Poisoning of Dogs and Wildlife Continues: Wisconsin Bear Hunters Are Suspected

Since 2018, someone has been poisoning wolves and other animals in northern Wisconsin. Wolf Patrol believes it is bear hunters acting in retaliation for their hunting dogs killed by wolves in the very same areas. Most of the meat-laced poisons have been discovered recently on national forest lands in Forest, Florence and Marinette counties, exactly where more bear hounds are killed by wolves than anywhere else in Wisconsin.

04.26.20 POISONED DOGS

The latest victims: Ollie and Daisy both died after eating poison-laced meatballs spread throughout the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest sometime this Spring.

Wolf Patrol suspects Wisconsin bear hunters of carrying out the poisonings because in recent years calls have increased for bear hunters to take the law into their own hands and reduce Wisconsin’s growing wolf population. It is common for Wolf Patrol monitors to see anti-wolf bumperstickers on hound hunting trucks in the poisoning areas and for years now wolves have been showing up dead in and around Forest County, Wisconsin.

LEON KUHN PAWED DECAL

A Wisconsin bear hunter’s window decal in Forest County.

In the 2019 bear hound training & hunting season, a total of 21 bear hounds were killed by wolves in northern Wisconsin in what has become an annual tradition since gray wolves recolonized the state’s forest lands. Bear hunters in Wisconsin have called for the illegal killing of wolves ever since the animals were returned to federal protection in 2014.

Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 10.53.22 AM

This otter, a dog, cat and other animals were discovered poisoned near Superior, Wisconsin on April 27, 2020.

Now it’s not only wolves, but coyotes, otters, raptors, weasels, raccoons, people’s pets and even other hunting dogs are dying in increasing numbers due to the continued poisoning which first was reported in December 2018. The poisoners are suspected of throwing meatballs laced with a powerful commercially available insecticide that kills anyone that ingests the tainted meat in minutes.

TY BELLAND POST

Ty Belland and his entire family, including members of the Forest County Sheriff’s Department are suspects in the illegal poisoning continuing unabated in Forest County, Wisconsin.

Wolf Patrol is calling on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and the U.S. Forest Service to request a federal investigation into the poisonings which have targeted federally protected wildlife on federal lands in both Wisconsin and Michigan. Whoever is responsible for these illegal acts is violating the federal Endangered Species Act as well as many other laws since it is suspected that state lines are being crossed to commit these crimes, mostly on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Screen Shot 2020-05-03 at 3.49.18 PM

Poisoned meat like in this photo has killed at least five dogs in the month of April 2020 alone.

Wolf Patrol is also calling on other organizations, both pro-animal and pro-hunting to add to our $5,000 reward for information on whoever is responsible (bear hunters) so they can be brought to justice. The $1,000 reward currently offered by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is not enough of an incentive for any informed parties to come forward, so we are asking that any organization that condemns these actions contribute to Wolf Patrol’s Reward Fund.

Screen Shot 2020-05-03 at 5.41.54 PM

A Iron River, Michigan veterinarian’s April 26, 2020 warning to owners walking their dogs in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Also, please send a polite email to WDNR’s new Chief Warden & USFS officials asking that this poisoning of wildlife and pets be taken more seriously and a federal investigation that questions bear hunters who advocate poaching begin before more animals die more horrific and deaths.

 

Send your emails to:

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials:

cnnfadmin@fs,fed.us

WDNR Chief Warden Casey Krueger:

Casey.Krueger@wisconsin.gov

DOGEATER

One of the wolves targeted in Wisconsin bear hunter’s illegal poisoning campaign on national forest lands.

 

Wisconsin Bear Hunter’s Poison Campaign Targeting Wolves that Killed Their Hounds

In what can only be described as a two-year illegal poisoning campaign, Wisconsin bear hunters are being blamed for the recent deaths this winter of federally protected wolves, raptors, other wildlife and even two hunting hounds recently in northeastern Wisconsin.

POISON MAP

The frontline of Wisconsin bear hunters war with wolves in Forest, Florence and Marinette counties. Bear hunters run hounds in known wolf areas, wolves kill hounds, bear hunters call for illegal killings, bear hunters poison wolves…

All animals have fallen victim to the same deadly fast-acting poison that is hidden in ground meat and distributed for not just wolves, but any animal to find. Poisoned animals have been reported in Forest, Florence and Marinette counties and other poisoning incidents have been reported in Price and Bayfield counties. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are soliciting the public for any information that might help them catch whoever is responsible.

Screen Shot 2020-03-13 at 7.12.41 PM

GUIDE IN OGEMA:PRICE CO

March 11, 2020 comments on Facebook private group, “Wisconsin Outdoorsman!”

Ever since wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan were returned to federal protections in December 2014, there have been many public calls for delisting followed by much darker calls for a campaign of illegal killing involving shootings and poison.

TY BELLAND POST

Facebook comment by Ty Belland after wolves killed one of his bear hunting hounds in August 2019 not far from where two hunting hounds ate poisoned meat in December 2019.

Less than 3 miles from where two hunting hounds were poisoned in December 2019, near the town of Blackwell, Wisconsin, investigators with Wolf Patrol discovered over half a dozen meat-wrapped treble fishing hooks dangling from fishing line in January 2016, on national forest trails where wolves and other animals were meant to ingest them.

warden investigating baits

Conservation officer investigating illegal baits found less than 3 miles from December 2019 poisoning site where two hunting beagles died.

Wolf Patrol had come to Forest County in 2016, to monitor a coyote and bobcat killing contest organized in Argonne, Wisconsin. Attendees of the event openly bragged to Wolf Patrol’s founder Rod Coronado that any wolf encountered by county residents would be quickly and quietly killed. Since then, in addition to the latest poisoning campaign, other wolves have been shot and dumped in other locations not far from where recent poisoning have occurred.WOLF KILLED DEER COMMENTS

WOLF KILLED DEER III

WOLF KILLED DEER 4

Typical comments following anti-wolf Facebook posting by Wisconsin bear hunter who lives and hunts where poisons were found.

Public calls to kill and poison wolves are not hard to find on many Wisconsin Facebook hunting pages, and often follow social media postings by winter hound hunters who encounter wolves while hunting bobcats and coyotes on mostly national forest lands.

SANTINI'S BO & JERE

Two dogs poisoned in March 2019 near bear bait in Florence County that was reported to WDNR for being exposed to other animals in September 2018.

Following the public announcement by WDNR & USFWS that two of his hunting hounds had died from the same poison responsible for killing wolves and other wildlife in northern Wisconsin, hound hunter Jim Matuszewski stated on his Facebook page on March 10, 2020 that he could “almost guarantee” he knew who was responsible. In the same comment thread he later said he knew of two bear hunters who were placing poison near the bear bait sites where wolves were seen on hunters’ trail cameras.

I KNOW THE PERSON...

POISON AT BEAR BAIT SITES

The Facebook post on March 11, 2020 by Jim Matuszewski’s whose two hunting beagles were poisoned in December 2019…he failed to tell WDNR investigators about the bear hunters he believes are responsible for the poisoning.

Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service should treat these poisonings as serious violations of federal law and request assistance from federal prosecutors who could compel witnesses to testify and to stop protecting those Wisconsin bear hunters responsible for the illegal killing and poisoning of federally protected wildlife.

03.19 SANTINI POST

SANTINI COON

Facebook post by pet owner who’s two dogs died from poison found in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, next to a reported bear hunter’s bait.

Otherwise, more animals will continue to die as we enter another season of bear hound training and hunting which leads to more wolf conflicts that result in continued poisoning and killing of wolves and other wildlife and pets in Wisconsin.

CAUGHT IN CROSSFIRE

Wisconsin bear hunters defending the poisoning to victim whose two dogs died in December 2019 and who knows bear hunters are responsible.

If you have any information that might lead to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for illegally poisoning wolves and other animals in Wisconsin, please call 1-800-TIP-WDNR immediately!

hotline

Wolf Patrol will ask for authentication of your tip from authorities, then pay $1000. The remaining $4000 will be paid upon criminal conviction of anyone illegally poisoning wildlife in Wisconsin.

Michigan Conservation Club Looking To Get Rid of the 600 Dead Bunnies From Their Killing Contest

DAVE ROBBINS RABBIT DERBY

Ravenna “Conservation” Club teaching children how to treat wildlife with one of their many wildlife killing contests endorsed by Michigan’s Natural Resources Commission. February 22, 2020 Ravenna, Michigan.

Every year Michigan sportsman’s clubs and hunting organizations sponsor dozens of wildlife killing contests offering cash and prizes for the largest, smallest or most animals killed. These contests usually target predators like coyotes, foxes and bobcats, but other animals such as crows and rabbits are also targeted in these legal wildlife killing contests.

RCC 2020 RABBIT DERBY

Kill first and ask questions later.

On February 22, 2020 the Ravenna Sportsman’s Club in Ravenna, Michigan held its second wildlife killing contest of the year, the 2020 Rabbit Derby which saw a large turn out of hunters who killed a reported 678 rabbits. Prizes were awarded for the largest rabbit killed and next month the Club will hold its annual squirrel killing contest.

BORGMAN HUNT @ RCC

No stranger to conservation, the Ravenna Conservation Club hosts many wildlife killing contests.

The Ravenna Conservation Club claims that most of the rabbits killed in their contest are “donated” but no mention is made to where. As soon as the rabbit derby was over, the club posted on Facebook that anyone could take the dead rabbits from their killing contest.

Screen Shot 2020-02-22 at 8.45.41 PM

February 22, 2020 post on Facebook.

While it is charitable to donate food to the hungry, it’s not ethical to kill any animal without any intention to utilize its meat and/or fur. Simply killing as many animals as you can isn’t hunting, it’s the wanton waste of wildlife.

DAVE ROBBINS GUNS N BEER

“Why won’t she text me? Didn’t she like my dead rabbits? Guns and beer are not a good combination when you’re hunting, but they are when you’re participating in a killing contest! 

Wildlife killing contests like the Ravenna Conservation Club’s Rabbit Derby encourage overhunting for no other reason than that it’s fun. This isn’t science based wildlife management or putting food on the table, its killing for fun and money and it should not be endorsed by Michigan’s Natural Resources Commission.

DAVE ROBBINS BUNNIES

 

Please send a polite email to Commissioners alerting them to the wanton waste of wildlife that is being encouraged by Michigan’s many wildlife killing contests and ask that the competitive killing of any animal should never be rewarded with cash and prizes.

To Send Your Email To Michigan’s Natural Resources Commissioners:

NRC@Michigan.gov

or call: 517-284-6237

Screen Shot 2020-02-22 at 9.01.15 PM

 

 

 

 

 

Dog-Fighting Allowed in Nation’s Largest Coyote Killing Contest in Pennsylvania

The Mosquito Creek Sportsman’s Club will be hosting its 29th Coyote Hunt on February 21-23rd in Frenchville, Pennsylvania. The annual coyote killing contest is the largest in the nation, not only because of the number of participants, but also because of the tens of thousands of dollars paid out for literally every coyote killed with hounds, guns or traps.

CHECK IN

Check-in time at the Mosquito Creek Coyote Hunt in 2019.

Last year, over 4,800 hunters were registered in the two day contest, with 225 coyotes tallied at the weigh-in. The largest cash prize of $9,624 was awarded to a hunter from Erie for the heaviest coyote killed during the contest. Each coyote killed gained the hunter $86, with a total of $48,120 being paid out to contest participants during the 2019 hunt.

MOSQUITO CREEK HUNT 2019

Not only the nation’s largest coyote hunt, but in the entire world?

Many of the participant’s in this year’s Mosquito Creek Coyote Hunt will be hound hunters. Pennsylvania’s hunting regulations allow hunting dogs to kill the coyotes they chase, something that can be easily found on Pennsylvania hound hunter’s Facebook pages. The videos accompanying this post were found on social media and shared by Pennsylvania hound hunters participating in next weekend’s coyote killing contest.

Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 8.07.20 PM

These videos are not the exception, they are the rule. Hunting coyotes with hounds is legalized dog-fighting and nowhere is that more evident, then on the Facebook pages of hound hunters themselves. Vicious and brutal dog fights between multiple hunting hounds and one exhausted coyote are the norm when state wildlife agencies like the Pennsylvania’s Game Commission allow hounds to be used to hunt and kill coyotes.

Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 8.09.57 PM

Pennsylvania is also home to more wildlife killing contests than any other state in the nation with at least 30 coyote killing contests taking place the winter of 2019-20, the coyote killing season beginning after deer hunting ends in late November.

03.04.19 BAYED YOTE

Other large wildlife killing contests like Virginia’s Eastern U.S. Predator Calling Championship do not allow the use of hounds, only calling, then shooting coyotes. But the Mosquito Creek contest has long attracted many hound hunters from across Pennsylvania.

02.01.20 YOTE N HOUND

Photo from Matt Mitchell’s Facebook page shared on February 2, 2020.

These are the videos and photos that Pennsylvania hound hunters share with each other and that depict acceptable hunting practices such as the fighting and killing of coyotes in a manner that can only be defined as dog-fighting and animal cruelty.

YOTE IN WATER

Another photo from Matt Mitchell’s Facebook page shared on February 9, 2017.

The response from the hound hunting community to Wolf Patrol’s continued exposure of the cruelty inherent in hunting coyotes with hounds is to tell each other not to publish these kinds of videos on social media. Nowhere are they critics of the cruelty, only angry hound hunters reminding each other that if these hunting videos continue to be seen by the public, that their sport will be in trouble.

11.12.16 BAYED YOTE

More of Mitchell’s fighting dogs getting ready to kill another coyote slowly on March 3, 2018.

Coyote hunting with hounds is legalized dog-fighting in Pennsylvania and the many other states where it is occurring right now in winter. And coyote killing contests like the Mosquito Creek Coyote Hunt only encourage unethical behavior as hunters focus on killing as many animals as they can not for food, but for the cash paid to wantonly kill and waste our public trust wildlife.

01.27.17 YOTE IN WATER

Shared by Matt Mitchell on Facebook in January 2017.

Please contact the Pennsylvania Game Commission and let them know that dog-fighting and contest killing are not ethical and acceptable hunting practices for any state wildlife agency to endorse. 

Send your comments to the Pennsylvania Game Commission:

 pgccomments@pa.gov

02.10.20 RUGER

One of Mitchell’s fighting dogs covered in coyote blood after another Pennsylvania hound hunt in 2019.

California Hunters Guilty of Using Dogs to Fight Coyotes

In what is becoming an ever more common experience, coyote hunters this winter are again guilty of using their dogs to fight and kill coyotes, only this time it’s not in Wisconsin or Michigan, but California. The use of dogs to hunt bears and mountain lions is prohibited, but still legal for coyotes.
This is the unedited first 5 minutes of a 7:24 video published on YouTube by coyote hunters operating out of Santa Barbara County, California. “California Doggers” published the video on December 24, 2019 and in comments section of the video, the dog’s owner references selling and training dogs to attack coyotes like the dogs in this video.
Screen Shot 2020-02-09 at 12.13.59 PM

These hunters aren’t ashamed of their dog’s fighting abilities.

Reference is also made to it being legal to use dogs to hunt coyotes, but nowhere in California’s Department of Fish & Wildlife hunting regulations is their an allowance for dog-fighting, nor should there be.
The growing practice of using hunting dogs to chase, bay and fight coyotes takes advantage of the lack of legal protections or oversights on coyote hunting.
Screen Shot 2020-02-09 at 1.19.59 PM

Please contact CDFW’s Director and let them know it’s time to stop the use of dogs to hunt coyotes and the legalized dog-fighting that ensues.

Please visit the following link to send an email:

wildlife.ca.gov/Explore/Director/Email

or call: (916) 455-0411

Evidence of Dog-Fighting by Coyote Hunters Still Not Hidden on Facebook

01.26.20 ERRICA KOZIAL WI

Coyotes killed by Wisconsin hound hunters January 26, 2020.

Once again, after being exposed for illegal cruelty by their own videos, coyote hunters are still proudly sharing videos of on-going animal abuse disguised as coyote hunting with hounds on Facebook.
12.13.18 YOTE IN WATER

Often hunting hounds will chase coyotes into freezing waters where they are drowned or dragged out and mauled to death, all while the hound hunter is filming for Facebook.

The following video was published on January 27th, 2020 on the Facebook page, “Furdog” which is operated out of Maryland and is a booking agent for hound hunts all over the world.
HE AINT GOIN FAR

Hound hunters from all over the world share graphic photos and videos on “Furdog”. It’s one of the many platforms today’s hound hunters use to boast about their kills.

Furdog’s own Facebook page is full of evidence of the brutality and cruelty that is normal when dogs are pitted against dogs, or as followers like to call it, hound hunting.
LAONA CREW

Wisconsin hounders competing in this year’s coyote killing contest in Argonne, shared on Furdog on January 26, 2020.

Many of the photos and videos shared on Furdog come from Wisconsin and Michigan hound hunters. One of the most recent posts following the publication of this video was that by a known hound hunting group in Laona, Wisconsin known for past abuses.
HAILEY ASCHINGER YOTES

Coyotes killed in contest at Main Street Ed’s Bar in Argonne, Wisconsin on January 25, 2020.

The Wisconsin crew were also participating in an annual coyote & fox killing contest taking place last weekend at Main Street Ed’s in Argonne where hound hunters were competing for cash and prizes for the most, largest and smallest animals killed.
ROCKIN B KENNELS STRIKES AGAIN

“Rockin B Kennels Strikes Again” reads the caption to this photo on Furdog’s Facebook page.

As Wolf Patrol continues to expose the very common illegal practice (in some states) of “catching fur”, “stretching”, or otherwise allowing your hunting hounds to bite, maul and fight their prey, hound hunters would be wise to stop trying to cover up the activity.
JOSH DAVID

Another hound hunter not afraid to show off his cruelty on Facebook.

You know it happens, you know you cannot control every egotistical hound hunter with a smartphone, you know Wolf Patrol is going to find your videos. Be true ethical sportspeople and condemn the illegal and unethical practice of allowing one’s hunting hounds to fight prey.
CORY ELLISON WP POST
Nationwide, since Wolf Patrol began exposing this season’s cruelty associated with coyote hunting with hounds and subsequent wildlife killing contests, hound hunters especially have responded, not with calls to end the violent practices, but instead by calling on hound hunters not to publish such videos on social media.
01.19.14 ELLISON YOTE 2

One of the photos Michigan hound hunter Cory Ellison is upset that Wolf patrol is sharing with the non-dog-fighting public.

In all of the threads following conversations about being exposed by Wolf Patrol, disgraced hound hunters who know their legalized sport of dog-fighting is being threatened by the light of day, simply do not want the public to continue being made aware of what most states allow to happen to native predators every winter.
01.22.20 TRAINED TO BE CRUEL

Hound hunter encouraging young dog to get a taste for coyote blood. Shared on Furdog Facebook page.

Coyote hunting with hounds is simply a barbaric, however legal sport in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio and many other states. It’s time citizen’s in every state get involved and let wildlife officials know dog-fighting disguised as hunting should be illegal.
COYOTE

Contact your state’s wildlife department today to find out whether coyote hunting with hounds or wildlife killing contests are legal where you live and vote. Let your state wildlife officials know it’s time to end dog-fighting disguised as hound hunting!

195 Coyotes & Foxes Killed in Michigan’s Largest Wildlife Killing Contest

On January 26th, 2020, Michigan’s largest wildlife killing contest, the 7th Annual Great Lakes Region Predator Challenge ended in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The two-day Coyote and fox killing contest awarded over $4,000 in cash and prizes to the top teams in the competition. Over 160 teams competed, with the winning team bringing in 13 coyotes. The second place winners brought in 10 coyotes and 3 foxes.

195 PREDATORS GLRPC 2020

And to think that predator hunters think they are helping our ecosystems! Let Michigan’s Natural Resources Commission know such thinking isn’t wildlife management, its the wanton waste of wildlife for money and prizes. Kalamazoo, Michigan January 26, 2020.

 

The above video is comprised of videos shared on Facebook by various contestants participating in this year’s contest. Although 195 coyotes and foxes were registered in this killing contest, that number does not include the wounded animals that were not recovered after being shot at night with the aid of night vision and thermal imaging scopes.

10% PREDATOR CONTROL

“Runners’ refers to wounded animals that run off to die a painful death and are never recovered.

One contestant, Top Ten Percent Predator Control stated, “Only ended up with 6 coyotes after a few runners, and a few misses…” The term, “runners” refers to animals that are shot but able to run away to later die a slow and agonizing death.

JOE BARTOS TEAM LETHAL INTENT

GLRPC Contestant’s “Team Lethal Intent” were winners at this year’s coyote & fox killing contest in Kalamazoo, Michigan on January 26, 2020.

The Great Lakes Regional Predator Challenge is one of over 50 wildlife killing contests taking place in Michigan this winter, and but one of hundreds taking place all across America. While this particular killing contest’s participants only hunted with              high-powered rifles at night, many other contests include the use of hounds which often fight and kill animals in these contests.

02.07.20 PREDATOR GAMES

Please send an email to Michigan’s Natural Resources Committee and let them know that no state wildlife agency should endorse the awarding of cash and prizes to those who kill the most public trust wildlife.

Send Your Email to:

NRC@michigan.gov

Screen Shot 2020-01-27 at 9.16.15 PM

One of 195 coyotes killed in this past weekend during the Great Lakes region Predator Challenge in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Three years ago state lawmakers allowed the use of high-powered rifles and night vision to be used to hunt predators at night. Michigan DNR was opposed to the change because of the human safety factor of firing bullets that can travel miles past their target.