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Allowing dogs with wolf hunt could be on ballot for state rules hearings in April

Wisconsin's outdoor enthusiasts could be asked this spring what they think about letting hunters train dogs to help them track down grey wolves. The state Natural Resources Board will decide January 23rd whether to include dog-training proposals on a questionnaire for the statewide conservation hearings in April.

After a judge ruled on the matter last month, DNR staffers proposed letting wolf hunters train dogs in daylight hours during the wolf season - and during March. The dogs would have to be tattooed, or wear a collar with the owner's name and address. The DNR would take the new rules to public hearings later this year - and if approved, they could take effect in 2014. Wisconsin's inaugural wolf season went much faster than expected recently without the use of hunting dogs.

The season was supposed to run from mid-October to late February - but it ended in late December after hunters took one animal more than the initial statewide quota of 116.