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

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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

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Nicholas Valenta Wisconsin killed black bear 2012.

 

 

A Southern Hound Hunter’s Message to Bear Hunters Everywhere…

Yesterday, Tucker Cross, a bear hunter from Georgia posted two videos on Facebook addressing recent videos shared on Facebook by other bear hunters that show unethical hunting practices. The videos were shared by Wolf Patrol and have generated a lot of attention to bear hound training practices not only in Virginia but Wisconsin as well.

Wolf Patrol supports the call for hound hunters to not only refrain from posting graphic hunting videos, but also recognize that there are some unethical and illegal hunters that need to be held accountable by their own hunting communities. It shouldn’t be only Wolf Patrol that calls out this kind of behavior, but other hunters should recognize that the greatest threat to hound hunting is hound hunters themselves, who think cruelty and abuse is acceptable and worth sharing on social media.

I’m against bear hunting with hounds. But I support hunters like Tucker who recognize that nothing is gained when hound hunters abuse their prey or put their dogs at risk. Luckily, Tucker is a southern bear hunter whose dogs are not run in wolf territory as is the case in Wisconsin. Bear baiting is also not allowed in the states Tucker hunts and he acknowledges that its a unethical practice that creates problem bears and other conflicts.

Now its up to the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and all of its members to follow Tucker’s lead and call for an end to unethical practices disguised as bear hunting. Its time for Wisconsin bear hunters to recognize that their side gains nothing when they refuse to condemn cruel hunting practices currently allowed in Wisconsin.

Here’s a few simple things bear hunters in Wisconsin could do to demonstrate greater responsibility in their sport:

  • Support a registration requirement for bear baits on public lands.

  • Support a limit on the number of bear baits a hunter can use.

  • Support a ban on the use of chocolate in bear baits.

  • Shorten the bear baiting season from 7 months to 2.

  • Cease baiting and hound training/hunting activity in areas where wolves have depredated bear hounds.

Of course, the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association does not agree to any of these changes, so until they do, Wolf Patrol will continue to call for the total ban on all bear baiting and hound training & hunting practices on public lands.

Record Michigan Black Bear Killed with Hounds in Manistee National Forest

On August 22, 2018 it was reported that a Michigan hunter killed the 5th largest black bear in state history last Fall, in the Manistee National Forest with the aid of Plott hounds. The bear was never treed, and was shot on the ground.

https://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/08/bear_killed_in_manistee_nation.html

This video is comprised of clips published on Facebook by other Michigan hound hunters and depicts black bears being bayed by hounds. Wolf Patrol would like to provide graphic insight into the “sport” of hunting black bears with hounds and bait not only in Wisconsin, but in Michigan and other states as well.

MI 5 BEAR

Wolf Patrol is currently campaigning for bear hound training and bear baiting to be restricted in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest of Wisconsin. To send an email asking US Forest officials to end these practices on our national forest:

cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us