The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WIDNR) has confirmed in a September 24, 2021 letter to Wolf Patrol that convicted Langlade County hound hunter, Tyler Belott can still legally continue to run his dogs on bear during both the training and kill season as well as on wolves any day of the year, including during the next November/December wolf hunt.
The WIDNR letter was written in response to Wolf Patrol’s call for action to terminate the illegal hunting activities of Belott, who pled no contest to the charge of killing a bear out of season and without a tag during the 2019 Wisconsin bear hound training season. Belott was sentenced to the loss of hunting privileges for three years. WIDNR admits that a stipulation agreement was made between Langlade County prosecutors and Belott’s attorney that essentially allows Belott to continue to run dogs during any regulated bear training or kill season, as long as the intent is to train, not kill.
WIDNR 09/24/21 letter explaining why Belott can still run dogs during his hunting revocation order:
Belott’s punishment is moot, as it allows him or any other convicted poacher to continue the very same activity they were engaged in during the commission of their crime. In Belott’s case, a large hunting party set out on the night of July 4th, 2019 to chase and harass bears all night, which is legal during Wisconsin’s bear hound training season.
Near dawn on July 5th, Belott and his brother-in-law, Chris Pavek bayed a young bear that wouldn’t climb a tree to escape and instead allegedly attacked the hunters pursuing hounds. Belott testified that he took a shotgun from Pavek’s truck and shot the bear, only wounding the animal. He said a second shot killed the bear, but both men hid the evidence and the bear was never recovered or reported to WIDNR.
Not only at the time of his crime of conviction has Belott displayed a willingness to break the law when it comes to hound hunting. In the two years since his revocation period began, Belott has been reported to WIDNR whose investigations determined that he has indeed participated in multiple hound hunts for bear, bobcat, coyote and wolf in violation of his revocation order.
Despite WIDNR’s legal efforts to explain why a convicted poacher can still run dogs on wildlife in Wisconsin, Wolf Patrol is still calling on the agency to cite Belott for his clear participation in Wisconsin’s February 2021 wolf hunt which went grossly over quota, thanks to hound hunters like Belott.
On September 24, 2021 the WIDNR Chief Warden for the Northern District of Wisconsin spoke with Wolf Patrol after he reported, that his department was receiving a lot of calls and emails from Wisconsin residents unhappy with the leniency given to Belott. Warden Bryan Hammerstein said that although he also was not satisfied with the outcome of the Belott case, he hoped the scrutiny the poacher was receiving would convince him not to run his dogs during Wisconsin’s next wolf hunt in November/December 2021. The warden also acknowledged that under current hound training laws in Wisconsin, even convicted poachers like Belott could still run their dogs on wolves any day of the year.
What was also agreed on during the phone conversation between Wolf Patrol and WIDNR, was that Belott’s involvement in the February wolf hunt was a clear violation of even WIDNR’s understanding of his revocation. Therefore we are calling on WIDNR to cite Belott for the offense and restart his three year revocation period.
If you agree that hound hunters like Belott deserve to be punished for not only breaking the law once, but many more times as was determined by the WIDNR, then join Wolf Patrol in calling and emailing WIDNR Chief Warden Casey Krueger and politely ask that Belott be held accountable for his illegal hound hunting activity.
Email WIDNR Chief Warden Casey Krueger @