Letter: Hunting wolves with dogs is inhumane by Shirley Clements
The Natural Resources Board spurned overpowering opposition and continued the rule-making process for dogs training on wolves. The rules: train during daylight, November through March, with unleashed dogs wearing identification. Empty rules.
Al Lobner (Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association) calls restrictions “discriminating, not based on science.” Pretending to know science, Lobner teaches that using dogs on wolves would be “similar” to coyote hunting because wolves are “like coyotes.” False.
Wolves are larger, stronger, faster and fiercely face canine intruders. Wolves primarily consider dogs as threats, especially loose dogs chasing them or trespassing onto wolf territory. Threat to wolves means threat of usurping their territory, to recently killed food, to themselves or offspring. Wolves quickly kill canines smaller than themselves (coyotes and most dog breeds). Science.
Still, Lobner fights for hounds on wolves with no concerns about dogs, called “part of our families.” Lobner says trained dogs “avoid confrontations” and when his dogs “chased them, wolves ran.” He admits “he had dogs trail wolves” and a dog of his was killed by wolves during bear activities.
Reality: Wolves confront dogs. Wolves kill dogs. Usually during bear activities and when hounds invade wolf home-sites containing pups. Despite obvious risks (bears and wolves attack dogs), hound owners voluntarily gamble their dogs’ lives; the act of hounding and compensation money for dead dogs is what counts. And no amount of dog training influences wolf behavior.
Wolf and canine scientists oppose hunting wolves with dogs.
Furthermore, scientists oppose training dogs on wolves through the near entirety of their reproductive cycle, a “period of heightened aggressiveness.” Conflict, injuries and death are unavoidable. Training would constantly disrupt this critical time encompassing breeding, pregnancy, den preparation for expected young and early birthing. Few dog trainers will win a wolf permit in a limited lottery. Thus, a wolf expert calls this not “training,” but “a system of legalized wildlife harassment.”
Lobner said the “positive influence of WBHA is crucial, especially with the negative attitudes of anti-hunters.” He will “create and foster a positive image of all sportsmen.”
But Lobner spreads make-believe to justify demands and arrogantly says, “hunting with dogs was always part of the equation.” Because WBHA colluded with politicians, writing a wolf season with dogs, intentionally excluding scientists, thus Lobner himself and WBHA are bad influences and create unfavorable feelings, harming the image of hunters.
WHBA is dishonest and engages in cruel, base activities.
The uproar isn’t about “anti-hunting.” It’s about hostility in wildlife management.
A spotlight shines on hounding and a government that rigidly supports brutality for a handful of questionable hunters.
One doesn’t have to like wolves. But all wildlife and hounds deserve care and respect. Most believe this. It’s not radical; it’s decent. Speak out to abandon using dogs to hunt wolves.
Shirley Clements, Fond du Lac