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home : news : county/state news September 1, 2014

1/7/2013 7:30:00 AM
Wolf hunting: Dogs allowed

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Peter C. Anderson has ruled dogs can be used to hunt wolves but, for now, has blocked hunters from training dogs to track wolves.

A group of humane societies filed suit in August, alleging that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources failed to enact suitable restrictions on how hunters can use dogs to track wolves.

Anderson issued a temporary injunction on the use of dogs for tracking and trailing wolves and for the use of dogs for training to track or trail free-ranging wolves Aug. 31.

Anderson revisited the lawsuit challenging the use of dogs in the state's wolf hunt Friday. That hearing, originally scheduled for Dec. 20, had been postponed due to a winter storm.

Anderson said Friday an existing rule that allows training dogs on wild animals does not address problems that could arise between dogs and wolves. He found the rule invalid for the purpose, but said the DNR had no duty to impose restrictions on hunting wolves with dogs.

DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp issued the following statement after the ruling was announced: "We are pleased that Judge Anderson removed the injunction that banned the use of dogs for hunting wolves. However, we are disappointed with Judge Anderson's decision to prohibit training of dogs to hunt wolves. We will continue to seek input from the public and from stakeholders - including tribes - as we continue to develop permanent rules on the wolf season, and the use of dogs for both training and hunting of wolves."

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Article comment by: Craig Strid

I hope Anderson is not proud of this decision. All that time to come up with this diluted weak cop out. All he did was separate it from the fighting dog statutes by taking out training. This is not a legal decision, it's a loop hole. Anderson rode the fence to avoid conflict and then insulated the hunt by eliminating the DNR interference. This smells soiled and not clean. This was a decision to protect the hunt and avoid conflict. In other words, he went through the motions.

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