By Melissa Smith
Starting today, twelve thousand or more hounds will be set loose on public lands across Wisconsin to harass wildlife and disturb the peace of these natural areas. These bear hounding dogs will run roughshod through biological areas that endangered species such as gray wolves, whooping cranes, and potentially lynx and wolverines call home. Not to mention the non-protected species such as bobcats, deer, grouse and even songbirds and nests. The noise from these baying hounds is awful for me, I can only imagine how the wildlife feels.
Bear hunting is unethical in every way, shape and form. Hunting bears over bait is worse. Hunting bears with packs of vicious dogs and bait is dog fighting and the people who participate are criminals in my mind. We are not going to budge on that position, ever. We like bears. They deserve better than this. These are families too. And yes, some people eat bear, but oddly they’ll mix it with pork or other meats to appease their taste. They spend thousands of dollars on gas, trucks, bait, dogs, taxidermy licenses etc.
This is about sport and nothing more. Not putting food on the table.
The majority of people, even many hunters, believe that this practice of baiting and hounding should be illegal. It’s completely irresponsible for our DNR to allow it. The time has come to reform this agency and its horrid practices. A tiny vocal minority, the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and the Welch Lobby group are deciding what happens to OUR bears, (and our wolves too). The most vile of the vile are coming to our state because we have no regulation.
YOU DO NOT NEED ANY SORT OF LICENSE TO RUN DOGS OR BAIT BEARS. NONE.
Population “management” is ridiculous when it comes to large carnivores/omnivores. Species are different. Individuals matter.
Florida, New Hampshire fought back and there is no hunt. Why? The had the needed funds it takes to win a campaign. We need the money to fight back just to raise public awareness and get people excited about winning these battles.
Wouldn’t several radio campaigns and billboards be cool?
If the public knew how our Northern/Central Wisconsin residents are prisoners on their own land, how cubs are separated from mom and killed, how 40% of a bear’s diet now is chocolate, twinkies, pie, grease and were changing their reproduction and molecular structure and of course, and the way these poor hounds are treated is criminal animal abuse. These people were also notorious for fighting back on puppy mill laws. What does that tell you?
If you believe bears deserve better, please consider a small contribution. Or even better, come volunteer. Or write a blog for our page.
But mostly, advocacy is expensive. And we are outspent by thousands, but the good news is that we are in the right. We are the good guys in this fight, and we will prevail.