A Slideshow of Wolf Patrol’s Monitoring of Wisconsin’s Bear Hound Training Season 2015-2017

(5:00 video set to cheesy music)

Wolf Patrol monitors controversial bear hunting practices in Wisconsin’s national forests like running hounds and operating unregistered bait stations in active wolf caution areas. Since 2015, our citizen monitors have investigated, documented and reported out of compliance bear baits and other violations of hunting regulations.

Only in Wisconsin are hound hunters paid $2,500 when their hounds are killed by wolves defending young pups who’ve recently left their dens. No one knows how many wolves are injured or killed by the thousands of bear hunting hounds that are allowed to trespass federally protected gray wolf territory during the state sanctioned bear hound training season that begins in July.

But we do know there will be more bear hound/wolf fights and deaths. In Wisconsin, dozens of hunting dogs are killed annually with the vast majority of depredations occurring in the summer months when wolves are especially territorial because of their offspring.

That is when Wisconsin’s bear hound training season begins. No license is required and even non-residents can bring their hunting hounds into the state to chase bears all summer long. It is also legal for anyone associated with an actual bear hunter to dump thousands of gallons of oil and food waste on public lands in Wisconsin to attract bears.

Wolf Patrol is asking national forest officials to do something about these out-of-control practices that cause deadly conflicts with wolves and other wildlife. The state’s Department of Natural Resources won’t, so we are asking US Forest officials to reign in these practices on national forest lands.

If you also think Wisconsin’s hound hunters need to be kept in check, please consider joining our kind-of-respectful campaign to end these practices in our Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest!

You can send your comments to US Forest Service officials at:

cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us

Vist Wolf Patrol on Facebook: Wolf Patrol

Idaho Fish & Game Says Hound Hunter Who Pistol-whipped and Punched Lion Didn’t Violate Any Laws

ROY E. FEREBEE

Roy Ferebee’s Facebook profile photo.

Last month, Wolf Patrol reported on the unethical and cruel behavior of Idaho hound hunter, Roy Ferebee who filmed himself and friends pistol-whipping and punching a mountain lion being mauled by his dogs. The video was shared on a Facebook hound hunting page. We reported these activities to Idaho Fish & Game (IFG) authorities, and asked our supporters to also contact IFG’s Director and ask that Ferebee and his hunting partners be investigated. They were, and unfortunately the IFG investigating officer out of Boise contacted Wolf Patrol on 06/08/19 to inform us that none of Ferebee’s documented acts of cruelty are illegal in Idaho.

The IFG conservation officer investigating the incident said they were familiar with the hound hunting practices of Roy Ferebee and his associates, and told Wolf Patrol that one of the hounders had had his hunting privileges revoked recently for ten years. Unfortunately, they were unable to get a positive identification from Ferebee’s video of any of his associates pictured in the 2016 video. The IFG officer said Ferebee is a “bad apple” who’s punching and pistol-whipping of a mountain lion however unethical, did not constitute and violation of hunting regulations or even animal cruelty statutes in Idaho.

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Ferebee Facebook post accompanying his lion video.

Wolf Patrol was told that many hound hunters have relocated to Idaho, specifically because of the state’s liberal hound hunting and bear baiting practices. Unlike in states like Wisconsin, it is perfectly legal to allow your hunting hounds to maul and fight bears, mountain lions and coyotes. The conservation officer said that there existed a segment of the hound hunting community in Idaho that violated even that state’s liberal hound hunting regulations and whom participated in hunting practices similar to Ferebee’s.

Cruel and unethical hound hunting exists. It is a part of every hunt that involves a prey animal that can no longer escape pursuing hounds and is unable to take refuge. In states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Florida, Virginia, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Iowa and most recently Idaho, Wolf Patrol has uncovered these practices and shared them with both state conservation officers and the public. Where hound hunting bear, coyote and mountain lion is allowed, cruel and unethical treatment of wildlife is happening.

IDAHO LION HOUNDS

Idaho lion hounds

Wolf Patrol’s wildlife crimes investigation unit monitors public and private social media platforms where hound hunters share evidence of their cruelty. When we find it, we report it. If the hunting practices however unethical are legal in a state, we will share that evidence with the public. If an ongoing criminal investigation is begun, Wolf Patrol will not share evidence of suspected criminal behavior.

LION

On a side note, I was able to ask this conservation officer about wolf depredations of bear hounds in Idaho and how it compared to those in Wisconsin. In the early 2000’s before wolves spread to less remote wilderness areas, hound hunters did not experience regular depredations of hunting dogs. Than about ten years ago, there began to be a few incidents each year, when bear or lion hounds would be killed by territorial wolves protecting den sites. This officer said that hound hunters became more cautious and avoided areas with known wolf activity, and that since then in areas of the state where there are no wolves, hound hunters are much more common. Because of the precautions taken by hound hunters in Idaho to avoid active wolf areas, this conservation officer said in the last ten years, he rarely hears of hound depredations by wolves.

Wisconsin Hound Hunter Hall of Shame: MATTHEW GROSHEK

As Wisconsin’s bear hound training season approaches, Wolf Patrol would like to remind the public of what these legal training practices look like. Today, we feature videos and photos of bear hound training and coyote hunting with hounds in Wisconsin, shared openly on Facebook by hound hunter Matthew Groshek of Hewitt.

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Groschek’s hounds mauling coyote in January 2011.

In these videos from 2010 & 2011, Groshek allows his hounds to bite and attack a large bear being chased by his hounds for hours. The videos have been edited for length. You can hear a hound hunter stating that his dogs are, “…biting him and everything!”

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Groshek stands by and watches his dogs maim coyote.

Remember, bear hound training season occurs every Summer, in the hottest months when naturally, bears are eating to put on fat for their long winter hibernation. In Wisconsin, black bears must contend with legal chasing (not killing) from July 1st until the kill season begins in October. Seven days a week, during bear hound training season, it is legal for anyone without any kind of license to bait and chase bears in Wisconsin.

02.04.18 GROSCHEK DEAD YOTES

Groshek (far right) and Jason Graf after a February 2018 coyote hunt.

Hound hunters like Groshek do not restrict their cruelty to black bears. The second video featured is from a January 2011 coyote hunt in which Groshek was using not only his own hounds, but those of hound hunter, Jason Graf of Merrill who also shares photos on Facebook of his dogs illegally mauling coyotes in Wisconsin’s national forests.

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Groshek’s hunting partner, Jason Graf’s Facebook post of hounds mauling coyote in 2013.

If you agree that this type of animal abuse disguised as hunting should not be allowed on our national forests, please join Wolf Patrol in the only citizen-led effort to reign in these horrible practices!

Since 2015, Wolf Patrol has been the only organization confronting these hound hunting abuses where they are occurring on our public lands. Every Summer, Wolf Patrol monitors are in the field investigating and documenting Wisconsin’s bear baiting and hound training practices in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF).

JASON GRAF HOUND TRUCK

Jason Graf’s hound truck during Wisconsin’s bear hound training season.

Whether in the field or online, when Wolf Patrol monitors uncover non-compliant bear baits or illegal hunting practices, we report them to state and federal authorities.

On July 1st, Wolf Patrol will return to Wisconsin’s national forest lands to continue our campaign to restrict bear baiting and hound training in the CNNF. Please consider contributing to our Summer campaign, or better yet, join us!

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Photo shared on Jason Graf’s Facebook page from a coyote hunt in 2013.

 

TO DONATE: http://www.gofundme.com/endhoundhunting

TO REGISTER YOUR OPPOSITION, EMAIL FOREST OFFICIALS:                                              cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us

Video Reveals Hunting Hounds Mauling, Hunters Punching & Pistol-Whipping Wounded Mountain Lion

On May 25, 2019, Idaho hound hunter Roy E. Ferebee posted a January 2016 video on Facebook that depicts he and another hunter punching and pistol-whipping a wounded mountain lion as their dogs continue to maul the big game animal. The video was shared in response to another graphic video posted on Facebook, of a hunting dog mauling and killing a raccoon that was placed in its kennel in Florida on May 22, 2019.

ROY COYOTE

Photo shared by Roy E. Ferebee of  hunting dog mauling live coyote in Idaho.

The following screenshots contain admissions from Ferebee that his hunting activities regularly include allowing his dogs to “stretch” (maul, maim & kill) raccoons, badgers, mountain lions and other Idaho wildlife.

FEREBEE COMMENTS 2

FEREBEE FB COMMENT 05.24.19

This video was discovered by Wolf Patrol’s Cyber-crimes Unit, which trolls Facebook for evidence of wildlife abuse committed by hound hunters and other trophy hunters and has been reported to Idaho Fish & Game authorities, although it is not known whether any of these actions are considered illegal in the state of Idaho. Ironically, legislation recently proposed in Michigan, would specifically targeting Wolf Patrol’s expose of hunting abuses would make it illegal to share hunting videos like this shared on Facebook.

ROY CAT

Photo shared on Facebook by Ferebee of hounds mauling lion in above video.

If you would like to call Idaho Fish & Game’s Director, Ed Schriever and politely ask that Ferebee and his associates be investigated and prosecuted if any crimes were committed, here’s his number: (208) 334-3771

Irresponsible Farmers not Wolves to Blame for Recent Sheep Depredations

CANIK

Irresponsible farming, not wolves to blame for dead sheep on Canik farm.

By Jeremy Parish

The latest chapter in the curious case of the Canik farm.

Back in May of 2016, 17 Bighorn Sheep breeding ewes were confirmed killed by wolves on a farm near Butternut, Wisconsin owned by Paul and Judy Canik. These ewes were used to breed Bighorn rams that the Canik’s sold for over $5,000 to canned hunting ranches across the US where they are hunted behind fences. This was the first confirmed “surplus killing” of livestock by wolves in Wisconsin. Surplus killing by wolves is a known, but very rare phenomena. Shortly after the 2016 depredations, USDA’s Wildlife Services provided the Canik’s with electric fencing and flagging along the perimeter of their farm.

Fast forward to May 2019, and surplus killing is again in the news affecting the same Canik farm. This time it was 36 Katahdin sheep confirmed killed by wolves – 5 adult ewes and 31 lambs, many of which were never found and presumed taken by wolves. The Canik’s still had the electric fence that was given to them by the USDA, but they had taken it down over the winter and did not reinstall it before putting dozens of vulnerable lambs out to pasture in known wolf territory. The Canik’s also had 7 large Spanish mastiff livestock guard dogs employed to protect the flock, but they were kenneled for the night.

FLADRY

The Fladry provided by USDA…electric fencing was also provided, but not used on the farm.

 

USDA Wildlife Services Wisconsin supervisor David Ruid stated to reporter’s that sheep and poultry are especially vulnerable to wolf depredation during April and May when hungry pups are in dens and the wolf’s natural prey is limited. Typically only 25-35 farms in the entire state experience issues with livestock depredations attributed to wolves. USDA Wildlife Services is the agency that investigates and determines wolf depredations on livestock. Along with any insurance the farmer may have, they are also compensated by the state of Wisconsin at current market value for any losses caused by federal protected wolves.

Wolf Patrol is not accusing the Canik’s or any other farmers of any wrongdoing, but its undeniable that there are several suspicious factors in the Canik depredations:

– Why did the Canik’s not have their USDA provided electric fencing up during the most risky time of the year?


– Why did the Canik’s have their seven guard dogs kenneled at night, when wolf attacks usually occur?

– After the depredations in 2016, Judy Canik issued the following statement: “I’m very angry because we belong here, our sheep belong here, our guard dogs belong here but the wolves do not belong here.”

– At the same time, Paul Canik said “What I would like to see is if you got a group of wolves like is here, eliminate them.”

– After the last attack, the Canik’s told reporters that the pack that is likely responsible for the depredations has 14 wolves. David Ruid said the pack in the area of the farm – known as the Flood Creek Pack – was counted as 8 individuals this winter.

– When the USDA provided the Canik’s with electric fencing back in 2016, Paul Canik stayed that he was, “far from confident that it will prevent future attacks.”
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2019 gray wolf depredations in Wisconsin so far…

 

Keep in mind that the Canik farm is the only farm in the state to see such heavy depredations and that they had access to seven large guard dogs and an electric fence provided by the USDA, yet they decided not to employ any of these protective measures during the most dangerous time of the year for these kinds of depredations. Paul Canik also stated that since the latest depredations, the farm has installed a radio at the top of a hill in a pasture to scare wolves away.

Many anti-wolf advocates are currently using the Canik’s latest depredation incident as more evidence that wolves in Wisconsin are out of control and need to lose federal protections. Yet, the majority of responsibility to prevent depredations lies with farmers like the Canik’s who choose to raise livestock in wolf country.

While Wolf Patrol doesn’t deny that wolves are responsible for a statistically insignificant number of livestock losses every year, we do question why a farm with a history of chronic losses refused to employ provided precautions. Until these questions are answered, we hold the Canik’s responsible, not Wisconsin’s wolves for their losses.
Link to news article about 2016 depredations on Canik Farm:
Let USFWS know your opinion on President Trump’s latest effort to return gray wolves in Wisconsin to state control where they can be hunted with hounds, guns and traps! Send your public comment before July 15, 2019:

https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=FWS-HQ-ES-2018-0097-0001

gaspardo wolf

Comments Still Needed on Trump’s Plan to Strip Protections for Wisconsin Wolves

President Trump wants to lift federal protections for gray wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and other states, clearing the way for a return to a recreational trophy hunt for the animals.

In 2014, after three recreational wolf hunts, federal protection for wolves was restored. Now Trump wants to return wolves to state control, and in Wisconsin, that means not only guns and traps being used to kill wolves, but packs of hounds as well.

If you believe that wolves belong on the American landscape and that they should be allowed to recolonize suitable habitat where they once roamed, please take a moment and click on the link below to submit a formal comment to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on the proposal to remove federal protections for gray wolves in Wisconsin and other states.

CLICK ON LINK TO SUBMIT YOUR PUBLIC COMMENT NOW!!!

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/03/15/2019-04420/endangered-and-threatened-wildlife-and-plants-removing-the-gray-wolf-canis-lupus

NICKS WOLF

This November hound hunters like these may be allowed to hunt wolves again in Wisconsin.

Federal & State Authorities Investigating Suspected Xylitol Poisonings in Wisconsin

In the Summer of 2017, at a private meeting with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) conservation officers, U.S, Forest Service law enforcement and the Bayfield County Sheriff’s Department, Wolf Patrol provided authorities with evidence that anti-wolf advocates were poisoning wolves with Xylitol. Authorities were also provided with multiple screenshots from anti-wolf Wisconsin residents on Facebook posting about illegally killing wolves following failed attempts to delist gray wolves from federal protections.

GRETA $

Freyja, another victim of poison on April 2, 2019 outside of Iron River, Wisconsin.

When a livestock guardian dog was found poisoned in Bayfield County in early April, 2019, Wolf Patrol again offered a $1000 reward for information on illegal poisoning of wolves and other canines. That reward is in addition to another $1,600 offered in Marinette County by a pet’s owner following his dog being poisoned on March 31, 2019.

Wolf Patrol is now calling on other wildlife organizations to chip in and make the reward irresistible to anyone with information on the illegal, unethical and cruel poisoning of beloved pets, coyotes, wolves and other animals in Wisconsin. We have documented a long trail of illegal activity directed towards federally protected wolves in Wisconsin, now its time to join together to catch whoever is responsible for these atrocities. 

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Facebook post on Wisconsin Wolf Hunting page shared with law enforcement in 2017.

On April 19, 2019 WDNR, USFS and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service issued the following press release related to their ongoing investigation of illegal poisoning of wolves and other canines in northern Wisconsin:

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service are seeking the public’s help in solving several cases involving the poisoning deaths of domestic dogs and wildlife since December.

Dog deaths have occurred in Bayfield, Marinette and Florence County; however, it is unknown if other counties could be involved. In addition to the poisoning of these family pets, investigators also found dead coyotes, weasels, raccoons and one wolf that they suspect also were poisoned. The DNR says lab tests are underway to confirm the cause of death in these wildlife cases.

The DNR also says the deaths occurred on public properties in these counties managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Goodman Timber Company. This photo shows an actual sample recovered by WDNR law enforcement at one of the locations of a canine fatality.

POISON

Investigators say the poison was found on the ground in rural areas and subsequently was ingested by the dogs. Each dog died in less than 30 minutes after ingestion. People walking their pets are recommended to keep them on leashes to restrict their movements off roadways and into possible contact with any possible poison.

If you have information or a tip – no matter how insignificant it may seem – please contact the WDNR Violation Hotline.

You may confidentially report by calling or texting: 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847- 9367. You also may report online: https://dnrx.wisconsin.gov/rav/ The hotline is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trained staff relay report information to conservation wardens.

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