WI Man to pay fine for killing bear

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 11:54 pm | Updated: 11:55 pm, Wed Jun 4, 2014.

A Fall Creek man will pay a $2,443 fine for killing a bear in the town of Bridge Creek during last fall’s gun deer season.

Michael C. Mackey, 29, pleaded guilty in Eau Claire County Court to a misdemeanor count of killing a bear without a license.

Judge Michael Schumacher also revoked Mackey’s DNR license privileges for three years.

According to the criminal complaint:

A confidential informant told authorities a bear was killed Nov. 24 during a deer drive.

A second informant contacted authorities and said Mackey shot a bear and hid the carcass in the woods.

During a Nov. 29 interview, Mackey admitted to a warden that he shot a bear. He said he shot the animal in the town of Bridge Creek because it charged up a steep hill directly at him.

The warden, with Mackey’s help, retrieved the bear’s carcass from the woods.

After examining the carcass, the warden determined the bear wasn’t shot while charging Mackey. The bear was moving away from Mackey when it was shot.

Rescued grizzly bear treated for two broken elbows at Veterinary Teaching Hospital

The horses were moved, the police were alerted, and Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital was abuzz Tuesday as a rescued grizzly bear arrived for surgery to repair both elbows, which apparently were broken when the carnivore was confined in a concrete bunker as a roadside attraction in north Georgia.

“This is the most exciting case I’ve been part of during my two years of clinical rotations in veterinary school,” said vet student Barr Hadar, who would compile case notes on the patient thought to be a mix of grizzly bear and Syrian brown bear. “That’s what interests me in veterinary medicine, especially wildlife medicine. You never know what you’re going to get.”

Unexpected diagnosis

Last month, the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colo., rescued “Marley” and 16 fellow inmates from a foreclosed “bear park,” where the animals were kept in cramped concrete pits and fed apples and bread by tourists. The bears were released into 15-acre natural habitats on the plains northeast of Denver, but sanctuary keepers noticed Marley, a 7-year-old female, would not put weight on one of her front legs, said Rebecca Miceli, who accompanied the impressive patient.

The 300-pound grizzly came to the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital crated and anesthetized on Tuesday morning. Examining radiographs, veterinarians soon determined Marley had not one, but two forelimb fractures estimated to be more than a month old; one break was badly infected.

“Our main concern is the infected fracture on the left forearm,” said Dr. Terry Campbell, a CSU veterinarian specializing in wildlife and exotic animals. “A draining, open fracture on a bear is anything but ideal, and we will need to surgically treat it immediately.”

Campbell knew the procedure would require the skills of an orthopedic surgeon. But was it a job for a large-animal or small-animal orthopedist? The decision: both.

“We have to determine: Is the bear more like a dog or more like a horse?” Campbell said before surgery, referring to the patient’s bone structure. “The truth is, it’s a bear. It’s not like either. So we, as a team of veterinarians, collaborate to find the best solution.”

Dr. Felix Duerr, small-animal orthopedic surgeon, and Dr. Jeremiah Easley, equine orthopedic surgeon, jointly handled the successful surgery. In the case of the infected forelimb, vets cleaned the infection, looked for necrotic bone, cleared scar tissue and inserted antibiotic beads to promote full healing. Duerr then provided shockwave therapy to accelerate the process.

Also essential to the case were Dr. Pedro Boscan, veterinary anesthesiologist, and Dr. Gregg Griffenhagen, a resident training in the specialty.

Much better quality of life

By Tuesday afternoon, Marley was recovering, and CSU veterinarians expressed hope that their unusual patient would have a greatly improved quality of life. Miceli, director of animal care at the Wild Animal Sanctuary, said she thought Marley could potentially live another 20 years at the home for rescued large carnivores.

For veterinary students involved with the case, the memory of Marley might last just as long. As the grizzly bear arrived, excited murmurs filled the hospital halls, and students swarmed the windows and doors of the large animal wing to catch a glimpse of an ear, nose or paw.

The equine unit had been alerted about the grizzly to prevent spooking among horse patients. A police officer was on standby, a standard precaution when a large carnivore is in the hospital, Dr. Tim Hackett, hospital director, said.

The students lucky enough to be on rotation with the wildlife and exotic animal service were able to observe Marley’s treatment up-close and to weigh in on options.

“Yesterday, we saw a guinea pig, a rat and a of couple ferrets. Today we get to see a grizzly bear,” third-year vet student Katherine Alley said. “This week is definitely turning out to be pretty cool and heightens my interest in pursuing a future working with exotic animals.”


“Kill ‘Em All Boys” Ringleader Gets 13 Months in Prison for Poaching and Animal Cruelty

Prosecutors obviously saw the potential for this hunter/poacher’s behavior to lead to cruelty against humans–Washington state officials also suspended his nursing license.


Poaching group leader gets 13 months in prison

Mick Gordon poses with slain cougar

By Dan Tilkin and KATU Web Staff

Oct 13, 2008   Story Updated: Oct 30, 2013

CATHLAMET, Wash. – The man considered the ringleader of a group of poachers who called themselves the “Kill ‘Em All Boys” was sentenced to a year and a month in prison Monday for illegally killing wildlife.

Mick Gordon, pictured below, pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree animal cruelty, hunting black bear, cougar, bobcat and lynx with dogs, second-degree criminal trespass and third-degree malicious mischief.

Washington Fish and Wildlife officers said the group used a device they called “the permission slip,” which is a metal bar used to break locks blocking access to prime poaching territory on timber company lands. They even had a videotape made of the bar in use because they wanted to sell the contraption on eBay.

Undercover officers infiltrated the group as part of the investigation. Later wildlife officers seized trophy heads and guns from Gordon’s garage.

Gordon, a registered nurse, was also accused of torturing one of his hunting dogs with a shock collar as well as not giving it care for porcupine wounds; the dog eventually died.

Prosecutors on Monday asked for an exceptionally long sentence, saying Gordon had “run amok.”

“I’m deeply sorry for what I’ve done,” Gordon told the judge. “It’ll never happen again”

Judge Michael J. Sullivan called Gordon an aberration.

“When I look at you and what you’ve done here, which seems to be a highly organized crime spree, I just don’t know how to put those two together,” the judge said.

The sentence was much stiffer than normal. In other recent animal cruelty cases, defendants received sentences of about 3.2 months on average.

Washington state officials have also suspended Gordon’s nursing license.

According to state health department documents, Gordon told an undercover officer he put a shock collar on a child’s neck, turned it to its highest setting and shocked the child. He also told the officer he despised his bed-ridden, elderly patients.

Stop Ontario’s Spring Bear Hunt

Stop Ontario’s Spring Bear Hunt – Action Needed!
URGENT!  Please send Sign-On letter!
Orphaned bear cub
Take action now!

Dear Friends of Wildlife

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s decision to allow a Spring Bear Hunt in Ontario will result in the death of hundreds of small bear cubs just like this one.

Attracting hungry adult bears with food bait when they are coming out of a long hibernation and easily shot by a hunter hiding in a nearby tree blind is a cowardly act made worse by the small dependent cubs that are left to die a slow death of starvation.  Sometimes hounds are used to track and tree bears for hunters to shoot. Wounded bears fall to the ground where the hounds attack them. Hounds may also attack cubs that are stranded on the ground without their mothers.

You and I can make a difference in stopping this morally-indefensible hunt. If you live in Ontario:    

  • Add your name to the Sign-On letter. Even if you have signed other petitions or sent a letter, please send this one as it will go to all Ontario MPP’s, sending a strong message that there is province-wide opposition to a Spring Bear Hunt.
  • Make the letter your own by changing the subject line, first paragraph or adjusting the order of others.
  • Second, send a response to the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) consultation. The comment can be as brief as saying you are ‘strongly opposed on moral grounds to hunting bears in the spring when they are caring for very young dependent cubs’ or you can add a different point or two taken from the Sign-On letter. Click here to view the EBR posting or go directly to the comment page.

Please forward this to family and friends who share your love of wildlife and use social media to get the word out, particularly among young people, because we know they care.

Ontario Wildlife Coalition

Now The Weather Channel is Promoting Hunting!

When did the phrase “How’s the weather” become synonomous with “Have you killed anything today?” Ever since the Weather Channel got into the act of promoting hunting, along with Time Magazine, the History Channel, Discover, etc., etc. Where’s it all going to end?

When I lived beyond a snow covered road in the North Cascades, the U.S. Forest Service decided to put in a snowmobile snow park near my cabin. I objected, of course, and when a snowmobile enthusiast asked me why I told him because the area will soon become overwhelmed by snowmobiles. He said, “If it gets that busy with snowmobilers, I’ll sell quit sledding.”

That scenario parallels the ongoing promotion of hunting. How many hunters will become frustrated and disillusioned with hunting when it gets so popular no one can stand it anymore?

17 Animals You Didn’t Know People Could Hunt – weather.com


Bored of hunting quail and deer? Try taking down an elephant or even a grizzly. Take a look at 25 exotic animals that can be hunted, at your own risk…
Time to Arm the Bears! http://www.armthebears.com/

“Time” Has it Backwards, People Are the Pests

By now, many of you have seen the outrageous Time magazine article egotistically entitled, “America’s Pest Problem: It’s Time to Cull the Herd.” If so, you probably shared my first reaction, which was:

How haughty to label the recovering animal species from whom we stole this land “pests” whenever they cross paths with the real pests, the most overpopulated and rapidly expanding, exploitive, environmentally reckless, imperialistic, pretentious, self-centered, self-important, self-aggrandizing, stuck-up, conceited, condescending –in a word, arrogant—urchins ever to emerge from the primordial ooze, namely humans.

As ethologist Marc Bekoff wrote in a recent blog post,
“There are so many things that are profoundly disturbing in [the Time magazine] essay I’m not sure where to begin or just which points to highlight. Some of the messages I received had quotes from this essay that at once shocked and saddened me. Kill, kill, and kill some more; that’s the only solution for righting the wrongs for which we — yes, we — are responsible. We move into the homes of other animals and redecorate them because we like to see them or because it’s “cool” to do so, or we alter their homes to the extent that they need to find new places in which to live and try to feel safe and at peace. And then, when we decide they’ve become ‘pests’, we kill them. Yes, technically we cull them, but of course the word ‘culling’ is a way to make the word ‘killing’ more palatable. To many people this sanitizing mechanism — using culling instead of killing — is readily transparent. But, a subtitle like ‘It’s Time to Kill the Herd’, would likely offend many people who find it difficult to grasp that that’s what we do – we kill other animals with little hesitation absent any data that this really works.

“We treat them as if they’re the problem when, in fact, whatever ‘problems’ they pose can most frequently, some might say invariably, be traced back to something we did to make them become ‘problems’.”

Well, I’m one of those who would definitely say “invariably.” On the other hand, I’m not real comfortable with the “we” part. Personally, I don’t consider the wildlife to be “pests,” I don’t fear them and I do not kill them. Ultimately, I don’t consider myself superior to the other animals.

Bekoff also writes, “Until we confront the indisputable fact that there are too many of us, we and other animals are doomed.” Talk about uncomfortable… Actually, my wife and I faced that fact decades ago and consciously chose not to add any more children to the burgeoning human horde.

The problem where we live is that, though we’re surrounded by prime habitat which we’ve left wild for the wildlife, we rarely see the deer, elk and bears who’ve had to adapt to locally rampant hunting and poaching pressure by only coming out of the heavy forest at night. The last thing the animals around here need is for Time Magazine to come along and promote more hunting!

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013


N. Minn. hunting guide hit with mountain of charges involving bear, deer kills

 by:  Paul Walsh                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             PAUL                 Star Tribune

November 5, 2013

A north­ern Min­ne­so­ta bear hunt­ing guide has been charged with using vari­ous il­legal tac­tics in­volv­ing the kill­ing of bear and deer, ac­cord­ing to auth­ori­ties.

A north­ern Min­ne­so­ta bear hunt­ing guide has been charged with using vari­ous il­legal tac­tics in­volv­ing the kill­ing of bear and deer, ac­cord­ing to auth­ori­ties.

Keith R. Slick, 32, of Baudette, was charged Fri­day in Lake of the Woods District Court with a long list of offenses, a­mong them: two counts of pos­sess­ing an over lim­it of bear, three counts of un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of deer, two charges of un­law­ful­ly trans­port­ing a bear, fail­ure to reg­is­ter a se­cond bear, fail­ure to tag a se­cond bear, il­legal pos­ses­sion of a car-killed deer, untagged big game ani­mal (bear), no bear out­fit­ter/guides li­cense, un­law­ful trans­fer/lend or bor­row of li­cense, fail­ure to reg­is­ter bear bait sta­tions, hunt­ing with­in 100 yards of an un­regis­tered bear bait sta­tion, and plac­ing bait for bear with­out a li­cense.

There were oth­er vio­la­tions, ac­cord­ing to the state Department of Nat­u­ral Resources (DNR), but the stat­ute of limi­ta­tions had ex­pired on them.

Slick was not im­medi­ate­ly avail­able to re­spond to the charges.

Ac­cord­ing to the DNR:

Dur­ing the fall bear hunt­ing sea­son, state con­ser­va­tion of­fi­cer Robert Gorecki lo­cat­ed an ac­tive bear bait sta­tion be­long­ing to Slick. A search of his home un­cov­ered nu­mer­ous bear capes and skulls, as well as sets of deer ant­lers.

“There were no pos­ses­sion or reg­is­tra­tion tags found with any of the bears,” Gorecki said in a state­ment re­leased by the DNR. “The bears did not have any cuts in their ears that would in­di­cate that a site tag was at­tached at any time in the past,” Gorecki said.

A check of DNR re­cords in­di­cat­ed that Slick nev­er reg­is­tered an a­dult male deer or bear tak­en in the past 10 years, which is as far back as a­gen­cy re­cords go.

A cellphone seized in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tained pic­tures of Slick with a dead bear. Nu­mer­ous text mes­sages were also found with Slick tell­ing peo­ple a­bout the bear he had shot. Oth­er text mes­sages from Slick stat­ed that he had shot seven bears in his life.

Only two of the six ant­ler sets re­cov­ered had site tags on them, but from in­di­vidu­als oth­er than Slick.

“Mr. Slick had multi­ple un­ex­plain­able deer racks,” Gorecki add­ed. “A third set of ant­lers were from an un­regis­tered road-killed deer, and he was un­sure where the re­main­ing sets of ant­lers came from.”

Slick faces near­ly $4,500 in fines and res­ti­tu­tion. A fire­arm and bow were also seized dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. If con­victed, his hunt­ing privi­leges could be re­voked for three years.

Wisconsin is Too Open to Hunting With Dogs

[First, I have a couple of pet peeves to air: 1) I’m getting real tired of all the articles these days that start out as a question when the author and readers clearly know the answer. Like this one: “Is the state too open to hunting with dogs?” This isn’t a question, it’s a statement! Why not just come right out and say, “The State is Too Open to Hunting With Dogs.” We all know it is, so I took the liberty in change the title to reflect the answer.

2) Another thing that gets extremely old are articles that start out something like, So and So, an expert on animal behavior, is not against hunting and even raises lamb for food…” as though So and So’s concessions to cruelty make them more credible. Okay, that’s all I have to say; enjoy the article.]

Bill Lueders: Is state too open to hunting with dogs? copyrighted Hayden wolf in lodgepoles

October 18, 2013 12:30 am  •  By Bill Lueders

Patricia McConnell, an expert on animal behavior, is not against hunting and even raises lamb for food. But the University of Wisconsin-Madison zoologist and author is appalled by what she regards as blatant cruelty to animals sanctioned and abetted by the state.

“I’m sure most people don’t know this goes on in Wisconsin,” McConnell says. “I think most people would be horrified.”

McConnell is referring to the use of dogs to hunt other animals, like bear, with often deadly consequences. Joe Bodewes, a Minocqua-based veterinarian, described the damage to dogs by bear in a recent letter to the Wisconsin State Journal.

“Broken and crushed legs, sliced-open abdomens and punctured lungs,” he wrote. “Dogs lying mangled and dying on the surgery table — all in the pursuit of sport.”

Bodewes, in an interview, says his small clinic treats about a dozen dogs a year mauled by bears while hunting. Usually two to four die. Recent cases include a dog whose jaw “was snapped off below the eyes” and one whose back muscles were “ripped loose from its spine.” Both survived.

Now Wisconsin is about to become the only state to let dogs be used in wolf hunts. A judge’s injunction blocking the use of dogs in last year’s inaugural hunt has been lifted; the case is now before a state appeals court. This year’s hunt, with a kill goal of 275 wolves, began Tuesday. Dogs can be used beginning Dec. 2.

McConnell and others warn of inevitable violent clashes. And with good reason.

According to the state Department of Natural Resources, wolves have killed 23 hounds so far this year, tying a 2006 record. All were being used to hunt or pursue bear, says DNR wildlife damage specialist Brad Koele.

Their owners can receive up to $2,500 per animal from the state. Many have already applied.

“People who choose to put their dogs at extreme risk of horrific injury are compensated,” McConnell says. “Some of these dogs die painful deaths, in a blood sport that it some cases is no better than organized dog fights.”

A recent study found that Wisconsin has a higher dog casualty rate than Michigan, which also allows their use in bear hunts. The lead author, a Michigan Tech wildlife ecologist, speculated that Wisconsin’s compensation program creates “an incentive for abuse” — that is, hunters who deliberately put their dogs at great risk.

Since 1985, a DNR tally shows, the state has spent $441,651 to reimburse hunters for hounds killed by wolves, usually while hunting or pursuing bear. Until last year these payments, and more than

$1 million paid for wolf depredations of other animals, came in part from the state’s Endangered Resources Fund.

Now these payments come from application and license fees paid by prospective wolf hunters. Last year, Koele confirms, none of these fees went for wolf population monitoring or hunt management costs.

McConnell and Bodewes trace the state’s policies back to small but politically powerful advocacy groups. These prominently include the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, the state chapter of Safari Club International and United Sportsmen of Wisconsin.

These three groups collectively spent nearly $400,000 since 2004 lobbying state officials, including their support for the wolf hunt law. Group officials did not respond to interview requests.

Former Republican state Rep. Scott Suder, the wolf hunt bill’s lead Assembly sponsor, helped United Sportsmen snare a $500,000 state grant, which Gov. Scott Walker yanked after concerns were raised about the group’s fitness and honesty. Suder ending up leaving a lucrative state appointment to become a lobbyist.

The owners of dogs killed by wolves while hunting wolves are not eligible for compensation. While McConnell is glad state funds won’t go to this purpose, she notes that hunters have “no motivation to report” dogs killed or injured.

A DNR official says the agency may try to gather information about dog casualties in its post-hunting-season questionnaire.

Bill Lueders is the Money and Politics Project director at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.