Wisconsin’s Hound Hunters Now Chasing Bobcats and Coyotes for Killing Contests and Just Plain Fun

It’s that time of year again. When Wisconsin’s hound hunters who were responsible for twenty-one deadly conflicts between federally protected wolves and their hunting dogs in this year alone, now begin chasing and killing other wildlife across Wisconsin’s Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and other public lands.

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Carl Bailey III’s December 13, 2019 Facebook post about his hound hunting season for bobcat, coyote or whatever his dog’s come across just beginning.


Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) hunting regulations allow resident and non-resident hound hunters to chase and kill coyotes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no limit on the number they are allowed to kill. Hunting bobcats in Wisconsin requires a tag, but only to kill a cat, not chase one.


One of Ross McVey’s hounds fighting with a cornered coyote in northern Wisconsin on January 4, 2016.

Much like Wisconsin’s liberal bear hunting regulations, which allow any hound hunters to chase bears (but not kill them) from July until the kill season in September, WDNR regulations allow hound hunters to chase and kill bobcats from mid-October until the end of January.


Winners at last year’s coyote killing contest hosted by the Hitchin’ Post bar in Wilton, Wisconsin. Next month, on January 25, 2020 the bar will again offer cash prizes for the largest and smallest coyote killed during the event.

Both WDNR & the U.S. Forest Service allow hound hunters and others to participate in coyote and bobcat killing contests on Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and other public lands. In addition, both agencies allow coyote, bobcat and other furbearers killed legally to be sold on the international fur market for profit.


Last year’s coyote contest offered cash and GPS tracking collars for hunting hounds as a prize.

Because of Wisconsin’s liberal hound hunting regulations, many hound hunters are able to run their dogs across our national forest lands year-round. In Spring its raccoons, all Summer and early Fall its bears, and then in Winter its coyotes and bobcats that are legally chased and killed with the aid of hounds in Wisconsin.


Wisconsin hunter Ross McVey’s hound holds a coyote in icy river water on January 4, 2017.

As has been documented and reported by Wolf Patrol annually, many hound hunters in Wisconsin who corner their prey on the ground after miles of being chased through the snow, allow their dogs to fight, maul and kill their prey, which is illegal.


Both the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service allow this kind of hound hunting all winter long in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forests and other public lands in Wisconsin. Photo from Ross McVey’s Facebook page.


All of the video and photos accompanying this article were shared by Wisconsin hound hunters and on public and private Facebook pages and groups. These photos are not the exception in hound hunting, but the rule.


From the Facebook page of Wisconsin hound hunter Ross McVey.

Some Wisconsin hound hunters like Carl Bailey III claim they train their dogs to “bay not bite” their chased prey, but most of these hound hunts occur when loose dogs are miles from their handlers, cornering prey for extended periods of time until humans can reach their dogs and put them on leashes. Often in winter, coyotes and bobcats are forced to retreat into the icy waters which Wolf Patrol has documented already occurring this winter in northern Wisconsin.


From Ross McVey & Carl Bailey III’s hound hunt on December 7, 2019.

It’s time to restrict hound hunting on Wisconsin’s national forest lands and end competitive contests offering cash and prizes for coyotes and bobcats killed. Chasing wildlife throughout the winter months should not be considered a legal or ethical hunting practice anywhere in our national forests, especially in federally protected gray wolf habitat where there is a history of conflicts between hound hunters and territorial wolves.


From one of Ross McVey’s winter hunts in February 2016.

Please join Wolf Patrol in calling on WDNR & the U.S. Forest Service to address the lack of regulations governing hound hunting on Wisconsin’s national forest and other public lands by sending an email today to public land managers and contributing to Wolf Patrol’s campaign to end hound hunting and wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin.


Coyotes killed in a January 2019 killing contest organized by Wisconsin hound hunter Carl Bailey III in Forest County, Wisconsin.



Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials:


Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Board Liaison:



Don’t forget to include Wolf Patrol in your 2019 holiday season of giving!

Each winter Wolf Patrol members investigate, infiltrate, document and report on coyote and bobcat killing contest taking place across Wisconsin.

To help us prepare for this winter’s patrol’s please make a contribution via PayPal (on this site) or visit our GoFundMe campaign:


19th Bear Hound & Wolf Fight Reported in Wisconsin and WDNR & US Forest Officials Still Support Unlimited Bear Baiting


On 9/10/19, USDA-Wildlife Services confirmed wolves depredated a Plott trailing hound in the Town of Georgetown, Price County, Wisconsin. This latest incident brings the total body count since bear hound training season began in July to 21 hounds killed and one injured. Bear hunting with hounds is responsible for five hound and wolf fights in Price County this year. Depredations occur when hound hunters run dogs where bear baiting activities has also attracted wolves.

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09/08/19 Bryan Catlin’s Facebook post about wolf attack on his hounds and other public lands bear baiters who destroyed his bait.

In Forest County, Wisconsin where five deadly wolf/hound fights have been reported on national forest lands, many bear hunters are reporting wolves visiting their bait sites and hunting their hounds. On August 22, in nearby Marinette County, hound hunters fired on wolves they claim were trying to attack them after killing one of their hounds (the Endangered Species Act only allows wolves to be killed if they are threatening your life, not a dog’s.) Wolves will also defend summer rendezvous areas especially while their young pups are still vulnerable.

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Ty Belland’s account of the depredation of his bear hound, Sparky on 008/22/19.

With three more weeks of bear hunting with hounds left in Wisconsin’s bear season, many more deadly clashes between hounds and federally protected gray wolves are certain to occur, many in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest where over a dozen have already occurred. Yet, Wisconsin’s bear hunters continue running their dogs in Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Wolf Caution Areas which are designated once a depredation of a hunting hound has occurred.

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Three more weeks of bear hunting with hounds = many more bear hound/wolf fights.

Wisconsin’s policy of compensating hound hunters up to $2,500.00 for each hound killed by wolves may be contributing to the careless running of hounds in caution areas where hounds have already been killed. The state program even allows for payouts to known wildlife violators including hound hunters who were running their dogs illegally.


Wisconsin hound ready to be thrown to the wolves…for $2,500.00.

Wisconsin is also the only state in the nation that allows unlicensed, unregistered and unlimited baiting of bears for the purposes of hunting. A WDNR survey in 2014 estimated that over 4 million gallons of food waste, grease and oil is dumped in Wisconsin each year to attract bears, many so hound hunters can then chase them. WDNR and the US Forest Service even allow chocolate to be used as bear bait though its been proven to be toxic to bears and wolves and was recently banned in neighboring Michigan.


Forest County bear hound during Wisconsin’s 2019 bear kill season.

All, so bear hunters can shoot bears out of trees after chasing them for miles. In Wisconsin’s national forests and other public lands, resident and nonresident hound hunters have been baiting and chasing bears for over two months and now is the time for the kill. Only its not just bears that are dying, but wolves and hounds too. Its time state and national forest managers do something to stop the preventable conflict between bear hounds and federally protected wolves before more animals have to die. 

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Aaron Hamann’s September 10, 2019 Facebook post about the second hound he’s had killed by bears, not wolves this year. 


If you agree that practices like running packs of dogs through known wolf caution areas and the unlimited & unregistered baiting of bears with human food waste including chocolate which is toxic to bears and wolves should be banned in our national forests, please let officials know!


A decal seen on a Forest County, Wisconsin hound hunter’s truck


Send emails to:

US Forest Service: cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us


WDNR Secretary Preston Cole:


Wolf Patrol Continues Monitoring Bear Hunting Where Wolves Have Killed Five Hounds Already

September 8, 2019:

Reports are just coming in for the number of bear hounds killed this weekend during Wisconsin’s bear hunt which began on September 4th. So far, 18 bear hounds have been killed by wolves since the state’s two-month hound training and bear baiting season began on July 1st. The actual kill season runs until October 8th.

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Four WDNR Wolf Caution Areas overlapping, but bear hunters are still running their hounds where four have already been killed.

The latest depredation which resulted in an injury, not death of a bear hunting hound, took place on September 6, 2019 in Polk County, Wisconsin. This was the 17th bear hound and federally protected gray wolf fight reported since July 2019 and there’s still an entire month of bear hunting in northern Wisconsin wolf territory.

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The 17th bear hound and gray wolf fight since July 2019. One more month of depredations still to come.

Wolf Patrol visited multiple Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Wolf Caution Areas in Marinette and Forest County where wolves have killed more bear hounds this year than any other area of the state. Wisconsin’s allowance of unlimited and unregistered bear baiting sites, many on national forest lands, has led to not only bears being conditioned to visiting bait sites, but wolves as well.

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Don’t worry, thats just bear blood covering Ratt Dicks’ hounds legs on September 6, 2019.

Now it appears wolves are also becoming conditioned to defending these feeding sites as well as their own territory by killing not only hunting hounds, but any dog. It’s time the WDNR & US Forest Service do something to restrict and limit bear baiting and hound running in WDNR Wolf Caution Areas once any dog or hunting hound is killed.


Free bear bait being offered on Facebook to a Wisconsin bear hunters Facebook page on September 5, 2019. 

Please email WDNR & USFS officials asking for immediate action before more hounds and wolves have to fight to their deaths!

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest:


WDNR Secratary:



How to Hunt Bears in Wisconsin: “Dump thousands of gallons of bait on national forest lands, train dogs to chase fed bears up a tree, then shoot.” Another successful Wisconsin hound hunter on September 7, 2019.

Wisconsin Hounders Continue to Throw Their Caution (and Dogs) to the Wolves

On Saturday September 7, 2019 Wolf Patrol monitors continued documenting bear baiting and the running of bear hounds in three known WDNR Wolf Caution Areas in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest where wolves have already killed four hunting dogs. The following video reveals continued bear hunting in these areas despite warnings provided by WDNR that federally protected gray wolves are becoming conditioned to killing domestic dogs.

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Each red dot is where wolves have killed a bear hound July 2019-Present day. How many more will die before the USFS and WDNR do anything?

These wolves are responding to the lack of any restrictions on bear baiting and hound hunting in their territory, which has been increasing the number of hound deaths reported so far this year, as hunters continue to place their dogs at risk despite continued depredations. In Wisconsin, hound hunters are compensated up to $2,500.00 for dogs killed by wolves.

Could the compensation be an incentive for careless hound hunters? Or do they simply not care that they are increasing the likelihood of even more depredations? Sacrificing bear hounds to wolves won’t win hound hunters an open season on wolves, more than likely it will help Wolf Patrol get them kicked out of our national forests!

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September 7, 2019 Facebook post with comment advocating illegal killing of Forest County wolves responsible for bear hound deaths.


If you’d like to help, please email both US Forest Service and WDNR officials asking that the practices of bear baiting and hound training & hunting be restricted or banned outright in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest!

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest:


WDNR Secretary Preston Cole



Ty & Wes Belland who shot at wolves killing their bear hound during Wisconsin’s 2019 summer bear hound training season that ended last week. They were cleared of any charges related to violating the Endangered Species Act and are still running their dogs in the same Wolf Caution Area where their hound was killed.

18 Bear Hounds Killed by Wolves So Far And Wisconsin’s Bear Hunt Has Only Just Begun…

Wisconsin’s 2019 black bear hunt began on September 4th and on the season’s first three days bear hounds were killed by wolves in three separate incidents in Forest, Oneida and Douglas Counties. The latest incident in Douglas County is the 16th reported deadly encounter between federally protected gray wolves and bear hunting hounds in Wisconsin since July when the two-month bear hound training season began.

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Wisconsin’s bear season runs until early October with 11,595 licensed hunters hoping to fill their tags before the WDNR quota of 3,835 black bears is reached. In 2018, of the 3,717 black bears legally killed in Wisconsin, 3,623 were killed with the aid of bait and 1,041 were killed with the aid of dogs and bait.

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Most of the bear hound depredations that have occurred in 2019 have been in areas heavily baited for bears and where there is a history of wolf depredations on bear hounds. On opening day of the actual kill season on September 4th, a bear hound was killed in northern Forest County in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest where so far this year, there have been five separate deadly fights between wolves and bear hounds on national forest lands.

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Neither the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources  (WDNR) or the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) require registration or limits to the number of baits a bear hunter can place on national forest and other public lands. Up to ten gallons of human food waste, fryer grease and even chocolate that is toxic to bears, can be used in each bait daily.


“Insane bear action on the Vulture Bait in Wisconsin. Between these 3 nice sized bears and the other bears on the bait, I’m going through my legal limit of 10 gallons of bait in about 6 hours after putting it out. It’s a good problem to have.” Bear Hunting Podcast on Facebook 08/17/19.

Since Wisconsin’s 2019 bear hound training season began, Wolf Patrol has been investigating and documenting federally protected wolves visiting and feeding from bear baits in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest where the majority of bear hound depredations in 2019 have occurred so far this year.


“The dog smasher is dead Post Lake Mafia.” Shared on Facebook by Aaron Hamann on 09/05/19: Not only wolves, but black bears will kill hounds too, as this one allegedly did to Aaron Haman’s dog during the 2019 summer bear hound training season in northern Wisconsin.

Unregistered and unlimited bear baiting on our national forest lands has created a deadly conflict between bear hunters and wolves that is only getting worse. A bear baiter and hound hunter operating where a bear hound was killed on September 4th has told Wolf Patrol that wolves aren’t only protecting their pups, they’re actively hunting free-roaming bear hounds. If wolves are becoming conditioned to hunting bear hounds, both WDNR and the USFS should take action to limit bear baiting and hound hunting in known WDNR Wolf Caution Areas.

CBIII 09.06.19

“We made our approach in, dogs were on both sides bear was swinging its head back and forth, and just when he noticed us Bobby sent a 45-70 round right into his skull!” Shared on Facebook by Carl Bailey III on 09/06/19.

Please email both WDNR & USFS officials asking that bear baiting and hound hunting be ended in areas with a history of deadly conflicts between federally protected wildlife and  bear hunting hounds!

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest:


WDNR Secretary Preston Cole:


08.21.19 FURDOG BEAR

Bear chased by hounds in Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Forest County, Wisconsin 08/21/19.

Wisconsin Bear Hunter’s Putting Children in Harm’s Way

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This isn’t bear hunting…it’s child abuse. Tyler Kettlewell putting child at risk on August 31, 2019.

On August 31, the last day of Wisconsin’s two-month bear hound training season, Tyler Kettlewell who’s unethical hunting practices have been exposed by Wolf Patrol this summer, published photos of himself with a young child in front of a bayed bear. Other photos published with the photo show a large black bear bayed by his hounds, which often suffer injuries inflicted by large bears that will not tree when chased.


Shared on Facebook by Tyler Kettlewell 08/31/19

Wisconsin hound hunters like Tyler Kettlewell continue to be seen on Wolf Patrol’s platforms because they continue to practice unethical and illegal hunting practices like allowing hounds to fight with a bear on the ground, which is what Kettlewell has been doing and sharing videos of on Facebook for years. In the past, its been Kettlewell’s hounds that suffer puncture wounds and even death, sometimes by bears, but also in the past by wolves.

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Black bear bayed by Kettlewell on 08/31/19 north of Glidden, Wisconsin.

Hound hunters like Kettlewell are good examples of why the U.S. Forest Service and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) should require registration for bear baits and bear hounds being trained on national forest lands. So hunters like Kettlewell can be prevented from creating conflicts that cost lives.

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Tyler Kettlewell, Ty Ax & child 08/31/19.

It’s not wolves that are creating deadly conflicts in Wisconsin’s national forests, it’s out of control, unregistered and unregulated bear hunters conditioning bears and other wildlife into being fed by humans and running vicious packs of dogs through federally protected gray wolf habitat.

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At any moment this large and tired bear could have charged towards Kettlewell and the child…

Please send US Forest Service & WDNR officials an email today asking that hound hunters like Kettlewell be more closely managed and monitored on our national forest lands where bear hunters are already responsible for 13 bear hound/wolf fights this summer!

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials:


Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary:



$2,500 paid to Kettlewell in 2015 for a bear hound killed by wolves.

No Charges for Wisconsin Bear Hunters Who Shot at Federally Protected Wolves Killing Their Hunting Hound


On August 22, 2019 a young bear hunter and anti-wolf advocate from Forest County, Wisconsin reported on Facebook that he and his brother shot at federally protected wolves after they killed one of their hunting hounds during the state’s two-month summer bear hound training season.

Ty Belland says that after a five-mile chase, his GPS indicated that one of his dogs 700 yards away wasn’t moving. When he was 60 feet away, he says he saw two wolves killing his dog and yelled. According to Belland, the wolves dropped his dog and came at a dead run towards him causing him to fall, but he was able to keep the wolves at bay with a tree branch until they ran far enough away for him to retrieve his pistol and shoot towards them with the intent to scare them away.

08.22.19 BELLAND DEP

Belland says he called his brother Wes for help and halfway to his truck on the 700 yard return walk, the wolves began following and barking at him. After a few minutes, he shot twice towards where he thought he could see the wolves. When he was 50 yards from the road he says the wolves again came towards him and circled for about five minutes until his brother Wes Belland arrived. “After two shots fired they ran away and let us get back to the truck.” said Ty, not indicating who fired the last two shots. On August 23, WDNR confirmed the Belland’s wolf depredation just inside of Marinette County on private forest lands.

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Ty Belland and his brother Wes are part of a community of hound hunters in Forest County who promote the illegal killing of wolves. The brothers use their dogs to hunt not only bear, but bobcat and coyotes as well and this is not the first time one of their hunting hounds has been killed by territorial wolves. In March 2019 Wes Belland posted a photo on his Facebook page of a wolf-killed deer that led to many commenters advocating for more illegal wolf killings. Belland commented that someone could only shoot a wolf if “they have harmed you with a mark to prove it.”


Federally protected gray wolf incidentally trapped and later released by Wes Belland in Wisconsin’s 2016 coyote trapping season.

Wolf Patrol contacted Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) law enforcement on August 23, 2019 to ask whether the Belland’s shooting incident would be investigated as a possible violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Under current federal protections, a wolf can only be killed if it is endangering a human, not a dog’s life.

On August 26, 2019 WDNR conservation officers informed Wolf Patrol that an investigation had been carried out and US Fish & Wildlife authorities had determined that, “The ESA does allow for the protection of life within the code. As Mr. Belland documented the encounter, there would be no violation of the ESA.”

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Ty Belland’s Facebook post 08/23/19

In addition a WDNR conservation officer interviewed Ty Belland and members of his hunting group, saying he was “unable to find any information to discredit the FB Post.  Mr. Belland and his group were advised of the ESA, reminding them that wolves are protected. Any retaliatory shooting of wolves by anyone outside the exceptions of the Endangered Species Act could be charged in either Federal or State court.”

Since the August 22 bear hound depredation, Wolf Patrol has been monitoring continued bear baiting and hound training in the newly created WDNR Wolf Caution Area. In addition, local anti-wolf advocates are warning that two individual wolves are prowling the nearby Blackwell, Wisconsin area and people should arm themselves for their own protection.


Belland bear hunting party in Forest County, Wisconsin.

There were thirteen separate bear hound and wolf fights reported during the 2019 Wisconsin bear hound training season which ran from July 1-August 31. The Belland incident was the 12th, but more are sure to occur during the actual bear killing season which begins September 4th and runs until early October 2019.

And as more and more bear hound depredations occur, more hound hunters will know they can shoot at federally protected wolves, as long as they claim the wolves were threatening their own lives as well. This is not an acceptable solution to the conflict bear hunters are creating with federally protected wildlife, especially on our national forest lands where unregistered bear baiting is also attracting wolves that in turn, prey on bear hounds.


Posted by Wes Belland on his Facebook page.

The now allowable exception to the Endangered Species Act that allows bear hunters to fire on federally protected wolves is just one more reason why Wolf Patrol is calling on Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials to address unregistered bear baiting and hound training on our national forest lands, where its causing multiple conflicts with wolves and other wildlife.


Ty & Wes Belland on left in 2017.

Wolf Patrol will continue monitoring bear baiting and hound hunting activity in WDNR Wolf Caution Areas throughout Wisconsin’s black bear hunt.

Please Send Your Email to US Forest & WDNR Officials Today!




Belland killed black bear in 2018.

Gresham Bear Hunters Tampering with Cameras Monitoring Wolf Activity at Unregistered Bear Bait Sites

Since federally protected gray wolves killed a bear hound in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest on July 13, 2019 Wolf Patrol has been monitoring unregistered bear baits in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) designated Wolf Caution Area near where the depredation occurred.

Our public lands monitors have shown that since the depredation occurred, wolves including three young pups have been repeatedly visiting bait sites where bear hounds are continuing to be run in areas where two more bear hounds have been killed since the July 13, 2019 depredation. When bear hounds are released near bait sites that wolves identify as a food source, depredations can occur.

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Where wolves have killed three bear hunting hounds…so far in 2019. It is legal to run hounds on bear in Wisconsin’s national forest lands from July until October when kill season ends.


Wolf Patrol wants Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials and the WDNR to know that bear hound depredations are occurring not because wolves are overpopulated and need management, but because bear hunters don’t care about the well-being or safety of their hounds, especially when they are paid $2,500.00 when one is killed or injured by wolves.

Since Wisconsin’s bear hound training season began on July 1st, 2019, there have been eight reported deadly fights between gray wolves and bear hounds, leaving 9 bear hounds dead and an unknown number of wolves injured by packs of bear hounds. Neither WDNR or the U.S. Forest Service require any kind of license or permit to operate unlimited bear baits on national forest lands, including WDNR Wolf Caution Areas.

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This year’s gray wolf/bear hound fights during Wisconsin’s 2019 bear hound training season From WDNR’s gray wolf page: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/wolf/dogdeps.html   

Now the bear baiter responsible for the bait site that is attracting wolves is breaking the law to keep forest officials and the public from witnessing his actions on our national forest lands. On the evening of August 9, 2019 Wolf Patrol’s trail camera monitoring the bear bait in the CNNF and WDNR’s Wolf Caution Area was tampered with in order to prevent its recording of federally protected gray wolves visiting the still active bear bait.

Ironically, it was the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association which includes members of Gresham Bear Hunters who lobbied the state legislature in 2015 to amend Wisconsin’s hunter harassment law to include any acts committed not only during hunting season, but during Wisconsin’s summer bear hound training season as well.

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The bear baiter responsible for attracting wolves to the unregistered bear bait site on national forest lands where three bear hounds have already been killed this summer.

Last year during bear hound training season in the very same portion of the CNNF, the same bear baiter suspected of tampering with Wolf Patrol’s trail camera this year, stole two of Wolf Patrol’s trail cameras monitoring another bear bait in the area. After reporting the theft to Forest County Sheriff’s Department, investigating law enforcement were able to identify the suspect and retrieve the stolen cameras.

Wolf Patrol did not press law enforcement to prosecute the theft in 2018, but as this year’s tampering is suspected to be by the same individual, we are asking the Forest County Sheriff’s Department, U.S. Forest Service and WDNR to investigate and press charges for illegally tampering with Wolf Patrol’s trail camera.

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Gresham Bear Hunters have started a fund to raise money to protect their “northwoods cultural traditions” like bear baiting and running dogs through WDNR Wolf Caution Areas.

Pro-hunting groups like Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and Gresham Bear Hunters are alleging this Summer that Wolf Patrol is threatening violence and acts of property destruction, but so far its only been Wisconsin bear hunters who have been documented violating Wisconsin’s hunting rules and regulations.

Wisconsin bear hunters have grown frustrated with the continuing exposure of their unethical hunting practices on national forest lands by Wolf Patrol. Illegal acts like the tampering with legally placed trail cameras is only the latest illegal effort to stop not only Wolf Patrol, but any citizen from exercising their constitutionally protected right to witness and document any activity in our national forest lands.


Gresham Bear Hunters operating unregistered bear baits in three WDNR Wolf Caution Areas, July 2019.

Please call or email U.S. Forest Service officials as well as WDNR to demand that unregistered and unlimited bear baiting as well as illegal activity by bear hunters be addressed in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest before more bear hounds and wolves have to die.

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest: cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us

WDNR Secretary: preston.cole@wisconsin.gov

Wisconsin’s Wolf Pups & Bear Cubs Need Protection From Harmful Baits & Hounds

Unregistered and unlimited bear baiting is allowed in Wisconsin’s national forests, even though its causing deadly conflicts between wolves and bear hunting hounds and conditioning bears into being fed by humans. Bear hunters place baits to attract bears so their hounds can later chase them during Wisconsin’s two-month summer bear hound training season which begins annually on July 1st.

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WDNR allows up to 10 gallons of baits like these to be dumped on national forest lands from mid-April until mid-October, literally the entire length of time black bears are out of hibernation.

Over 4 million gallons of food waste is dumped every year during Wisconsin’s bear hound training & bear hunting season which begins in July and runs until mid-October. Chocolate can also be used as bear bait even though states like Michigan have banned its use because it is deadly to bears and canines, especially bear cubs and wolf pups.

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Wisconsin bear hunters like Jason Welch don’t care if their bait kills bear cubs or wolf pups, as long as they can chase bears through the national forests from July until October every year.

Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and the U.S. Forest Service do not require any license or permits of any kind for residents or nonresidents to bait bears and chase them with packs of hounds during July and August when federally protected gray wolves are protective of pups like those in this video. Baiting bears in our national forests causes conflicts and changes the natural behavior of wildlife and should no longer be allowed.


An exposed and unregistered bear bait in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, less than a mile from where federally protected gray wolves killed a bear hound on July 21, 2019.


It’s time WDNR & the US Forest Service do something about unregistered and unlimited bear baiting and hound training in Wisconsin’s national forests and federally protected wildlife habitat.

Send emails to Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials:


WDNR Secretary:


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Wolf pup in Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and WDNR Wolf Caution Area designated after wolves killed a bear hound close by on July 13, 2019.

Give Smokey the Bear a Break on His 75th Birthday…Stop Bear Baiting & Hound Training in Wisconsin’s National Forest!

Wolf Patrol has reported on the deadly conflict bear baiting causes when bear hounds released from bait sites are killed by territorial wolves, but this year a Wisconsin bear hunter also told us he believes chocolate in Wisconsin’s bear baits is killing young cubs.

Its a fact that chocolate contains theobromine, which can be fatal to bears, wolves and other canines. This bear hunter and baiter said he’s seen mother bears pick out chocolate from baits so cubs wouldn’t eat it. Unfortunately, other bear cubs visiting baits will eat anything left over leading to theobromine poisoning.


Bear cubs feeding at a northern Wisconsin bear bait, July 9, 2019.

In 2017, Michigan banned chocolate in bear bait citing the poisoning threat to bears and other wildlife, but Wisconsin continues to allow chocolate in unlimited amounts and baits, without even requiring any registration or license.

Bear baiting is big business in northern Wisconsin where discarded baked goods and other sugary food items are resold as bear bait by the truckload. Wisconsin DNR bear baiting regulations state only that you must limit your baiting to 10 gallons per bait. Its not uncommon for summer bear hound trainers to operate more than 20 bear baits, meaning thousands of gallons of food waste is being dumped annually by individual bear hunters, much of it in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

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Chocolate candy bars sold by the tote, about three 55-gallon drums worth for $150.

Unlimited bear baiting in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is a threat to not only bears but federally protected gray wolves as well. This Summer, Wolf Patrol documented repeated visits to active bear baits by wolf pups clearly attracted to the bear bait in the log. More and more bear hunters in July also reported wolves visiting their bear baits in northern Wisconsin.

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Wolf pups playing at a bear bait not far from where wolves killed a bear hound on July 13, 2019.

WDNR & the US Forest Service do not know how many bear baits there are in WDNR Wolf Caution Areas (designated when a depredation of a hunting dog occurs) or anywhere in the national forest because no registration of bait sites is required in Wisconsin.

All of this, so hound hunters can chase bears in July and August when instead of putting on winter weight, bears have to run from hunters with their cubs in tow. Whether because of the threat chocolate poses to bear cubs and wolf pups, or baiting in wolf territory causes to hounds, its time the WDNR & US Forest Service do something to limit the deadly impact bear hunting practices are having in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

GBH 09.30.12

A casualty of the Gresham Bear Hunters in 2018.

Please send emails asking WDNR & US Forest Service officials to stop bear hunters from dumping millions of gallons of bear bait and toxic food waste in federally protected wildlife habitat and our national forest lands!

What better way to celebrate Smokey the Bear’s 75th birthday than to end bear baiting!


Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest: cnnfadmin@fs.fed.us


WDNR Secretary: preston.cole@wisconsin.gov