Our focus will remain those killing contests on national forest lands where conflicts with federally protected gray wolves is a violent reality. As this past weekend illustrated, wolves are very active in the areas where these contests are occurring, so we await news of the next wolf depredation on a hunting hound.
Last week, Wolf Patrol was the only organization in the Chequamgon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF) monitoring a coyote and bobcat killing contest organized by local hound hunters in Townsend, Wisconsin.
According to our members who also were registered and attending the event, over 30 teams of at least two people each signed up for cash and prizes awarded for the smallest and largest coyote or bobcat killed. As of sign in, on the night of January 19, 2019, seven coyotes had been registered killed during the event.
Wildlife killing contests like the KBM Predator Hunt, especially when held in federally protected gray wolf habitat, should be banned on all national forest lands. Organized events that indiscriminately target entire populations of native predators in the forest ecosystem should not be allowed without a full biological and scientific review of their impact on wildlife and other natural resources.
The KBM Predator Hunt was also organized in an area of northern Wisconsin where there were seven deadly conflicts in 2018 between gray wolves and hunting hounds used to pursue bear, bobcat and coyote. On January 19, 2019 our members in the field also documented recent wolf activity in portions of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest where the KBM hunt was expected to take place.
Aside from the conflicts wildlife killing contests cause with gray wolves, hunting coyotes with hounds involves inherent cruelty that Wolf Patrol believes should not be allowed within our national forest system. Due to the current federal government shutdown, entire CNNF offices responsible for monitoring public activity have been closed, leaving wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin’s and Michigan’s national forests virtually without oversight.
Wolf Patrol will continue to monitor wildlife killing contests in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest throughout the winter of 2019, and are asking our supporters to write letters opposed to these contests to your local newspapers as well as continuing to send emails to CNNF forest officials. Thank you to all our supporters who make Wolf Patrol possible. We will continue to stand for Wisconsin’s wildlife until the wanton waste of wildlife is ended!