Kickass and bear hounding

Kickass, the doorstop dog, goes along with the keeper on this coldest Wisconsin morning of the year to point out the dumbest circumstance prevailing in a state that was once a respected leader in conservation issues: narcissistic bear hunters, many from other states, have cemented in place an unspeakably cruel system whereby the summer “training” of bear hounds is not only allowed but encouraged in Wisconsin’s north woods, causing incredible distress to bears and all creatures in the midst of raising young. If a pup-protecting wolf kills a hound, the absurd system calls for the state to pay the hound owner $2500; and Wisconsin has become a magnet for hound-using bear chasers from all over the country.

Unfortunately, the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, formed in 1934 to provide citizen input on conservation issues, has been taken over by single-minded hunter types and is positioning itself to eliminate voices that might object to such outrageousness as the summer bear hound training, baiting bear with chocolate and other “hunting” travesties.

But there is this: a majority of Wisconsin citizens want to coexist with all creatures in a humanitarian way, and if enough of them learn the facts of being totally manipulated by self-serving outsiders and local selfishness, maybe change is possible.


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