On July 1st, bear hound training season began in northern Wisconsin. Wolf Patrol is continuing their citizen monitoring of bear hunting activities in known wolf areas where conflicts have been known to occur. On June 2nd, Wolf Patrol began monitoring bear baits in Forest County, in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Our focus is on baiting activity that attracts wolves, although we are reporting suspected violations of Wisconsin’s bear baiting regulations in the same area. Sometime in late June, a WP trail camera was stolen from a bear bait located 75 yards from Highway 55 on national forest lands. On July 1st, another trail camera was stolen from a WP bear bait, and on July 2nd, a third camera was stolen from the very same site.
For too long, bear hunters in Wisconsin have been allowed to place an unlimited number of bear baits within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest from mid-April until October. A recent DNR study found in the CNNF, more than one third of a wild black bears diet consists of human food waste used as bear bait. Now these baiting practices, including the two-month long hound training season are causing conflicts between federally protected wolves and dogs loosed in their territory in July and August. Many are killed as wolves defend their young from bear hound trespass.
Wolf Patrol will continue its monitoring campaign in Forest County throughout the summer and into the kill season, which begins in September. As long as criminal behavior within the bear hunting community continues, so will Wolf Patrol’s campaign in Forest County, Wisconsin and other regions of our national forest lands where it occurs.
The theft of Wolf Patrol’s research cameras has been reported to County, state and federal authorities and unless they are returned immediately, we will pursue criminal charges against those responsible. Theft and other violations of Wisconsin’s wildlife laws on public lands is a crime against everyone, and reflects negatively on the entire bear hunting community. Such behavior should not be tolerated on national forest lands.