January 5, 2013
Judge Anderson split his decision, allowing the hunting of wolves with dogs but not under the present DNR “wolf management plan”. That means Wisconsin hunters cannot train their dogs to hunt wolves at this time. BUT what I can see happening is the Wisconsin DNR will go back to the drawing board and include clearer rules and regs on hunting wolves with dogs, to be ready for the 2013 hunt. Wisconsin’s current wolf hunt is closed.
How crazy and demented is it to even think of chasing wolves with up to six dogs per hunter?
There is no science behind this, only political pressure from hunters, you know the people who pay money for wolf tags, money that goes directly into the coffers of the Wisconsin DNR.
The fact hunting wolves with dogs has been resurrected is proof positive wolves MUST be relisted and soon!!
Judge allows wolf hunting with dogs
Madison – A Dane County judge said Friday the Department of Natural Resources had failed to enact adequate restrictions for dogs used to track or trail wolves, thereby prohibiting the practice under current state law.
However, Judge Peter Anderson’s ruling would allow dogs to hunt wolves.
“There is no evidence that there is a safe way to undertake training of dogs to hunt wolves,” Anderson said. “The agency had authority to put in place rules, but it failed to act.”
Anderson’s specific ruling was that NR 17.4 on dog trials and training was “invalid” with regard to wolves. The section of Wisconsin Administrative Code was written in 2003, before wolves were a game species in the state, and includes no language about wolves.
“It is not sufficient for the agency to disregard all the evidence on this issue,” Anderson said. “Or more specifically, to do nothing.”
Simultaneous with his ruling, the judge dissolved a temporary injunction issued last year that prohibited the use of dogs to hunt wolves.
The ruling was met with mixed emotions by both the plaintiffs and defendants.
“We are pleased that Judge Anderson removed the injunction that banned the use of dogs for hunting wolves,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “However, we are disappointed with his decision to prohibit training of dogs to hunt wolves.”
The lawsuit was brought by animal welfare groups and individuals who claimed the state had insufficient rules to protect dogs. The defendants were the DNR and the Natural Resources Board.
A wolf hunting and trapping season was authorized in Wisconsin by Act 169. The legislation, passed last April, allowed the use of dogs to hunt wolves, as well as to track and trail wolves.
Wisconsin is the only state to authorize the use of dogs to hunt wolves.
The legislation included few restrictions on wolf hunting or training with dogs.
While DNR officials claimed their hands were tied by the legislation, the judge repeatedly stated the DNR and Natural Resources Board had authority to put additional restrictions in place.
“The court took the DNR to task for what amounted to bad policy and bad decision-making couched behind poor process,” said Jodi Habush-Sinykin, an attorney for the plaintiffs.
Although Wisconsin’s first wolf hunting season ended when harvest quotas were reached in December, the ruling would allow hunters to use dogs to hunt wolves next season, said DNR attorney Tim Andryk.
The DNR is in the midst of creating a permanent rule for wolf hunting and trapping in the state, as well as revising its wolf management plan.
Andryk said it was premature to say how the judge’s ruling might affect either. Both the permanent rule and the wolf plan are expected to be finalized in 2014.
Carl Sinderbrand, attorney for the plaintiffs, said the overall effect of the ruling was favorable for those seeking additional protections for dogs and wolves. Without the judge’s ruling, dogs could have been used to track or trail wolves immediately in Wisconsin.
Wolves killed a hunting hound as recently as last week in Jackson County.
“In the bigger picture, this case has helped people see if the DNR uses science to make decisions or whether they base them on political pressure,” Sinderbrand said.
Sinderbrand said it was possible a bill would be introduced this session to modify portions of Act 169, including the use of dogs to hunt wolves. The 2013 wolf hunting and trapping season is scheduled to start Oct. 15.
Judge Peterson said he would issue a written version of his ruling next week.
Is this next?
“A hunting dog bites a chained wolf during the hunting festival Solburun in the village of Bokonbayevo Kyrgyzstan on October 18 2008. VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO AFP Getty Images”
Top Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Bottom Photo: VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO AFP Getty Images
Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wisconsin wolves
Tags: Judge Anderson, Wisconsin wolves, hunting wolves with dogs, barbarism, sadistic behavior, wolf persecution, judge lifts injunction, chained wolf attacked Kyrgyzstan