Wisconsin’s Hound Hunters Now Chasing Bobcats and Coyotes for Killing Contests and Just Plain Fun

It’s that time of year again. When Wisconsin’s hound hunters who were responsible for twenty-one deadly conflicts between federally protected wolves and their hunting dogs in this year alone, now begin chasing and killing other wildlife across Wisconsin’s Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and other public lands.

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Carl Bailey III’s December 13, 2019 Facebook post about his hound hunting season for bobcat, coyote or whatever his dog’s come across just beginning.

 

Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) hunting regulations allow resident and non-resident hound hunters to chase and kill coyotes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no limit on the number they are allowed to kill. Hunting bobcats in Wisconsin requires a tag, but only to kill a cat, not chase one.

01.04.16 ROSS MCVEY YOTE

One of Ross McVey’s hounds fighting with a cornered coyote in northern Wisconsin on January 4, 2016.

Much like Wisconsin’s liberal bear hunting regulations, which allow any hound hunters to chase bears (but not kill them) from July until the kill season in September, WDNR regulations allow hound hunters to chase and kill bobcats from mid-October until the end of January.

WILTON, WI COYOTE CONTEST

Winners at last year’s coyote killing contest hosted by the Hitchin’ Post bar in Wilton, Wisconsin. Next month, on January 25, 2020 the bar will again offer cash prizes for the largest and smallest coyote killed during the event.

Both WDNR & the U.S. Forest Service allow hound hunters and others to participate in coyote and bobcat killing contests on Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and other public lands. In addition, both agencies allow coyote, bobcat and other forbearers killed legally to be sold on the international fur market for profit.

HITCHIN POST COYOTE CONTEST

Last year’s coyote contest offered cash and GPS tracking collars for hunting hounds as a prize.

Because of Wisconsin’s liberal hound hunting regulations, many hound hunters are able to run their dogs across our national forest lands year-round. In Spring its raccoons, all Summer and early Fall its bears, and then in Winter its coyotes and bobcats that are legally chased and killed with the aid of hounds in Wisconsin.

01.15.17 ROSS MCVEY BAYED YOTE

Wisconsin hunter Ross McVey’s hound holds a coyote in icy river water on January 4, 2017.

As has been documented and reported by Wolf Patrol annually, many hound hunters in Wisconsin who corner their prey on the ground after miles of being chased through the snow, allow their dogs to fight, maul and kill their prey, which is illegal.

02.09.14 ROSS MCVEY YOTE IN WATER

Both the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service allow this kind of hound hunting all winter long in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forests and other public lands in Wisconsin. Photo from Ross McVey’s Facebook page.

 

All of the video and photos accompanying this article were shared by Wisconsin hound hunters and on public and private Facebook pages and groups. These photos are not the exception in hound hunting, but the rule.

02.09.14 ROSS MCVEY YOTE WATER

From the Facebook page of Wisconsin hound hunter Ross McVey.

Some Wisconsin hound hunters like Carl Bailey III claim they train their dogs to “bay not bite” their chased prey, but most these kinds of hunts occur when loose dogs are miles from their handlers, cornering prey for extended periods of time until humans can reach their dogs and put them on leashes. Often in winter, coyotes and bobcats are forced to retreat into the icy waters which Wolf Patrol has documented already occurring this winter in northern Wisconsin.

ROSS N CBIII YOTE 12.07.19

From Ross McVey & Carl Bailey III’s hound hunt on December 7, 2019.

It’s time to restrict hound hunting on Wisconsin’s national forest lands and end competitive contests offering cash and prizes for coyotes and bobcats killed. Chasing wildlife throughout the winter months should not be considered a legal or ethical hunting practice anywhere in our national forests, especially in federally protected gray wolf habitat where there is a history of conflicts between hound hunters and territorial wolves.

02.23.16 ROSS MCVEY YOTE:HOUND

From one of Ross McVey’s winter hunts in February 2016.

Please join Wolf Patrol in calling on WDNR & the U.S. Forest Service to address the lack of regulations governing hound hunting on Wisconsin’s national forest and other public lands by sending an email today to public land managers and contributing to Wolf Patrol’s campaign to end hound hunting and wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin.

KB HUNT KILL

Coyotes killed in a January 2019 killing contest organized by Wisconsin hound hunter Carl Bailey III in Forest County, Wisconsin.

 

SEND YOUR EMAILS TO:

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials:

cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Board Liaison:

Laurie.Ross@wisconsin.gov

02.03.19 CBIII TREED CAT

Don’t forget to include Wolf Patrol in your 2019 holiday season of giving!

Each winter Wolf Patrol members investigate, infiltrate, document and report on coyote and bobcat killing contest taking place across Wisconsin.

To help us prepare for this winter’s patrol’s please make a contribution via PayPal (on this site) or visit our GoFundMe campaign:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/stopcontestkilling

19th Bear Hound & Wolf Fight Reported in Wisconsin and WDNR & US Forest Officials Still Support Unlimited Bear Baiting

 

On 9/10/19, USDA-Wildlife Services confirmed wolves depredated a Plott trailing hound in the Town of Georgetown, Price County, Wisconsin. This latest incident brings the total body count since bear hound training season began in July to 21 hounds killed and one injured. Bear hunting with hounds is responsible for five hound and wolf fights in Price County this year. Depredations occur when hound hunters run dogs where bear baiting activities has also attracted wolves.

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09/08/19 Bryan Catlin’s Facebook post about wolf attack on his hounds and other public lands bear baiters who destroyed his bait.

In Forest County, Wisconsin where five deadly wolf/hound fights have been reported on national forest lands, many bear hunters are reporting wolves visiting their bait sites and hunting their hounds. On August 22, in nearby Marinette County, hound hunters fired on wolves they claim were trying to attack them after killing one of their hounds (the Endangered Species Act only allows wolves to be killed if they are threatening your life, not a dog’s.) Wolves will also defend summer rendezvous areas especially while their young pups are still vulnerable.

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SPANKY

Ty Belland’s account of the depredation of his bear hound, Sparky on 008/22/19.

With three more weeks of bear hunting with hounds left in Wisconsin’s bear season, many more deadly clashes between hounds and federally protected gray wolves are certain to occur, many in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest where over a dozen have already occurred. Yet, Wisconsin’s bear hunters continue running their dogs in Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Wolf Caution Areas which are designated once a depredation of a hunting hound has occurred.

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Three more weeks of bear hunting with hounds = many more bear hound/wolf fights.

Wisconsin’s policy of compensating hound hunters up to $2,500.00 for each hound killed by wolves may be contributing to the careless running of hounds in caution areas where hounds have already been killed. The state program even allows for payouts to known wildlife violators including hound hunters who were running their dogs illegally.

LEON KUHN HOUND

Wisconsin hound ready to be thrown to the wolves…for $2,500.00.

Wisconsin is also the only state in the nation that allows unlicensed, unregistered and unlimited baiting of bears for the purposes of hunting. A WDNR survey in 2014 estimated that over 4 million gallons of food waste, grease and oil is dumped in Wisconsin each year to attract bears, many so hound hunters can then chase them. WDNR and the US Forest Service even allow chocolate to be used as bear bait though its been proven to be toxic to bears and wolves and was recently banned in neighboring Michigan.

SARA HOUND

Forest County bear hound during Wisconsin’s 2019 bear kill season.

All, so bear hunters can shoot bears out of trees after chasing them for miles. In Wisconsin’s national forests and other public lands, resident and nonresident hound hunters have been baiting and chasing bears for over two months and now is the time for the kill. Only its not just bears that are dying, but wolves and hounds too. Its time state and national forest managers do something to stop the preventable conflict between bear hounds and federally protected wolves before more animals have to die. 

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Aaron Hamann’s September 10, 2019 Facebook post about the second hound he’s had killed by bears, not wolves this year. 

 

If you agree that practices like running packs of dogs through known wolf caution areas and the unlimited & unregistered baiting of bears with human food waste including chocolate which is toxic to bears and wolves should be banned in our national forests, please let officials know!

LEON KUHN PAWED DECAL

A decal seen on a Forest County, Wisconsin hound hunter’s truck

 

Send emails to:

US Forest Service: cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us

 

WDNR Secretary Preston Cole:

preston.cole@wisconsin.gov

Wolf Patrol Continues Monitoring Bear Hunting Where Wolves Have Killed Five Hounds Already

September 8, 2019:

Reports are just coming in for the number of bear hounds killed this weekend during Wisconsin’s bear hunt which began on September 4th. So far, 18 bear hounds have been killed by wolves since the state’s two-month hound training and bear baiting season began on July 1st. The actual kill season runs until October 8th.

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Four WDNR Wolf Caution Areas overlapping, but bear hunters are still running their hounds where four have already been killed.

The latest depredation which resulted in an injury, not death of a bear hunting hound, took place on September 6, 2019 in Polk County, Wisconsin. This was the 17th bear hound and federally protected gray wolf fight reported since July 2019 and there’s still an entire month of bear hunting in northern Wisconsin wolf territory.

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The 17th bear hound and gray wolf fight since July 2019. One more month of depredations still to come.

Wolf Patrol visited multiple Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Wolf Caution Areas in Marinette and Forest County where wolves have killed more bear hounds this year than any other area of the state. Wisconsin’s allowance of unlimited and unregistered bear baiting sites, many on national forest lands, has led to not only bears being conditioned to visiting bait sites, but wolves as well.

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Don’t worry, thats just bear blood covering Ratt Dicks’ hounds legs on September 6, 2019.

Now it appears wolves are also becoming conditioned to defending these feeding sites as well as their own territory by killing not only hunting hounds, but any dog. It’s time the WDNR & US Forest Service do something to restrict and limit bear baiting and hound running in WDNR Wolf Caution Areas once any dog or hunting hound is killed.

FREE BAIT

Free bear bait being offered on Facebook to a Wisconsin bear hunters Facebook page on September 5, 2019. 

Please email WDNR & USFS officials asking for immediate action before more hounds and wolves have to fight to their deaths!

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest:

cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us

WDNR Secratary:

preston.cole@wisconsin.gov

09.06.19 JOHN MASSONET WI BEAR

How to Hunt Bears in Wisconsin: “Dump thousands of gallons of bait on national forest lands, train dogs to chase fed bears up a tree, then shoot.” Another successful Wisconsin hound hunter on September 7, 2019.

Wisconsin Hounders Continue to Throw Their Caution (and Dogs) to the Wolves

On Saturday September 7, 2019 Wolf Patrol monitors continued documenting bear baiting and the running of bear hounds in three known WDNR Wolf Caution Areas in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest where wolves have already killed four hunting dogs. The following video reveals continued bear hunting in these areas despite warnings provided by WDNR that federally protected gray wolves are becoming conditioned to killing domestic dogs.

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Each red dot is where wolves have killed a bear hound July 2019-Present day. How many more will die before the USFS and WDNR do anything?

These wolves are responding to the lack of any restrictions on bear baiting and hound hunting in their territory, which has been increasing the number of hound deaths reported so far this year, as hunters continue to place their dogs at risk despite continued depredations. In Wisconsin, hound hunters are compensated up to $2,500.00 for dogs killed by wolves.

Could the compensation be an incentive for careless hound hunters? Or do they simply not care that they are increasing the likelihood of even more depredations? Sacrificing bear hounds to wolves won’t win hound hunters an open season on wolves, more than likely it will help Wolf Patrol get them kicked out of our national forests!

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September 7, 2019 Facebook post with comment advocating illegal killing of Forest County wolves responsible for bear hound deaths.

 

If you’d like to help, please email both US Forest Service and WDNR officials asking that the practices of bear baiting and hound training & hunting be restricted or banned outright in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest!

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest:

cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us

WDNR Secretary Preston Cole

preston.cole@wisconsin.gov

TY & WES BEAR

Ty & Wes Belland who shot at wolves killing their bear hound during Wisconsin’s 2019 summer bear hound training season that ended last week. They were cleared of any charges related to violating the Endangered Species Act and are still running their dogs in the same Wolf Caution Area where their hound was killed.

18 Bear Hounds Killed by Wolves So Far And Wisconsin’s Bear Hunt Has Only Just Begun…

Wisconsin’s 2019 black bear hunt began on September 4th and on the season’s first three days bear hounds were killed by wolves in three separate incidents in Forest, Oneida and Douglas Counties. The latest incident in Douglas County is the 16th reported deadly encounter between federally protected gray wolves and bear hunting hounds in Wisconsin since July when the two-month bear hound training season began.

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Wisconsin’s bear season runs until early October with 11,595 licensed hunters hoping to fill their tags before the WDNR quota of 3,835 black bears is reached. In 2018, of the 3,717 black bears legally killed in Wisconsin, 3,623 were killed with the aid of bait and 1,041 were killed with the aid of dogs and bait.

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Most of the bear hound depredations that have occurred in 2019 have been in areas heavily baited for bears and where there is a history of wolf depredations on bear hounds. On opening day of the actual kill season on September 4th, a bear hound was killed in northern Forest County in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest where so far this year, there have been five separate deadly fights between wolves and bear hounds on national forest lands.

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Neither the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources  (WDNR) or the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) require registration or limits to the number of baits a bear hunter can place on national forest and other public lands. Up to ten gallons of human food waste, fryer grease and even chocolate that is toxic to bears, can be used in each bait daily.

08.17.19 BEAR HUNTING PODCAST

“Insane bear action on the Vulture Bait in Wisconsin. Between these 3 nice sized bears and the other bears on the bait, I’m going through my legal limit of 10 gallons of bait in about 6 hours after putting it out. It’s a good problem to have.” Bear Hunting Podcast on Facebook 08/17/19.

Since Wisconsin’s 2019 bear hound training season began, Wolf Patrol has been investigating and documenting federally protected wolves visiting and feeding from bear baits in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest where the majority of bear hound depredations in 2019 have occurred so far this year.

09.05.19 AARON HAMANN DOG SMASHER

“The dog smasher is dead Post Lake Mafia.” Shared on Facebook by Aaron Hamann on 09/05/19: Not only wolves, but black bears will kill hounds too, as this one allegedly did to Aaron Haman’s dog during the 2019 summer bear hound training season in northern Wisconsin.

Unregistered and unlimited bear baiting on our national forest lands has created a deadly conflict between bear hunters and wolves that is only getting worse. A bear baiter and hound hunter operating where a bear hound was killed on September 4th has told Wolf Patrol that wolves aren’t only protecting their pups, they’re actively hunting free-roaming bear hounds. If wolves are becoming conditioned to hunting bear hounds, both WDNR and the USFS should take action to limit bear baiting and hound hunting in known WDNR Wolf Caution Areas.

CBIII 09.06.19

“We made our approach in, dogs were on both sides bear was swinging its head back and forth, and just when he noticed us Bobby sent a 45-70 round right into his skull!” Shared on Facebook by Carl Bailey III on 09/06/19.

Please email both WDNR & USFS officials asking that bear baiting and hound hunting be ended in areas with a history of deadly conflicts between federally protected wildlife and  bear hunting hounds!

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest:

cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us

WDNR Secretary Preston Cole:

preston.cole@wisconsin.gov

08.21.19 FURDOG BEAR

Bear chased by hounds in Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Forest County, Wisconsin 08/21/19.

Wisconsin Bear Hunter’s Putting Children in Harm’s Way

08.31.19 TK W BEAR

This isn’t bear hunting…it’s child abuse. Tyler Kettlewell putting child at risk on August 31, 2019.

On August 31, the last day of Wisconsin’s two-month bear hound training season, Tyler Kettlewell who’s unethical hunting practices have been exposed by Wolf Patrol this summer, published photos of himself with a young child in front of a bayed bear. Other photos published with the photo show a large black bear bayed by his hounds, which often suffer injuries inflicted by large bears that will not tree when chased.

08.31.19 TK BEAR W HOUNDS

Shared on Facebook by Tyler Kettlewell 08/31/19

Wisconsin hound hunters like Tyler Kettlewell continue to be seen on Wolf Patrol’s platforms because they continue to practice unethical and illegal hunting practices like allowing hounds to fight with a bear on the ground, which is what Kettlewell has been doing and sharing videos of on Facebook for years. In the past, its been Kettlewell’s hounds that suffer puncture wounds and even death, sometimes by bears, but also in the past by wolves.

08.31.19 TK BAYED BEAR

Black bear bayed by Kettlewell on 08/31/19 north of Glidden, Wisconsin.

Hound hunters like Kettlewell are good examples of why the U.S. Forest Service and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) should require registration for bear baits and bear hounds being trained on national forest lands. So hunters like Kettlewell can be prevented from creating conflicts that cost lives.

08.31.19 TK W KID

Tyler Kettlewell, Ty Ax & child 08/31/19.

It’s not wolves that are creating deadly conflicts in Wisconsin’s national forests, it’s out of control, unregistered and unregulated bear hunters conditioning bears and other wildlife into being fed by humans and running vicious packs of dogs through federally protected gray wolf habitat.

08.31.19 TK BEAR

At any moment this large and tired bear could have charged towards Kettlewell and the child…

Please send US Forest Service & WDNR officials an email today asking that hound hunters like Kettlewell be more closely managed and monitored on our national forest lands where bear hunters are already responsible for 13 bear hound/wolf fights this summer!

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials:

cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary:

preston.cole@wisconsin.gov

DEP CHECK

$2,500 paid to Kettlewell in 2015 for a bear hound killed by wolves.

No Charges for Wisconsin Bear Hunters Who Shot at Federally Protected Wolves Killing Their Hunting Hound

 

On August 22, 2019 a young bear hunter and anti-wolf advocate from Forest County, Wisconsin reported on Facebook that he and his brother shot at federally protected wolves after they killed one of their hunting hounds during the state’s two-month summer bear hound training season.

Ty Belland says that after a five-mile chase, his GPS indicated that one of his dogs 700 yards away wasn’t moving. When he was 60 feet away, he says he saw two wolves killing his dog and yelled. According to Belland, the wolves dropped his dog and came at a dead run towards him causing him to fall, but he was able to keep the wolves at bay with a tree branch until they ran far enough away for him to retrieve his pistol and shoot towards them with the intent to scare them away.

08.22.19 BELLAND DEP

Belland says he called his brother Wes for help and halfway to his truck on the 700 yard return walk, the wolves began following and barking at him. After a few minutes, he shot twice towards where he thought he could see the wolves. When he was 50 yards from the road he says the wolves again came towards him and circled for about five minutes until his brother Wes Belland arrived. “After two shots fired they ran away and let us get back to the truck.” said Ty, not indicating who fired the last two shots. On August 23, WDNR confirmed the Belland’s wolf depredation just inside of Marinette County on private forest lands.

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Ty Belland and his brother Wes are part of a community of hound hunters in Forest County who promote the illegal killing of wolves. The brothers use their dogs to hunt not only bear, but bobcat and coyotes as well and this is not the first time one of their hunting hounds has been killed by territorial wolves. In March 2019 Wes Belland posted a photo on his Facebook page of a wolf-killed deer that led to many commenters advocating for more illegal wolf killings. Belland commented that someone could only shoot a wolf if “they have harmed you with a mark to prove it.”

12.16.15 WES BELLAND COYOTE

Federally protected gray wolf incidentally trapped and later released by Wes Belland in Wisconsin’s 2016 coyote trapping season.

Wolf Patrol contacted Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) law enforcement on August 23, 2019 to ask whether the Belland’s shooting incident would be investigated as a possible violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Under current federal protections, a wolf can only be killed if it is endangering a human, not a dog’s life.

On August 26, 2019 WDNR conservation officers informed Wolf Patrol that an investigation had been carried out and US Fish & Wildlife authorities had determined that, “The ESA does allow for the protection of life within the code. As Mr. Belland documented the encounter, there would be no violation of the ESA.”

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Ty Belland’s Facebook post 08/23/19

In addition a WDNR conservation officer interviewed Ty Belland and members of his hunting group, saying he was “unable to find any information to discredit the FB Post.  Mr. Belland and his group were advised of the ESA, reminding them that wolves are protected. Any retaliatory shooting of wolves by anyone outside the exceptions of the Endangered Species Act could be charged in either Federal or State court.”

Since the August 22 bear hound depredation, Wolf Patrol has been monitoring continued bear baiting and hound training in the newly created WDNR Wolf Caution Area. In addition, local anti-wolf advocates are warning that two individual wolves are prowling the nearby Blackwell, Wisconsin area and people should arm themselves for their own protection.

BELLAND TRUCKS

Belland bear hunting party in Forest County, Wisconsin.

There were thirteen separate bear hound and wolf fights reported during the 2019 Wisconsin bear hound training season which ran from July 1-August 31. The Belland incident was the 12th, but more are sure to occur during the actual bear killing season which begins September 4th and runs until early October 2019.

And as more and more bear hound depredations occur, more hound hunters will know they can shoot at federally protected wolves, as long as they claim the wolves were threatening their own lives as well. This is not an acceptable solution to the conflict bear hunters are creating with federally protected wildlife, especially on our national forest lands where unregistered bear baiting is also attracting wolves that in turn, prey on bear hounds.

SMOKE A PACK A DAY

Posted by Wes Belland on his Facebook page.

The now allowable exception to the Endangered Species Act that allows bear hunters to fire on federally protected wolves is just one more reason why Wolf Patrol is calling on Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials to address unregistered bear baiting and hound training on our national forest lands, where its causing multiple conflicts with wolves and other wildlife.

TY & WES BELLAND 2017

Ty & Wes Belland on left in 2017.

Wolf Patrol will continue monitoring bear baiting and hound hunting activity in WDNR Wolf Caution Areas throughout Wisconsin’s black bear hunt.

Please Send Your Email to US Forest & WDNR Officials Today!

cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us

preston.cole@wisconsin.gov

WES BELLAND BEAR

Belland killed black bear in 2018.