It’s that time of year again. When Wisconsin’s hound hunters who were responsible for twenty-one deadly conflicts between federally protected wolves and their hunting dogs in this year alone, now begin chasing and killing other wildlife across Wisconsin’s Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and other public lands.
Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) hunting regulations allow resident and non-resident hound hunters to chase and kill coyotes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no limit on the number they are allowed to kill. Hunting bobcats in Wisconsin requires a tag, but only to kill a cat, not chase one.
Much like Wisconsin’s liberal bear hunting regulations, which allow any hound hunters to chase bears (but not kill them) from July until the kill season in September, WDNR regulations allow hound hunters to chase and kill bobcats from mid-October until the end of January.
Both WDNR & the U.S. Forest Service allow hound hunters and others to participate in coyote and bobcat killing contests on Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and other public lands. In addition, both agencies allow coyote, bobcat and other furbearers killed legally to be sold on the international fur market for profit.
Because of Wisconsin’s liberal hound hunting regulations, many hound hunters are able to run their dogs across our national forest lands year-round. In Spring its raccoons, all Summer and early Fall its bears, and then in Winter its coyotes and bobcats that are legally chased and killed with the aid of hounds in Wisconsin.
As has been documented and reported by Wolf Patrol annually, many hound hunters in Wisconsin who corner their prey on the ground after miles of being chased through the snow, allow their dogs to fight, maul and kill their prey, which is illegal.
All of the video and photos accompanying this article were shared by Wisconsin hound hunters and on public and private Facebook pages and groups. These photos are not the exception in hound hunting, but the rule.
Some Wisconsin hound hunters like Carl Bailey III claim they train their dogs to “bay not bite” their chased prey, but most of these hound hunts occur when loose dogs are miles from their handlers, cornering prey for extended periods of time until humans can reach their dogs and put them on leashes. Often in winter, coyotes and bobcats are forced to retreat into the icy waters which Wolf Patrol has documented already occurring this winter in northern Wisconsin.
It’s time to restrict hound hunting on Wisconsin’s national forest lands and end competitive contests offering cash and prizes for coyotes and bobcats killed. Chasing wildlife throughout the winter months should not be considered a legal or ethical hunting practice anywhere in our national forests, especially in federally protected gray wolf habitat where there is a history of conflicts between hound hunters and territorial wolves.
Please join Wolf Patrol in calling on WDNR & the U.S. Forest Service to address the lack of regulations governing hound hunting on Wisconsin’s national forest and other public lands by sending an email today to public land managers and contributing to Wolf Patrol’s campaign to end hound hunting and wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin.
SEND YOUR EMAILS TO:
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials:
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Board Liaison: