No Charges for Wisconsin Bear Hunters Who Shot at Federally Protected Wolves Killing Their Hunting Hound


On August 22, 2019 a young bear hunter and anti-wolf advocate from Forest County, Wisconsin reported on Facebook that he and his brother shot at federally protected wolves after they killed one of their hunting hounds during the state’s two-month summer bear hound training season.

Ty Belland says that after a five-mile chase, his GPS indicated that one of his dogs 700 yards away wasn’t moving. When he was 60 feet away, he says he saw two wolves killing his dog and yelled. According to Belland, the wolves dropped his dog and came at a dead run towards him causing him to fall, but he was able to keep the wolves at bay with a tree branch until they ran far enough away for him to retrieve his pistol and shoot towards them with the intent to scare them away.

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Belland says he called his brother Wes for help and halfway to his truck on the 700 yard return walk, the wolves began following and barking at him. After a few minutes, he shot twice towards where he thought he could see the wolves. When he was 50 yards from the road he says the wolves again came towards him and circled for about five minutes until his brother Wes Belland arrived. “After two shots fired they ran away and let us get back to the truck.” said Ty, not indicating who fired the last two shots. On August 23, WDNR confirmed the Belland’s wolf depredation just inside of Marinette County on private forest lands.

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Ty Belland and his brother Wes are part of a community of hound hunters in Forest County who promote the illegal killing of wolves. The brothers use their dogs to hunt not only bear, but bobcat and coyotes as well and this is not the first time one of their hunting hounds has been killed by territorial wolves. In March 2019 Wes Belland posted a photo on his Facebook page of a wolf-killed deer that led to many commenters advocating for more illegal wolf killings. Belland commented that someone could only shoot a wolf if “they have harmed you with a mark to prove it.”


Federally protected gray wolf incidentally trapped and later released by Wes Belland in Wisconsin’s 2016 coyote trapping season.

Wolf Patrol contacted Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) law enforcement on August 23, 2019 to ask whether the Belland’s shooting incident would be investigated as a possible violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Under current federal protections, a wolf can only be killed if it is endangering a human, not a dog’s life.

On August 26, 2019 WDNR conservation officers informed Wolf Patrol that an investigation had been carried out and US Fish & Wildlife authorities had determined that, “The ESA does allow for the protection of life within the code. As Mr. Belland documented the encounter, there would be no violation of the ESA.”

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Ty Belland’s Facebook post 08/23/19

In addition a WDNR conservation officer interviewed Ty Belland and members of his hunting group, saying he was “unable to find any information to discredit the FB Post.  Mr. Belland and his group were advised of the ESA, reminding them that wolves are protected. Any retaliatory shooting of wolves by anyone outside the exceptions of the Endangered Species Act could be charged in either Federal or State court.”

Since the August 22 bear hound depredation, Wolf Patrol has been monitoring continued bear baiting and hound training in the newly created WDNR Wolf Caution Area. In addition, local anti-wolf advocates are warning that two individual wolves are prowling the nearby Blackwell, Wisconsin area and people should arm themselves for their own protection.


Belland bear hunting party in Forest County, Wisconsin.

There were thirteen separate bear hound and wolf fights reported during the 2019 Wisconsin bear hound training season which ran from July 1-August 31. The Belland incident was the 12th, but more are sure to occur during the actual bear killing season which begins September 4th and runs until early October 2019.

And as more and more bear hound depredations occur, more hound hunters will know they can shoot at federally protected wolves, as long as they claim the wolves were threatening their own lives as well. This is not an acceptable solution to the conflict bear hunters are creating with federally protected wildlife, especially on our national forest lands where unregistered bear baiting is also attracting wolves that in turn, prey on bear hounds.


Posted by Wes Belland on his Facebook page.

The now allowable exception to the Endangered Species Act that allows bear hunters to fire on federally protected wolves is just one more reason why Wolf Patrol is calling on Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials to address unregistered bear baiting and hound training on our national forest lands, where its causing multiple conflicts with wolves and other wildlife.


Ty & Wes Belland on left in 2017.

Wolf Patrol will continue monitoring bear baiting and hound hunting activity in WDNR Wolf Caution Areas throughout Wisconsin’s black bear hunt.

Please Send Your Email to US Forest & WDNR Officials Today!


Belland killed black bear in 2018.

Gresham Bear Hunters Tampering with Cameras Monitoring Wolf Activity at Unregistered Bear Bait Sites

Since federally protected gray wolves killed a bear hound in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest on July 13, 2019 Wolf Patrol has been monitoring unregistered bear baits in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) designated Wolf Caution Area near where the depredation occurred.

Our public lands monitors have shown that since the depredation occurred, wolves including three young pups have been repeatedly visiting bait sites where bear hounds are continuing to be run in areas where two more bear hounds have been killed since the July 13, 2019 depredation. When bear hounds are released near bait sites that wolves identify as a food source, depredations can occur.

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Where wolves have killed three bear hunting hounds…so far in 2019. It is legal to run hounds on bear in Wisconsin’s national forest lands from July until October when kill season ends.


Wolf Patrol wants Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials and the WDNR to know that bear hound depredations are occurring not because wolves are overpopulated and need management, but because bear hunters don’t care about the well-being or safety of their hounds, especially when they are paid $2,500.00 when one is killed or injured by wolves.

Since Wisconsin’s bear hound training season began on July 1st, 2019, there have been eight reported deadly fights between gray wolves and bear hounds, leaving 9 bear hounds dead and an unknown number of wolves injured by packs of bear hounds. Neither WDNR or the U.S. Forest Service require any kind of license or permit to operate unlimited bear baits on national forest lands, including WDNR Wolf Caution Areas.

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This year’s gray wolf/bear hound fights during Wisconsin’s 2019 bear hound training season From WDNR’s gray wolf page:   

Now the bear baiter responsible for the bait site that is attracting wolves is breaking the law to keep forest officials and the public from witnessing his actions on our national forest lands. On the evening of August 9, 2019 Wolf Patrol’s trail camera monitoring the bear bait in the CNNF and WDNR’s Wolf Caution Area was tampered with in order to prevent its recording of federally protected gray wolves visiting the still active bear bait.

Ironically, it was the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association which includes members of Gresham Bear Hunters who lobbied the state legislature in 2015 to amend Wisconsin’s hunter harassment law to include any acts committed not only during hunting season, but during Wisconsin’s summer bear hound training season as well.

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The bear baiter responsible for attracting wolves to the unregistered bear bait site on national forest lands where three bear hounds have already been killed this summer.

Last year during bear hound training season in the very same portion of the CNNF, the same bear baiter suspected of tampering with Wolf Patrol’s trail camera this year, stole two of Wolf Patrol’s trail cameras monitoring another bear bait in the area. After reporting the theft to Forest County Sheriff’s Department, investigating law enforcement were able to identify the suspect and retrieve the stolen cameras.

Wolf Patrol did not press law enforcement to prosecute the theft in 2018, but as this year’s tampering is suspected to be by the same individual, we are asking the Forest County Sheriff’s Department, U.S. Forest Service and WDNR to investigate and press charges for illegally tampering with Wolf Patrol’s trail camera.

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Gresham Bear Hunters have started a fund to raise money to protect their “northwoods cultural traditions” like bear baiting and running dogs through WDNR Wolf Caution Areas.

Pro-hunting groups like Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and Gresham Bear Hunters are alleging this Summer that Wolf Patrol is threatening violence and acts of property destruction, but so far its only been Wisconsin bear hunters who have been documented violating Wisconsin’s hunting rules and regulations.

Wisconsin bear hunters have grown frustrated with the continuing exposure of their unethical hunting practices on national forest lands by Wolf Patrol. Illegal acts like the tampering with legally placed trail cameras is only the latest illegal effort to stop not only Wolf Patrol, but any citizen from exercising their constitutionally protected right to witness and document any activity in our national forest lands.


Gresham Bear Hunters operating unregistered bear baits in three WDNR Wolf Caution Areas, July 2019.

Please call or email U.S. Forest Service officials as well as WDNR to demand that unregistered and unlimited bear baiting as well as illegal activity by bear hunters be addressed in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest before more bear hounds and wolves have to die.

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest:

WDNR Secretary:

Wisconsin’s Wolf Pups & Bear Cubs Need Protection From Harmful Baits & Hounds

Unregistered and unlimited bear baiting is allowed in Wisconsin’s national forests, even though its causing deadly conflicts between wolves and bear hunting hounds and conditioning bears into being fed by humans. Bear hunters place baits to attract bears so their hounds can later chase them during Wisconsin’s two-month summer bear hound training season which begins annually on July 1st.

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WDNR allows up to 10 gallons of baits like these to be dumped on national forest lands from mid-April until mid-October, literally the entire length of time black bears are out of hibernation.

Over 4 million gallons of food waste is dumped every year during Wisconsin’s bear hound training & bear hunting season which begins in July and runs until mid-October. Chocolate can also be used as bear bait even though states like Michigan have banned its use because it is deadly to bears and canines, especially bear cubs and wolf pups.

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Wisconsin bear hunters like Jason Welch don’t care if their bait kills bear cubs or wolf pups, as long as they can chase bears through the national forests from July until October every year.

Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and the U.S. Forest Service do not require any license or permits of any kind for residents or nonresidents to bait bears and chase them with packs of hounds during July and August when federally protected gray wolves are protective of pups like those in this video. Baiting bears in our national forests causes conflicts and changes the natural behavior of wildlife and should no longer be allowed.


An exposed and unregistered bear bait in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, less than a mile from where federally protected gray wolves killed a bear hound on July 21, 2019.


It’s time WDNR & the US Forest Service do something about unregistered and unlimited bear baiting and hound training in Wisconsin’s national forests and federally protected wildlife habitat.

Send emails to Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials:

WDNR Secretary:

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Wolf pup in Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and WDNR Wolf Caution Area designated after wolves killed a bear hound close by on July 13, 2019.

Give Smokey the Bear a Break on His 75th Birthday…Stop Bear Baiting & Hound Training in Wisconsin’s National Forest!

Wolf Patrol has reported on the deadly conflict bear baiting causes when bear hounds released from bait sites are killed by territorial wolves, but this year a Wisconsin bear hunter also told us he believes chocolate in Wisconsin’s bear baits is killing young cubs.

Its a fact that chocolate contains theobromine, which can be fatal to bears, wolves and other canines. This bear hunter and baiter said he’s seen mother bears pick out chocolate from baits so cubs wouldn’t eat it. Unfortunately, other bear cubs visiting baits will eat anything left over leading to theobromine poisoning.


Bear cubs feeding at a northern Wisconsin bear bait, July 9, 2019.

In 2017, Michigan banned chocolate in bear bait citing the poisoning threat to bears and other wildlife, but Wisconsin continues to allow chocolate in unlimited amounts and baits, without even requiring any registration or license.

Bear baiting is big business in northern Wisconsin where discarded baked goods and other sugary food items are resold as bear bait by the truckload. Wisconsin DNR bear baiting regulations state only that you must limit your baiting to 10 gallons per bait. Its not uncommon for summer bear hound trainers to operate more than 20 bear baits, meaning thousands of gallons of food waste is being dumped annually by individual bear hunters, much of it in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

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Chocolate candy bars sold by the tote, about three 55-gallon drums worth for $150.

Unlimited bear baiting in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is a threat to not only bears but federally protected gray wolves as well. This Summer, Wolf Patrol documented repeated visits to active bear baits by wolf pups clearly attracted to the bear bait in the log. More and more bear hunters in July also reported wolves visiting their bear baits in northern Wisconsin.

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Wolf pups playing at a bear bait not far from where wolves killed a bear hound on July 13, 2019.

WDNR & the US Forest Service do not know how many bear baits there are in WDNR Wolf Caution Areas (designated when a depredation of a hunting dog occurs) or anywhere in the national forest because no registration of bait sites is required in Wisconsin.

All of this, so hound hunters can chase bears in July and August when instead of putting on winter weight, bears have to run from hunters with their cubs in tow. Whether because of the threat chocolate poses to bear cubs and wolf pups, or baiting in wolf territory causes to hounds, its time the WDNR & US Forest Service do something to limit the deadly impact bear hunting practices are having in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

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A casualty of the Gresham Bear Hunters in 2018.

Please send emails asking WDNR & US Forest Service officials to stop bear hunters from dumping millions of gallons of bear bait and toxic food waste in federally protected wildlife habitat and our national forest lands!

What better way to celebrate Smokey the Bear’s 75th birthday than to end bear baiting!


Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest:


WDNR Secretary:

Harassing Bears…I Mean Bear Hound Training Continues in Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Wisconsin bear hunters don’t want you to see what they are doing in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. That is why the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association (WBHA) lobbied for the passage of the “Right to Hunt Act” which was signed into law at the WBHA’s annual conference in 2016 by then Gov. Scott Walker.

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August 4, 2019: Another bear hound killed during training, this time by the bear being chased.

The new law cited only Wolf Patrol’s monitoring and publicizing of bear hunting practices on public lands since 2015, as cause for a stronger hunter harassment statute that would prohibit photographing and videotaping bear hunters in Wisconsin.


Many Wisconsin hound hunters like Andy Nowinsky don’t only chase bears, but coyotes in winter as well.

The problem is the “Right to Hunt Act” is unconstitutional. Anyone can take pictures or videotape on public lands and roads, which is why Wolf Patrol has never been cited for violating the new law. Even the “Right to Hunt Act” acknowledges that one must have the intent to impede or obstruct legal hunting activities in order to violate any hunter harassment laws.


Wisconsin bear hunter Aaron Hamann getting ready to release his hounds on July 31, 2019 during Wisconsin’s summer bear hound training season

Wolf Patrol’s intent is not to impede or obstruct legal bear hunting practices in Wisconsin. Our intent is to see bear baiting and hound training practices regulated, restricted or outright prohibited on national forest lands where they are causing deadly conflicts with federally protected gray wolves and other wildlife.


Which is why we are continuing to share not only our own videos of Wisconsin bear hunters on national forest lands, but their own videos as well, which they are kind enough to share on Facebook.


Anti-wolf Facebook post on Tony Engebretson’s Facebook page. Engebretson is also a contributor to an anti-Wolf Patrol GoFundMe campaign.

As long as over 4 million gallons of bear bait is dumped, as long as there is no limit to the number of bear baits, and as long as hound hunters continue to bait and train their dogs in WDNR Wolf Caution Areas in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Wolf Patrol will continue exposing these unethical hunting practices.

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August 3, 2019: Wisconsin bear hunter complaining about the bear he’s harassing…I mean “training”?

On August 2, 2019 Wolf Patrol was contacted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and questioned about whether we were engaging in bear baiting activity. Apparently bear hunters have complained that we are for whatever reasons. What is ironic is that if WDNR required basic registration for bear baiting in Wisconsin, they wouldn’t have to waste any of conservation officers time trying to figure out who is baiting and where.

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Bear bait for sale on northern Wisconsin Craigslist, July 2019.

Please ask US Forest Service & WDNR officials to address unregistered & unlimited bear baiting and hound training in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest!

U.S. Forest officials:


Wisconsin houndsmen participating in “northwoods cultural traditions.”

WDNR Secretary:

Wisconsin Bear Hunters Tormenting Bear Last Weekend During Training Season

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.


Tyler Kettlewell (orange shirt) during Wisconsin’s bear kill season September, 2018.

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.

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Kettlewell’s bear baits regularly attract wolves, yet like other hound hunters, act surprised when their hounds are killed near them.

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.


Like any irresponsible hound hunter who looses a hound to wolves while running off of bear bait sites that attract wolves, Kettlewell was paid $2,500.00.

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.

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Kettlewell bear bait photo shared on Facebook in September 2018.

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.

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Kettlewell’s Plott hounds harassing a bear in a den after a nine hour chase in 2017.



WDNR Secretary:

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials:


Unregistered & Unlimited Bear Baiting Conditioning Wolves to Kill Bear Hounds

Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and the U.S. Forest Service’s policy of allowing unregistered & an unlimited number of bear baits, especially on national forest lands in July and August, is creating a deadly conflict between bear hunting hounds and federally protected gray wolves.

The following video was compiled from a trail camera that was placed at an active bear bait inside of a WDNR Wolf Caution Area following the depredation of a bear hound on July 13, 2019, less than a quarter mile away from this unregistered bear bait in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF).

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Location of July 13, 2019 bear hound depredation and bear bait where wolf pups were documented regularly visiting the site.

Beginning every July 1st, it is legal for any bear hunter, resident or nonresident, to dump thousands of gallons of oil and food waste in Wisconsin’s national forests and other public lands to attract black bears so hound hunters can release dogs from the bait sites to chase them. This official WDNR & USFS endorsed bear hound training season lasts until September, and no license is required to bait bears or train hounds to pursue bears.

Bear baiting and hound training especially in summer months when wolves are most protective of young pups, leads to an annual death toll of twenty bear hunting dogs or more, as territorial wolves who have grown accustomed to using bear bait sites as feeding locations defend the sites as their own when bear hounds are released to follow the trail of a bear.

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Bear hound killed and eaten by wolves near bear bait site where wolf pups were filmed in July 2019.

Despite WDNR designating areas where wolves have killed bear hounds as “Wolf Caution Areas” many bear hunters continue to ignore the warnings and maintain bear baits and run hounds in Wolf Caution Areas, as Wolf Patrol has documented over the last five years in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Now its time for U.S. Forest Service officials to do something, if WDNR won’t to prevent more bear hound deaths and unknown injuries to wolves and their young pups on national forest lands where endangered wildlife is required to be protected by federal and state laws.

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Adult wolf leaving bear bait where wolf pups were filmed.

Help Wolf Patrol pressure U.S. Forest Service & WDNR officials to end the practice of allowing unregistered & unlimited bear baiting and hound training in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest where it causes deadly conflicts with federally protected wildlife!



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Bear hunter after having dropped four bear hounds deep in July 13, 2019 WDNR Wolf Caution Area on July 28, 2019.

6th Bear Hound Depredation of the Season in Price County Wisconsin

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Depredations of bear hounds regularly occur during Wisconsin’s two-month summer bear hound training season when wolves are especially protective of young pups.

On July 28th USDA Wildlife Services confirmed the 6th fatal wolf depredation of a bear hound since the start of the hound training season on July 1st. The depredation occurred in Price County north of the town of Catawba. The end of July is typically the time when depredations on hounds start to really ramp up. I’m sure this is far from the last depredation we will see during the 2019 training/bear hunting season.

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Wolf visiting bear bait in Forest County WDNR Wolf Caution Area.

To see all bear hound depredations since 2013 ( there are lots!):

Bear Hunters Howled Out of Woods by Wolves in WDNR Wolf Caution Area

On July 28, 2019 while monitoring wolf pup activity in a recent Wolf Caution Area, Wolf Patrol monitors encountered a ten-truck bear hunting party running dogs where one was killed only two weeks ago. One hound hunter took his dogs deep into the Wolf Caution Area off of Windsor Dam Road in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, and dropped them on a bear’s trail, less than a quarter mile from where a bear hound was killed on July 13, 2019.

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Wolf leaving bear bait where hounders released dogs on July 28, 2019.

The following week, on July 21, 2019, two more bear hounds were killed by federally protected gray wolves in the same region, one less than two miles away from where the July 13 depredation occurred.

Less than 30 minutes into the chase, bear hunters from the large hunting party reported over their radios that their dogs had encountered a pack of wolves who began howling in defense of their territory just off of Fishel Road, about 5 miles from where the bear chase began.

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Red dots indicate July 13 & 21 bear hound depredations by wolves in 2019.

Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) endorses and supports a two-month summer bear hound training season when anyone, not just residents can bring any number of dogs into national forests and other public lands to learn how to chase bears.

Unlicensed hound owners can also dump thousands of gallons of used fryer grease and food waste to attract bears in as many unregistered and unlimited bear baits as they’d like to use. Even chocolate is allowed to be used as bear bait in Wisconsin, despite WDNR acknowledging that it is toxic to bears, wolves and other wildlife.


Bear bait with exposed food waste less than a mile from wolves killed a bear hound in the CHequamegon-Nicolet National Forest on July 21, 2019.

Bear hunting practices in Wisconsin are out of control and causing deadly conflicts with federally protected wildlife such as gray wolves and WDNR is perfectly ok with it. But the public should demand that U.S. Forest Service officials cease these practices immediately on national forest lands where feeding the bears conditions wildlife to being fed by humans.

Unregistered and unlimited bear baiting should absolutely not be allowed in any WDNR designated Wolf Caution Areas where bear hounds have already been killed by wolves defending young pups as was documented by Wolf Patrol in the Wolf Caution Area where the hound hunting party was encountered on July 28, 2019.


Bear hugs, not rugs!

Public lands managers have failed to address, let alone prevent the continued use of bear baits and bear hounds in our national forests, so its now up to you to demand that they manage our national forests better.

Send emails to both US Forest Service & WDNR officials today!

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest:

WDNR Secretary:

Bear Baiting & Hound Training Continues in Wisconsin Wolf Caution Areas

On July 27, 2019 Wolf Patrol monitors continued to witness and document bear baiting and hound training activities continuing in Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) designated Wolf Caution Areas (WCA), despite wolves having killed two bear hounds in the region since mid-July.

Over the weekend, multiple bear hunting parties were seen dropping and picking up dogs off of Windsor Dam & Fishel Roads in northern Forest County portions of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. In addition, multiple bear baits within the WCA’s that were not being used during the week, were once again loaded with bait so dogs could be run off of the baits during the weekend.

Wolf Patrol believes Wisconsin’s allowance of unregistered and unlimited numbers of bear baits in wolf territory is the cause of the deadly conflict between wolves and bear hounds that occurs every summer during that state bear hound training season.

If you agree that U.S. Forest Service and WDNR officials need to begin to register and limit bear baits in our national forest, please email:

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest:

WDNR Secretary: