Coyote Killing Contest in Wisconsin Wolf Country Begins at Midnight


1st Annual Coyote Hunt at PJ’s Cabin Store in Solon Springs, Wisconsin, February, 2018.

Wisconsin’s Dane County Board of Supervisor’s announced today that they had voted unanimously to pass a resolution urging the Wisconsin Legislature to develop and support changes to statutes to ban any and all wildlife killing contests. This decision follows the introduction of state Senate Bill 30, which would end wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin, and is the first action taken by a Midwestern county against coyote and other killing contests.


Weigh-in at Moondog Madness coyote contest Cambria, Wisconsin, February 2019.

These efforts would see an end to contests such as “PJ’s Cabin Store’s 2nd Annual Coyote Contest” which begins at midnight tonight around Solon Springs, Wisconsin. The one day coyote killing contest will take place in an area that has seen multiple deadly fights between gray wolves and hunting hounds such as those used in PJ’s Coyote Contest. In the first year’s event, 32 hunters participated, taking a total of 14 coyotes with the winner receiving an $800 cash prize.

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Many of the hunters participating in PJ’s Coyote Hunt are bear hunters who have come into conflict with wolves while running their dogs in the Summer hound training and Fall bear season. In addition to the use of hounds, some hunters will be using electronic and voice calls and high-powered rifles with thermal scopes to shoot coyotes at night.

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Wolf depredations on hunting hounds 2013-18.

PJ’s Coyote Hunt is offering a 100% payout to the hunter who kills the largest coyote. Wolf Patrol is opposed to coyote killing contests, especially those in Wisconsin wolf country that offer prizes for the largest animal killed. We believe such an incentive increases the likelihood that a federally protected gray wolf will be mistakenly killed by an overzealous coyote hunter.


Participants in coyote contests are required to place blocks in the mouths of dead coyotes. February 2019.

Wolf Patrol has been monitoring coyote killing contests since 2016, when illegal baits intended for wolves and coyotes were discovered during a coyote contest on national forest lands in Forest County by citizen monitors. This winter we are gathering evidence from coyote and other wildlife killing contests in our effort to educate the public and to support the passage of Senate Bill 30 and any other similar legislation.

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Resolution adopted by Dane County Board of Supervisors, March 8, 2019.

If you are a Wisconsin resident, please contact your elected representative to express your support of Senate Bill 30 and any other legislative effort to change statutes that would result in banning wildlife killing contests, such as that advanced by Dane County’s Board of Supervisors. Anyone can also write the Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Board’s Liaison asking that action be taken to ban wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin.





Crows killed in a Wisconsin killing contest, March 2016.


Wolf Patrol in Southern Wisconsin for Viola Sportsman’s Club Crow/Coyote/Pigeon Contest

Wolf Patrol is continuing to monitor coyote killing contests across Wisconsin this winter, in our effort to support state Senator Fred Risser’s proposed Bill 30 that would ban wildlife killing contests. On March 2, 2019 the Viola Sportsman’s Club held a coyote/crow/pigeon killing contest at the Liberty Bar in southern Wisconsin.

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Wolf Patrol attended the weigh-in at the end of the hunt where three coyotes were reportedly killed. Over 100 people were in attendance where a sign by the road read, “Coyote Contest–Get Drunk Here!” Contest organizers responding to complaints from local citizens about the hunt, chose to mock a resident opposed to the contest by featuring her picture on a cake proclaiming, “Good Luck Coyote Hunters.

Contest organizers also printed t-shirts that read, “Coyote Lives Matter” mocking the Black Lives Matter movement. The owner of the Liberty Bar invited contest participants to hunt on his private land where he also said he would be blasting coyotes with a .50 caliber rifle, inviting anyone to, “come on down (and) take a look at the carnage and destruction.”

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Liberty Bar owner’s Facebook post about killing contest, February 2019.

The next day (March 3, 2019) we decided to explore the farmlands of Jefferson County, between Madison and Milwaukee to investigate how prevalent the practice of hunting coyotes with hounds was in the winter time. It didn’t take long before the crackling voices of hound hunters were heard chattering about loose dogs on the radio.


A Viola, WI area hound hunter’s Facebook photo, February 23, 2019. 

The hunters were chasing a coyote that had headed south towards the Lima Marsh Wildlife Area. I drove to the small swamp surrounded by farmlands, and it wasn’t long before the hound hunters showed up behind me. One of the coyote hunters that I spoke to told me an “anti” had taken the GPS tracking collar off of a hunting hound in the Viola coyote contest and hid the dog from its owner. Yet, no one at the Liberty Bar was talking about this nor has it been reported elsewhere.

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“Coyote Contest–Get Drunk Here” Liberty Bar signage during coyote killing contest.

In Wisconsin it is legal to hunt coyotes year around with no closed season or bag limit. Many hound hunters keep their bear and bobcat dogs in shape by chasing coyotes in the winter off season.

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Jefferson County coyote hunters, Lima Marsh Wildlife Area, March 3, 2019.

Last winter, Wolf Patrol released a series of videos filmed by Wisconsin hound hunters that revealed illegal acts of cruelty committed against coyotes by hound hunters. (The videos can be seen on Wolf Patrol’s Vimeo channel.)


Another coyote run down! March 3, 2019.

Coyotes like all wildlife deserve protection from overexploitation and abuse. Hunting is not a contest. Coyote hunting contests that offer cash and prizes for the most, largest or smallest animal killed encourage wanton waste of wildlife.

Ban Wisconsin Wildlife Killing Contests! Support Senate Bill 30!!!


02.24.19 COLBY MARKT

Coyotes killed in contest, February 24, 2019.


EVERYONE CAN EMAIL THE WISCONSIN                                                 NATURAL RESOURCES BOARD LIASON:

Tell the NRB that you do not support offering cash and prizes for wildlife killed in contests or the unregulated inhumane slaughter of coyotes and other native predators.


Westby, Wisconsin coyote contest flyer.

Report on Sparky’s Bar & Grill Annual Coyote Killing Contest in Wisconsin


Another coyote killing contest this past weekend, just over the border in Minnesota.

Another coyote killing contest in Wisconsin has passed, but there are still many more to come, as predator hunters continue to announce more money and prizes being offered to kill public trust wildlife in Wisconsin and many other states. Sparky’s Bar & Grill hosted the “4th Annual Fur Bang!” Coyote and crow killing contest in Bayfield County, Wisconsin this past weekend. Organizers knew that more photos of gut shot coyotes would only turn the public off of competitive killing of wildlife, so when the contest ended at Sparky’s anyone not associated with the event was summarily kicked out of the bar so the weigh-in could commence.

Wolf Patrol contacted the organizers of the event last week, offering to meet and discuss our concerns with a coyote killing contest in federally protected gray wolf habitat, but the owners of Sparky’s Bar & Grill have made the decision to defend their contest and instead ejected Wolf Patrol founder Rod Coronado from the bar as soon as he set foot on their property. (Despite having been there the night previously enjoying a beer!)

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Wolf Patrol’s unanswered request for dialogue about Sparky’s support of wildlife killing contests, February 8, 2019.

We wanted to appeal to the owners to sponsor an event next year that would be nonlethal and inclusive of the entire wildlife loving community of Wisconsin, something like a photography contest. But, Sparky’s has chosen to continue to endorse coyote killing contests, so Wolf Patrol is now asking our followers to not patronize any establishment sponsoring wildlife killing contests, and to express your disapproval on the restaurant review page, Yelp. Let the world know that when you enter a bar like Sparky’s you are supporting the recreational slaughter of coyotes for prizes and money.


Prizes offered at Sparky’s Bar & Grill for successful coyote killers, February 17, 2019.

The weiner of the 4th Annual Fur Bang! was Bayfield County resident, Bill Mertig who killed four coyotes. This was his third time attending the Fur Bang! having taken second place last year. It is unknown how many crows were killed in the contest since organizers chose to go underground and kick out anyone but supporters from the otherwise advertised public event. Establishments like Sparky’s want tourist dollars, but if anyone is opposed to their sponsorship of coyote and crow killing, they will be ejected like Wolf Patrol and the 16 Wisconsin residents who peacefully came to observe the contest.


The profile picture used on Facebook by Foster’s Bar in Altoona, Wisconsin during their February 9, 2019 coyote contest.

To the owners of Sparky’s and any other bar that sponsors coyote killing contests: as long as you are unwilling to allow any member of the public from witnessing your public coyote contest, Wolf Patrol is calling for a boycott of yours and any business that sponsors, supports and defends competitive killing of wildlife for fun.


One of the coyotes killed during the 4th Annual Fur Bang! in Washburn, Wisconsin,         February 16, 2019.

Wolf Patrol began monitoring the Fur Bang! contest on Friday, February 15th, focusing on known wolf pack territory in the Bayfield Peninsula. On Saturday the 16th, while patrolling the territory of the Echo Valley wolf pack off of County Road “J” we encountered four trucks engaged in a coyote hunt off of Happy Hollow Road. The “hunters” had there trucks dispersed at intervals along the road with men in the road with shotguns. We observed the hound hunters attempting to retrieve a dog that was not responding to its shock collar or verbal calls. Once the hound was recovered, the hounders left the area of the Bayfield County Forest where we monitored them.

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Hound hunters lining Happy Hollow Road with shotguns, waiting for the coyote to cross. February 16, 2019.

Coyote hunters in Wisconsin are allowed to use high-powered rifles at night as well as shoot from public roads, as long as the roads are unpaved and the are using shotguns with legally restricted shotshells, such as BB shot. Shotgun slugs and other rifles are prohibited from being used from the road. Hunting from roads in Wisconsin is the only way Wolf Patrol has ever documented hound hunters chasing coyotes. During the Fur Bang!, the hunting party we monitored hardly ever left their vehicles and only went into the woods when they had lost their dog. Otherwise, they waited on the road for the coyote to cross so it could be shot.

On Sunday, February 17th, sixteen Wisconsin residents including members of the Red Cliff Tribe (where the Echo Valley wolves live and are protected.) gathered in Washburn to vocalize their opposition to coyote killing contests in Wisconsin. Many of those in attendance (including Wolf Patrol members) are subsistence hunters who kill for food and are opposed to the wanton waste of Wisconsin wildlife occurring during Sparky’s Bar & Grill’s contest and other such events. Every single patron at Sparky’s who did not support coyote killing contests were told they had until 1:00pm to vacate the premises r the authorities would be called. This was despite the civil behavior of everyone in attendance. No one was carrying signs or hollering, they were simply there to witness the killing spree.

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Fur Bang! hounder trying to catch dog before it enters private property, February 17, 2019.

Since 2015, Wolf Patrol has been documenting cruel and illegal hound hunting practices such as the pursuit of coyotes with dogs in Wisconsin. When hunters are within their rights and obeying relevant game laws, they rarely care that we observe them. But when an establishment like Sparky’s chooses to make a public coyote killing contest private, you have to wonder what it is that they are hiding from the public.

You can be a part of the movement that ends coyote killing contests in Wisconsin once and for all! If you’re NOT a Wisconsin resident, send your email to Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials asking that wildlife killing contests be prohibited on OUR national forest lands. You can also write a Yelp review of Sparky’s Bar & Grill letting the world know why you do not support the business.

Send your email to Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials:

Here’s the Yelp link to write a review of Sparky’s Bar & Grill:

If you’re a Wisconsin resident, contact your elected officials and let them know you support Senator Fred Risser’s Senate Bill 30 that would end wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin. And please talk to your families, neighbors and friends and ask them to do the same. Wisconsin residents have the rare opportunity to actually end these cruel contests. Please help us send a message that offering money and prizes for wildlife killed is unethical and the practices employed by hound hunters to take coyotes is inhumane.

Look for your Rep here:


Two coyotes reported dumped by hound hunters following a coyote killing contest this month in Michigan.

Wolf Patrol will continue to monitor coyote killing contests in Wisconsin throughout the winter. To follow our progress, please also visit our Facebook, YouTube & Vimeo channels at: Wolf Patrol


Hound hunters at a coyote killing contest in Minnesota, February 16, 2019.


Wolf Patrol Documents Hound Hunters Hunting from the Road…Again

February 16, 2019:

Today is the third day of the 4th Annual Fur Bang! coyote killing contest in Washburn, Wisconsin and Wolf Patrol spent the morning patrolling national and county forest lands in Bayfield County, Wisconsin where the contest is taking place.


Wanton waste of wildlife. Two Michigan coyotes killed in a contest, than dumped.                                 February 16, 2019.

This first party of hound hunters we encountered on Happy Hollow Road, just as they were lining the road to shoot any coyotes that might be flushed from the nearby forest lands by their dogs. Hunting from roads in Wisconsin is illegal, unless you’re hunting game birds, which these hound hunters were not.


We hope citizens will contact their elected representatives in Wisconsin and express their aim support for Senator Fred Risser’s recently introduced legislation that would ban wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin!


Also, Wolf Patrol is reminding ALL citizens to contact Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials and ask that both bear baiting and wildlife killing contests be prohibited on our national forest lands!


JASON GRAF 02.16.19

Another coyote run down by dogs today in Wisconsin dies. Photo: Jason Graf, February 16, 2019.

Wolf Patrol to Monitor Coyote & Crow Killing Contest in Wisconsin’s Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

The above video was filmed in April 2018, a few miles from Sparky’s Bar & Grill, where this weekend’s coyote killing contest is taking place. It is still unknown whether these coyotes were dumped by a hound hunter, predator caller or trapper.

This weekend Wolf Patrol will return to Bayfield County, Wisconsin to monitor the “4th Annual Fur Bang!” Coyote & Crow Killing Contest organized just outside of Washburn. Wolf Patrol is opposed to coyote killing contests, not only because they are unregulated events offering cash for the most wildlife killed, but also because many in Wisconsin, take place in federally protected gray wolf habitat. Also, many coyote killing contests in Wisconsin attract hound hunters, and the Bayfield Peninsula has had a long and bloody history of hunting dog and wolf fights in recent years.


Organizing a contest to see who can kill the biggest coyote in wolf habitat is a recipe for disaster. But its also a disaster that many hound hunters are eager to orchestrate in their efforts to remove federal protections for gray wolves in Wisconsin. Without any history of human attacks to stoke anti-wolf sentiments, opponents of wolf recovery use the depredation of hunting dogs loosed in wolf territory as an argument for a return to a recreational hunting and trapping season for wolves. Wisconsin is the only state in the nation that mandates a recreational hound hunt for wolves when federal protections are not in place.

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Red= Wolf depredations of hunting dogs 2013-18.


Wolf Patrol first came to the Bayfield Peninsula in 2014 during Wisconsin’s last legal wolf hunt. Since then we have monitored bear baiting and bear hound training practices in the region because of the repeated depredation of bear hounds by gray wolves from the nine known packs in the area. We have also launched a campaign asking U.S. Forest officials to regulate and restrict bear baiting and hound training activities in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.


Known wolf families in Bayfield County.


Wisconsin citizens opposed to an upcoming coyote & crow killing contest plan on monitoring the controversial event on public lands with the pro-wildlife group, Wolf Patrol. The “4thAnnual Fur Bang!” begins at 8;00pm, February 14th, and concludes Sunday at noon, when the winners will be announced at Sparky’s Bar and Grill just outside of Washburn, Wisconsin. Both teams of hound hunters and hunters using electronic callers and firing high-powered rifles at night are invited to participate.

Cash prizes are being offered for the team with the heaviest combined kill weight, largest and smallest coyote taken during contest hours. A prize of $5.00 is also offered for, “crow with largest wingspan.”

Locals opposed to the contest contacted Wolf Patrol who since 2014, have been involved with monitoring controversial bear hunting practices using bait and dogs in Bayfield County. In April 2016, opponents of Wolf Patrol successfully passed legislation dubbed, “The Right to Hunt Act” which targeted the group by name and prohibits interference with hunting, trapping and training activities. Wolf Patrol members are currently challenging the law in federal court.

Last week, Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) introduced legislation that would outlaw competitive killing contests like the Fur Bang. Both local residents and Wolf Patrol support Risser’s legislation and will be documenting the coyote and crow hunt in an effort to help educate citizens about the unregulated contests taking place every winter across Wisconsin.

“We are not opposed to ethical hunting that puts meat on the table, but killing the most, largest or smallest predator for prize money is bad wildlife management and an abuse of public trust wildlife.” said Friesland resident and Wolf Patrol member Jennifer Garde, one of the “citizen monitors” attending the contest this weekend.

Recent video and photos from past coyote hunting contests in Wisconsin and Michigan can be found at: and on Wolf Patrol’s Vimeo and YouTube channels: “Wolf Patrol”

Now Wolf Patrol is asking concerned citizens to also ask forest officials to end wildlife killing contests such as the “4th Annual Fur Bang!” in our Chequamegon-Nicolet  National Forest lands. We are also asking Wisconsin residents to contact their state representatives and express your strong support for recently introduced legislation that would end wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin.


Wisconsin crow hunters are allowed to shoot 15 birds a day during the three month winter season.






The bill:

1)  This bill needs lots of co-sponsors from both the Senate and Assembly!

Contact both your state Senator and Representative and say, “Please sign onto LRB 1453/1 relating to: prohibiting contests for killing wild animals and providing a penalty, sponsored by Senator Fred Risser.”

2)  This bill needs an Assembly companion bill sponsored by a Republican! 

If your state Representative is a Republican, contact him/her with this message: “Please co-sponsor a companion bill for LRB 1453/1, related to prohibiting wildlife contests and providing a penalty, sponsored by Senator Fred Risser.”


“Carolina Coyote Classic” killing contest in NC February 10, 2019.


Wisconsin Support Needed for Bill to End Coyote, Bobcat & Crow Killing Contests!!!


Run down with dogs and shot in the stomach: Coyotes at May’s Bar outside Crandon, Wisconsin February 9, 2019.

On Friday, February 8, 2019, Wisconsin senator Fred Risser officially introduced his bill that would end the many coyote killing contests held each winter for cash and prizes across Wisconsin. Risser says he looked at Vermont, California and New Mexico where similar laws have been passed or proposed, for guidance when drafting the bill.


Contests like this event held annually would be banned by Risser’s bill.

He says promoting ethical hunting is at the core of the proposed bill, “What we do is try to outlaw the hunting where there’s sponsored competition with the objective of killing wild animals for entertainment and for the chances of winning prizes and then discarding the carcasses, this is not ethical hunting.”


Coyote killed by winner of May’s Predator Hunt in Langlade, Wisconsin, February 10, 2017. 

The bill would cover the many unlicensed contests offering cash prizes for the most or largest coyotes, bobcats and crows killed that mostly take place at bars across rural Wisconsin. The bill would prohibit events like the February 9, 2019 Predator Hunt, which has been held as a fundraiser for the last two years at May’s Bar outside of Crandon, Wisconsin. A local hound hunter party out of Antigo won the competition with three coyotes killed with the aid of dogs.


Guns, dogs, trucks, snowmobiles and satellites…welcome to a coyote contest in northern Wisconsin! May’s winners out hunting February 2, 2019.

Senator Risser said if language needs to be adjusted, that is what the legislative process is for and welcomes open discussion about the bill. Support from both Republicans and Democrats is necessary for the bill to stand a chance, so if you’re a Wisconsin resident, contact your representative and urge them to support the bill.


Photo shared on Facebook by participant in May’s Predator Hunt, January 24, 2016

The bill:

1)  This bill needs lots of co-sponsors from both the Senate and Assembly!

Contact both your state Senator and Representative and say, “Please sign onto LRB 1453/1 relating to: prohibiting contests for killing wild animals and providing a penalty, sponsored by Senator Fred Risser.”

2)  This bill needs an Assembly companion bill sponsored by a Republican! 

If your state Representative is a Republican, contact him/her with this message: “Please co-sponsor a companion bill for LRB 1453/1, related to prohibiting wildlife contests and providing a penalty, sponsored by Senator Fred Risser.”

Look up your state Senator and Representative here:


If not you, who?

Wisconsin’s Moondog Madness Contest Finishes with 155 Coyotes Killed


Round three of Moondog Madness: 80 coyotes killed, Cambria, Wisconsin February 3, 2019.

Billed as Wisconsin’s largest coyote killing contest, Moondog Madness draws hundreds of predator callers every January to southern Wisconsin. This year’s hunters brought in a total of 155 coyotes killed during three separate weekends of killing across the state.


Weighing a contestants coyote in Sauk City, Wisconsin January 20, 2019.

The contest began in Sparta, Wisconsin on January 4th with 24 two-man teams of hunters bringing in a total of 80 coyotes. Round two took place January 18-20th in Sauk City with a total of 33 coyotes killed. The third and final round was completed on February 10th in Cambria, Wisconsin with twenty two-man teams bringing in 41 coyotes.


Round One: 24 teams, 80 coyotes killed, Sparta, Wisconsin January 6, 2019.

Here are the Rules for Moondog Madness killing tournament:

“Two man teams. Calling only. Hunt anywhere. Each event pays out with an over all champion at the end. Most coyotes wins. Weight if there is a tie. Bite blocks will be used and you have to make your own. We will give you the measurements of the blocks. In order to qualify for the overall you have to hunt in at least two of the three events. We post a word that has to be written on the top of the block and placed in the mouth towards the roof of the coyotes mouth. Check in is Sunday at 2:00 pm. After the check in we will pay the top three at each of the events and hand out door prizes.”


Round Two: 12 teams, 33 coyotes killed, Sauk City, Wisconsin January 20, 2019.


A number of smaller coyote killing contests continue across Wisconsin and Michigan, with events taking place every weekend until mid-March. The following is a photo taken on February 3, 2019 at a coyote killing contest in Shopiere, Wisconsin.


Coyote killing contest, Shopiere Wisconsin, February 3, 2019.


Tickets from Shopiere, Wisconsin coyote contest.

If you live in Wisconsin and would like to voice your opposition to wildlife killing contests, there’s a lot you can do right now!

Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) is introducing a bill that would ban cruel wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin.

1)  This bill needs lots of co-sponsors from both the Senate and Assembly.

Contact both your state Senator and Representative and say, “Please sign onto LRB 1453/1 relating to: prohibiting contests for killing wild animals and providing a penalty, sponsored by Senator Fred Risser.”

2)  This bill needs an Assembly companion bill sponsored by a Republican. 

If your state Representative is a Republican, contact him/her with this message: “Please co-sponsor a companion bill for LRB 1453/1, related to prohibiting wildlife contests and providing a penalty, sponsored by Senator Fred Risser.”

Look up your state Senator and Representative here:


Dog Down Coyote Tournament, Dowagiac, Michigan February 3, 2019.

You can also help by sending an email to Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Board members telling them that you do not support events that pay cash prizes for the most predators killed. Send your email to the Natural Resources Board liaison at:

Moondog Poster

Although Moondog Madness and other hunts take place outside of wolf territory, there are many of these contests that place wolves at risk. Wolf Patrol is asking Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials to suspend all wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin’s national forests until a full study can be made of the impact these contests have on wildlife populations and the environment.


Hunting dogs fight with coyote in Michigan on January 28, 2019.

Coyote killing contests in northern Wisconsin often involve the use of hunting dogs which lead to violent dog fights with not only coyotes, but wolves as well. Last year there were over 20 reported fights between wolves and hunting dogs in northern Wisconsin. Wolf Patrol is also opposed to coyote killing contests in federally protected gray wolf habitat, as these contests often offer prizes for the largest coyote killed, increasing the likelihood of accidental wolf shootings.

Send emails to Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials at:



Fox killed in predator hunting contest in Marshall, Michigan, February 3, 2019.