Bear Hunting Continues in McDonald Creek Wolf Caution Area & More National Forest Bear Bait Violations…

On the morning of September 16, 2018, Wolf Patrol was monitoring a bear hunting party as it operated from Highway 55 in portions of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Forest County, Wisconsin. Our intentions, as told to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) & US Forest Service law enforcement, isn’t to follow any random hound hunting party we encounter, but those specifically operating in WDNR designated Wolf Caution Areas, where bear hounds have recently been killed by wolves.¬†Our intention is not to harass or interfere with any law-abiding hunter. It is to monitor and document bear hunting practices that are contributing to deadly conflicts with federally protected wolves on public national forest lands.

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Each red dot indicates a fight between bear hounds and wolves between July-September 2018.

Every year, beginning with the opening days of Wisconsin’s bear hound training season in July, bear hounds and wolves begin their own deadly fighting season, as bear hunters begin dumping food to attract bears and release their hounds to chase them. The wolves are attracted to the bear baits, as has been documented repeatedly over the years, and especially this Summer and Fall in particular. Many bear hunters in northern Wisconsin have posted trail camera captured photos of wolves at their bear baits this year.

 

 

The smart bear hunters will abandon those baits, or at the very least not run their dogs off of baits visited by wolves. Once wolves have become accustomed to feeding from a bear bait, they will defend the location as a feeding area, challenging any other canine that enters the area.

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09/15/18 Facebook post about wolves visiting bear baits.

On September 16, as Wolf Patrol monitors were traveling south on Highway 55, a large bear hunting party was moving west, following hounds chasing a bear along the Pine River and into the McDonald Creek Wolf Caution Area established August 31, 2018 when wolves killed a bear hound in the area. We decided to return to the depredation area on Windsor Dam Road, where we believed the loose hounds were heading. As we left Highway 55, heading west on Pine River Road, a yearling bear cub ran out of the woods from the direction of the loose hounds.

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A bear hunter checking an active bear bait at 08/31/18 depredation site.

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Another bear hunter checking an active bear bait at 08/31/18 depredation site.

We continued to our destination, parking on the shoulder of Windsor Dam Road near the junction of Forest Road 2039, where the depredation occurred on 08/31/18. As we listened to the hounds move across Pine River and south of Wildcat Creek, another young bear came bolting out of the forest away from the loose hounds. Wolf Patrol remained in the area until the loose hounds were collected by the hound hunting party. The first portion of the above video is from this morning patrol.

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Location of bait in violation of Florence County baiting ban & WDNR bear baiting regulations.

Later that day on September 16, Wolf Patrol responded to a Wisconsin resident’s report of bear baits near a popular campground in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The Chipmunk Rapids Campground is a favorite place to fish, cool off or fill up with spring water. Hound trucks were seen at the trailhead to Lost Lake, which is also the territory of a wolf family known by the same name. Fresh mud leaving a pull off 500 yards from the campground led Wolf Patrol monitors to a bear bait on Chipmunk Creek that was clearly out of compliance with WDNR bear baiting regulations.

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WDNR baiting regulations regarding exposed bait.

WDNR baiting regulations clearly state that “Bait must be enclosed and covered to prevent access to the bait material by deer.” In addition, Florence County, where the bait is located, is one of 30 counties in Wisconsin under a total ban on using exposed bait for deer, due to the growing threat of Chronic Wasting Disease to Wisconsin’s deer herd.

BAIT LOG

Gallons of exposed corn and grain at bear bait near Chipmunk Rapids Campground 09/16/18.

Yet the bait at Chipmunk Creek had approximately four pounds of loose corn and grain spread around the hollowed out and capped log that was presumably filled with more bait. (Wolf Patrol monitors do not touch or tamper active bear baits or trail cameras on national forest lands, although we will document what is visible.) Approximately 20 feet from the spilled grain was another hole in the bank that had been filled with liquid bait consisting of oil, grease and other unknown materials.

BEAR BAIT PIT

Pit filled with grease, oil and unknown substances at bear bait 09/16/18.

Wolf Patrol will be returning to the Chipmunk Rapids area in September to conduct a more thorough search of bear baits on national forest lands. Where there is one illegal bear bait, our experience has been that there are always more being operated by the same bear hunters. The bait was reported to WDNR’s Violation Hotline on September 17, 2018.

WOLVES!

Wolf Patrol trail camera captures wolves in McDonald Creek Wolf Caution Area 09/13/18.

With gray wolves successfully returning to suitable habitat, and the growing popularity of hound hunting throughout Wisconsin, deadly conflicts between bear hounds and wolves are sure to continue. Wolf Patrol is asking Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials to restrict and/or ban bear baiting and bear hound training on national forest lands. We are also asking for restrictions on bear hunting in known Wolf Caution Areas where bear hounds have already been killed by wolves.

If you agree its time to end these deadly conflict-causing practices on our national forest lands, please send your email to:

cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us

Bear Hunter’s Hounds Lose to Michigan Wolves in Bloody Forest Fight

Earlier this year, Wolf Patrol reported on the abusive practice of hound hunting for coyotes in Wisconsin and Michigan. One of the hound hunters whose Facebook videos we published of dogs fighting coyotes, bears and raccoons was Paul Robiadek from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

On September 16, during Michigan’s bear season in Mackinaw County, Robiadek’s bear hounds encountered a pack of wolves that killed two of his dogs. The killings come as more and more bear hounds are fighting with federally protected wolves, as both wolves recolonize former territory and more hound hunters take to the woods during bear season.

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Robiadek acknowledging his fighting dogs in 2017.

In addition to the danger of running bear hounds through summer and early fall wolf territory, when wolves are extremely protective of young pups, bear hunters in Michigan and Wisconsin contribute to the deadly conflicts by establishing multiple bear baits in areas that wolves habitate.

Wolf Patrol has spoken to Wisconsin hound hunters who will not run dogs in areas where wolves have begun visiting their bear baits. Once wolves become habituated to a known bear bait site, they will return often and when hounds are released to chase bears having visited the bait sites, they are injured or killed by the territorial wolves.

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September 15, 2018 Facebook post on Michigan hunting site.

Although this latest attack occurred in Michigan, bear hunters in Wisconsin have also been reporting an increase in wolves visiting bear baits. And on September 13 & 14th, 2018, two more bear hounds were killed by wolves in Lincoln and Bayfield County, Wisconsin. There have now been 15 separate fights between wolves and bear hounds since bear hound training season began on July 1st in northern Wisconsin.

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Red dots indicate 2018 Wisconsin wolf depredations on hunting dogs.

Wolf Patrol wants the killing to end! To Paul Robiadek, we are sorry less for your loss, but more so for your lack of ethics. You clearly enjoy training dogs to attack and maul wildlife, and now your hounds have paid the ultimate price for your cruelty.

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Robiadek’s dogs at work.

Do not try to take it on the wolves responsible for teaching your bloodthirsty hounds a lesson, because Wolf Patrol will continue to monitor your and anyone else’s bear hunting activities once you begin making public threats to illegal kill federally protected wildlife harassed by your packs of dogs.

If you agree that hound hunters like Paul Robiachek shouldn’t be allowed to bait bears or run down wildlife with dogs, please send your comments to US Forest officials:

cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us

ROBIADEK DEAD BEAR 2017

Shared on Facebook in 2017 by Paul Robiachek

*this is the contact information for the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Wisconsin

Bear Hunters Still to Blame for Deadly Dog Fights with Wolves

On September 14, 2018, Wolf Patrol began monitoring bear hunting activities in the McDonald Creek Wolf Caution Area which was designated by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) following the August 31 killing of two bear hounds by wolves.

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Area of Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in video.

To date, there have been fourteen separate fights between federally protected gray wolves and bear hounds since bear hound training season began on July 1st. Ten dogs have been killed and another ten injured by wolves as there are released across northern Wisconsin to chase bears. Many bear hunters using hounds place “striker” baits on national forest lands where they place food to attract bears their hounds can later chase.

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Ten dead, ten injured with another 3 weeks of bear season to go…

Since 2015, Wolf Patrol has documented extensive bear baiting, bear hound training and hunting in areas where wolves clash with bear hounds. Intentionally feeding bears leads to not only bears being conditioned to being fed, but deer and other wildlife, which in turn can attracts wolves who also identify bear baits as a food source.

For a scientific study on the conflict between bear hounds and gray wolves:

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0061708

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Wolf in McDonald Creek Wolf Caution Area June 29, 2018 (incorrect trail cam date)

In Wisconsin many hound hunters will also continue to run their dogs through wolf territory after depredations have already occurred, knowing they will still be compensated up to $2,500.00 for each dog killed by wolves.

If you agree that its time to end bear baiting and hound training in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, please send your email opposed to these practices to US Forest officials at:

cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us

 

 

Wisconsin Bear Hunters Hall of Shame: ANDREW DERTINGER

Back in 2016, Wolf Patrol first encountered Andrew Dertinger, another proud member of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, in the Washburn District of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, where he annually camps way past the 21-day limit allowed by US Forest Service regulations. Every year, Dertinger takes his pack of Minnesota hounds to Wisconsin (its illegal to hunt bear with hounds in Minnesota) to chase bears in the summer months, and kill them in the Fall.

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Andy Dertinger photo posted on Facebook 02/11/17.

Dertinger and his partner, Michael Mast, are also coyote hunters, often setting their hounds on live animals, which is illegal in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. The video included in this post was first reported to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) in early 2018, but did not result in any citation being issued. Dertinger represents just a small sampling of the non-resident hound hunters who are attracted to Wisconsin because of its lack of regulations governing bear, coyote and all hound hunting.

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Dertinger’s hounds cornering coyote on roof of barn.

So far in 2018, Dertinger is again bringing his unethical hunting practices onto your national forest lands, posting videos of himself chasing bears, using drones to harass treed bears, and most recently leaving his hound training camp in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest littered with waste.

On September 11, 2018, Wolf Patrol members visited Dertinger’s campsite in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, discovering discarded 55-gallon drums filled with food waste, empty buckets, dog kennels, leash stakes and illegal drags. The vacated campsite has been reported to US Forest Service law enforcement, and Wolf Patrol has been notified that the allegation of illegal dumping will be investigated.

But its not just Andy Dertinger that is the problem, its all bear hunters, resident and non-resident, who take advantage of Wisconsin’s liberal bear hunting regulations to essentially do whatever the hell they like in our national forests.

If you are sick and tired of the way some bear hunters treat our national forests like their own private hunting reserves, disrespecting not only wildlife, but the rights of other forest users, please take a moment and send an email asking that these practices be banned forever in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us

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Secretary of Interior Calls for More Hound Hunting & Bear Baiting on Federal Lands

Yesterday, on the eve of the opening day of the hound hunt for bear in Wisconsin, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke issued a broad federal order directing Department officials to review policies on DoI lands that are restrictive to hunting and trapping.

In his September 10, 2018 order, Zinke directs DoI agencies, like the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, to make federal lands more open to hound hunting, bear baiting and trapping. Under current law, such hunting practices like bear baiting are prohibited on USFWS lands.

MATT PIEPER HOUNDS

Wolf Patrol is continuing to call on all recreational users of national forest lands to take a stand against these abusive hunting practices in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF) of northern Wisconsin.

Feeding wild bears and hunting and training hounds to chase and kill bears should no longer be allowed in the CNNF, where it is causing deadly conflicts between bear hunting dogs and federally protected wolves every year, not to mention conditioning wildlife into being fed by humans.

So far in 2018, there have been 15 reports of violent clashes between wolves and hunting dogs in Wisconsin, leaving ten dogs dead and 13 injured. Since Wisconsin’s bear hound training and bear baiting season began, Wolf Patrol has documented extensive baiting and hounding practices continuing in areas where bear hounds have already been killed, lending to even more deadly conflicts.

Little can be done for the over 4,500 black bears slated to be killed this year in Wisconsin with the aid of hounds and bait. But you can send your email today asking US Forest officials to restrict these practices on our national forest lands in the future!

Only you can end bear hunting abuses in our national forests!

EMAIL US FOREST OFFICIALS:

cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us

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SECRETARY ZINKE’S SEPTEMBER 10, 2018 ORDER:

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Wisconsin Bear Hunters Hall of Shame: JEFF BAEHMAN

Nothing in this video is illegal. This is what bear hunting with hounds looks like in Wisconsin, brought to you by the proud hunter’s themselves who share these kinds of kill videos on social media.

Jeff Baehman is a licensed hound hunter and proud promoter of wolf poaching, who regularly hunts on public lands in northern Wisconsin. In other videos published on Facebook by Baehman, he proudly posts of how his hounds harassed one bear during the training season two years ago, “Dogs played with this dandy this morning 5 1/2 hours!!!” In other videos, Baehman’s hounds fight with a bear in a cornfield and corner a young cub in a hollow stump.

These are the kinds of hound hunting practices Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources does not want you to see. That is why on September 3, 2018 WDNR published its own video on Facebook, showing a much more sanitized view of bear hound training in Wisconsin. The DNR video can be viewed at:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=234900240483958&id=234938886570320

If you’d like to see more Wisconsin hound hunting abuses on our national forest lands, visit Wolf Patrol’s channels on YouTube and on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/wolfpatrol

More importantly, if you believe its time to end the practices of bear baiting, bear hound training & hunting in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, where most of these videos were filmed, please send your email to US Forest Service officials at:

cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us

DREHERE DEAD BEAR 2011

Wisconsin Bear Hunters Hall of Shame: NICHOLAS VALENTA

In March 2018, Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources conservation officers contacted Wolf Patrol following the publishing of a series of videos, including this one, filmed by licensed hound hunter Nicholas Valenta.

A criminal investigation was launched because of the graphic and illegal hound hunting videos published on Facebook by Valenta which depicted hunting hounds mauling, wounding and killing coyotes, bears, raccoons and other wildlife in Wisconsin. No charges were brought against Valenta, Wolf Patrol was told by WDNR conservation officers, because the crimes took place more than 5 years ago.

The videos which were part of a series, “Wisconsin’s War on Wildlife” were re-published by Wolf Patrol on Vimeo because YouTube threatened to suspend our channel because of the film’s graphic nature. They can be viewed at:

https://vimeo.com/wolfpatrol

We are sharing the illegal and unethical practices allowed in bear hunting in Wisconsin, either by the WDNR’s own regulations, or the simple unwillingness by WDNR to prosecute wildlife crimes against sport hunters with powerful political allies in Wisconsin such as the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association.

Wolf Patrol will also be releasing more videos that graphically illustrate what WDNR’s sanctioned black bear hunting & training seasons really look like, because we believe the public has a right to know what is legally sanctioned on public lands in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin citizens have responded to the continued hound hunting abuses allowed by WDNR and bear hunters in Wisconsin by introducing citizen resolutions to the Conservation Congress that would limit compensation received by hound hunters whose dogs fight with wolves and bears, and address other abuses.

WCC HEARING

The five resolutions being addressed by the WCC will be soundly rejected, as they are every year because of the WCC still being controlled by the hunting lobby in Wisconsin. But we don’t have to tolerate these practices on our national forest lands where they also occur in Wisconsin.

Wolf Patrol is asking citizens opposed to hound hunting abuses allowed by WDNR and the US Forest Service on the over 1.5 million acres of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest to write letters to forest officials asking that summer bear hound training, bear baiting, and other abuses be prohibited, as they are in the majority of the national forest system.

Allowing packs of trained and satellite-tracked hounds to torment and torture bears, after dumping literal tons of human food waste to attract them should no longer be allowed on our national forest lands. If you agree, please send your email to:

cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us

NICHOLAS VALENTA PHOTO 4

Nicholas Valenta Wisconsin killed black bear 2012.