MADISON, Wis. (AP) -

A Wisconsin appeals court says hunters can train their dogs to chase wolves.

State law establishing Wisconsin's wolf hunt allows hunters to use dogs to track wolves. A group of humane societies sued in 2012 alleging the Department of Natural Resources failed to place any restrictions on dog use, setting up the bloody wolf-dog encounters.

A Dane County judge ruled hunters can run dogs on wolves during the season but can't train them on wolves the rest of the year.

The 4th District Court of Appeals on Thursday found the training prohibition has no legal effect and hunters can train dogs on wolves.

Jodi Habush Sinykin, an attorney for the humane societies, says the decision creates more urgency to change state law to clearly ban dog use on wolves.