Skip to main content

Wisconsin gives hunters money when wolves kill their dogs – last year it paid out $100K

Last hunting season was a bad one for bear hounds.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

While it's common for states to have rules in place that compensate farmers when their livestock is killed by endangered wolves, in Wisconsin they give you money if your dog is killed by one during a hunt.

The state pays out up to $2,500 to owners whose hunting dog doesn't survive an encounter with a wolf, and last year the state paid out just shy of $100,000 for this reason.

This was nearly double the record high of $56,000 set in 2013, according to state records, and comes after 41 dogs were killed in the 2016/17 hunting season.

Few if any other states have similar policies in place, and while last year's payout figure could be a blip, there's a possibility it could stay that high this year too.

That's because the state's wolf population is recovering its numbers for the second straight year, with the DNR finding an over winter wolf count of between 925 and 956 across the state – a 6.8 percent increase on the year before.

While the wolves are federally protected endangered animals and, as such, can't be hunted, the Wisconsin State Journal notes that bear hunters come across them when they release packs of bear hounds, which are designed to chase their prey up trees, where they can be shot.

Critics of the $2,500 policy say it encourages hunters to run their bear hounds through wolf packs, the newspaper reports, at times when wolves are raising cubs and are fiercely protective. But some hunters say the high payouts are the result of a wolf population that's getting out of control.

Wisconsin DNR figures show that since 1985, the state has paid out more than $2.2 million for the loss of animals killed by wolves, which includes farmers' livestock and pet dogs.

During that time, the state has paid out $4,000 for the loss of llamas.

Next Up


Ryan Poles picking Chicago creates battle of the rebuilds with Vikings

Both of the Vikings' GM finalists land in the same division looking to return to relevancy.

David Ortiz

Twins congratulate David Ortiz on HOF induction, it ends badly

Twins fans haven't forgotten the biggest mistake in franchise history.

Snowmobile tracks Any Arthur Flickr

Who left the burnt snowmobile on a frozen Minnesota lake?

There wasn't much left beyond the frame and a few other large, metal parts.

T Kline Robbinsdale City Council

Charges: Drunk council member fled police on wrong side of Hwy. 100

The complaint alleges he caused a wrong-way crash, then drove around an officer that tried to stop him.


What does the future hold for the Vikings at linebacker?

Anthony Barr is hitting free agency, and Eric Kendricks is approaching age 30

vehicle car

String of vehicle thefts in St. Paul, most left running unattended

The department is urging people not to leave their car running unattended.

kid hospital doctor

Child COVID hospitalizations reach pandemic-high in northern MN

As omicron surges, more kids are ending up in the hospital.

ice fishing close unsplash

'It's disgusting': Anglers dumping sewage on to popular ice fishing lake

A local CO told Bring Me The News it's people in newer, RV-style wheel houses.

Alejandro Rios and Michael Steward

Reward offered for information on 2021 double fatal shooting in St. Paul

It's been a year since Alejandro Rios and Michael Stewart were found dead on the sidewalk.


Hunter, 78, bags himself potentially record-setting 36-point deer

A 78-year-old hunter bagged himself quite the prize at the weekend, snagging what could be a record-setting deer.

Hunter, 78, bags himself potentially record-setting 36-point deer

A 78-year-old hunter bagged himself quite the prize at the weekend, snagging what could be a record-setting deer.

The country's best botanical garden is right here in Minnesota

In your face New York! Minnesota is number one.

Wisconsin hunters kill 4 wolves in first day of hunting season

Hunters in Wisconsin reported killing four wolves in the first 24 hours of the state's wolf hunt. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has set a statewide overall quota of 201 wolves. On Monday, two groups filed a 60-day notice of their intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the delisting of Great Lakes wolves.

Compass saves a hunter who got lost in the woods

He got separated from his hunting party in northern Minnesota.