UPDATE: Wisconsin DNR Proposes Wolf-Dog Hunting Rules

UPDATED Sunday, December 9, 2012 --- 1:47 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin wildlife officials are proposing new regulations governing how wolf hunters can train their dogs.

Department of Natural Resources' emergency rules establishing the wolf hunt contain almost no limitations on dogs. A Madison judge has temporarily barred their use, though, while he weighs a lawsuit alleging the lack of restrictions will lead to wolf-dog fights.

The DNR has released new permanent rules for wolf hunting that allows training dogs on wolves only during daylight hours during the wolf season and in the month of March. Each dog would have to be tattooed or wear a collar that identifies its owners.

DNR officials plan to ask the board on Wednesday to hold public hearings on the plan. They don't expect to implement the new rules until 2014, however.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


UPDATED: Thursday, October 4, 2012 --- 3:17p.m.

Release from DNR:

MADISON - Dane County Circuit Court Judge Anderson has scheduled Dec. 20 as the day he will hold a hearing on the department’s request to lift the injunction on the training and use of dogs to pursue wolves. As the result of this schedule, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is alerting permitted wolf hunters that the season will proceed, but the use of dogs to pursue wolves will not be allowed to start on Nov. 26, the date previously authorized by statute.

“We have a real need to reduce our current wolf population and have learned from other states that harvesting a wolf can be difficult. The use of dogs is a key way to increase hunter success. We will continue to work with the court to remove the injunction on the use of dogs, but unfortunately dogs will be sidelined for this hunt until at least late December,” said Kurt Thiede, DNR lands division administrator.

The temporary injunction was put into place this August while Judge Anderson considers the case brought against the DNR by humane society groups opposing the use of dogs in the wolf hunt. The injunction temporarily prevents or enjoins the use of dogs for hunting wolves, and also the use of dogs to train to hunt wolves. As a result of this ruling, hunters and trappers are advised that the use of dogs for tracking and trailing of wolves is not authorized when hunting wolves under a wolf harvesting license. Also, the use of dogs for training to track or trail free ranging wolves is not authorized at this time.

The wolf hunt will commence on Oct. 15. Prior to the injunction the use of dogs to track or trail wolves was slated to start November 26th, after the deer gun season, and continue through the end of the wolf season Feb. 28.


UPDATED: Friday, August 31, 2012 --- 5:00p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Dane County judge has blocked hunters from using dogs to go after wolves this fall.

Judge Peter C. Anderson issued a temporary injunction Friday as part of a lawsuit a group of humane societies have filed against the Department of Natural Resources. The group contends the DNR failed to impose restrictions on hunting dogs during this fall's wolf hunt, setting deadly dog-wolf clashes in the woods.

It's unclear what the ruling means for the hunt. Anderson says hunters can still go after wolves. DNR officials have warned the injunction could scuttle the hunt. They have said don't have enough time to change their regulations to reflect the dog ban before the hunt begins in mid-October.

DNR attorney Tim Andryk says the agency will have to review the judge's order.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


UPDATED Wednesday, August 29, 2012 --- 1:07 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Dane County judge has postponed a ruling on a request to block hunters from training dogs to go after wolves until later this week.

A coalition of humane societies has filed a lawsuit challenging this fall's hunt. The group alleges the Department of Natural Resources failed to set up restrictions on the use of dogs, creating the potential for bloody wolf-dog fights.

The coalition wants Judge Peter C. Anderson to issue a temporary order blocking the DNR from issuing permits unless the agency notifies hunters they can't train dogs to go after wolves.

Anderson said during a hearing Wednesday he was still reading case law related to the lawsuit an hour before the hearing began and didn't want to rush into a decision. He said he would rule Friday.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


Posted Wednesday, August 29, 2012 --- 7:50 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Dane County judge is set to consider blocking Wisconsin's new wolf hunt.

Judge Peter Anderson is scheduled to decide whether to issue a temporary injunction Wednesday while he sorts through a lawsuit challenging the hunt.

A coalition of humane societies filed the suit last month alleging the Department of Natural Resources failed to set up training requirements for wolf hunting dogs. The group says the lack of requirements will result in what it called the archaic blood sport of wolf-dog combat in violation of state animal cruelty statutes.

State attorneys maintain hunters have plenty of incentives to avoid dog-wolf fights and an injunction would run afoul of the public interest expressed in the law establishing a hunt.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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