Wisconsin’s Bear Hound Training Season in Full Swing…in Wolf Territory

Wisconsin’s bear hound training season is now in full swing, and Wolf Patrol has been in the field every day, reminding hound hunters that citizen monitoring of their activities will continue, despite the passage of the unconstitutional “Right to Hunt Act.” The law was intended to silence our efforts, but we continue to exercise our constitutional right to patrol national forest lands.
The U.S. Forest Service & Department of Natural Resources have been made aware of our intention to collect data on both bear hound training & baiting on public lands, and have shown interest in the information we are collecting.
Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 1.09.30 PM

Blue= bear baits, Red= Bear hounds killed by wolves in 2016.

Our focus remains helping to minimize conflict between bear hunters, their dogs and federally protected gray wolves. Much of how we are doing this is to simply be in the areas hounds are running, and have their handlers know that we are watching and ready to report any illegal activities we witness.
Since July 1st, when bear hound training season began, we have documented many new bear baiting operations in our research area, within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National. Bear hound trainers use bait sites to pick up the scent of bears visiting bait piles, release their dogs, and hope they successfully tree a bear. They are not allowed to kill bears until early September.

Removing illegal bear hound chains from Wolf Patrol base campsite.

The practice of bear hound training leaves bears burning up precious energy and body fat that they otherwise would be using to build up fat for hibernation. The constant training of bear hounds by multiple hunting parties means that once one group of hounds is finished chasing bears, another group can arrive and begin the process all over again.
We have seen these training activities continuing in areas where last year, wolves killed five bear hounds as they trespassed their territory. We have documented young wolves occupying these areas of the national forest, and remain camped in the area to offer those wolves protection.
Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 1.00.50 PM

Loose and lost bear hound in 2016 Wolf Caution Area.

Yesterday, we documented the conditions that lead to bear hound/gray wolf conflict. Hounds loosed after bear get separated from their packs, making them an easy target for defensive wolves. We filmed one such hound as they wandered the forest alone, waiting and hoping to be found by their owners.
The fact that even with GPS collars, hound hunters are unable to keep track of their dogs in wolf territory, illustrates the irresponsibility of hound training, and how it is creating a problem for young wolves newly out of their dens, who are being taught to hunt by their family group.
Hound Truck with 3 Barrells of Bait

Bear hound hunter arriving at his former base camp…which is now Wolf Patrol’s.

If you haven’t already, please send an email to the US Forest Service, asking that they prohibit the intentional feeding of bears, and the practice of training dogs to chase wildlife on our national forest lands.
There are many other ways for you to be a part of our campaign to end bear baiting & hound training in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest! You can attend our three-day intensive skill sharing event on July 27th-July 29th in the Washburn District of the CNNF, where you will learn how to track wolves, bears and bear hounds in their territory as well as identifying violations in laws governing bear hunting practices. Please visit our Event Page on Facebook @: Wolf Patrol to learn more:
Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 1.20.51 PM

Bear hound training in Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, July 2017.

Last but not least, you can contribute funds necessary to purchase fuel for our patrol vehicle, SD cards for our trail cameras, and food for our hardworking volunteer crew! In addition to GoFundMe, we also have a PayPal account you can find @: wolfpatrol.org
The video captured by one of our trail cameras shows one of the young wolves you are helping protect when you become a supporter of Wolf Patrol. Let’s help ensure that this adolescent has a full and prosperous life recolonizing the lands his people call Home!