Back in 2016, Wolf Patrol first encountered Andrew Dertinger, another proud member of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, in the Washburn District of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, where he annually camps way past the 21-day limit allowed by US Forest Service regulations. Every year, Dertinger takes his pack of Minnesota hounds to Wisconsin (its illegal to hunt bear with hounds in Minnesota) to chase bears in the summer months, and kill them in the Fall.
Dertinger and his partner, Michael Mast, are also coyote hunters, often setting their hounds on live animals, which is illegal in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. The video included in this post was first reported to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) in early 2018, but did not result in any citation being issued. Dertinger represents just a small sampling of the non-resident hound hunters who are attracted to Wisconsin because of its lack of regulations governing bear, coyote and all hound hunting.
So far in 2018, Dertinger is again bringing his unethical hunting practices onto your national forest lands, posting videos of himself chasing bears, using drones to harass treed bears, and most recently leaving his hound training camp in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest littered with waste.
On September 11, 2018, Wolf Patrol members visited Dertinger’s campsite in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, discovering discarded 55-gallon drums filled with food waste, empty buckets, dog kennels, leash stakes and illegal drags. The vacated campsite has been reported to US Forest Service law enforcement, and Wolf Patrol has been notified that the allegation of illegal dumping will be investigated.
But its not just Andy Dertinger that is the problem, its all bear hunters, resident and non-resident, who take advantage of Wisconsin’s liberal bear hunting regulations to essentially do whatever the hell they like in our national forests.
If you are sick and tired of the way some bear hunters treat our national forests like their own private hunting reserves, disrespecting not only wildlife, but the rights of other forest users, please take a moment and send an email asking that these practices be banned forever in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.