Report on Sparky’s Bar & Grill Annual Coyote Killing Contest in Wisconsin


Another coyote killing contest this past weekend, just over the border in Minnesota.

Another coyote killing contest in Wisconsin has passed, but there are still many more to come, as predator hunters continue to announce more money and prizes being offered to kill public trust wildlife in Wisconsin and many other states. Sparky’s Bar & Grill hosted the “4th Annual Fur Bang!” Coyote and crow killing contest in Bayfield County, Wisconsin this past weekend. Organizers knew that more photos of gut shot coyotes would only turn the public off of competitive killing of wildlife, so when the contest ended at Sparky’s anyone not associated with the event was summarily kicked out of the bar so the weigh-in could commence.

Wolf Patrol contacted the organizers of the event last week, offering to meet and discuss our concerns with a coyote killing contest in federally protected gray wolf habitat, but the owners of Sparky’s Bar & Grill have made the decision to defend their contest and instead ejected Wolf Patrol founder Rod Coronado from the bar as soon as he set foot on their property. (Despite having been there the night previously enjoying a beer!)

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Wolf Patrol’s unanswered request for dialogue about Sparky’s support of wildlife killing contests, February 8, 2019.

We wanted to appeal to the owners to sponsor an event next year that would be nonlethal and inclusive of the entire wildlife loving community of Wisconsin, something like a photography contest. But, Sparky’s has chosen to continue to endorse coyote killing contests, so Wolf Patrol is now asking our followers to not patronize any establishment sponsoring wildlife killing contests, and to express your disapproval on the restaurant review page, Yelp. Let the world know that when you enter a bar like Sparky’s you are supporting the recreational slaughter of coyotes for prizes and money.


Prizes offered at Sparky’s Bar & Grill for successful coyote killers, February 17, 2019.

The weiner of the 4th Annual Fur Bang! was Bayfield County resident, Bill Mertig who killed four coyotes. This was his third time attending the Fur Bang! having taken second place last year. It is unknown how many crows were killed in the contest since organizers chose to go underground and kick out anyone but supporters from the otherwise advertised public event. Establishments like Sparky’s want tourist dollars, but if anyone is opposed to their sponsorship of coyote and crow killing, they will be ejected like Wolf Patrol and the 16 Wisconsin residents who peacefully came to observe the contest.


The profile picture used on Facebook by Foster’s Bar in Altoona, Wisconsin during their February 9, 2019 coyote contest.

To the owners of Sparky’s and any other bar that sponsors coyote killing contests: as long as you are unwilling to allow any member of the public from witnessing your public coyote contest, Wolf Patrol is calling for a boycott of yours and any business that sponsors, supports and defends competitive killing of wildlife for fun.


One of the coyotes killed during the 4th Annual Fur Bang! in Washburn, Wisconsin,         February 16, 2019.

Wolf Patrol began monitoring the Fur Bang! contest on Friday, February 15th, focusing on known wolf pack territory in the Bayfield Peninsula. On Saturday the 16th, while patrolling the territory of the Echo Valley wolf pack off of County Road “J” we encountered four trucks engaged in a coyote hunt off of Happy Hollow Road. The “hunters” had there trucks dispersed at intervals along the road with men in the road with shotguns. We observed the hound hunters attempting to retrieve a dog that was not responding to its shock collar or verbal calls. Once the hound was recovered, the hounders left the area of the Bayfield County Forest where we monitored them.

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Hound hunters lining Happy Hollow Road with shotguns, waiting for the coyote to cross. February 16, 2019.

Coyote hunters in Wisconsin are allowed to use high-powered rifles at night as well as shoot from public roads, as long as the roads are unpaved and the are using shotguns with legally restricted shotshells, such as BB shot. Shotgun slugs and other rifles are prohibited from being used from the road. Hunting from roads in Wisconsin is the only way Wolf Patrol has ever documented hound hunters chasing coyotes. During the Fur Bang!, the hunting party we monitored hardly ever left their vehicles and only went into the woods when they had lost their dog. Otherwise, they waited on the road for the coyote to cross so it could be shot.

On Sunday, February 17th, sixteen Wisconsin residents including members of the Red Cliff Tribe (where the Echo Valley wolves live and are protected.) gathered in Washburn to vocalize their opposition to coyote killing contests in Wisconsin. Many of those in attendance (including Wolf Patrol members) are subsistence hunters who kill for food and are opposed to the wanton waste of Wisconsin wildlife occurring during Sparky’s Bar & Grill’s contest and other such events. Every single patron at Sparky’s who did not support coyote killing contests were told they had until 1:00pm to vacate the premises r the authorities would be called. This was despite the civil behavior of everyone in attendance. No one was carrying signs or hollering, they were simply there to witness the killing spree.

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Fur Bang! hounder trying to catch dog before it enters private property, February 17, 2019.

Since 2015, Wolf Patrol has been documenting cruel and illegal hound hunting practices such as the pursuit of coyotes with dogs in Wisconsin. When hunters are within their rights and obeying relevant game laws, they rarely care that we observe them. But when an establishment like Sparky’s chooses to make a public coyote killing contest private, you have to wonder what it is that they are hiding from the public.

You can be a part of the movement that ends coyote killing contests in Wisconsin once and for all! If you’re NOT a Wisconsin resident, send your email to Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials asking that wildlife killing contests be prohibited on OUR national forest lands. You can also write a Yelp review of Sparky’s Bar & Grill letting the world know why you do not support the business.

Send your email to Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials:

Here’s the Yelp link to write a review of Sparky’s Bar & Grill:

If you’re a Wisconsin resident, contact your elected officials and let them know you support Senator Fred Risser’s Senate Bill 30 that would end wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin. And please talk to your families, neighbors and friends and ask them to do the same. Wisconsin residents have the rare opportunity to actually end these cruel contests. Please help us send a message that offering money and prizes for wildlife killed is unethical and the practices employed by hound hunters to take coyotes is inhumane.

Look for your Rep here:


Two coyotes reported dumped by hound hunters following a coyote killing contest this month in Michigan.

Wolf Patrol will continue to monitor coyote killing contests in Wisconsin throughout the winter. To follow our progress, please also visit our Facebook, YouTube & Vimeo channels at: Wolf Patrol


Hound hunters at a coyote killing contest in Minnesota, February 16, 2019.


Wolf Patrol Documents Hound Hunters Hunting from the Road…Again

February 16, 2019:

Today is the third day of the 4th Annual Fur Bang! coyote killing contest in Washburn, Wisconsin and Wolf Patrol spent the morning patrolling national and county forest lands in Bayfield County, Wisconsin where the contest is taking place.


Wanton waste of wildlife. Two Michigan coyotes killed in a contest, than dumped.                                 February 16, 2019.

This first party of hound hunters we encountered on Happy Hollow Road, just as they were lining the road to shoot any coyotes that might be flushed from the nearby forest lands by their dogs. Hunting from roads in Wisconsin is illegal, unless you’re hunting game birds, which these hound hunters were not.


We hope citizens will contact their elected representatives in Wisconsin and express their aim support for Senator Fred Risser’s recently introduced legislation that would ban wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin!


Also, Wolf Patrol is reminding ALL citizens to contact Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials and ask that both bear baiting and wildlife killing contests be prohibited on our national forest lands!


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Another coyote run down by dogs today in Wisconsin dies. Photo: Jason Graf, February 16, 2019.

Wolf Patrol to Monitor Coyote & Crow Killing Contest in Wisconsin’s Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

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.

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Red= Wolf depredations of hunting dogs 2013-18.


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.


Known wolf families in Bayfield County.


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: 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.


Wisconsin crow hunters are allowed to shoot 15 birds a day during the three month winter season.






The bill:

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.”


“Carolina Coyote Classic” killing contest in NC February 10, 2019.


Wisconsin Support Needed for Bill to End Coyote, Bobcat & Crow Killing Contests!!!


Run down with dogs and shot in the stomach: Coyotes at May’s Bar outside Crandon, Wisconsin February 9, 2019.

On Friday, February 8, 2019, Wisconsin senator Fred Risser officially introduced his bill that would end the many coyote killing contests held each winter for cash and prizes across Wisconsin. Risser says he looked at Vermont, California and New Mexico where similar laws have been passed or proposed, for guidance when drafting the bill.


Contests like this event held annually would be banned by Risser’s bill.

He says promoting ethical hunting is at the core of the proposed bill, “What we do is try to outlaw the hunting where there’s sponsored competition with the objective of killing wild animals for entertainment and for the chances of winning prizes and then discarding the carcasses, this is not ethical hunting.”


Coyote killed by winner of May’s Predator Hunt in Langlade, Wisconsin, February 10, 2017. 

The bill would cover the many unlicensed contests offering cash prizes for the most or largest coyotes, bobcats and crows killed that mostly take place at bars across rural Wisconsin. The bill would prohibit events like the February 9, 2019 Predator Hunt, which has been held as a fundraiser for the last two years at May’s Bar outside of Crandon, Wisconsin. A local hound hunter party out of Antigo won the competition with three coyotes killed with the aid of dogs.


Guns, dogs, trucks, snowmobiles and satellites…welcome to a coyote contest in northern Wisconsin! May’s winners out hunting February 2, 2019.

Senator Risser said if language needs to be adjusted, that is what the legislative process is for and welcomes open discussion about the bill. Support from both Republicans and Democrats is necessary for the bill to stand a chance, so if you’re a Wisconsin resident, contact your representative and urge them to support the bill.


Photo shared on Facebook by participant in May’s Predator Hunt, January 24, 2016

The bill:

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.”

Look up your state Senator and Representative here:


If not you, who?

Wisconsin’s Moondog Madness Contest Finishes with 155 Coyotes Killed


Round three of Moondog Madness: 80 coyotes killed, Cambria, Wisconsin February 3, 2019.

Billed as Wisconsin’s largest coyote killing contest, Moondog Madness draws hundreds of predator callers every January to southern Wisconsin. This year’s hunters brought in a total of 155 coyotes killed during three separate weekends of killing across the state.


Weighing a contestants coyote in Sauk City, Wisconsin January 20, 2019.

The contest began in Sparta, Wisconsin on January 4th with 24 two-man teams of hunters bringing in a total of 80 coyotes. Round two took place January 18-20th in Sauk City with a total of 33 coyotes killed. The third and final round was completed on February 10th in Cambria, Wisconsin with twenty two-man teams bringing in 41 coyotes.


Round One: 24 teams, 80 coyotes killed, Sparta, Wisconsin January 6, 2019.

Here are the Rules for Moondog Madness killing tournament:

“Two man teams. Calling only. Hunt anywhere. Each event pays out with an over all champion at the end. Most coyotes wins. Weight if there is a tie. Bite blocks will be used and you have to make your own. We will give you the measurements of the blocks. In order to qualify for the overall you have to hunt in at least two of the three events. We post a word that has to be written on the top of the block and placed in the mouth towards the roof of the coyotes mouth. Check in is Sunday at 2:00 pm. After the check in we will pay the top three at each of the events and hand out door prizes.”


Round Two: 12 teams, 33 coyotes killed, Sauk City, Wisconsin January 20, 2019.


A number of smaller coyote killing contests continue across Wisconsin and Michigan, with events taking place every weekend until mid-March. The following is a photo taken on February 3, 2019 at a coyote killing contest in Shopiere, Wisconsin.


Coyote killing contest, Shopiere Wisconsin, February 3, 2019.


Tickets from Shopiere, Wisconsin coyote contest.

If you live in Wisconsin and would like to voice your opposition to wildlife killing contests, there’s a lot you can do right now!

Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) is introducing a bill that would ban cruel wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin.

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.”

Look up your state Senator and Representative here:


Dog Down Coyote Tournament, Dowagiac, Michigan February 3, 2019.

You can also help by sending an email to Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Board members telling them that you do not support events that pay cash prizes for the most predators killed. Send your email to the Natural Resources Board liaison at:

Moondog Poster

Although Moondog Madness and other hunts take place outside of wolf territory, there are many of these contests that place wolves at risk. Wolf Patrol is asking Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials to suspend all wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin’s national forests until a full study can be made of the impact these contests have on wildlife populations and the environment.


Hunting dogs fight with coyote in Michigan on January 28, 2019.

Coyote killing contests in northern Wisconsin often involve the use of hunting dogs which lead to violent dog fights with not only coyotes, but wolves as well. Last year there were over 20 reported fights between wolves and hunting dogs in northern Wisconsin. Wolf Patrol is also opposed to coyote killing contests in federally protected gray wolf habitat, as these contests often offer prizes for the largest coyote killed, increasing the likelihood of accidental wolf shootings.

Send emails to Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials at:



Fox killed in predator hunting contest in Marshall, Michigan, February 3, 2019.


Report on Great Lakes Region Predator Challenge January 25-27, 2019

The following video was compiled from clips taken from the 2019 Great Lakes Region Predator Challenge, which took place across the state of Michigan in late January. In 2017, Michigan amended its hunting regulations to allow centerfire rifles to be used at night to hunt coyotes year-round with no limit. Wisconsin already allows the use of electronic calls, night vision scopes and silencers at night.

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This year’s kill, Kalamazoo, Michigan January 27, 2019.

In addition to the use of dogs to chase, fight and kill coyotes in Wisconsin and Michigan, predator hunters today use assault-style rifles equipped with military-like night vision accompanied with electronic and mouth calls that imitate the sounds of a dying rabbit or other prey. In the above video filmed during the 2019 Great Lakes Region Predator Challenge in January, the coyote hunter empties his gun at an already injured animal that is limping.


Firearms used in Great Lakes Region Predator Challenge.

Wolf Patrol doesn’t think the unregulated recreational killing of coyotes is going to end anytime soon, but with your help, we hope to see it ended on Wisconsin’s national forest lands where coyote killing contests also place federally protected gray wolves at risk of being mistakenly shot. Please join us in calling on Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials to end wildlife killing contests on OUR national forests!

You can also send an email to Laurie Ross, the liaison for Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Board asking that wildlife killing contests be prohibited in the state of Wisconsin!



At last week’s Great Lakes Region Predator Hunt, January 27,2019.

Wildlife Crimes Unit Report on January 19-27, 2019 2nd Annual Coyote Hunt in Loomis, Wisconsin

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.

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The kill from 2nd Annual Coyote Hunt, 01/27/19 Loomis, Wisconsin.

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.

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Contest winners Brian Van De Walle & Jason Anderson’s kills. 01/27/19 Loomis, Wisconsin.

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.

brian allen coyotes

In Wisconsin it’s legal to capture and sell coyotes to be used to train hunting hounds.

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.

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Contest participant Chance Caylor’s hounds illegally after a raccoon near Pound, Wisconsin.

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.

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Discussing the 2nd Annual Coyote Hunt, Loomis, Wisconsin 01/27/19.

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:

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Contest winner Brian Van De Walle with hound injured by coyote 12/28/18.

Here’s the email addresses for Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials:


Liaison for Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Board which governs the Department of Natural Resources: