In 2013 the state sanctioned wolf kill season accounted for 257 reported deaths of gray wolves in Wisconsin. The reckless kill quota numbers along with rampant poaching, killings by “Wildlife Services” assassins, and other forms of mortality led to a staggering 19 percent drop in the Wisconsin wolf population since the beginning of 2013.
2013 was also the first year that hounders were allowed to legally use dogs against wolves. Wisconsin is the only state in the country that allows this abhorrent practice. Dogs were allowed to be used against wolves starting on December 2nd of last year. When the wolf kill season ended 35 wolves were reported to have been killed by hounders. As expected the DNR and hounders reported that their dogs behaved like little angels and didn’t “engage” the wolves that they were targeting even though numerous photographs on the wolf hate pages showed injuries in addition to the gunshot wounds. Due to concerns over potential fighting between the dogs packs and wolves the DNR required that hounders turn over the skinned body of the hounder killed wolves for examination. This was a reasonable request but the time frame in which the hounders could turn in the bodies was rather suspicious. From the report:
“Wisconsin requires state-licensed wolf hunters and trappers to register their wolf using a 2 stage registration process. Within 24 hours of harvest, permit holders are required to inform the Department by phone of the location, sex and method used. This information is used to track harvest by unit and make unit closure decisions. By the 5th day of the month following harvest, hunters and trappers are required to present the pelt and skinned carcass to the department for final registration and tagging of the animal. The department collects a pre-molar for aging purposes, a genetic sample, and a reproductive tract from females.”
In some instances it could be up to 35 days before the wolf killer is required to turn over the body. In the case of the hounders they could legally kill wolves with the “aid” of dogs starting December 2nd, yet they didn’t have to turn in the body to the DNR until January 5th. One of the biggest concerns of wildlife advocates was that in order to cover up evidence of dogs being used to attack wolves, the hounders would allow the bodies of killed wolves to partially decompose or be so otherwise damaged that no conclusive evidence of dog bites could be obtained. And guess what happened? From the report:
“Twenty seven skinned carcasses were examined. The outer exposed tissue layer of the carcasses was severely desiccated. Due to the condition of the carcasses, subcutaneous hemorrhaging and edema, as well as presence or absence of injuries that didn’t extend further into the muscle layers could not be assessed. Evaluation of these carcasses was inconclusive. One evaluation was conducted of a carcass with the pelt removed only from the shoulder and head. The cause of death for this wolf was a bullet wound but the carcass showed evidence of minor trauma consistent with bite wounds which occurred prior to death. Available evidence did not allow for conclusive determination of the species responsible for the bite wounds. Law enforcement personnel investigated the events surrounding the harvest of this animal and found no evidence of a violation.”
Of course “no evidence of a violation” was found by the warden. Are hounders ever charged with any violations? In 2012 NOT ONE hounder was cited or charged for any violations even though pictures and videos of dogs being used to illegally attack wildlife were turned over to the DNR. However the report does show that the DNR did issue 21 wolf killing related citations. Funny how not one of these “violations” ever made the media. I will be looking at getting information about these citations and the nature of the violations from the DNR through Freedom of Information Act requests. Please download the official report below: