Wisconsin’s War on Wildlife 009: Mauling Coyotes Today, Wolves Tomorrow

Today we are featuring the abusive and illegal hound hunting practices of Brian (Ratt) Nicks of Medford, Wisconsin. Ratt Nicks is a known coyote and bear hunter, and one of the hunters who successfully ran down wolves with his dogs in the first hound hunt for wolves in the United States in modern history, which took place in Wisconsin in 2013. When gray wolves are not federally protected, it is mandatory to hunt them with hounds in Wisconsin, according to the state’s legislative rules.

Mike & Ratt Nicks Wolves 12.14.13

Third from Left: Brian (Ratt) Nicks with two wolves killed with the aid of hounds in Wisconsin’s 2013 wolf hunt.

Here we present three short videos published on Nick’s own Facebook page, which document his hounds attacking and mauling live coyotes. All of the videos were filmed in the last year. Nick’s own videos demonstrate why hound hunters in Wisconsin should never again be allowed to hunt wolves with hounds, as it can be assured that they will be allowed to illegally fight with wolves, as has been repeated proven through the documentation of multiple hound hunters using their dogs to maul their intended prey.

Currently, federal and state officials are scrambling to strip wolves in Wisconsin of their federally protected status, so abusers like Nick’s can continue in their sick and twisted illegal sport of running them down and letting their dogs finish them off. In one of Nick’s videos, when he is asked if he needs assistance with dispatching a coyote his dogs have captured, you can hear him saying, “Naw, their eating him!”

Licensed Wisconsin hunters like Nicks do not deserve the privilege to hunt or trap, when it has been documented repeatedly that they commit illegal acts of cruelty on our public lands. Setting one’s dogs on any living animal is illegal and should not be the kind of behavior that is allowed to be used against wolves in Wisconsin, should they ever be successfully stripped of federal protections.

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 7.37.57 PM

From Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association website.

If you agree, please call the Wisconsin elected officials who are attempting to make the hunting of wolves with hounds in Wisconsin legal again, and tell them you will not tolerate animal abuse disguised as hunting in Wisconsin or anywhere on our public lands.

United States Representative Sean Duffy:

https://duffy.house.gov/contact

United States Senator Ron Johnson:

https://www.ronjohnson.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-the-senator

Screen Shot 2018-03-11 at 2.19.50 PM

Screen Shot 2018-03-11 at 2.22.28 PM

Wisconsin Hound Hunters Form Armed Vigilante Group to Disrupt Wolf Patrol

 

GARROWS ILLEGAL COYOTE

A member of Wolf Pack’s Facebook profile picture from 2017.

In response to Wolf Patrol’s successful expose of illegal hound hunting practices in northern Wisconsin, hound hunters have organized a vigilante group whose mission statement is to, “oppose the Wolf Patrol, and support the hunting community in all aspects. We need to start following these guys around, documenting them, filming them, and disturbing them ( legally) as they do hunters.” according to the group’s Facebook page administrator, Justin Hauser.

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 1.36.16 AM

Wolf Pack Facebook page March 9, 2018.

The new group, called “Wolf Pack” is filled with many hound hunters from Forest County, Wisconsin, where Wolf Patrol had an angry altercation with a coyote hunting party on January 27, 2018 outside of Laona, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has cleared Wolf Patrol of any legal wrongdoing in the incident, but the Forest County District Attorney has yet to decide whether it will press any charges against either Wolf Patrol or the coyote hunters who illegally detained and assaulted Wolf Patrol’s members as they witnessed a coyote hunt from a public road.

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 1.38.42 AM

Wolf Pack Facebook administrator Justin Hauser.

A simple search of the active hunting members of Wolf Pack on social media easily revealed photos of the kinds of illegal activity that has already resulted in a criminal investigation into hound hunting of coyotes in Forest County and other areas of northern Wisconsin.

CORRIE HILLERS ILLEGAL CAT

Wolf Pack member Corey Hiller’s hounds tearing into a bobcat chased into a frozen Wisconsin river 2017.

Wolf Patrol is not opposed to any individuals right to observe our own or anyone’s activities on public lands, something that is guaranteed to everyone in the U.S. Constitution, but what we are opposed to, are illegal hunters organizing to defend their unlawful practices committed against public trust wildlife on our public lands. Wolf Pack is not a group whose members can be trusted to know the difference between what is legal and illegal, as has been proven when some of its members have insisted to Wolf Patrol that it was illegal to photograph hound hunters in Wisconsin. Something that the newly passed Right to Hunt Act, has mistakenly led them to believe.

felon & AR activist

Wolf Pack’s posts aren’t implying that its members will be writing letters, more the intent of the group is to disrupt, harass and intimidate the lawful activities of Wolf Patrol, a legal organization that has uncovered numerous illegal hunting practices in northern Wisconsin that are currently being investigated by state law enforcement officers according to Todd Schiller, Chief Warden of Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources.

GARROW COVER PHOTO edited

A Wolf Pack member’s Facebook cover photo.

Posts on the group’s Facebook page indicate that the group is fomenting anger and violence, with words used to describe Wolf Patrol members as “terrorist scum” and “maggots.” Wolf Pack has posted false allegations that Wolf Patrol members are sex offenders, and a 2014 Ammoland-Shooting Sports News article about the group’s founder, Rod Coronado who served four years in prison for a string of arsons against animal research laboratories, something that Coronado has never denied.

HARD ON THIS BIG

Wisconsin hunters concerned about the future of hound hunting on public lands in the state shouldn’t be organizing armed militia’s to protect the illegal cruelty in their sport, they should be working with DNR conservation officers to turn in those members they know engage in illegal activities that will cost all hound hunters their beloved pastime. Promoting an atmosphere of hatred will only lead to violence, and Wolf Patrol is committed to ending such attitudes practiced by unethical sportsmen against people as well as wolves, coyotes and other animals on our public lands.

REPORT VIOLATIONS

Wisconsin’s War on Wildlife 008: “He’s Still Alive…I Know!”

Today we are sharing the last of the videos from Nicholas Valenta’s Facebook page, which show him directing his hunting hounds to mercilessly tear into a wounded coyote as he and he friends stand by laughing, watching…and filming. Hunting coyotes with hounds with Valenta isn’t only dangerous for his prey, but anyone within range of his friends shotgun blasts. In this and other videos, hunters can be seen running through the snow with what’s presumed to be loaded weapons taking shots at coyotes as they run.

NV 2011 VID SCREENSHOT

Nicholas Valenta’s Facebook post accompanying above video.

Wolf Patrol is presenting these videos to the public because we know this is only the tip of the iceberg as far as cruelty and animal abuse go with the “sport” of hunting coyotes with hounds, which is at its peak in winter and early Spring. In the past, Wolf Patrol has been accused of staging illegal bait sites that we have discovered, or doctoring video footage to present a biased perspective to our followers. However, every one of these videos and photographs were taken by the hunters themselves, and shared amongst the hound hunting community without a single member questioning the illegality or ethics of such practices. To Wolf Patrol, that is not surprising, as we know setting hounds on live animals is a regular practice to anyone familiar with the sport.

hounders on FB

Other hound hunters advising each other not to post their hounding videos on Facebook.

Since our expose began, many Wisconsin hound hunters are scrambling to remove offensive and illegal material from their social media pages and calling on each other to not publish anymore of their gruesome videos. Nicholas Valenta’s entire Facebook page has been removed, as hound hunters desperately attempt to destroy evidence of their illegal practices. Don’t worry, Wolf Patrol’s Wildlife Crimes Unit has already copied many such videos before our campaign began and we will be sharing them with any interested law enforcement agency investigating.

AARON REIVITIS PROFILE PIC

Aaron Reivitis’ current Facebook profile picture.

Moving on, Wolf Patrol would now like to highlight the commercial trapping and snaring practices of one of Nicholas Valenta’s hunting partners, Aaron Reivitis of Cecil, Wisconsin. Reivitis is no stranger to Wisconsin conservation officers, having been cited in recent years for failing to check his traps and remove their victims once a day, as is required by law, and harvesting a black bear out of season.

Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 2.41.19 PM

Reivitis’ trapping violation.

Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 2.47.43 PM

Reivitis’ post about illegally salvaged black bear.

While the use of foothold traps and wire snares is inherently cruel, Wisconsin’s trapping regulations require licensed trappers to humanely kill any intentionally caught wildlife immediately. For trappers like Reivitis however, there is always time to take a selfie for his Facebook page as the trapped or snared animal suffers in silence.

Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 3.00.56 PM

From Wisconsin DNR 2017 Trapping Regulations.

REIVITIS W SNARED COYOTE

2.6.14 Pulaski WI

REIVITIS W SNARED COYOTE 2.8.14

BLURRY REIVITIS

1.14.14 Cecil WI

Wolf Patrol is cooperating with Wisconsin DNR conservation officers investigating the coyote hounding practices of Nicholas Valenta and Aaron Reivitis, and on March 9, 2018 were contacted by Chief Warden Todd Schaller who informed us that his agency was taking these matters seriously and sharing our posts with investigating officers. If there was such a thing as an ethical hunter amongst either Valenta or Reivitis’ Facebook friends, both men would have been reported years ago, as this evidence has been on their social media pages since the early 2000’s.

Screen Shot 2018-03-08 at 5.51.30 PM

Licensed hunters and trappers like Valenta and Reivitis have forfeited their rights to hunt and trap in Wisconsin by participating in serial abuse of public trust wildlife, let’s hope the DNR’s investigation into their acts leads to their loosing their rights to ever hunt in Wisconsin again. Only by making an example out of such behavior can we ever hope others will be discouraged for participating in similar illegal and unethical practices on our public lands.

REIVITIS COYOTE IN TRUCK

Another successful “hunt” for Reivitis.

 

REIVITIS BUNCH OF DEAD

Victims of Reivitis’ cruelty.

Wisconsin’s War on Wildlife 007: Citizen’s Call for Justice

Today we are featuring another video depicting gross cruelty and animal abuse by the Wisconsin hound hunter Nicholas Valenta. This is only one of many videos documenting the serial criminal behavior of a licensed Wisconsin hunter who does not deserve the privilege of owning a hunting license, let alone hunting hounds or weapons. There is a place for people like Valenta, and it should not be on our public lands with a gun in his hand and hounds in his truck.

NV & ANDREW VID SCREENSHOT

Valenta’s post accompanying above video.

In this video Valenta is heard telling hunter Andrew Marcelle, “Just leave him!” after Marcelle has already given a crippling shotgun blast to the cornered coyote, so that another hunter, Aaron Reivitis can bring in his young puppy to tear into the wounded and terrified animal. Meanwhile, the crippled coyote desperately attempts to drag himself to freedom that never comes. All along Valenta can be heard laughing and encouraging his dogs to attack.

Screen Shot 2018-03-02 at 3.47.56 PM

In another video, Valenta admits to first hitting this coyote with his truck.

Towards the end of the video another hound hunter is heard over the radio telling Valenta his hounds are on the trail of another coyote, and that they are waiting on Valenta to finish with his sick and twisted pleasure killing before regrouping for another kill. This is what hunting coyotes with hounds in Wisconsin looks like. And it is legal for the practice to be carried out in our national forests and other public lands almost year-round with no bag limit.

REIVITIS POSING THIS ONE! 3.18.14

Licensed Wisconsin hunter Aaron Reivitis takes a selfie as his hounds tear into live coyote, March 2014.

While we are opposed to the overall practice of hound hunting on public lands, Wolf Patrol feels it is important for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to address cases of severe abuse such as those we have featured by Valenta in the last week. That Valenta was so emboldened as to circulate his cruelty videos amongst his hunting circles for years without prosecution, indicates the level of tolerance for such abuse amongst the entire hound hunting community. It is time to act, and call for immediate action to prevent Valenta from ever being issued a hunting license to commit such acts in the future.

VALENTA 2.27.18

February 2018

If you agree that Nicholas Valenta and others in his hunting parties deserve to be punished for gross violations of state hunting laws, please call or email Wisconsin’s Chief Warden, Todd Schaller and POLITELY express your displeasure for animal abuse disguised as hunting that is allowed by the DNR on our public lands.

UPDATED!!! MARCH 9, 2018

THANKS TO THE LITERAL HUNDREDS OF EMAILS CHIEF SCHALLER HAS RECEIVED IN THE LAST 24 HOURS, WOLF PATROL IS NO LONGER ASKING ITS SUPPORTERS TO DISTRACT HIS TIME AWAY FROM INVESTIGATING THESE AND OTHER WILDLIFE CRIMES.

THANK YOU CHIEF SCHALLER FOR YOUR ATTENTION TO THIS MATTER!

Wisconsin’s War on Wildlife 006: Hound Hunters Torment Wounded Bear

By now you should know the name Nicholas Valenta. He epitomizes what is wrong with hound hunting in Wisconsin. We hope the DNR has enough evidence to charge him with animal cruelty, but in case they don’t, we will provide more.

It’s not only coyotes that are being tortured by hound hunters. In this video, Nicholas Valenta repeatedly instructs the shooter not to kill the already wounded black bear, so his hounds can get at the poor animal. Valenta can be heard saying, “We’ll get the dogs in, they’ll take care of her…” At the end of the video you can clearly see the wounded bear dragging her hindquarters. This is the kind of “hunting” the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association is successfully legislating in support of.

In a recent letter from WBHA, President Carl Schoettel says Wolf Patrol are “eco-terrorists” but we ask you to be the judge: Are the real eco-terrorists those using packs of bloodthirsty hounds to run down and torture coyotes, bears and other wildlife? Or those documenting the abuse and calling for it to end?

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 6.53.23 PM

From Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association website.

And its not only coyotes, bobcats and bears the WBHA’s members want to kill with their dogs, but wolves as well. Wisconsin is the only state in the nation where it is legal to hunt wolves with hounds when they are not federally protected, as they have been since 2014. In another recent political move, WBHA is calling on legislators to rescind federal protections for wolves in Wisconsin so they can be hunted with hounds again.

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 7.37.57 PM

Its time to end Wisconsin’s war on wildlife, also known as hound hunting. If you agree, don’t send us your money, get involved. If a resident of Wisconsin, call your elected officials and share with them the videos we are providing. Write letters to the editor for your local paper, attend the DNR’s April Conservation Congress meetings or grab a camera and find out what is happening on public lands near you. The Wisconsin’s Bear Hunters Association and people like Nicholas Valenta have the NRA and many elected officials on their side, but the wildlife of Wisconsin only has you and me. Its time to act!

NICHOLAS VALENTA PHOTO 4

Another victim of Valenta’s sadism.

Wisconsin’s War on Wildlife 005: More Coyote Torture from Hound Hunters

Here’s another video by Wisconsin hound hunter Nicholas Valenta. In this video you can hear Valenta encouraging his dogs to maul the coyote, even after he acknowledges that it is still alive. Another hunter then attempts to kill the coyote by clubbing it with a stick, before it is finally killed with a shot. This is one of many videos depicting Valenta’s normal hunting behavior, which is illegal.

VALENTA 2.27.18

Nicholas Valenta Facebook post from February 2018.

While most of Valenta’s videos were filmed 7 or 8 years ago, he continues to hunt coyotes with hounds today. Hunters like Valenta should be charged with animal cruelty and have their hunting privileges suspended for life.

 

Wisconsin’s War on Wildlife Video 004: Teaching the Children

Here’s another video from Merrill, Wisconsin hound hunter, Nicholas Valenta documenting the cruel practice of coyote hunting with hounds. This video depicts multiple dogs tearing into a wounded coyote, a practice many hound hunters allow as a way to develop bloodlust in hunting dogs. Wolf Patrol is sharing these videos in our effort to educate the public about the inherent cruelty and animal abuse that occurs in Wisconsin on public lands, under the guise of hunting. It is our hope that anyone in violation of Wisconsin’s hunting regulations and animal cruelty laws will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

On March 2, 2018 a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Chief Conservation Officer contacted Wolf Patrol to inform us that a criminal investigation was being launched into the animal abuse we have shared so far this week. We will continue to provide law enforcement officers with more evidence.

3.3.18 UPDATE III.png

Wisconsin hounder encouraging hound to maul live coyote.

On February 26th, five elected Wisconsin legislators called on the DNR to sever its working relationship with Wolf Patrol, citing what they claim to be continued harassment of hunters by Wolf Patrol. Politicians like Adam Jarchow and Tom Tiffany would like videos like these hidden from your view, and that is why they are passing unconstitutional legislation prohibiting citizen’s from documenting Wisconsin’s legal and illegal hunting activities.

3.3.18 UPDATE 4

Yet, in our conversation with DNR’s Chief conservation officer for northern Wisconsin this week, Wolf Patrol was informed that DNR does not support claims by Laona, Wisconsin hound hunters that Wolf Patrol was in violation of any laws when they encountered a coyote hunting party on January 27, 2018, and would not be recommending that charges be brought against us by the Forest County District Attorney.

Wolf Patrol will continue to exercise our constitutionally protected right to expose illegal hunting and animal abuse on public lands, but often we don’t have to go into the field to find it, as many hound hunters are proud of their illegal activities and freely share these videos on social media.