February 9, 2016

Lawmaker blasts lawsuit challenging wolf hunt

A state lawmaker says a lawsuit challenging Wisconsin’s wolf hunting season is frivolous and should be thrown out of court.

A coalition of animal rights groups argue the wolf season should be stopped because it puts hunting dogs at risk. State Representative Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford), the author of the law, says the argument is ridiculous and is just opponents of hunting “grasping at straws” to find an excuse to prevent the upcoming season.

During debate on creating the season, questions were raised about allowing the use of dogs to track wolves. However, Suder says it was included in the law because it’s part of Wisconsin’s hunting tradition. He says using dogs to hunt wolves is no different than using the animals to hunt bears, which is currently allowed.

Both bears and wolves are subject to extremely limited seasons in Wisconsin, with only a handful of permits issued each year. More than 8,000 people have already applied to take part in Wisconsin’s first wolf hunt this October. Less than 2,000 will actually be granted a license. The season will have a harvest limit of 201 wolves.

An injunction hearing has been scheduled for later this month in Dane County Court and it could result in a court order blocking the start of the season. Suder admits there is a chance that could happen, although he’s hoping a judge will see the lawsuit as baseless and reject the request.

If an injunction is granted, Suder says he will continue to fight because Wisconsin needs a hunt to help manage its “burgeoning” wolf population.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:17)

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