Bear Hunting Dog Trainers Cautioned of Wolf Attacks

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Two bear hounds have been killed and another injured by wolves while being trained in two separate areas of northern Wisconsin this summer, triggering the state Department of Natural Resources to establish two wolf caution areas to alert individuals training bear dogs who want to reduce risk of conflict with wolves.

Two hounds were killed in separate incidents when they approached what biologists believe is a wolf rendezvous area northeast of Ladysmith where adult wolves had left their pups. In the third incident a bear dog was injured while being trained in Lincoln County west of Merrill.

Bear dog training is allowed in parts of northern Wisconsin from July 1 through Aug. 30.

The Sawyer County caution area is bounded by Highway J on the west, Highways W and M on the north and east and County Roads BE and Flambeau Road on the south.

The Lincoln County caution area is located with the Lincoln / Taylor County Line as the west boundary, Conservation Road as the north boundary and County Roads E and M on the east. State Highway 64 is the southern boundary.

The recent attacks of wolves on hounds may to be due to the presence of pups in the area, and wolves becoming aggressive with any animal getting too close to the pups. Wolf territories normally cover 20 to 100 square miles, but areas where pups are raised in summer usually cover only 1- to 3-square miles of the territory. These summer home sites or “rendezvous sites” are areas that hunters with hounds will most want to avoid in summer.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Endangered Species program reimburses veterinary bills and will provide payment for the loss of a dog to wolf depredation.