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Wisconsin Wolf Hunt

And the Fight to Keep Hounds OUT of the Hunt


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WI Wolf Hunt 2021
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WI Wolf Hunt Legislation History
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A Michigan Gray Wolf

Wolf hunting made a return to WI in February 2021, with disasterous results.

NOTE: On 30 March 2016, Gov. Scott Walker signed 2015 assembly Bill 700 into law. The now- 2015 WI Act 285 states that when wolves are no longer listed as endangered: "The department shall establish a single annual open season for both hunting and trapping wolves that begins on the first Saturday in November of each year and ends on the last day of February of the following year." Previously, the start date of the wolf hunting season was 15 October; in previous hunts, four out of the six Zones had met their quotas and were closed to hunting by the end of October. Dogs have been allowed to join the hunt on 1 December. (2015 WI Act 285)

       On 07/10/2014, The 4th District Court of Appeals ruled that Wisconsin hunters can train dogs to track and trail wolves. Until there are specific administrative rules in place for tracking and trailing wolves with dogs, hunters are allowed to train hounds to track and trail wolves under established hound training regulations. Please see: WI Chapter NR 17: DOG TRIALS AND TRAINING, scroll down to NR 17.04 Dog training on free roaming wild animals and additional restrictions on dogs. (NOTE: there are apparently very few restrictions currently on when hunters may "train" on wolves in the wild.)

       One of the last acts of the Trump administration was to delist wolves in January 2021. Citing the above law, hunting groups demanded that the DNR immediately allow the hunting of WI wolves. As a consequence, 218 wolves were reported killed in less than a week, the majority by "track and trail" with dogs. The "collateral damage" of this hunt is still to be determined, but experts estimate that at least 1/3 of the wolf population in WI has been wiped out. Still, there will be a November hunt.

       The DNR is once again working on a draft of permanent administrative rules for training dogs for hunting wolves, supposedly taking into consideration such factors as breeding and pup- rearing seasons.

       When wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan were removed from the endangered species list in January 2012, the Wisconsin legislature immediately introduced bills to allow hunting and trapping of wolves in the state. 2011 WISCONSIN ACT 169 was signed into law on 2 April 2012 and published on 16 April 2012.

       Though several states now have wolf hunts, Wisconsin is the ONLY state in the country to allow the training and use of dogs to pursue wolves! We at the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project strongly agree that This is NOT the type of leadership that reflects well on our state!

       In our opinion, unrestricted use of dogs in hunting wolves violates the letter and spirit of Wisconsin’s animal cruelty and animal fighting laws by guaranteeing bloody and violent encounters between wolves and dogs -- with horrendous consequences for the hounds.

       We are finding that even most mainstream hunters OPPOSE the use of dogs to pursue wolves, as they feel it doesn't give game the opportunity for fair chase, poses a threat to both private property rights and safe use and enjoyment of public lands by everyone, and increases the opportunity for dog to wolf conflict...some feel that it is nothing more than "legalized dogfighting."

       The Wisconsin Wolf Hunt controversy is multifacted and at times, confusing. We have tried to present an overall history of the hunt, an insight into the legal battles going on to stop the use of hounds in hunting wolves, the opinions of "mainstream hunters" who are opposed to dogs in wolf hunting, a sampling of media stories, and some suggestions on what YOU can do to take the Hounds out of the Hunt -- including legislation that was introduced in both houses of the WI State Legislature to prohibit the use of dogs in tracking and hunting wolves. This legislation died in committee at the end of the 2013-2014 Legislative Session, due to the apparent reluctance of committee members to listen to their constituents and put the bills on their respective calendars for discussion.

       If you are curious as to how the wolf hunt quotas are determined, please see the WI DNR Wolf Management Plan Page information on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resourdes website.


Billboard erected by the Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf in the Wisconsin Dells
Read more here!


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
                — Margaret Mead

"The only way to defeat a strong united front is to become one yourself!"
                Barbara J. Davis


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