We fail to understand the judge’s decision to allow dogs in the wolf hunt given his stated recognition that the Department of Natural Resources failed to produce any evidence to indicate that dogs could be used to pursue wolves safely without deadly consequences. The recent hound death in Jackson County reaffirms that.

As longstanding Wisconsin hunters, we believe in hunting with principles. We do not believe brutality towards wildlife or hunting dogs should be open-ended to the point where nothing is considered too cruel. Not once during the court hearings did — or could — the DNR or hound hunters dispute the fact that hundreds of large hunting hounds have already died.

Most bear and coyote hounds die striped of hide and flesh in a few short minutes while the hunters sit in the truck. The DNR keeps a tally of dead dogs, warns hunters to keep their hounds out of those areas and provides a map. Now they want to sell you a license so you can intentionally “give it a go” and pit your dogs against wolves anywhere in Wisconsin.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks, wolfhounds and Airedales are now being considered for use along with Plott hounds to hunt wolves. These breeds are known for their game fighting ability — what does that tell you? How low will extremists go — and legislators tolerate — in the name of “hunters’ rights”? There has been discussion of the public’s tolerance of wolves. Now discussion needs to turn to the public’s tolerance for how cruel Wisconsin hound hunting has become.

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