Wisconsin Bear Hounders and DNR Try to Cover Up Wolf and Dog Fighting by Instituting Program that No One Will Participate In

This is what we think of the DNR's "voluntary" plan to give bear hounders cover.

This is what we think of the DNR’s “voluntary” plan to give bear hounders cover.

During the past month the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the rabidly anti-wolf Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association have been trying to wage a public relations effort seeking to dupe the citizenry into thinking that pitting dogs against wolves does not lead to bloody fights. In fact the hounders want you to believe this so much that they went out of their way to tell the media that they “support” a new voluntary plan to let the DNR “examine” hounder killed wolves.

“The Department of Natural Resources plans to ask wolf hunters to allow federal wildlife specialists to watch them skin their kills this fall and document signs of bite trauma.”

“DNR officials have acknowledged few hunters will likely participate. But Bear Hunters’ Association President Al Lobner said Friday his group supports the plan. He it offers a chance to disprove the notion that hunters allow their dogs to fight wolves.”

Of course the bear hounders “support” this plan because they know full well that none of their membership will submit to having their hound killed wolves examined. Considering that Lobner essentially threatened wide scale poaching at an earlier Wolf Advisory Committee meeting if hound “depredation” payoffs were eliminated, it is no surprise that he and his group are trying to divert attention and pretend that they are being “open” with their motives. Of course the DNR already knows that this is a fools folly:

DNR Large Carnivore Specialist Dave MacFarland presented a plan to the board Wednesday that calls for sending letters to everyone who receives a wolf permit this year. The letters will ask the permit holders to refrain from skinning wolves to preserve any injuries. Following registration, a U.S. Department of Agriculture wildlife specialist will set up an appointment with the hunter to observe the skinning. The specialist will document injuries to the carcass and submit the data to the DNR for evaluation.

MacFarland told the board that the agency wants information on injuries on as many wolves as possible — not just those killed by hunters with dogs — so it can establish a baseline rate of bite injuries to compare against wounds on wolves killed by hunters with dogs. A large discrepancy between the two rates would signal that something is afoot with hunters, he said.

MacFarland said the DNR expects to spend up to $10,000 to reimburse the USDA specialists. Participation in the plan is voluntary, however; MacFarland noted in a memo to the board that he expects hunters with dogs that do confront wolves won’t join the program.

So other than trying to deflect from the obvious brutal nature of using packs of vicious dogs against wolves, what does the DNR hope to accomplish with this program? I honestly don’t know. To me it seems that the DNR developed this voluntary program to give themselves and hounders cover by pretending that they are monitoring the reckless use of dogs against wolves.

Last year hounders were given a vast period of time to turn over the bodies of the wolves that they killed to the DNR. In some cases hounders had up to 35 days to turn over the bodies. As expected the hounders allowed the bodies of the killed wolves to massively decompose before they turned them in thus destroying all evidence of fighting. One wolf did show clear signs of bites but the DNR could not provide a “conclusive” determination as to how the wolf was bitten. Surprise.

“The DNR is preparing to draft a permanent rule governing the use of dogs in wolf hunting. The agency examined 27 of the 35 wolves killed by hunters using dogs during last year’s season but couldn’t find any conclusive evidence of fights or law violations. DNR officials warned the study was compromised because hunters had skinned the wolves before the examinations, accelerating decomposition.”

What a disgusting stain for Wisconsin to be known as the ONLY state in the country that allows the use of dogs against wolves. Some in the DNR know that by allowing dogs to be used against wolves they are in a public relations nightmare so they use half-baked programs like the one above in the hopes that they and the hounders will be able to deflect criticism from their state sanctioned dog fighting. We are not buying it.

As the recent federal court ruling regarding Wyoming’s reckless wolf slaughter may show, the states are still answerable to the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. Wisconsin, by far, has the most extreme and reckless wolf killing plan in the Great Lakes. By allowing massive quotas, trapping, dogs, and a four and a half month season, our wolves are in great peril. This peril was expressed boldly and directly in an outstanding letter, penned by four scientists and a former Wisconsin DNR Wildlife Biologist, expressing grave concern over the faulty DNR method for counting wolves and the introduction of dogs to be used against wolves.

August 25 Letter to USFWS

As expected the DNR jumped to the defense of their flawed and reckless plan almost immediately. The Wyoming ruling and the recent DNR survey showing strong pro-wolf attitudes across Wisconsin has to make the DNR a little unnerved. Add to that the massive 19 percent wolf population drop in one year and the DNR knows that they are treading on very thin ice. When you consider once again that Wisconsin is the ONLY state that allows dogs to be used against wolves, including 24/7/365 “training,” you have a situation that screams disaster. The DNR and WBHA can put forth as many fluffy programs as they want to try and cover up what is really occurring in the woods but it will not work. Anyone with common sense knows very well what happens when you unleash packs of dogs trained to kill in our woods. Wolves will die along with many more dogs. If the DNR and WBHA really want to “prove” that wolf and dog fights are not occurring then why isn’t the above program considered mandatory? I think that we all know the answer to that one.

 

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