A Rural Viewpoint On Wolf Reintroduction And Protection
Wisconsin but should be applicable to all bear and lion hunters across the US where wolves are present.
Wolf Attacks Trigger DNR Warning for Bear Hunters
Updated: 5:26 PM Sep 6, 2006
During the Bear-Dog Training Season, which was in July and August, 13 of the dogs were killed by wolves.
Now DNR wardens are pointing out warning areas, including parts of Sawyer, Rusk, and Taylor counties.
"On occasion, bears will enter a rendezvous area where the wolves have pups and frequently, wolves will kill the dogs," said Dave Weitz of the Department of Natural Resources.
Wardens say it doesn't seem to make a bit of difference what breed the dog is, and that it's virtually always a bear hunting dog that falls victim to the wolves.
A hunter from Durand has seen four dogs lost among his hunting group in a day, and says bear dogs are at risk no matter where they are for the hunt.
"Personally, in the next couple years, I think you'll see a human get killed by them," said Corey Delong.
"If it was up to me, I'd eliminate the problem by shooting some of them."
Right now, a court decision has left Wisconsin wolves in a federally endangered status, so the D.N.R can't control them until they're de-listed, and that's expected to happen late this year or into next.
Even if they could control the population, Dave Weitz says they'd only euthanize wolves that may be killing livestock, not those killing dogs on public land.
On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Bear Hunters' Association released this statement:
"The Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association is gravely concerned with the increase in wolf attacks on pets and livestock in recent years. These attacks are costing property owners, farmers, and hunters thousands of dollars in lost animals.
"The WBHA wishes to remind all dog owners to exercise caution anytime their dogs are outside. Wolves do not just attack hunting dogs they can attack peoples pets as well. Wolves in recent years have been moving closer and closer to settled areas in Wisconsin.
"Any person who owns an animal attacked by a wolf or a pack of wolves is asked to contact the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources."
You can find the DNR's warning areas at this website: www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/er/mammals/wolf/dogdepred.htm