Bear hound dogs huge impact on the landscape
This Wisconsin documentary film spotlights the use of hound hunting dogs to train on and hunt wolves, bears, coyotes, bobcats, fox, and ultimately all wildlife in their path. (Link here)
Beginning of 60+ days of training hound dogs
on bears and cubs
Bear hunters begin baiting bears on April 15th and will continue to do so until the end of bear killing season in October. In addition, on July 1st, 12,000+ unleashed bear hound dogs are let loose on WI's landscape to "train" on bears. Mothers and young cubs as well will be pursued and harassed for an unregulated numbers of hours in the hottest days of the summer. According to the 2014 Bear Hunter Survey, approx. 50% of license A/B holders train their dogs on a bear mom and cubs 3-4 times during the training season. Black bears have NO sweat glands. Consequently, the chasing of bears by hound dogs for hours at a time in the heat of the summer can induce seizures as well.
Wisconsin's egregious bear baiting regulations
Wolves have been known to defend bait sites which can result in deadly confrontations. Dog depredations by wolves occurs regularly as well as hound dogs run miles from their owners and inadvertently run thru wolf rendezvous sites and/or bait sites. Approximately 4,600,000 gallons of bait (2014 Bear Hunter questionnaire) are dumped on the WI landscape over 82,340 bait sites. Bear applications and permits have increased each year in Wisconsin so it is suggested that baiting has continued to increase since 2014 data was released.
Dog depredation compensation
Over $1,000,000 has been paid to hound dog hunters who run unleashed hound dogs thru wolf range since the depredation payment began in 1985. Hound hunters receive $2,500 for depredation compensation for each dog. Wisconsin is the only state in the country to compensate hound hunters for dogs.
Non-residents from surrounding states as well can participate in bear hound hunting activities which require no licensing. Little to no regulations and the large number of unlicensed hound hunters engaged in above activities is anticipated to have impacts on law enforcement.
Research (pdf link) shows core habitat for wolves represents the highest risk to dogs in Wisconsin. Since hunters "voluntarily" place their dogs at risk, this research proposes an alternative compensation model based on the fact that wildlife is intended for public lands and with that comes an accepted level of risk. Some proposed recommendations: compensation based on habitat which determines level of risk; public vs. private land; Reduction of bear-baiting (WI-141 days vs. MN-14 days). Livestock compensations have been adjusted recently; hound depredations have not and they are individually the most costly.
"In Wisconsin, as in many other states and countries, wolves are now a part of the landscape and with this comes responsibility, for both the government (under the public-trust doctrine) and the private individual, to mitigate conflicts with wolves."
Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project
see "Wisconsin Wolf Hunt" section
(excellent resource for historical & current information on WI Gray Wolf and hound dogs)
12,000+ HOUND DOGS ON WISCONSIN'S LANDSCAPE ARE A PUBLIC SAFETY RISK
(see "Black Bear questionnaire link below)
Bear hunter survey results/information
Previous DNR Black Bear Hunter Questionnaire results (Class A and B permit holders) indicated that approximately 12,700 hounds were on the landscape during the training season; average of 16-18 days/hound; hounds accounted for >100,000 training-days; approximately 5 hounds used/hunter." In addition, 3,700,000 gallons of bear bait are dumped on Wisconsin's landscape from 4/15 thru hunting season in October. Scientific research out of MTU suggests an increase in deadly encounters between dogs and wolves when bait is put down as Wolves will defend bait sites.
"Ban dogs hunting wolves in Wisconsin"