Meet Tyler Kettlewell. He’s a Wisconsin bear hunter that Wolf Patrol has reported on before. He likes to watch his hounds fight bears during bear hound training season, and has had dogs killed by both bears and wolves in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
Last weekend, like literally hundreds of other hound hunters in Wisconsin, Tyler took his dogs out to chase bears, which he can legally do 24 hours a day from July 1st until September, when the actual kill season for bears begins. Tyler baits, trains and hunts with his Plott hounds around Clam Lake beginning every July. A “Plott blanket” is what hound hunters like Kettlewell call it when they’re dogs are literally covering a bayed black bear.
Kettlewell is no stranger to deadly conflicts with his hounds. In 2018 one of his hounds was killed by a bear during Wisconsin’s summer hound training season. And in 2014, another hound was killed by a wolf, for which she received $2,500.00 in compensation, like any other hounder in Wi sconesin whose hounds are killed by wolves.
Bear hunters like Kettlewell are responsible for the annual fights between bear hounds and federally protected wolves. Kettlewell reported on Facebook in 2018 that “he was covered in wolves” after continuing to attract wolves to his national forest bear baits. Yet, like many bear hunters Wolf Patrol halvs documented, he continues to operate bear baits and run his hounds in areas they are likely to be killed.
When bear hunters bait for bears, they inadvertently attract wolves and other wildlife which wolves prey on, leading to a deadly conflict when bear hunters return to bait sites to release their hounds to chase bears. Federally protected wildlife like Wisconsin’s gray wolves shouldn’t have to fight vicious packs of bear hounds to protect their young offspring, but they do every summer in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
If you agree that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources & U.S. Forest Service policy on allowing unregistered and unlimited bear baiting & hound training on national forest lands is part of the problem, please contact WDNR & USFS officials and ask that these practices be ended immediately before more bear hounds and wolves have to die.
WDNR Secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials: email@example.com