No where else but in Wisconsin can a hunter use thousands of gallons of bait to attract bears for their hounds to chase, months before the September hunting season, without any license required or limit on the number of baits they can use.
The last time the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) surveyed in 2014, over 4 million gallons of human food waste such as donuts, cookies, bread, candy, syrup, chocolate and other sugary foods were being dumped in bear baits, much of it in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest where the WDNR conducted a study that found 40% of a black bear’s diet in the forest to be artificial bait.
Wisconsin is one of the few remaining states allowing the use of chocolate as bear bait due to its toxicity to not only bears but wolves and other canids. Older bear hunters have told Wolf Patrol they believe chocolate in Wisconsin baits is killing bear cubs. Let’s not forget that over the past two winter’s someone has been setting out poisoned meat, always near popular bear hunting areas and always near where wolves have killed bear hounds. Wolf Patrol continues to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to the prosecution of whoever is responsible and many suspect hound hunters.
Wisconsin’s bear baiting regulations allow anyone to bait bears, as long as they are doing so for a licensed bear hunter. If you can simply provide the name of a bear tag holder, you are legally allowed to feed bears junk food from April until October, what researchers says is the entire active period for a black bear.
And neither the WDNR nor the US Forest Service know exactly how many bear baits there are in Wisconsin because there is no requirement to register their location to game wardens such as is the case in the neighboring state of Minnesota. The problems do not end with the intentional feeding of wildlife so hunters can train their dogs to chase them, all on our national forest lands.
The problem with bear baiting is that its not just bears being attracted to baits but wolves as well. Since their recolonization of Wisconsin, gray wolves have become habituated to feeding from bear baits. So when hounds are released from these sites, they are often killed and eaten by wolves defending the area as a feeding site or simply being protective of young pups.
The video and trail camera images in this video were all provided by Wisconsin bear hunters currently baiting bears and training hounds in northern Wisconsin. It is a known fact that wolves will kill bear hounds, especially in Summer months and already four depredations on bear hounds have occurred in the first month of training season.
It’s time the US Forest Service prohibits the feeding of bears and summer training of hounds, especially in areas where there is a history of depredations, like the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
To register your comment, please contact USFS officials via email:
Thanks once again to Jourdan Carpenter, our new Fan Club President!
The other day Jourdan (in a roundabout way) alerted us to a little known part of Facebook’s community standards code. It turns out that using Facebook to buy, sell or trade hounds (or any animal) by private parties is forbidden. Licensed legitimate organizations like shelters or rescues can use Facebook, but hounders aren’t licensed and they aren’t rescuing anything.
Wolf Patrol has been infiltrating hounder Facebook groups since our inception. These groups are easy to find and join – just type any combination of the words “Bear hunting”, “hound”, “coyote” and “Wisconsin”(or your state of choice) in the Facebook search engine and the groups will come up on the screen. Most will ask you to answer a couple questions, but many don’t even check the answers and once you are accepted, as long as you don’t comment or react to any posts, you will never be noticed. We are in several of these groups under our own names and if they haven’t noticed us, they probably won’t notice you.
These hounder groups are basically buy/sell groups and they commonly break Facebook’s rules and post dogs for sale, especially this time of year. Since Jourdan clued us in to the fact that selling dogs is forbidden on Facebook, we’ve been reporting every post we see where hounders are trying to sell or buy dogs, including her’s (sorry for the deletion J!).
There are a lot of hound pages, but some of the most prolific violators of Facebook’s ban on selling hounds are:
- Wisconsin Hound Trader
- Wisconsin Hound Hunters
- Hounds In WI
- WI Coyote Hounds
- Big Game Hound Hunters
- Hound Hunting
- The Hounds Men
- Black and Tans of Wisconsin
Reporting violations is just as easy as getting into these groups. The first step is clicking on the three dots in the upper right hand corner of the post and the rest is detailed in the circled parts in the photos below.
Flipping hounds like hounders commonly do is not only unethical, but PROHIBITED by Facebook. We all know hounders like to bend every law and regulation they can, so let’s put a stop to them violating Facebook’s community standards.
This isn’t “Hey everybody – let’s gang up on this other page”, we are merely holding everybody accountable to Facebook’s community standards, just like hounders do to Wolf Patrol. If we can stop some of the flipping of hounds that goes on, that’s the cherry on top.
Since 2018, someone has been poisoning wolves and other animals in northern Wisconsin. Wolf Patrol believes it is bear hunters acting in retaliation for their hunting dogs killed by wolves in the very same areas. Most of the meat-laced poisons have been discovered recently on national forest lands in Forest, Florence and Marinette counties, exactly where more bear hounds are killed by wolves than anywhere else in Wisconsin.
Wolf Patrol suspects Wisconsin bear hunters of carrying out the poisonings because in recent years calls have increased for bear hunters to take the law into their own hands and reduce Wisconsin’s growing wolf population. It is common for Wolf Patrol monitors to see anti-wolf bumperstickers on hound hunting trucks in the poisoning areas and for years now wolves have been showing up dead in and around Forest County, Wisconsin.
In the 2019 bear hound training & hunting season, a total of 21 bear hounds were killed by wolves in northern Wisconsin in what has become an annual tradition since gray wolves recolonized the state’s forest lands. Bear hunters in Wisconsin have called for the illegal killing of wolves ever since the animals were returned to federal protection in 2014.
Now it’s not only wolves, but coyotes, otters, raptors, weasels, raccoons, people’s pets and even other hunting dogs are dying in increasing numbers due to the continued poisoning which first was reported in December 2018. The poisoners are suspected of throwing meatballs laced with a powerful commercially available insecticide that kills anyone that ingests the tainted meat in minutes.
Wolf Patrol is calling on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and the U.S. Forest Service to request a federal investigation into the poisonings which have targeted federally protected wildlife on federal lands in both Wisconsin and Michigan. Whoever is responsible for these illegal acts is violating the federal Endangered Species Act as well as many other laws since it is suspected that state lines are being crossed to commit these crimes, mostly on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
Wolf Patrol is also calling on other organizations, both pro-animal and pro-hunting to add to our $5,000 reward for information on whoever is responsible (bear hunters) so they can be brought to justice. The $1,000 reward currently offered by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is not enough of an incentive for any informed parties to come forward, so we are asking that any organization that condemns these actions contribute to Wolf Patrol’s Reward Fund.
Also, please send a polite email to WDNR’s new Chief Warden & USFS officials asking that this poisoning of wildlife and pets be taken more seriously and a federal investigation that questions bear hunters who advocate poaching begin before more animals die more horrific and deaths.
Send your emails to:
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials:
WDNR Chief Warden Casey Krueger:
In what can only be described as a two-year illegal poisoning campaign, Wisconsin bear hunters are being blamed for the recent deaths this winter of federally protected wolves, raptors, other wildlife and even two hunting hounds recently in northeastern Wisconsin.
All animals have fallen victim to the same deadly fast-acting poison that is hidden in ground meat and distributed for not just wolves, but any animal to find. Poisoned animals have been reported in Forest, Florence and Marinette counties and other poisoning incidents have been reported in Price and Bayfield counties. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are soliciting the public for any information that might help them catch whoever is responsible.
Ever since wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan were returned to federal protections in December 2014, there have been many public calls for delisting followed by much darker calls for a campaign of illegal killing involving shootings and poison.
Less than 3 miles from where two hunting hounds were poisoned in December 2019, near the town of Blackwell, Wisconsin, investigators with Wolf Patrol discovered over half a dozen meat-wrapped treble fishing hooks dangling from fishing line in January 2016, on national forest trails where wolves and other animals were meant to ingest them.
Wolf Patrol had come to Forest County in 2016, to monitor a coyote and bobcat killing contest organized in Argonne, Wisconsin. Attendees of the event openly bragged to Wolf Patrol’s founder Rod Coronado that any wolf encountered by county residents would be quickly and quietly killed. Since then, in addition to the latest poisoning campaign, other wolves have been shot and dumped in other locations not far from where recent poisoning have occurred.
Public calls to kill and poison wolves are not hard to find on many Wisconsin Facebook hunting pages, and often follow social media postings by winter hound hunters who encounter wolves while hunting bobcats and coyotes on mostly national forest lands.
Following the public announcement by WDNR & USFWS that two of his hunting hounds had died from the same poison responsible for killing wolves and other wildlife in northern Wisconsin, hound hunter Jim Matuszewski stated on his Facebook page on March 10, 2020 that he could “almost guarantee” he knew who was responsible. In the same comment thread he later said he knew of two bear hunters who were placing poison near the bear bait sites where wolves were seen on hunters’ trail cameras.
Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service should treat these poisonings as serious violations of federal law and request assistance from federal prosecutors who could compel witnesses to testify and to stop protecting those Wisconsin bear hunters responsible for the illegal killing and poisoning of federally protected wildlife.
Otherwise, more animals will continue to die as we enter another season of bear hound training and hunting which leads to more wolf conflicts that result in continued poisoning and killing of wolves and other wildlife and pets in Wisconsin.
If you have any information that might lead to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for illegally poisoning wolves and other animals in Wisconsin, please call 1-800-TIP-WDNR immediately!
Wolf Patrol will ask for authentication of your tip from authorities, then pay $1000. The remaining $4000 will be paid upon criminal conviction of anyone illegally poisoning wildlife in Wisconsin.
Every year Michigan sportsman’s clubs and hunting organizations sponsor dozens of wildlife killing contests offering cash and prizes for the largest, smallest or most animals killed. These contests usually target predators like coyotes, foxes and bobcats, but other animals such as crows and rabbits are also targeted in these legal wildlife killing contests.
On February 22, 2020 the Ravenna Sportsman’s Club in Ravenna, Michigan held its second wildlife killing contest of the year, the 2020 Rabbit Derby which saw a large turn out of hunters who killed a reported 678 rabbits. Prizes were awarded for the largest rabbit killed and next month the Club will hold its annual squirrel killing contest.
The Ravenna Conservation Club claims that most of the rabbits killed in their contest are “donated” but no mention is made to where. As soon as the rabbit derby was over, the club posted on Facebook that anyone could take the dead rabbits from their killing contest.
While it is charitable to donate food to the hungry, it’s not ethical to kill any animal without any intention to utilize its meat and/or fur. Simply killing as many animals as you can isn’t hunting, it’s the wanton waste of wildlife.
Wildlife killing contests like the Ravenna Conservation Club’s Rabbit Derby encourage overhunting for no other reason than that it’s fun. This isn’t science based wildlife management or putting food on the table, its killing for fun and money and it should not be endorsed by Michigan’s Natural Resources Commission.
Please send a polite email to Commissioners alerting them to the wanton waste of wildlife that is being encouraged by Michigan’s many wildlife killing contests and ask that the competitive killing of any animal should never be rewarded with cash and prizes.
To Send Your Email To Michigan’s Natural Resources Commissioners:
or call: 517-284-6237
The Mosquito Creek Sportsman’s Club will be hosting its 29th Coyote Hunt on February 21-23rd in Frenchville, Pennsylvania. The annual coyote killing contest is the largest in the nation, not only because of the number of participants, but also because of the tens of thousands of dollars paid out for literally every coyote killed with hounds, guns or traps.
Last year, over 4,800 hunters were registered in the two day contest, with 225 coyotes tallied at the weigh-in. The largest cash prize of $9,624 was awarded to a hunter from Erie for the heaviest coyote killed during the contest. Each coyote killed gained the hunter $86, with a total of $48,120 being paid out to contest participants during the 2019 hunt.
Many of the participant’s in this year’s Mosquito Creek Coyote Hunt will be hound hunters. Pennsylvania’s hunting regulations allow hunting dogs to kill the coyotes they chase, something that can be easily found on Pennsylvania hound hunter’s Facebook pages. The videos accompanying this post were found on social media and shared by Pennsylvania hound hunters participating in next weekend’s coyote killing contest.
These videos are not the exception, they are the rule. Hunting coyotes with hounds is legalized dog-fighting and nowhere is that more evident, then on the Facebook pages of hound hunters themselves. Vicious and brutal dog fights between multiple hunting hounds and one exhausted coyote are the norm when state wildlife agencies like the Pennsylvania’s Game Commission allow hounds to be used to hunt and kill coyotes.
Pennsylvania is also home to more wildlife killing contests than any other state in the nation with at least 30 coyote killing contests taking place the winter of 2019-20, the coyote killing season beginning after deer hunting ends in late November.
Other large wildlife killing contests like Virginia’s Eastern U.S. Predator Calling Championship do not allow the use of hounds, only calling, then shooting coyotes. But the Mosquito Creek contest has long attracted many hound hunters from across Pennsylvania.
These are the videos and photos that Pennsylvania hound hunters share with each other and that depict acceptable hunting practices such as the fighting and killing of coyotes in a manner that can only be defined as dog-fighting and animal cruelty.
The response from the hound hunting community to Wolf Patrol’s continued exposure of the cruelty inherent in hunting coyotes with hounds is to tell each other not to publish these kinds of videos on social media. Nowhere are they critics of the cruelty, only angry hound hunters reminding each other that if these hunting videos continue to be seen by the public, that their sport will be in trouble.
Coyote hunting with hounds is legalized dog-fighting in Pennsylvania and the many other states where it is occurring right now in winter. And coyote killing contests like the Mosquito Creek Coyote Hunt only encourage unethical behavior as hunters focus on killing as many animals as they can not for food, but for the cash paid to wantonly kill and waste our public trust wildlife.
Please contact the Pennsylvania Game Commission and let them know that dog-fighting and contest killing are not ethical and acceptable hunting practices for any state wildlife agency to endorse.
Send your comments to the Pennsylvania Game Commission:
Please contact CDFW’s Director and let them know it’s time to stop the use of dogs to hunt coyotes and the legalized dog-fighting that ensues.
Please visit the following link to send an email:
or call: (916) 455-0411
Contact your state’s wildlife department today to find out whether coyote hunting with hounds or wildlife killing contests are legal where you live and vote. Let your state wildlife officials know it’s time to end dog-fighting disguised as hound hunting!
On January 26th, 2020, Michigan’s largest wildlife killing contest, the 7th Annual Great Lakes Region Predator Challenge ended in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The two-day Coyote and fox killing contest awarded over $4,000 in cash and prizes to the top teams in the competition. Over 160 teams competed, with the winning team bringing in 13 coyotes. The second place winners brought in 10 coyotes and 3 foxes.
The above video is comprised of videos shared on Facebook by various contestants participating in this year’s contest. Although 195 coyotes and foxes were registered in this killing contest, that number does not include the wounded animals that were not recovered after being shot at night with the aid of night vision and thermal imaging scopes.
One contestant, Top Ten Percent Predator Control stated, “Only ended up with 6 coyotes after a few runners, and a few misses…” The term, “runners” refers to animals that are shot but able to run away to later die a slow and agonizing death.
The Great Lakes Regional Predator Challenge is one of over 50 wildlife killing contests taking place in Michigan this winter, and but one of hundreds taking place all across America. While this particular killing contest’s participants only hunted with high-powered rifles at night, many other contests include the use of hounds which often fight and kill animals in these contests.