The Countdown to Bear Hounding…

Melissa Smith

Starting this Saturday, over 12,000 bear hounds will be set loose on public land 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 their nests. The noise from these baying hounds is awful for me, I can only imagine how the wildlife feels.

Hunting bears is unethical in any way, shape or form. Hunting bears over bait is worse.

bait barrels

55-gallon barrels to be filled with junk food and dumped in the woods.

bear bait (poptarts)

Pop-tart scraps which will be dumped at bear bait sites throughout public forest land.  (Source: Laney’s Guide Service)

Hunting bears with packs of hounds is dog fighting and the people who participate are criminals in my mind. I’m not going to budge on that position, ever. Bears deserve better than this. These are families too. And yes, some people eat bear, but oddly they all mix it with pork or other meats to make it edible. They spend thousands of dollars on gas, trucks, bait, dogs, taxidermy licenses, etc. This is about sport, nothing more. Not putting food on the table.

The majority of people, including other hunters, believe that this practice of baiting and hounding should be illegal. And it is completely irresponsible of our DNR to allow it. The time has come to reform this agency and these 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.

hound and kill wolves decal.jpg

The most vile of the vile are coming to our state because we have no regulation. That’s right! No sort of license or permit is required to run hound dogs or bait bears in the state of Wisconsin.

bear hounds in cages.jpg

Florida and New Hampshire fought back and there is no hunt. Why? They had the funds it requires 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?

I just know if people 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, fry grease and how we are changing their reproduction and molecular structure and of course, and the way these poor hounds are treated is criminal animal abuse. These are the people who fought the puppy mill laws – what does that tell you?

Please, if you follow my posts on Facebook, or hell, if I make you laugh from time to time, throw us $20 bucks. Or even better, come volunteer. Or write a blog for our page.

But mostly, advocacy is expensive. It just is. We are outspent, by thousands, but the good news is that we are in the right.

 

(Feature photo of bear mother and cub by Chris Norcott)

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