Wolf caution areas set for bear dog training
Caution areas have been established in Ashland, Douglas, and Sawyer counties in Wisconsin for bear hunters training their hounds.
Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources established the areas after incidents were dogs being trained for bear hunts have been killed by wolves.
Maps of the caution areas are available on the DNR Web site (www.dnr.state.wi.us)
Caution areas have now been established around the following occupied wolf areas where dogs being trained to hunt bear have recently been killed:
- The Round Lake area south of Clam Lake in Sawyer County.
- The Shanagolden wolf pack area in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest roughly midway between Clam Lake and Shanagolden.
- The Crotte Creek pack areas on county lands just north of Dairyland.
- The Shoberg Lake pack area east of Solon Springs in the Town of Highland.
- The Hungry Run pack area in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in the Town of Chippewa.
Wolf packs currently have pups and use rendezvous sites from mid June to late September, after which the pups are big enough to leave the den.
Adult wolves are defensive of pups at rendezvous sites and will attack other predators, including dogs, that get too close to the rendezvous site or pups, according to state wildlife officials.
A pack will use from two to three to as many as six or more rendezvous sites during the summer. The exact locations vary from year to year and throughout the summer. The sites are usually forest openings or edge areas marked by wolf tracks, droppings and matted vegetation.
Nine hounds have been killed by wolves in northern Wisconsin since the start of the bear hound training period on July 1.
In 2007, 10 hounds were killed during the summer and fall compared to 22 in 2006. The DNR reimburses hunters for dogs killed by wolves.
Bear hunters are urged to exercise greater caution if they plan to train hounds or hunt bear with hounds near the caution areas, especially if near the actual kill sites.
Anyone suspecting a wolf attack in northern Wisconsin should call federal Wildlife Services immediately at 800.228.1368.