The above video was filmed in April 2018, a few miles from Sparky’s Bar & Grill, where this weekend’s coyote killing contest is taking place. It is still unknown whether these coyotes were dumped by a hound hunter, predator caller or trapper.
This weekend Wolf Patrol will return to Bayfield County, Wisconsin to monitor the “4th Annual Fur Bang!” Coyote & Crow Killing Contest organized just outside of Washburn. Wolf Patrol is opposed to coyote killing contests, not only because they are unregulated events offering cash for the most wildlife killed, but also because many in Wisconsin, take place in federally protected gray wolf habitat. Also, many coyote killing contests in Wisconsin attract hound hunters, and the Bayfield Peninsula has had a long and bloody history of hunting dog and wolf fights in recent years.
Organizing a contest to see who can kill the biggest coyote in wolf habitat is a recipe for disaster. But its also a disaster that many hound hunters are eager to orchestrate in their efforts to remove federal protections for gray wolves in Wisconsin. Without any history of human attacks to stoke anti-wolf sentiments, opponents of wolf recovery use the depredation of hunting dogs loosed in wolf territory as an argument for a return to a recreational hunting and trapping season for wolves. Wisconsin is the only state in the nation that mandates a recreational hound hunt for wolves when federal protections are not in place.
Wolf Patrol first came to the Bayfield Peninsula in 2014 during Wisconsin’s last legal wolf hunt. Since then we have monitored bear baiting and bear hound training practices in the region because of the repeated depredation of bear hounds by gray wolves from the nine known packs in the area. We have also launched a campaign asking U.S. Forest officials to regulate and restrict bear baiting and hound training activities in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
FEBRUARY 14, 2019 WOLF PATROL PRESS RELEASE:
Wisconsin citizens opposed to an upcoming coyote & crow killing contest plan on monitoring the controversial event on public lands with the pro-wildlife group, Wolf Patrol. The “4thAnnual Fur Bang!” begins at 8;00pm, February 14th, and concludes Sunday at noon, when the winners will be announced at Sparky’s Bar and Grill just outside of Washburn, Wisconsin. Both teams of hound hunters and hunters using electronic callers and firing high-powered rifles at night are invited to participate.
Cash prizes are being offered for the team with the heaviest combined kill weight, largest and smallest coyote taken during contest hours. A prize of $5.00 is also offered for, “crow with largest wingspan.”
Locals opposed to the contest contacted Wolf Patrol who since 2014, have been involved with monitoring controversial bear hunting practices using bait and dogs in Bayfield County. In April 2016, opponents of Wolf Patrol successfully passed legislation dubbed, “The Right to Hunt Act” which targeted the group by name and prohibits interference with hunting, trapping and training activities. Wolf Patrol members are currently challenging the law in federal court.
Last week, Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) introduced legislation that would outlaw competitive killing contests like the Fur Bang. Both local residents and Wolf Patrol support Risser’s legislation and will be documenting the coyote and crow hunt in an effort to help educate citizens about the unregulated contests taking place every winter across Wisconsin.
“We are not opposed to ethical hunting that puts meat on the table, but killing the most, largest or smallest predator for prize money is bad wildlife management and an abuse of public trust wildlife.” said Friesland resident and Wolf Patrol member Jennifer Garde, one of the “citizen monitors” attending the contest this weekend.
Recent video and photos from past coyote hunting contests in Wisconsin and Michigan can be found at:
wolfpatrol.org and on Wolf Patrol’s Vimeo and YouTube channels: “Wolf Patrol”
Now Wolf Patrol is asking concerned citizens to also ask forest officials to end wildlife killing contests such as the “4th Annual Fur Bang!” in our Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest lands. We are also asking Wisconsin residents to contact their state representatives and express your strong support for recently introduced legislation that would end wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin.
SEND EMAILS TO CHEQUAMEGON-NICOLET NATIONAL FOREST OFFICIALS @:
LOOK UP YOUR STATE SENATOR AND REP HERE: https://legis.wisconsin.gov/
The bill: http://media.graytvinc.com/documents/Wildlife+Hunting+Contest+Bill.pdf
1) This bill needs lots of co-sponsors from both the Senate and Assembly!
Contact both your state Senator and Representative and say, “Please sign onto LRB 1453/1 relating to: prohibiting contests for killing wild animals and providing a penalty, sponsored by Senator Fred Risser.”
2) This bill needs an Assembly companion bill sponsored by a Republican!
If your state Representative is a Republican, contact him/her with this message: “Please co-sponsor a companion bill for LRB 1453/1, related to prohibiting wildlife contests and providing a penalty, sponsored by Senator Fred Risser.”