Dane County Circuit Court Judge Peter C. Anderson has ruled to allow the use of dogs to hunt wolves, but blocked hunters from training dogs to track wolves for now.
A group of humane societies filed suit in August, alleging that the DNR failed to enact suitable restrictions on how hunters can use dogs to track wolves.
Anderson issued a temporary injunction on the use of dogs for tracking and trailing wolves and for the use of dogs for training to track or trail free-ranging wolves Aug. 31.
Anderson revisited a lawsuit challenging the use of dogs in the state’s wolf hunt Friday. That hearing, originally scheduled for Dec. 20, had been postponed due to a winter storm.
Anderson said Friday an existing rule that allows training dogs on wild animals does not address problems that could arise between dogs and wolves. He found the rule invalid for the purpose, but said the DNR had no duty to impose restrictions on hunting wolves with dogs.
Statement from DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp on Judge Peter Anderson’s ruling:
We are pleased that Judge Anderson removed the injunction that banned the use of dogs for hunting wolves. However, we are disappointed with Judge Anderson’s decision to prohibit training of dogs to hunt wolves.
We will continue to seek input from the public and from stakeholders – including tribes – as we continue to develop permanent rules on the wolf season, and the use of dogs for both training and hunting of wolves.
Craig Turk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org