place on September 6, 2019 in Polk County, Wisconsin. This was the 17th bear hound and federally protected gray wolf fight reported since July 2019 and there’s still an entire month of bear hunting in northern Wisconsin wolf territory.
Wolf Patrol visited multiple Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Wolf Caution Areas in Marinette and Forest County where wolves have killed more bear hounds this year than any other area of the state. Wisconsin’s allowance of unlimited and unregistered bear baiting sites, many on national forest lands, has led to not only bears being conditioned to visiting bait sites, but wolves as well.
Now it appears wolves are also becoming conditioned to defending these feeding sites as well as their own territory by killing not only hunting hounds, but any dog. It’s time the WDNR & US Forest Service do something to restrict and limit bear baiting and hound running in WDNR Wolf Caution Areas once any dog or hunting hound is killed.