Viewpoint: Training dogs on wolves is a bad idea
It is unfortunate a wolf season was written without wildlife professionals, allowing hound dog packs to hunt wolves.
Because now, hunters can train packs of hounds on wolves with no restriction and few exceptions year-round, possibly by 2015. No license is required and out-of-state trainers are allowed.
Such training creates many problems.
January and February are breeding season when wolves are most intensely territorial. Wolves attack canine intruders – especially dogs. Conflicts are likely to happen. Hound packs will chase pregnant female wolves during most of their pregnancy, from February to April. Training in March, when females are making den sites before the birth of wolf pups, will frequently disrupt this preparation.
Unlike hound training on bears, bobcats, and raccoons where the animal ends up treed, or coyotes that end up shot, there is no endpoint for a wolf chase. Constant disruption of wolf packs with hounds will make it difficult for wolf trackers to count and locate wolves to monitor the population.
The training season could occur for eight long months before the next hunting season begins. Repeatedly running wolves that are not being harvested is a tormenting activity, and invites illegal killing if wolves are not wanted in a certain area.
Also, this training would include numerous hunters that will never have a chance to hunt wolves because few dog trainers will win a wolf permit in the very limited lottery.
Wolves would be chased by anyone with hounds while simultaneously hunted and trapped during an overlapping four-and-a-half month long wolf season.
Thus, a state wolf expert told me this is not “training,” but a system of legalized wildlife harassment.
It is difficult to monitor the activities of hunters who use hounds. Furthermore, conflicts already exist between them and private landowners, other types of hunters and outdoor recreationists.
Training dogs on wolves is a bad idea.
Wisconsin has unleashed an irrational hatred of wolves, and truly abandons hunting regulations based upon ethics.
Shirley Clements, Fond du Lac