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

Coyote_portrait

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

 

 

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Sadistic Killing of Tern Chicks Causes “Outrage” In Wisconsin, But Hounder Brutality is Ignored

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Today, the Wisconsin DNR put out information to numerous media outlets about the sadistic killing of of 25 endangered common tern chicks in Winnebago County. From the Wisconsin State Journal:

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was asking the public for help in tracking down someone who killed 25 endangered common tern chicks, officials said Thursday.

The dead animals were either stomped to death or crushed by someone wielding a rock on an island in Lake Butte des Morts, in Winnebago County, the DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement said in a press release.

The bureau is asking for help from the public in identifying whoever is responsible for killing the chicks, said spokeswoman Joanne Haas.

DNR staff members discovered the damaged colony on Tuesday night. The checks were about 2 to 21 days old, Haas said.

The common tern prefers shorelines, bays and sand bars of large lakes and rivers, as well as sandy or rocky coastal islands, and marshes, according the DNR website.

The common tern is listed as a state endangered species. 

Intentional violation of the state endangered species law can carry a fine between $2,000 and $5,000 and nine months in jail along with revocation of hunting privileges for three years.

DNR officials asked that anyone with information related to this crime call the DNR Hotline — 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367. 

Common Tern Chick-Via Wikimedia Commons

Common Tern Chick-Via Wikimedia Commons

As expected there was universal outrage directed at the cretin(s) that undertook such a disgusting and brutal attack. People across the political and social spectrum commented on the news articles asking “what kind of person could do such a thing?” They seem to forget or ignore that this is Wisconsin, the Blood Sport Capital of the United States. What if terns became a huntable species in Wisconsin? How “outraged” would people be if they were labeled a “game” animal by the Legislature or DNR and treated this way? How “outraged” would they be if the state authorized the use of dogs against them as they do many other forms of wildlife in Wisconsin? I’m guessing not much as evident by the response to the court ruling yesterday that allows hounders to “train” their dogs on wolves for 365 days a year until the DNR put “rules” in place early next year.

Wisconsin is the ONLY state in the country that allows the use of dogs against wolves. Not even the brutally sadistic anti-wolf states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming allow this yet Wisconsin does. In fact this is what the Wisconsin Appeals Court wrote in their decision yesterday showing how far out of the ethical and mainstream spectrum Wisconsin truly is:

The appellate court concluded that the lack of restrictions in the DNR’s rules doesn’t conflict with the wolf hunt law or animal cruelty statutes. The court said it’s unclear how many restrictions the agency would have to impose to achieve compliance.

The DNR made a rational decision on the extent of restrictions, the court added. Hunters with experience with dogs tracking wolves during coyote hunts told the agency they had never seen any violent encounters and wolves typically try to outrun the dogs.

As for (Dane County Judge) Anderson’s ruling invalidating training, the court said Wisconsin residents have a common law right to hunt. The freedom to use dogs extends from that right, not from DNR regulations. Therefore Anderson’s ruling invalidating dog training rules as they apply to wolves has no legal effect, the court found.

So according to this court ruling this “common law right to hunt” means that dogs can be used as weapons with no restrictions or any application to animal cruelty statutes? The court also based their decision on testimony from hounders participating in the then ILLEGAL activity of “tracking” wolves? The same hounders also said that wolves and dogs don’t fight? What? So why has the DNR paid out in excess of $500,000 since 1985 for hunting dogs that have been allegedly killed by wolves? Was it all a mirage? Apparently yes. What has Wisconsin devolved to and where is the “outrage” toward this?

At one time or another for 24 hours a day 365 days a year the hounders in Wisconsin can pit their dogs against one species or another. Dogs can be used against bears, coyotes, raccoons, bobcats, and even TURKEYS. Yes dogs in Wisconsin can be used against turkeys. Finally Wisconsin hounders can, since 2013, use their dogs against wolves. The same wolves that hounders claim have been killing their dogs for the past couple of decades leading to in excess of $500,000 in “depredation” payouts. This along with alleged “depredations” on “livestock” were one of the supposed reasons why Wisconsin “needed” a wolf hunt according to the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and their affiliated groups. Those “big bad wolves” were killing their bear/coyote/bobcat/raccoon dogs that they consider to be “family.” So what did they do? They made sure to have it legislated that they could use those very same dogs that they consider “family” against wolves. These are the same “family” members that they claim are worth in excess of $10,000 yet are often given away for free or for a couple of hundred dollars on hounder Facebook pages. These are the same “family” members that are kept on a chain outside for most of their lives in all weather conditions like this:

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This:

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Or this:

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Yeah I do that to my “family” members. Do you? Yet all of this brutal and sadistic behavior is allowed and even encouraged by the Wisconsin Legislature and DNR but where is the outrage? Countless animals are tormented, injured, or ripped to shreds by hounders and their dogs yet there is almost no outrage. Come on Wisconsin we are better than this. Start telling everyone that you know about the legalized animal fighting that happens on a daily basis in our state. Remember the outrage over Giggles the Fawn? Michael Vick? There is even worse brutality occurring in our woods each and every day. Why should it surprise anyone that Wisconsin harbors monsters capable of stomping on two day old chicks when we have state sanctioned animal fighting in our woods? Please get outraged about it and demand a change.

Find your state legislators here, contact them, and demand a change to how wildlife is treated in our state:

Who Are My Legislators?