Wildlife in Crisis: Wisconsin Doubles Bobcat Kill Quota and The Lack of Democracy in “Wildlife Management”

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

I’m sure that all of you hear or read daily the time tested propaganda about how the killing cartels claim that “hunters” are “conservationists” and “fund conservation.” You also hear how non-hunters don’t “fund” anything. Not only are these claims greatly embellished, they are also patently false. Not once have I ever heard a non-hunter refuse to pay into the conservation system that land-wise we already mostly fund through our tax dollars. The only thing that killing license fees pay for, especially in Wisconsin, are the agencies that exist solely to create “hunter opportunity” despite platitudes about “managing” wildlife for ALL citizens. Paying for agencies that farm non-native wildlife to be killed is not “conservation” and frankly it’s completely disingenuous to claim otherwise.

The most recent example of fake “conservation” is how the Wisconsin DNR has decided to DOUBLE the kill quota of the state’s bobcat population. Once again the DNR has relied on the selfish wants and bloodlust of the killing cartels and the general public has had ZERO say in this decision. At last estimate there were believed to be around 2300 bobcats in Wisconsin. This year hounders and trappers will be able to kill off at least one-third of the estimated population. Is it because bobcats are threatening grandchildren at bus stops like the anti-wolf zealots claim wolves are? Is it because bobcats are “eating all the deer” as the anti-wolf zealots falsely claim wolves are doing? Of course not. It’s so the skins of these animals can be sold to “fur buyers” and shipped to the wildlife black holes like China and Russia. In other words it’s very likely that these bobcat skins will end up in China or Russia and  made into “luxury” vanity clothing that often sells for between $50,000 and $100,000.

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Yes this sick blood trade still exists in Wisconsin and across the nation with a vast number of animal skins ending up in China or Russia. Notice how the DNR refers to trappers as “fur harvesters” as if the hounded, bludgeoned, drowned, crushed, or poisoned animal grew out of the ground like corn or soybeans.

From a news article about the doubling of the bobcat killing quota:

Bobcat population estimate research is led by Dr. Nathan Roberts, DNR furbearer research scientist.

“DNR works closely with trappers and hunters to learn more about this elusive, but common, species – together, we are working to refine our understanding of Wisconsin’s bobcat population and are finding that Wisconsin’s bobcat population is healthy and robust enough to provide additional harvest opportunities,” Roberts said. “The information we gather from ongoing research efforts will be used to update population models and continue to guide harvest quotas in the future.”

Notice what is missing from this quote? Not one mention of non-killing groups or persons being involved in the decision. Not one mention of scientists or biologists from outside of the DNR having any input into this decision. None of this comes as a surprise. The Wisconsin DNR, like many “fish and game” agencies in the United States are the very antithesis of democracy and often their statutory obligations to work for ALL citizens. Instead of asking the 87 percent of Wisconsin citizens who don’t recreationally kill wildlife if they are okay with one-third of the estimated bobcat population to be trapped, hounded, and killed all in the span of three months, the DNR just took the word of the trappers and hounders who seek to kill and profit off of the dead cats. Of course they don’t ask us or allow is to participate in these decisions because despite statutory obligations and wildlife being in the “public trust,” they only work for their “customers” and those whose killing license fees pay for the DNR’s operations. Every time non-recreational killing citizens have tried to change this funding mechanism we have been immediately blocked or our proposals have been shot down. Why is that? It’s because if we are allowed to help fund wildlife “management” in this state we would be obligated to have a “seat at the table” for “management” decisions. There is no way that the politically powerful killing special interests like the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Wisconsin Trappers Association, various deer hunting groups, and the deceptively named hunter/trapper/hounder front group the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation would allow a non-killing voice to have any say in how wildlife is “managed” here in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

A recent study produced some very interesting poll results about who the real conservationists are in the United States. Despite the killing cartels staking claim to being “conservationists” this study by three very well regarded wildlife/environmental scientists casts major doubt on that claim shows who the real conservationists likely are.

The lack of responsiveness by wildlife agencies to animal welfare interests is not surprising. Wildlife professionals often view conservation and animal rights as antagonistic (Schmidt 1990, Muth and Jamison 2000). The Wildlife Society’s standing position statement, Animal Rights Philosophy and Wildlife Conservation, describes the conflict between animal rights and wildlife conservation as “profound.”

Yet, that antagonistic view does not seem to be shared by the general public — or even by most self-identified conservationists, as the results of our recent survey show. We polled more than 1,200 adults via KnowledgePanel, a representative online panel of U.S. residents recruited to take part in survey research. We asked them to indicate the extent to which they identified as hunters, conservationists and animal rights advocates. Although a plurality (37 percent) self-identified as both conservationists and animal rights advocates, far fewer (27 percent) self-identified as both conservationists and hunters. Those identifying as conservationists were more likely to identify as animal rights advocates (r = 0.52) than as hunters (r = 0.26).

Animal Rights and Conservation: Conflicting or Compatible? (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318275505_Animal_Rights_and_Conservation_Conflicting_or_Compatible [accessed Jul 31, 2017].

While I personally do not identify as an “animal rights advocate” and prefer to be considered an “animal protectionist/environmental preservationist” this study outlines what many of us in this movement have known all along. This is that killing is NOT conservation and many who participate in modern “hunting,” trapping, and hounding are the antithesis of what “conservation” is supposed to be. The very idea that recreational killing somehow fosters a spirit of “conservation” and protecting “sustainable” wildlife populations is absurd. To me that is like saying that promiscuous sex promotes abstinence. The same absurdity is at play with how the word “conservation” has been co-opted and redefined by the killing special interests and the politicians and agencies under their thumb. Agencies like the Wisconsin DNR have turned our lands into giant “game farms” for favored species and only seek to further artificially inflate those populations to appease Wisconsin’s never satisfied “sportsmen” no matter the impact on the ecosystem and the future survival of individual species. Killing off over one-third of a wildlife population in one “season” flies directly in the face of what the word “conserve” means. It is also absurd that living and breathing creatures are labeled as a “resource” and that those killing them are allowed to profit off of OUR PUBLIC “resources.” Enough is enough.

Bringing Democracy to Wildlife Management

It’s time to bring democracy to how wildlife is “managed” in Wisconsin and around the nation. These agencies, state legislatures, and the boards overseeing them are clearly discriminating against non-killing individuals and groups that have an interest in how wildlife is “managed” in this state. If you are in or near Madison and want to have a conversation about how we can bring democracy to openly undemocratic institutions like the Wisconsin DNR, please consider attending this FREE event on Thursday August 3rd in Madison.

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This is a discussion that needs to be had. Please consider attending and add your voice to the rising call for democracy in how wildlife is “managed.”

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Hounder Free For All: Wisconsin’s Wildlife Hell Is Worse Than We Thought

USFWS Photo of black bear.

For decades the State of Wisconsin has been waging a war on our native wildlife and using hounds as four legged weapons. Even though the use of hounds against wildlife, particularly bears, has only been legal for a few decades it somehow has been warped into being considered “heritage” and “tradition” by the Wisconsin DNR and stake killing groups. For a signifiant portion of each year our public lands, particularly our federally owned national forests, are over run with a violent subset of the “hunting” community and thousands of bloodthirsty hounds. This same violent subset of the “hunting” community is also responsible for dumping at least 4.6 MILLION GALLONS of stale junk food, used cooking grease/oil, and toxic blocks of chocolate as “bait” for six months of each year beginning in April and used to condition bear and other wildlife to human food sources. In fact a recent study showed that an average bear receives 40 percent of their yearly food sources from this “bait.” Despite this the Wisconsin DNR refuses to make any changes to the duration of the baiting “season” or what type of bait is allowed.

“The agency is not likely to recommend changes to bear hunting tactics. It’s also not known at this point how much appetite the public has for change.”

I would say that if “the public” had any idea about what is allowed to really allowed you can bet that there is quite the “appetite” for change.

That isn’t even the most concerning thing that we discovered recently. This is posted in the Wisconsin DNR’s 2017 Bear Hunting Regulations:

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“Bear shooting/ dog training hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 20 minutes after sunset.”

After reporting several instances of Wisconsin hounders chasing and treeing bears late at night and in the early morning hours we were told by a Wisconsin DNR Warden today that no matter what the pamphlet states, hounders are allowed to go after bears 24/7 with no restrictions from July 1st until the killing season begins in September despite it being illegal to “hunt” or hound bears at night during the killing season. So why can hounders “train” their dogs to chase and attack bears at night during the “training season” despite those not being allowed during the killing seasons? Isn’t “training” supposed to “train” the dogs to do what they are allowed to do during the killing season meaning during the day? We also raised concerns about social media posts showing not only night hounding but also hounders chasing and treeing sows with cubs despite this being illegal during the killing season. While it is allegedly illegal during the killing season to kill a sow with cubs hounders are allowed to chase both mercilessly during “hound training” season once again 24/7 with no restrictions. Once again we were told that the “rules and regulations” are not “correct” despite being posted online and in physical form for years. This reads quite clearly if you ask me. Is the DNR giving false information in their “rules and regulations” or are their wardens refusing to enforce hounder violations?

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Black bear sows and their small cubs, like these, are allowed to be chased by hounds 24/7 during the hound “training” season in Wisconsin. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

In other words the abomination known as “hound training” season is a legal free for all where hounders can let their dogs chase, fight, harass, and otherwise rampage though our woods for over two months with ZERO permit requirement or ZERO restrictions other than they allegedly cannot allow their hounds to kill a wild animal “without DNR permission.” You read that right. Animal/dog fighting is perfectly legal in Wisconsin and it is all written into law or there are no laws in place forbidding it. The state considers all of this to be “heritage” and “conservation.”

We have a real problem here in Wisconsin. Despite all of the blather from bought and paid for elected officials and paid “hunting” group lobbyists about this sick form of “recreation” being “heritage,” “conservation,” and “fair chase” it is none of those things. If these people carried out in a city to domestic animals what they are allowed to do to wild animals if would instantly be condemned as dog fighting, they would brought up on charges, and made pariahs in the media. Because this is happening in our woods to wild animals and they hide under the banner of “heritage” and being “sportsmen,” this is protected under law and lauded as “heritage” and “conservation” by disingenuous politicians and the special interests that own them. What exactly is the difference between a dog fighting ring in an urban area and the legal animal fighting that is allowed in our forests and rural areas? On top of that if a wolf allegedly kills one of these hounds the hounder gets paid $2500 for each dead hound by the state. What is wrong with this picture?

What we have here is a sadistic free for all for legal animal fighters from across the nation and a supplemental feeding free for all to artificially inflate the bear population and condition them to human food. No permit is required and the “regulations” that are posted apparently aren’t really “regulations” at all according to the DNR warden that we spoke with today. Here are a few questions to ponder:

What the hell is going on in this state and why aren’t more people aware that this is occurring?

Are the majority of state citizens really okay with these practices and the lack of regulation and enforcement?

How do we fight back and make our fellow citizens aware of what a small but violent subset of “hunters” are allowed to get away with?

Do so-called “ethical” hunters support or condone this behavior?

Why do the hounders and their paid lobbyists have so much sway and power in this state?

Why are clearly written rules and regulations NOT enforced or claimed by those tasked with enforcing them to not be correct?

These are just some questions that need to be answered in this state about why these sick practices are protected and allowed to continue. The more that we learn the more horrifying that it becomes. Is this what we really are all about Wisconsin? A recent letter to the editor of the Wisconsin State Journal by Bill Stokes of Mazomaine summed this up best:

Wisconsin citizens need to put down their brats and beer long enough to do away with this outrage. Call, write, march, yell and scream. Show that Wisconsin decency is above manipulation by a small group of insensitive, special-interest hounders.

We could not have said it better ourselves.

July 1st: The Season of Hell Begins for Wisconsin Wildlife

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Black bear. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Tomorrow, July 1st,  marks the beginning of the legal animal fighting free for all known as the bear hound “training season.” Thousands of hounds and hounders will descend on our public lands from all over the country with their trucks, bait, and thousands of GPS collared hounds to torment any wildlife that gets in their way. No permit is required for any of this and there is essentially ZERO oversight. Hounds are allowed to run bears for hours on end and will inevitably get into bloody fights with wolves defending their young at rendezvous sites. For each hound killed by a wolf the hounder will receive a $2500 check from the DNR for their “loss” despite a huge number being repeat claimants running hounds in known wolf “caution areas.”

Hounding itself is a disgusting and deplorable form of legal animal fighting/harassment that is somehow not only legal but encouraged by the State of Wisconsin. Bears, wolves, and the attacking hounds will be fighting for their lives for the next four months during hound “training” and bear killing season. For the last few months and for a total of SIX MONTHS each year an estimated 4.6 MILLION GALLONS plus of stale junk food, grease, and other forms of “bait” are used to condition Wisconsin’s 30,000 bears to human food. This bait not only conditions the bears to human foods but it also provides an estimated 40 percent of an average bear’s diet in northern Wisconsin (See study linked below). This likely leads to significantly larger litters and rapidly expanding the bear population to numbers that the habitat cannot likely sustain for the long term. Wisconsin has essentially allowed the county, state, and national forests of the north to become giant bear “game farms” where pretty much anything goes. No permits are required to dump unlimited amounts of bait and no permit is required to run unlimited numbers of unleashed hounds. This is “conservation?”

The Wisconsin DNR and groups like the politically connected Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association will try to convince you that what they are doing is “conservation,” “heritage,” and “ethical.” It is none of these. The true gravity of what occurs in the northern forests each and every day would shock and horrify most citizens if they actually knew what happens. Hounds fight and die each and every day with bears, wolves, and whatever wild animal gets in their way. Some hounders will take to social media with pictures and videos showing bloody and wounded dogs while bragging about how they self treat them and refuse to go to veterinarians for proper care for their “family members.” Then when a wolf kills a hound they run to the first reporter that they see talking about how the hound that they kept chained up outside 24/7/365 next to a hollowed out 55 gallon drum as “shelter” was a dear “family member” and how “devastated” they are. Following that they will take to their social media groups and make threats to poach, “kill ’em all,” and otherwise make calls to eradicate wolves because their “great grand daddies killed them for a reason.” In their “secret” groups they will brag about all of their “disposable” dogs that they refer to as “culls” and “shit-eaters.” Culls because once they no longer serve a purpose they are killed and “shit-eaters” because they are only fed scraps and poor quality food just enough to keep them alive to serve their “purpose.” How is this any different than using so-called “bait dogs” to train killer dogs in dog fighting rings? Hint. It isn’t but because it is good old boy rural whites doing it

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This is how many of the “family members” of bear hounders are kept. Photo of bear hound shown under Fair Use for Educational Purposes. 

How is any of this behavior acceptable in 2017? Why does society allow this seedy underbelly of the hunting “community” to take over our public lands for a significant portion of the year to practice their sick “sport?” Expect to hear multiple stories in the coming days and weeks of hounders crying about losing their “family members” like the dog above while they keep raking in those nice fat $2500 taxpayer funded checks. Those will be followed by calls from disingenuous politicians and anti-wolf zealots for a return to “state management” for the wolf population. As we all know “state management” is code for near eradication and the 24/7/365 wolf hounding that comes along with it. This should enrage each and every citizen in the state of Wisconsin that pays taxes and has any semblance of decency. If there are any “ethical hunters” left they should also be enraged that the hounders have taken over as being the “voice” of hunters in Wisconsin and are giving a black eye to your community as seen across the country and world. The hounders and anti-wolf zealots love to refer to people like myself as being “antis.” If anything they are the one who are “anti-hunting” because what they participate in sure isn’t “hunting.” Is it “hunting” to feed wild animals millions of gallons of junk food for over six months? Is it “hunting” to send packs of bloodthirsty hounds to rampage through the forests on our public lands to tree, attack, and kill our wildlife? Who are the real “anti-hunters” in this state?

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Another cherished “family member” and the conditions so many are kept in. Photo used via Fair Use for Educational Purposes.

Bear Baiting Study 2016

Man That Tortured Three Coyotes With a Snowmobile in 2009 Received $5000 in 2016 for “Hound Depredations”

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Coyote photo via Wikimedia Commons

Last week I wrote about a hounder by the name of Michael Wood from Amery, Wisconsin that received $5000 from the Wisconsin DNR in 2016 for two hounds that were allegedly killed by wolves. In the post we pointed out that a subject with the same name out of Amery had a conviction on three counts of intentionally mistreating animals in 2009 out of Bayfield County.

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Screenshot of OPEN RECORD from the Wisconsin Court System Circuit Court Access 

Upon further research we found that the same subject was also under open charges for poaching a bear and resisting a warden in September of 2016, two months after the alleged “depredation” of his hounds.

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Screenshot of OPEN RECORD from the Wisconsin Court System Circuit Court Access 

Through an open records request we were able to obtain the original criminal complaint for the 2009 incident that Wood was convicted of and it is even more horrifying than we imagined.

From the criminal complaint:

Complainant is a Conservation Warden with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. She makes this complaint on information and belief from the records and reports collected and maintained in the ordinary course of business. On Friday, February 20, 2009 at approximately 4:41 p.m. Egstad was at the Bayfield DNR Office when she received a phone call concerning a snowmobiler chasing what the caller thought to be a wolf on the ice of Lake Superior on Bark Bay, west of Cornucopia in the Town of Bell, Bayfield County, Wisconsin. Egstad left the office and proceeded towards the site of the complainant. Egstad spoke by phone with Dan and Sharon Sheldon who stated that they had watched one person on an orange snowmobile chase around what they believed to be a wolf on the ice at Bark Bay and had hit the animal with his snowmobile. They observed the person pick up the animal and drive to the Bark Bay point boat landing. They stated that they had observed the snowmobiler chase the animal for 30 minutes at least and hit the animal a couple of times with the snowmobile. At approximately the same time Egstad was contacted by Mark Hanson, Bayfield Department of Natural Resources Creel Clerk who stated that he had observed a snowmobiler chasing coyotes and hitting them as well as picking them up when they were laying on the ice. Hanson stated that he had taken digital photos of the pick-up truck that the snowmobiler was driving. The plate of the vehicle came back registered to Michael J. Wood of Amery, Wisconsin, the defendant herein. Egstad had previously been advised that the truck in question was at a residence in the area. Egstad went to the location and met with Michael Wood. Egstad was advised by Wood that he had been out fishing on the ice during the day and had gotten three coyotes that were in his trailer. Egstad asked Wood how he had gotten the coyotes and Wood stated that he had shot them with his .22. Egstad observed the coyotes and believed them to be suffering from much more damage than if they had been shot with a .22. Wood denied using his snowmobiles to hit the coyotes but admitted to following them until they were tired and then shot them. Egstad observed Wood’s snowmobile and the track and belly pan had blood under the front end skis and track consistent with the animals having been run over. Egstad seized the three coyotes and subsequently had them skinned. No bullet hole was found in the carcass or skin or coyote number one, however, major trauma was located throughout the body. Coyote number two was also skinned and again evidence of severe trauma was located, however no bullet hole was observed. Coyote number three showed severe trauma throughout the body, however, trauma was also located in a restricted area near the location of one bullet hole.

Download the entire criminal complaint:

Michael Wood Criminal Complaint 2009

This person received $5000 of taxpayer money for two separate hound “depredation” incidents in 2016 despite having this type of history. Then two months after the “depredations,” Wood allegedly poached a bear and is also charged for resisting a warden. Did this stop the DNR from this year paying out the $5000 for 2016 AFTER the new charges were filed? No it did not. Once again we have not only a convicted criminal being rewarded for TWO separate incidents where his hounds were allegedly killed by wolves, but he still receives the payment from the DNR after allegedly poaching a bear and resisting a warden. This guy tortured three coyotes with a snowmobile and was convicted for it. Then he allegedly poaches a bear and resists a warden. Is it any surprise that he is also a hounder that recklessly puts his dogs in danger and gets two of them killed? That sure doesn’s surprise me.

Have we had enough yet Wisconsin? Contact your state legislators and tell them ENOUGH of this scam and ENOUGH of rewarding reckless hounders and convicted criminals for their behavior.

Find your legislators HERE

 

 

Hounder that Tormented Trapped Cats Will Not be Charged Despite Video Evidence: Welcome to Wisconsin 

The Wisconsin DNR and Marathon County Sheriff's Department says that this is in "bad taste" but not illegal. Still shared via Fair Use.

The Wisconsin DNR and Marathon County Sheriff’s Department says that this is in “bad taste” but not illegal. Still shared via Fair Use.

Back in August, I posted a story about a Wisconsin hounder videotaping his dogs tormenting cats in live traps. For the past year and a half dedicated wildlife advocates have been trying to push for legal action against the person that allowed his dogs to torment these cats and also take videos of his dogs attacking a raccoon. The Wisconsin DNR has refused to take any action despite the illegal activity being on video. Local law enforcement agencies have been playing a game of “pass the jurisdiction” among each other and also refusing to take any action despite video evidence. The claim among the local law enforcement agencies is that there was no animal cruelty violation. Apparently they believe that live trapping cats and allowing a pack of dogs to torment them is perfectly acceptable in Wisconsin and that the only “violation” is the suspect’s “training method.” Training method? Domestic cats aren’t “game” animals so how is this “training?” What exactly is this hounder “training” them for? Not that it matters because the Wisconsin DNR has also apparently refused to take any action despite video evidence of a clear violation.

Same hounder allowing his dogs to attack a raccoon. The DNR refuses to take action on this as well. Still shared via Fair Use.

Same hounder allowing his dogs to attack a raccoon. The DNR refuses to take action on this as well. Still shared via Fair Use.

Welcome to Wisconsin. Where wildlife advocates or anyone else using public land may soon be criminals for taking photos but where hounders can use their dogs to torture wildlife on video and no action will be taken. Let that sink in. Hounders and their ilk can videotape their own illegal torture of animals and the Wisconsin DNR and local law enforcement will refuse to take any action but if YOU videotape the same behavior as a wildlife advocate YOU may soon be held criminally liable. What kind of message is Wisconsin sending to the rest of the world? That you are a criminal if you monitor activity on public land for criminal behavior but you can videotape your own criminal acts and have total immunity?

I am furious and you should be as well. Wisconsin has made it so that hounders, baiters, and trappers have total immunity from state law and even the supposed “ethics” that the hunting community claim to hold dear. I make no secret about my thoughts on the modern “sportsman” and their “kill everything” mentality but how can actions like those depicted in these videos not even infuriate them? Even if they don’t care about the animals being tormented, and they likely don’t, shouldn’t they be furious that this type of behavior gives their “sport” a black eye?

I am not going to directly name the suspect here but I will post the link from where the videos came from. I suppose that I shouldn’t expect any ethical behavior from a person that calls his business Kwackem & Stackem Waterfowl LLC.

Different trapped cat being tormented by bear hounds.  Still shared under Fair Use.

Different trapped cat being tormented by bear hounds. Still shared under Fair Use.

Internet you know what to do. Please no threats nor anything illegal or you are as bad as these monsters. Please contact the Wisconsin DNR and the local law enforcement agencies and ask why charges have not been filed and how they cannot consider this a violation of animal cruelty statutes. It’s time we demand that they ENFORCE the law and hold these animal torturers accountable for their actions.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 

Call Center Staff Available 7 Days a Week (7 a.m.-10 p.m.)
Call Toll Free 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463)

Marathon County Sheriff’s Department 

500 Forest St, Wausau, WI 54403
(715) 261-1200

Wisconsin GOP Legislature Seeks to Attack Free Speech, Allow Toddlers to Hunt, and Promote Trespassing and Poaching: Just Another Week in the Bloodsport Capital of the United States

This should be ancient history. Instead this is

This activity should be ancient history like this painting. Instead this is “recreation” in Wisconsin and more important than YOUR First Amendment rights.

The poor great white hunter. They are such a persecuted entity in the state of Wisconsin. Not only can they shoot, arrow, hound, trap,bait, and kill almost any species throughout the year they also control the governorship, legislature, Natural Resources Board, courts, county boards, and apparently every other government entity, but that is apparently not enough.

As I pointed out last week there is a new extremist killing cartel shill in the legislature to take the place of the disgraced Scott Suder (R-ALEC) as the mouthpiece for the bear hounders. This week the legislative mouthpiece for the extremist killing cartels, Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-WBHA), introduced legislation to criminalize the First Amendment for those that share a different ideology and have the nerve to videotape and report on the myriad of illegal and unethical behaviors perpetrated by bear hounders and baiters on OUR public lands.

Jarchow stands with hunters? I didn't know hounders, baiters, and trappers were real

Jarchow stands with hunters? I didn’t know hounders, baiters, and trappers were real “hunters.”

Yes nothing says “family friendly” like using packs of vicious dogs to rip apart bear and other wildlife 24/7/365. Nothing says “family friendly” like depositing almost FIVE MILLION gallons of stale junk food on our public lands for SIX MONTHS in the hopes of conditioning and later executing a bear while eating. I would also like to know which “fishermen” are being “harassed?” While I am not a fan of fishing I know plenty of fishermen that sure wouldn’t want to be lumped in with hounders, baiters, and trappers.

Those “few precious days” for bear hounders start July 1st of each year and lasts until mid October. For bear baiters they have a full SIX MONTHS to deposit their stale junk food on OUR public lands. But that is never enough for extremist wildlife killers and their shills like Jarchow.

Let’s get to the real point behind this bill. The bear hounders/baiters and their mouthpiece, lobbyist Bob Welch, know that the group Wolf Patrol has shone a light onto the depraved and often illegal world of the whole hounding/baiting “culture” so this bill is another legislative attack against those with a differing ideology. One look at the terminology that Jarchow (R-WBHA) uses in his “press release” shows exactly what this is about. It also doesn’t hurt to look at those commenting on his Facebook page and the symbols that they use on their profiles. Here is an example of what is used by at least two of his fans.

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One of Rep. Jarchow's bill supporters. Screenshot shared under Fair Use.

One of Rep. Jarchow’s bill supporters. Screenshot shared under Fair Use.

This is all about wolves and the desire of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association (WBHA) and affiliated groups to eradicate them from our landscape. The calls of “smoke a pack a day” from these people show exactly what the ultimate goal is. While I may have small differences with the Wolf Patrol, they are doing what needs to be done. They are showing blatant illegal behavior perpetrated by hounders, baiters, and trappers while the Wisconsin DNR does NOTHING as usual. Jarchow and his buddies in the hounder/baiter groups don’t like the public seeing what their “sport” is all about and how they flaunt the breaking of laws and defile OUR public lands with their bait and legalized animal fighting.

This bill like so many others in Wisconsin is emblematic of what our state has become since 2010. Freedom of Speech only applies if you agree with the majority party currently in power and if you are a politician/supporter caught breaking the law they will just change the law to make the illegal behavior legal. Then if you are a “watchdog” that catches onto and reports the illegal behavior you will be demonized and the law will be changed just as Jarchow is trying to do here.

Jarchow makes the claim that the thought of a “hunt” being “ruined” by an “extremist group” makes him “sick.” You know what makes me sick? The disingenuous crap put forth by Jarchow and his followers that makes it seem like using PUBLIC lands and exercising our Freedom of Speech rights are something to be made illegal. While Jarchow and his benefactors in the killing cartels love to make inflammatory and untrue accusations they seem to be forgetting that it was the hounders that were harassing, blocking, and following those seeking to document what the hounders and baiters were doing as shown in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrNyjK7eL_M

The hounders blocking the Wolf Patrol vehicle can even be heard claiming that “they are the law.” This is not an uncommon mindset amount hounders and baiters in Wisconsin. They are pandered to by legislators like Jarchow and are essentially given free reign by the Wisconsin DNR and local law enforcement agencies to do whatever they want. They can dump MILLIONS of gallons of stale junk food as bear bait all over OUR public lands, allow their dogs to run rampant on OUR public lands, and get a $2500 check from the Wisconsin DNR each time one of those free roaming dogs gets killed by a wolf, but it’s wildlife advocates that are “extremists” and doing the “harassing?”

What Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-WBHA) is going here is criminalizing free speech and the free navigation of OUR public lands. He is writing into law that hounders, baiters, and trappers will have free rein to behave as they want on OUR public lands and the “criminal” in the matter are the ones documenting illegal behavior. Remember that most of the hounding and baiting occurs on OUR National Forest land and this smacks of nothing more than a takeover of these lands by the extremist “hunting” elements in our state. It is also another example of trying to criminalize free speech and those that have a differing ideology from the right-wing extremists that currently run our state. Jarchow is a wealthy lawyer and should at least have some understanding of the United States Constitution and American law, but his false premise of a “right to hunt” taking presence over free speech and free passage on OUR public lands is highly disturbing. Not surprising considering the power drunk cabal that he is a part of at the state Capitol, but still disturbing.

Jarchow, in his “press release” makes the claim that hunting is a “family friendly” activity and it is somehow the “job” of government and elected representatives to get kids outside and killing’ instead of staying “indoors watching TV or surfing the internet.” Not coincidentally there are two more disturbing and likely related proposals that have been introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature.

The first proposal spearheaded by Wisconsin Representative and convicted wildlife violator, Joel Kleefisch, would remove the age limit for hunting in Wisconsin for “mentored hunting” along with any limitation on the number and types of weapons that can be used.

SB 301

An Act to repeal 29.592 (3); and to amend 29.592 (1) (intro.) of the statutes;
relating to: eliminating age requirements for participating in the hunting
mentorship program and hunting devices authorized to be used under the
hunting mentorship program.

Want to take your infant or toddler out and let them hound, trap, arrow, bait, or shoot wildlife? This proposal would allow that. Is it a coincidence that Jarchow mentioned how horrible it was for youth to watch TV and use the internet when there is all that good killin’ to be done?

The next proposal, also championed by convicted wildlife violator, Rep. Joel Kleefisch, seeks to remove the current decades old requirement that hunters wear backtags for identification and to help prevent trespassing.

Under current law, when the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issues
a person an archer hunting license, a deer hunting license, a bear hunting license,
an elk hunting license, a sports license, or a conservation patron license, DNR also
issues a back tag to be attached to the person’s outermost garment when that person
is hunting as authorized by the license. This bill eliminates the requirement that
DNR issue a back tag with any of these licenses and the requirement that the licensee
attach a back tag to any garment while hunting.

This proposal should be renamed the 2015 Poaching and Trespassing Protection and Enablement Act. What benefit is there to the general public for the backtag requirement to be removed other than to protect those breaking the law? Just like Jarchow’s attack on the First Amendment it seems that the whole goal is to provide complete cover for those that want to poach, trespass, and otherwise violate the law. What other explanation is there? The answer is easy enough to find by checking to see which “hunter” groups support these proposals.

For the backtag removal bill these are the groups lobbying in support:

2015-2016 Legislative Session
Senate Bill 289
Relating to: back tag requirements. (FE)
1
National Rifle Association of America
For For
Notified Date: 10/13/2015
2
Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association
For For
Notified Date: 10/8/2015
3
Wisconsin FORCE (Wisconsin Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs, & Educators, Inc.)
For For
Notified Date: 10/8/2015

For the removal of age limits for the “hunter mentorship” program:

2015-2016 Legislative Session
Senate Bill 301
Relating to: eliminating age requirements for participating in the hunting mentorship program and hunting devices authorized to be used under the hunting mentorship program.
1
National Rifle Association of America
For For
Notified Date: 10/13/2015
2
Whitetails of Wisconsin
For For
Notified Date: 10/12/2015
3
Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association
For For
Notified Date: 10/12/2015
4
Wisconsin FORCE (Wisconsin Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs, & Educators, Inc.)
For For
Notified Date: 10/12/2015

What do all of these groups have in common? All but the NRA have the same lobbyist. That lobbyist is none other than Bob Welch, he of the windtunnel tested hair and hatred of wolves. The one group listed as in favor of eliminating the age restriction that he lobbies for, “Whitetails of Wisconsin,” is a lobbying group for canned hunting operations in the state. I guess allowing toddlers to shoot and kill hand raised animals behind fences must be good for business.

It’s the same names and same nefarious agendas at play here as those seeking to eradicate our wolf population. In what world does it make sense to criminalize free speech and then work to protect poachers and trespassers from being identified?

Please let Rep. Jarchow know what you think about his attempt to criminalize free speech here:

(608) 267-2365

Rep.Jarchow@legis.wi.gov

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/28/jarchow/contact-me/

Then contact YOUR state representatives and speak out against all of these insane proposals:

Find Your Legislator 

The ONLY positive to be taken from these proposals is that the hounders/baiters are scared that their sadistic behavior and “culture” of legalized animal fighting and unethical practices are being exposed to the light. Those that participate in and benefit from the killing culture of this state are also in a panic because more and more people are turning away from bloodsports or not participating in them starting in their youth. This means less and less funding for agencies like the Wisconsin DNR that exist solely for the benefit of those that kill, torment, and exploit our “natural resources.” Much like the deplorable “ag-gag” bills across the country Jarchow’s attack on free speech and navigation of OUR public lands will get its day in court. Glass houses……stones………

**UPDATE**

It turns out that according to the legislative website of Rep. Adam Jarchow, he is a member of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, National Rifle Association, and the Polk County Sportsmen’s Club. No conflict of interest here is there?

Biography
Born St. Paul, Minn., November 10, 1978; married; 2 children. Graduate Clear Lake H.S. 1997; B.S. finance U. of South Florida 2001; J.D. U. of Florida 2004. Attorney. Member: Polk Co. Economic Development Corporation (secy.); National Rifle Assn.; Polk Co. Sportsmen’s Club; Wis. Bear Hunters Assn.; Apple River Fire Dept.
Elected to Assembly 2014.

Killing Giggles the Fawn and the Double Standard of How Blatant Wildlife Violations by Hounders and Trappers are Ignored

It all came to a head on July 15, 2013. After weeks of aerial and ground surveillance, diligent investigation, and the approval of a search warrant, the fugitive was cornered and the courageous and heavily armed deputies of the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources were ready strike and apprehend the dangerous suspect and send a message to those harboring her. When the time came the 16 officers executed the SWAT style raid with perfection, apprehended the suspect, and summarily executed her for the safety of the entire state and humanity itself.

Here is what the violent suspect, that needed 16 heavily armed officers to apprehend, looked like prior to her execution.

Giggles the fawn. Killed by the DNR on July 15, 2013.

Giggles the fawn. Killed by the DNR on July 15, 2013.

This innocent little baby was killed by the Wisconsin DNR because some kindhearted people at the Society of St. Francis Animal Shelter took the fawn, affectionately known as Giggles, in prior to attempting to place her with a wildlife rehabber in Illinois. Giggles was brought to the shelter by some well meaning but misinformed people that believed she was orphaned. Because Wisconsin law forbids wild animals, such as deer from being kept, the DNR and local law enforcement apparently felt that a SWAT style raid was necessary to resolve the situation. This is what the talking heads at the Wisconsin DNR said after the raid and execution of Giggles: 

“Last week our warden staff had the difficult and emotional job of removing a fawn that was illegally taken out of the wild and into captivity. None of our staff take joy in these situations. The department does the best it can to educate the public about keeping wild animals in the wild. In the end, we are charged by the citizens of Wisconsin to carry out state laws mandated by the legislature. It is a responsibility we take very seriously. We don’t have the ability to pick and choose which laws to enforce. Wardens did request voluntary compliance from the facility. When that didn’t happen, our staff took precautions to keep everyone safe as they executed the required search warrant. We are always very empathetic to those involved in these situations and understand how difficult they are to all who are involved.”

Thank the “heavens” that we have a diligent and courageous DNR and local law enforcement to keep us safe from the scourge of baby deer and workers at animal shelters. Of course there is one little thing that the DNR conveniently “forgot” to mention. They didn’t mention the fact that a certain segment of people in the state are allowed to keep wild animals. Those wild animals aren’t “kept in the wild” but it is perfectly legal for this segment of people to “posses” them and use them to “train” their dogs on. Of course I am talking about none other than our glorious hounders and how they can keep wild animals to torment. This is what the Wisconsin statutes state:

169.20(2)(b) (b) A hound dog training license authorizes the holder of the license to purchase, possess, release into the wild, and hunt any of the following wild animals for the purpose of teaching hound dogs to track game:

169.20(2)(b)1. 1. Live captive rabbit purchased or otherwise acquired from a person holding a captive wild animal farm license.
169.20(2)(b)2. 2. Live captive raccoon.
169.20(2)(b)3. 3. Live captive bear of the species Ursus americanus.
169.20(2)(b)4. 4. Live captive fox.
169.20(2)(b)5. 5. Live captive coyote.
169.20(2)(b)6. 6. Live captive bobcat

The statute states that these animals can be kept for the purpose of teaching hound dogs to TRACK “game.” Nowhere does it say that the hounder doing the “teaching” can allow the dog can attack or kill the “game.” Only TRACKING is allowed. So why then does the Wisconsin DNR refuse to enforce the law when it comes to blatant violations where photographic and video evidence is provided showing illegal activity?

This weekend I am sure many of you read with outrage my post about the hounder videotaping his dogs tormenting two live trapped cats. I also presented another video made by the same person where he was encouraging his dogs to attack a raccoon. In both instances the hounder escaped any and all repercussions for his illegal behavior because both the Portage County Sheriff’s Department and the Wisconsin DNR refused to take any action.

Wisconsin bear hounder allowing his dogs to torment trapped cat.

Wisconsin bear hounder allowing his dogs to torment trapped cat.

Wisconsin hounder in action. Photo shared under Fair Use.

Wisconsin hounder in action. Photo shared under Fair Use.

As disturbing as these videos are there have been far more even more horrifying ones presented to the authorities followed by more refusals to take action. In 2013 a wolf killer trapped a wolf near Portage Wisconsin and allowed the wolf to languish in the trap for at least a week. Wisconsin trapping rules state that traps must be checked every 24 hours. What did the DNR do after numerous complaints were filed about this incident? They warned the wolf killer and the land owner not to do it again. No charges. No fine. Nothing but a “warning.”

illegal-wolf-trapping

Of course total inaction and apathy toward cruelty toward wildlife is not exclusive to Wisconsin agencies. Earlier this summer I was forwarded a video made by a Minnesota based hounder showing his dogs being allowed to viciously attack a coyote at what the hounder described as a Minnesota based “penning” facility. After contacting the Minnesota DNR we were told that such penning facilities are not legal in Minnesota and that the video may constitute a serious violation.

MN Hounder

Full video here:  https://youtu.be/TkjgYTb526k

This is the email interaction between a MN DNR warden and one of the reporting parties.

I have a couple of questions about Minnesota law before I report a possible violation. First, is the penning of coyotes and other wildlife legal in Minnesota for the purpose of “training” dogs? Second if it is legal are the dogs allowed to physically attack and kill the coyotes and other wildlife within these “pens?”

From the MN DNR:

The answer is no for both of your questions. There is an exception for your first questions – animals that are bought legally from a game farm can be penned and used for training dogs as long as it’s done in a humane way. Some people train their coon dogs by pulling a cage (with a raccoon in it) through the woods and fields to lay down a scent for the dog but the dogs are not actively chasing the raccoon. The big difference is where did the animals come from – the wild or a game farm. I don’t know any game farms in MN that exclusively sell coyotes – most sell game birds and a few other critters.

Major Greg Salo
Operations Manager
MN DNR Enforcement
651-259-5045
Gregory.salo@state.mn.us

In the social media comments forwarded to us with the video the hounder bragged that this “training” was occurring at a penning facility “near Brainerd.” This information was provided to the MN DNR along with the video by the complainant. For once we thought that finally action may be taken against a hounder for illegal activity. But as usual we were mistaken. Despite the video and the comments from the hounder that recorded it the MN DNR some how came to the conclusion that this occurred in Wisconsin rather than Minnesota. This was the response from the MN DNR:

We looked into this case and believe this activity is occurring just across the border in Wisconsin where it is legal to use a pen to train dogs for coyotes. We are wrapping up a few more details and I’ll let you know if something else develops.

Of course nothing more “developed” and this blatant violation was also ignored with no repercussions for the perpetrator. The inaction from the Wisconsin DNR, Minnesota DNR, and local law enforcement agencies to blatant cruelty is highly disturbing and it makes me wonder what it actually takes for them to take any sort action. Apparently photos, videos, and the words directly from the violators are not enough for any action to occur concerning blatant cruelty and law violations. The investigating agencies always have some sort of excuse as to why charges are never filed or citations are never issued.

Apparently you have to be an animal shelter volunteer harboring a viscous baby deer for local law enforcement or the DNR to take a violation seriously. In that case they will send a 16 member SWAT style team to take you and the baby down. So is the sad state of affairs for wildlife advocates in Wisconsin and the rest of the country.