Sample Letter to National Forest Officials: End Bear Baiting and Hounding on Wisconsin Public Lands

“If everyone in the pro-wolf movement in Wisconsin could put their differences aside for one reason, it should be to put unified pressure on Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials to end baiting and hounding on NF lands.”   – Rod Coronado, Wolf Patrol

Please use this letter as a template to express your opposition to the bear hounding and baiting practices that are currently being allowed to take place with very little regulation on our public lands:


Subject:  End Bear Baiting and Hounding on National Forest Lands

To whom it may concern,

My name is Britt Ricci and I am a life-long resident of Northern Wisconsin. I am writing to request that you please consider banning the practice of bear baiting and hounding in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

My partner and I are non-consumptive outdoor enthusiasts who love hiking, biking, and backcountry camping, however those activities are extremely disrupted by the bear hounders who are currently allowed to run rampant throughout our public forests with hardly any enforcement or regulation.

They dump thousands of gallons of sugary, greasy, processed junk food as “bait” which our wildlife is inevitably feeding on. This practice is terribly unsafe and unhealthy for the bears and other wildlife that consumes it.

Their packs of hounds are loud, disruptive and dangerous for everyone else who wants to recreate on those public areas. When hounding season is in full force, we feel endangered even being near the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest because trucks are speeding all over the place, dragging the roads illegally, parking wherever they want, unleashing packs of aggressive hunting hounds and acting as though they own the land.

How is it that I am expected to keep my dog on a leash when hiking through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, but these bear hunters are allowed to let packs of dogs run rampant through the forest for miles while harassing any wildlife, humans or pets that they come in contact with?

The practice of bear hounding is antiquated and inhumane, and should not be allowed to take place on our shared wild spaces. It disrupts the many Wisconsin residents who wish to use our public lands peacefully as an escape from the chaos of daily life. These bear hounders have been allowed to run all over the residents and wildlife of our state long enough. Please ban bear baiting and hounding in our National Forests so that land can be enjoyed peacefully by the rest of us.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my perspective.

Britt Ricci  (Birchwood, WI)


26 thoughts on “Sample Letter to National Forest Officials: End Bear Baiting and Hounding on Wisconsin Public Lands

  1. Bait and hounding are management tools , not to be confused with the ulterior anti bear hunting motive here. The real issue is the explosion of wolf numbers and the negative impact that it has caused to ALL recreational forest visitors…thin out the wolves


    1. John, your comment has no basis in reality. “Management tools”? really? That would be laughable, if it wasn’t so ignorant. “..explosion of wolf numbers and the negative impact that it has caused to ALL recreational forest visitors…” There would be a lot more visitors if they thought they might hear the howl of a wild, magnificent wolf, rather than the artificial noise of rampaging hounds, fake hunters’ vehicles and gunfire.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are only able to be on the land because the bears are scared of you . If you stop the hunting then they will no longer be afraid and you and your dogs will be food lol


      2. You sound uneducated regarding wildlife management, Gary Feest. Hunting is conservation. The individual writing this letter is fear mongering.


    2. Empty hearts and minds of those who enjoy slaughtering wildlife is sociopathic enjoyment of trophy hunting. Look at me…I can hold a gun and see blood and guts. If it were even for the food there might be some semblance of reason. The numbers can be controlled through other methods such as collaring especially the female wolves. This is outright thrill of the kill nothing more.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Are you confused because the last thing I read was about bear hunting, not wolves but we can get into that conversation as well. Every bear hunter that I have ever encountered and I have been hunting since I was in diapers doesn’t just “kill” to see blood and guts, they actually use it as a food source. In fact, I’m eating a delicious bear brat right now. So where is the difference between eating beef and bear? Unless you don’t eat any animal by products you have no room to talk on the fair treatment of animals. We are the dominant species and it all comes down to the food chain, people have been hunting and killing animals for 100’s of years before you and unlike then we have rules and numbers set in place to protect species from going instinct. There are people out there who give hunters a bad name but instead of targeting us as a whole, fight the people who actually break the rules.


  2. You have unleashed the madness of blood lust by allowing these hunting practices on public lands, putting everyone at risk, how can anyone go there to commune with Nature, feel the splendor, this is very wrong, please stop allowing this to continue.


  3. How many times have you been harassed by a hound or a hunter? While I understand there are always small numbers of people that make the larger group look bad, very few houndsman act in the manner you have stated. As you state, these are public lands for the use by all, that includes hunters, whether you like it or not. Quite frankly, there is quite a bit of harassment toward hunters from your friends at the Wolf Patrol, but I can respect your opinions. I simply ask you respect ours.


    1. I agree, public is for EVERYONES use, why is it, if it offends one person , then it needs to be banned? Maybe there are things you do and enjoy that may offend someone would you want that to be banned then? Hunting no matter how it is done has been around forever. It has been a way of feeding families, animal population control, and in some cases family tradition. Leave the hunter alone. Don’t like it, don’t be in the woods at that time. Adapt instead of trying to change just because you don’t like it!


    2. Someone hiking through the forest can NOT be compared to hunters with barking, potentially aggressive, packs of dogs. We’re not impeding on others’ use or space; you are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You make these dogs sound like killer animals, have you ever taken the time to pet a hound hunters dog because they are just as lovable if not more than the dog I keep in my house. Why do we live in a society that if one person doesn’t enjoy it nobody can?


      1. Do you eat animal by products? Because if you do please look into the slaughtering of those animals. You make hound hunters sound bad but not the company’s that pack thousands of chickens into a tiny warehouse? It’s not like bear hunters and other hunters have unlimited range to kill whatever they want.


  4. You say unleashing there packs of aggressive hounds harassing other pets and humans….. you couldn’t be more far from the truth! When was the last time you were harassed or heard of a hound attacking a human? How do you come up with these lies?


  5. I wish this biased website would actually spread really information. As with any group, there will always be the bad ones, but is it really fair to judge a whole group by the few bad? I don’t know one hunter that spills out hundreds of pounds of food to attract the bears. That is the reason they have hounds. The hounds find the bear. Most hunters are extremely nice people that will treat everyone else with tons of respect. The areas the hounds run through isn’t the same as where hikers walk. The dogs are in the middle of the woods where there are no trails, so how is it that they are “constantly harassing people and other pets”? Hunting with hounds is a great way for hunters to really be able to choose what animal they want to harvest. Having a bear up a tree vs having one 300 yards from you is much easier to judge if it’s a female, or a young bear, or if it’s already injured, etc. Many other activities have the bad apple in the bunch that also are bad for the forest, but we aren’t going to ban everything due to the few bad apples. Some hikers litter, should we ban hiking because of those few bad hikers? I hope people actually do research on this subject instead of just believing a very biased and uninformed website.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I live in an area where there are 3 known wolf packs. I have french bulldogs little fat wolf morsels, and have never had an issue with wolves. I have however had a lot of issue with the hounders in this area that fly up and down the roads until their packs of 6 hounds per tag sound off, and when they do, these guys stop their vehicles right in the middle of the road and let their hounds loose. They go tearing across property that is not public, but private. They don’t give two hoots who’s property, and there is no permission requested. Once the hounds have a bear tree’d they get their butts out of the pick up and go shoot it out of the tree. My neighbors 12 year old cat was killed by one of these packs of hounds right in front of her. It is illegal to video these people. WE could go to jail for making a record of what they are up to. They are paid $2,500 for every dead hound due to being killed by bear or wolves even though their owners are the ones putting them in harms way.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Do you enjoy watching the hounds surround an animal who should be left alone to live their lives in the wild without being hunted down? Does it thrill you to take their lives from them? Some of these poor hounds are mistreated not fed and left in the wild to die after their of no use any longer. This mentality of animals are beneath us and worthless is unconscionable. The excuse this that this is number management is ridiculous.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Bear hunting with hounds is one of the very best management tools we have as sportsmen. You can decide if you would like to harvest a particular bear or not.

    As to the harassment issue, I as a hunter and friend of the hound hunters, have been harassed, threatened and called names by the anti-hunting, anti-hunting community.


  7. The outrageous disrespect for the EARTH
    and its inhabitants that has escalated more
    Recently is completely unacceptable. We are
    Paying the price in many ways…..Ravenous
    FIRES, extremely destructive Hurricanes,
    Floods, disappearing Wildlife, Etc. !!!!
    The CRUEL hunting and Hounding being
    allowed in OUR FORESTS is just another
    sign that we need to wake up and STOP
    These Barbaric Activities…..we should not
    be SAVAGES anymore. HELP……!!!!!!!!!


  8. It’s not going away. State collects a lot of money in bear tags. 100000 applicants and 12000 tags at $50 a pop this last year. There are more bear than ever in my area. Whether you like it or not there must be a population control and hunting is currently and will remain the answer. It works and brings in state revenue and tourism dollars. I personally believe hunting with dogs and baiting with sweets is borderline for my hunting ethics. However, if you’ve hunted bear before you would realize dogs are by far the most productive way to hunt them. Sitting on bait is mildly productive in comparison. What population control option would someone tha opposes suggest? And yes there has to be one, the population is climbing even with record tags being given out. How would the DNR make up lost revenue? The DNR clearly loves bear hunting right now as you can see by the explosion in tags given out. As always it’s about the money, the DNR could sell half the tags if they opened the season a week or two earlier.


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