DNR Denied Permission to Include Dogs in Wisconsin's First Wolf Hunt

Sep 26, 2012

One remaining point of contention in Wisconsin's wolf hunt is the law's allowance for dogs to be used to trail or track wolves. The Natural Resources Board on Wednesday denied the DNR permission to draft emergency rules so dogs could be used this first year.

It does not appear hunters will be allowed to use dogs during Wisconsin's inaugural wolf hunt beginning October 15.

Wolves perform ritual displays during mating season in February.
Credit P McConnell

Lawmakers included the use of dogs to trail or track wolves in the law supporters fast-tracked last winter, shortly after the federal government removed the gray wolf from the endangered list.

However, less than two weeks ago, a Dane County judge halted the use of dogs, at least until the DNR writes rules to protect them.

On Wednesday, the DNR asked the Natural Resources Board for permission to craft emergency rules - so hunters could use dogs during this first hunt, but the Board vote 6-1 to deny the DNR such permission. The agency can begin designing permanent rules, but they would not take effect until at least next year.

Zoologist Patricia McConnell shared her opinions at Wednesday's board meeting. She views the debate from a dog advocate's perspective.

She told WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence that mixing dogs with wolf hunting has opened a Pandora's Box of concerns.