Field Update – July 13 2017

Today marks our 20th continuous day of patrols in the Chequamehon-Nicolet National Forest’s Washburn District, where Wisconsin’s minimally regulated bear hound training season & baiting season is in full swing.

Last year, over 19 bear hounds were killed by wolves while training & hunting in the CNNF’s wolf territory. Many of these conflicts occurred literally in the same areas, as hound hunters still receive $2,500 payouts from the state’s Endangered Species Fund, even though their continued use of dogs in “Wolf Caution Areas” can be considered irresponsible.

If you agree with Wolf Patrol that it is time to end the practices of bear hound training & baiting in our national forest lands, please email your comment to:

Report-back on the Public Hearing about the Right to Hunt Act

Wolf Patrol’s response to Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage public meeting on Assembly Bill 433 aka: The Right to Hunt Act

WATCH the video of the hearing here. You can jump forward to Wolf Patrol’s testimony at any time which begins at 3:22:00 though we encourage you to watch the entire meeting, then contact your legislators Wisconsin friends!

10/28/15: Today we heard Wisconsin’s bear baiters, hound hunters and commercial trappers cry bloody murder for our monitoring of their recreational hunting and trapping activities on public lands.12063356_417917295074583_4898341874414937424_n

Wolf Patrol’s monitoring in October 2014 of Wisconsin’s wolf trapping season led to the videotaping of a wolf trap illegally set beyond the close of last year’s hunt. This evidence was reported to the DNR’s anti-poaching hotline, and led to an investigation that concluded that the trapper had indeed broken the law. In a private meeting with the DNR’s Chief Warden, Wolf Patrol’s monitors were informed that the trapper had been given a verbal warning. This is the kind of public reporting and monitoring of controversial hunting and trapping practices that Rep. Jarchow and the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association (WBHA) wants to outlaw with Assembly Bill 433.

At today’s Assembly hearing, hunter after hunter testified to how they’ve felt intimidated and threatened by our public lands monitoring, yet not one shred of evidence was provided to prove that Wolf Patrol’s investigations have impeded or interfered with their hunting or trapping. Much of the WBHA’s testimony amounted to fabricated stories about Wolf Patrol committing serious crimes so as to foment fear amongst themselves and lawmakers to justify proposing legislation that criminalizes public lands monitoring and free speech.

12188916_417910715075241_130594514664350209_nAdam Jarchow testified today that The Right to Hunt Act was introduced to specifically target Wolf Patrol. He admitted that his legislation was drafted in response to the WBHA’s demand that Wolf Patrol’s citizen monitoring be made illegal. Yet all of their testimonies attested to alleged activity that is already covered in Wisconsin’s hunter harassment statute and anti-stalking laws. This legislation is purely the evidence of a special interest group (Wisconsin bear hunters) using political favoritism to draft laws that violate the Constitution and keep their activities hidden from public view.

The Right to Hunt Act is a direct response to Wolf Patrol’s investigation into Wisconsin’s liberal bear baiting and hound hunting regulations. In 2014, a DNR survey revealed that over 4 million gallons of bear bait was dumped into over 82,000 bear baiting locations on Wisconsin’s forestlands. In Wisconsin, anyone can set as many bear baits as they desire, and are not required to provide the locations to DNR, as is the practice in other states that allow bear baiting. Our 2015 investigation into bear baiting in a DNR-designated Wolf Caution Area documented over 24 bear baits within a square mile of where wolves killed seven bear hunting hounds between July and October, which spans both bear baiting, hunting and hound training seasons.

Our investigation was in response to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest’s Washburn District request for public input into how to better manage our public forest lands in northern Wisconsin. Our videotape documentation of bear baiting practices was used to educate the public to the creation of Wisconsin’s number one source of wolf conflicts: the allowance of bear baiting and hound training and hunting in areas where it is known wolves have become conditioned to kill domestic animals. Our evidence was used to encourage citizens to submit public comments to the USFS, asking that bear baiting and hound hunting be banned within the Chequemegon-Nicolet National Forest.

UPDATE: The public hearing is being widely reported in the media from coast-to-coast. Here are a couple of media reports:

NPR: Some Wisconsin Lawmakers Claim Bear Hunters Are Being Harassed

SF Gate: Hunters press committee to pass anti-harassment bill

Another Bear Bait in Wisconsin Wolf Caution Area

In total, Wolf Patrol has documented over 37 bear baits within the four mile radius of the DNR’s Wolf Caution Area. What this reveals is that, bear hunters ignore the risks their hounds face when loosed in wolf territory. Probably because they know if a dog is killed, they will generously be compensated from Wisconsin’s Endangered Species Fund. So if you think that money you are giving to the state when you buy an endangered species license plate is helping wildlife, you are very wrong. Hound hunters receive up to $2,500.00 for each hound killed by a wolf in Wisconsin.

Calling Miley Cyrus!

Wolf Patrol’s Rod Coronado has long been a Miley Cyrus fan. So you can imagine our excitement when we heard the pop singer was taking a stand against senseless wolf killings! If any of her fans know of a way to get her to see this video, please share. Coronado made his plea to the singer while documenting illegal bear baiting operations in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, where bear hunters hounds are being killed by wolves who see the invading dogs as trespassers and threats to their families. If you would like to tell the US Forest Service that bear baiting in our national forests should be illegal, please send in your comments before September 30th.

Wolf Patrol’s Rod Coronado Appeal to Ban Bear Baiting in Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Wolf Patrol’s founder, Rod Coronado appeals to the public to send comments to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, asking that bear-baiting be banned on our national forest. In Wisconsin, it is legal for bear hunters to construct an unlimited number of artificial feeding stations. At each of these, it is legal to dump at each restocking, up to ten gallons of fryer grease, sugary foods, bread and other foodstuffs, all for the purpose of conditioning bears to visit these sites when bear season opens in September. Bear-baiting in WI begins in May and ends in October. Where this video was shot, four bear hounds have been killed by wolves, who also become conditioned to recognize bear baits as a food source.

VIDEO: Citizen tip leads to hound hunters on private lands

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.

VIDEO: Bear Bait in Wolf Caution Area of Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

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.


VIDEO: Day 4 of the campaign to end 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!

Lone Bear Hound Roaming Near Bear Bait Site

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.