Wisconsin Legislator Introduces Bill to Allow Training of Hounds with Bobcats, Coyotes and Foxes

Wisconsin state Rep. Scott Suder drew the wrath of animal rights activists for introducing a bill that would allow hunting dogs to be trained with captive bobcats, coyotes, and foxes. Currently Wisconsin allows hound owners to train their dogs with live captive rabbits, raccoons, and black bears.

Cynthia Lott of the Alliance for Animals told The Capital Times that the proposal was little more than a canned hunt bill,

This legislation is almost like ‘canned hunting’ under the pretense of dog training. It’s really inhumane.

She was joined in that opinion by retired chief of special operations for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Tom Solin, who wrote a letter saying,

Allowing the use of captive coyote, fox and bobcats to train hound dogs is brutal and far below the high standards we set in Wisconsin to ensure captive wild animals are treated humanely.

For his part, Suder told The Capital Times that this bill simply restored rights that hound owners possessed until the legislature passed the Captive Wildlife Bill in 2002. Suder told The Capital Times,

There was a mistake in the bill. The ability to train with those types of animals was left out. I am trying to restore it. I am not expanding.

State Rep. DuWayne Johnsrud, who was involved in the development of Wisconsin’s Captive Wildlife Bill, says that is not true, and since he chairs the committee through which Suder’s bill would have to pass before being considered by the legislature, it is unlikely to receive serious attention anytime soon.

The full text of Suder’s proposed legislation can be read here.


‘Canned hunting’ bill vexes opponents. Anita Weir, The Capital Times (Wisconsin), April 4, 2003.

Wisconsin Passes Constitutional Amendment to Protect Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping

On April 1, voters in Wisconsin overwhelmingly approved an amendment to that state’s constitution designed to protect hunting and fishing in the state.

The new amendment read,

The people have the right to fish, hunt, trap, and take game subject only to reasonable restrictions as prescribed by law.

Final returns had the amendment passing by a margin of 82-18, with some rural counties voting as high as 94-6 in favor of the amendment.

Supporters of the bill argued that it would help forestall efforts by animal rights activists to restrict or even abolish altogether hunting, fishing and trapping in Wisconsin. Dan Gunderson, executive director of the Wisconsin Hunting and Fishing Alliance, told the Associated Press, “This has always been about our kids and grandkids [rights to hunt and fish]. It isn’t about you or me.”

George Meyer, a former Wisconsin secretary of the state Department of Natural Resources, agreed with Gunderson in telling the Associated Press, “The major impact is 30 or 40 years down the road as there is a drift more from the traditions of hunting and fishing.”

But Alliance for Animals director Cynthia Lott said the amendment was “ridiculous” and would lead to longer legal battles, but wouldn’t fundamentally change the picture in Wisconsin as far as animal rights groups are concerned. Lott told the Associated Press,

This will tie up the court system on really ridiculous battles over whether to hunt and kill certain types of animals.

Wisconsin joins Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Maine, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia in having some sort of constitutional protection of hunting and fishing.


Hunting, fishing, trapping amendment passes in landslide. The Associated Press, April 2, 2003.

Voters pass amendment to guarantee hunting, fishing as a right. Channel3000.Com, April 1, 2003.