It’s wildlife killing contest season in Wisconsin and much of the midwest, and this week Wolf Patrol is reporting on the 2nd Annual Coyote Hunt held at Loopy’s Grill in Loomis, Wisconsin from January 19-27. This predator hunt was held about 60 miles from where the KB Memorial Predator Hunt took place in Townsend, Wisconsin on January 19th.
Just over 30 coyotes were reportedly killed by mostly Wisconsin hound hunters, with the winner of the contest being the two man team of Brian Van De Walle of Crivitz, WI and Jason Anderson of Marinette, WI. Second place went to Jeremy Corey and Brad Thoune, and a hunter from Iron Mountain, MI won the award for “heaviest coyote” which weighed in at 37.4 lbs.
Wolf Patrol’s Wildlife Crimes Unit investigation show that contest participants including Van De Walle have engaged in unethical and possible illegal coyote and raccoon hunting with hounds. Much of what contest participants have shared on Facebook is perfectly legal in the state of Wisconsin. Using live raccoons and coyotes to train hunting dogs is a regularly practiced and legal behavior to teach a young hound to pursue and sometime fight wildlife.
This video shows a small look into a coyote training pen in Wittenberg, Wisconsin where coyotes captured from the wild are held in pens and used to train hunting dogs. It is only one of a small number of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources licensed training facilities operating in Wisconsin today.
Also featured are actual training techniques using live-trapped raccoons to train hunting dogs. Small round cages are rolled on the ground or dangled from a tree with a live terrified raccoon inside.
Wildlife killing contests attract unethical hunters who are driven by the incentive of prizes for the most animals killed. Coyote killing contests often offer prizes for the largest animal killed. In Wisconsin, many of these contests are held in federally protected gray wolf habitat, in areas with a long history of deadly conflicts between wolves and hunting dogs. At the contest at Loopy’s this past weekend, participants reported hearing wolves along a tributary of the Peshtigo River. Wolf Patrol is opposed to coyote killing contests in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest because of the increased likelihood of not only a wolf being mistakenly shot, but also hunting dogs depredated by territorial wolves.
You can help bring an end to not only wildlife killing contests, but the cruel and barbaric sport of hunting coyotes with hounds on our national forest lands and maybe even the state of Wisconsin. Please write letters to your local Wisconsin newspaper’s letters-to-the-editor and also contact your elected representative and tell them you support a ban on wildlife killing contests.
Look up your state Senator and Representative here: https://legis.wisconsin.gov/
Here’s the email addresses for Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials: