This morning Wolf Patrol began its day by responding to a complaint by a Bayfield County resident who reported hound hunters in the area who were running their dogs on private land. We do not know if these particular individuals have permission to hunt on land clearly posted with “No Trespassing” signs, but once they knew they were being documented, they were very determined to retrieve their hounds from the private land. As this video demonstrates, all individuals present were courteous and respectful. Part Two of this video will illustrate the difficulty hound hunters face when trying to control their free-roaming dogs.
The video below shows hound hunters in Bayfield County trying to gain control of two hounds that were running on private lands. Wolf Patrol does not know whether they had permission to be on these lands that were clearly posted, “No Trespassing.” Our point is that even these experienced houndsmen’s were having difficulty controlling their dogs.
The following video documents the hound hunter we encountered this morning driving illegally on a road closed to motor-vehicle access in the Chippewa West Unit of Heartwood Forestland Group property in Bayfield County, Wisconsin. It has been turned over to the appropriate authorities.
On September 9, opening day of Wisconsin’s bear hunt, Wolf Patrol members heard wolves howling in the immediate vicinity of this bear bait. Three days later, two hounds were killed by wolves not far from it. Our investigations show that black bear are not the only animals getting habituated to artificial feeding sites, but wolves, deer, raven, raccoon and other wildlife also feed from this sites, something that is supposed to be illegal, but is virtually impossible to enforce when there are so many bait sites. The bait is meant to be covered up with something that only a bear can move, but as soon as the bear has gained access to the bait, it’s open for any other passing animal to eat from.
LINK FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS TO BAN BEAR BAITING & HOUND HUNTING IN THE CHEQUAMEGON-NICOLET NATIONAL FOREST:
Yesterday morning while on patrol in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, bear hounders responded to Wolf Patrol’s presence by initiating a verbal confrontation which ended with their calling the Bayfield County Sheriff’s Department. The deputy questioning us regarding our monitoring activities indicated that none of our activities were in violation of hunter harassment statutes in the state of Wisconsin, and advised us to notify the department if we witnessed any illegal activity from bear hunters during our campaign.
Wolf Patrol would like to thank the Bayfield County Sheriff’s Department for recognizing our right to continue monitoring the atrocious practice of bear baiting and hound hunting on public lands in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Our campaign to end bear baiting and hound hunting in the CNF today led to 12 hound trucks, three sheriff’s cruisers, two bear baiter ATVs, and a DNR warden all recognizing (some less willing than others) that in this country, no consent is required to film on public lands; that our national forests belong to everyone, not just bear hunters; and that every citizen has a right to monitor activities that negatively impact wildlife on public lands. This Fall’s bear hunt monitoring project will culminate on September 26th as we celebrate National Public Lands Day in the Moquah Barrens. The public is welcome to join us.
If you believe the intentional feeding of bears to later kill them after running them down with dogs should be illegal in your national forests, please send your comments to the Forest Supervisor by Sept. 30th!
Please take a few minutes and send a comment to the US Forest Service asking them to end the practice of bear-baiting & hound hunting in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
It’s not hard to imagine why so many bear hounds are killed by wolves when you see how often hunting dogs get separated from their pack and handlers. This morning we found this old hound hanging around a bear bait site in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest near Drummond, which is active wolf territory. We got him watered and he was grateful and wanting into our truck! We stayed close with him until a hound hunter was able to retrieve him, for which he was grateful too, as this is how dogs like these bear hounds become wolf bait.
A typical hound hunting rig, fully equipped for monitoring bear hounds equipped with GPS collars. One of nine bear hunting trucks we’ve seen so far this morning…
Our patrol team have headed out into the Wisconsin woods for the opening of hound hunting bear season this morning. Check out this rough cut of a short doc on Wolf Patrol’s patrol in WI earlier this summer!
Today marks the beginning of bear hounding season in WI and wolves are going to be impacted by the number of dogs on the ground.
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