Michigan coyote hunter on trail: charges stem from a YouTube video of hunting dogs attacking and killing a wounded coyote. Jury finds not guilty…

Update: Friday 4/29/16 (there is no justice for this coyote) 
Bessemer – After about two hours of deliberation, a 12-person jury cleared Jason Charles Roberts, 35, of Ironwood, of all charges in Gogebic County Circuit Court Thursday.  Source

Source: DNR’s Emery testifies in second day of coyote trial



GOGEBIC COUNTY Prosecutor Nick Jacobs, right, questions DNR Sgt. Grant Emery, second from right, Wednesday during the trial of Jason Charles Roberts. Also in the courtroom were, from left, Gogebic County Clerk Gerry Pelissero and Circuit Court Judge Michael Pope.

Bessemer – The second day of Jason Charles Roberts’ trial on animal cruelty charges in Gogebic Circuit Court consisted of testimony by Department of Natural Resources Sgt. Grant Emery Wednesday.
Roberts faces a felony charge of torturing an animal and misdemeanors for cruelty to an animal and failure to kill a wounded animal. The first charge carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison, while the others have maximum sentences of 93 days and 90 days, respectively.
The charges stem from a YouTube video of hunting dogs attacking and killing a wounded coyote.

Bessemer – The second day of Jason Charles Roberts’ trial on animal cruelty charges in Gogebic Circuit Court consisted of testimony by Department of Natural Resources Sgt. Grant Emery Wednesday.
Roberts faces a felony charge of torturing an animal and misdemeanors for cruelty to an animal and failure to kill a wounded animal. The first charge carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison, while the others have maximum sentences of 93 days and 90 days, respectively.
The charges stem from a YouTube video of hunting dogs attacking and killing a wounded coyote.
Gogebic County Prosecutor Nick Jacobs began his direct examination of Emery by establishing Emery’s basic resume, including his 17-year career as a conservation officer and his love of the outdoors.
“Conservation officers – it’s more than a job, it’s a way of life for us,” Emery said.
Emery testified the nature of his job gives him the discretion to determine when to issue citations and when to simply give a warning.
Jacobs followed this line of questioning by establishing the timeline of Emery’s investigation into the YouTube video.
Once Emery established what the prosecution viewed as the basic facts of the case, Jacobs began a series of hypothetical scenarios questioning what laws required of hunters related to the dispatching of game animals.
Emery told jurors hunters are obligated to immediately dispatch wounded game animals and make a reasonable effort to retrieve game.
“Immediate to me means without delay. The hunters code of ethics that we follow – we want clean, quick kills,” Emery said. “Killing an animal is violent, and we all understand that. Killing is violent – but quick and clean, that’s what we want.”
He acknowledged different styles of hunting allowed different standards for what constituted immediately killing the animal, using the example of waiting hours before pursuing a deer shot with a bow as an example.
Emery testified the standards largely depended on what the common practices of the hunting style were, later testifying some delays dispatching game was allowed if it enhanced the ability to retrieve the dead animal. Such as allowing a deer to “lie and die” when shot rather than pursuing it immediately.
Jacobs also asked Emery about testimony he gave during previous court appearances in the case.
Emery testified that while he previously testified dogs were allowed to kill game in Michigan and the owner of a hunting dog wasn’t obligated to dispatch an animal wounded by someone else, a recent review of the game regulations showed him both of those assertions were incorrect.
While dogs were allowed to be used in the tracking and pursuit of game, Emery told the jury his interpretation of the law after reviewing additional sections was that dogs killing game animals was prohibited.
He said while accidental kills were technically a violation, he likely wouldn’t cite hunters in those cases as there wasn’t an intent to have the dogs kill game.
Jacobs also entered several pieces of evidence into the record, including a copy of the video Emery obtained from Google – YouTube’s parent company – and accompanying documentation.
Roberts’ attorney, Roy Polich, objected to the inclusion of the evidence Emery obtained from Google. Polich made several arguments explaining his objection, including his belief that while Emery was able to establish the video sent by Google was indeed the video on YouTube that prompted the case, he couldn’t testify that it was an accurate depiction of the hunt.
Polich said while Emery believed the video was shot in February 2014 and showed illegal activity, there is no way to know the date of the hunt or what actually happened in the woods because Emery’s sole source of information is the video – which didn’t come to his attention until approximately a month after it was uploaded.
He compared the admission of the video to a photograph, arguing Michigan’s rules of evidence usually required the photographer or someone present when the photo was taken who can testify the photo is accurate.
“In this case, the first time this witness looked at (the video), by even the download date, was a month later. So, when was it taken? We don’t know. Where was it taken? We don’t know,” Polich said.
Gogebic County Circuit Court Judge Michael Pope ruled the video could be used as evidence in the case – saying among the date, location and events surrounding the hunt are things the prosecution has to establish during the trial – but ruled other information obtained from Google regarding unrelated material wasn’t going to be entered as evidence.
Jacob’s questioning also included showing the YouTube video, followed by Emery testifying on the video’s content.
Following Jacobs’ direct examination, Polich cross-examined Emery.
Among the areas Polich focused on during his cross was the change in Emery’s understanding of the law between previous hearings and Wednesday and if Wednesday’s interpretation of the law was an objective reading of the relevant text.
“Where does it say dogs are not allowed to kill game,” Polich asked after Emery read what he said was the applicable law.
Emery responded that it wasn’t listed as an allowed activity in the law.
“Why would you tell this jury and this court that (the section of law) says they can’t kill game,” Polich asked.
Emery responded that the prohibition on dogs killing game was his interpretation of the text.
“So not only you didn’t know about it … the last two times you testified, now you have a new interpretation of it.”
Emery disputed the idea it was a new interpretation, arguing he didn’t have a previous interpretation.
Polich also raised the change in understanding of the law regarding the responsibility of the dog owner.
He also pressed on the requirement that game be immediately dispatched, arguing the coyote in the video was alive for a much shorter time than game is allowed to be in other types of hunting.
“You already agree that it took (the dog that killed the coyote) less than a minute,” Polich asked. “So if we presume that there is no law that says a dog can’t kill a coyote – you know we’re just talking about (the immediate kill requirement) – was perhaps (the dog) the best method to quickly kill this coyote?”
Polich asked if given the circumstances of the hunt – which he said occurred in deep snow and where all the ammunition was used – the use of a dog to kill the coyote was more humane than any of the available alternatives. Emery disagreed with the idea that using the dogs was humane, citing possible alternatives including clubbing or stabbing the animal depending on what was available.
Polich’s line of questioning continued in an effort to show jurors that the use of dogs to kill game was as standard in coyote hunting as not immediately pursuing wounded deer while bow hunting.
The trial continues at 9 a.m. today.

An Education Initiative about Three Persecuted Species – Coyote, Wolf, Bear 

Coyote-Wolf-Bear Education Initiative involves Sampson, Barron and McIntosh. Taking to the road traveling town to town, engaging citizens. Removing the myths regarding coyote, wolf and bear. Stay tuned for more to come! Meet our team! Email: coyotewolfbear@outlook.com (copy and paste email).


In rural Wisconsin a coyote was hung out in a sadistic display

On February 29, 2016 in a rural county of WI a coyote was found hanging in a tree skinned, spray painted black, bright orange plastic around the eyes and wire in the form of wings.

This act has been discussed widely on social media by hunters and advocates for well over a week now.  Officials release more details on dead coyote found in Waushara County Anyone who saw a vehicle parked in the area on Sunday, Feb. 28 or Monday, Feb. 29 is asked to call the Waushara County Sheriff’s Office at (920) 787-3321. Anonymous tips can be given to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-800-5219.

Unspeakable horrors were committed against this living breathing being.  Anyone with a moral compass would never do such a thing.  It is a sad day in our world when any creature is treated like an object and hung out in a sadistic display. I am relieved that there are several ethical hunting groups offering a reward so there can be justice for this coyote.

What was done to this coyote is not the norm nor acceptable behavior in rural Wisconsin.  Whether this is deemed a prank or not, rural residents are outraged by this cruel act. Further this type of animal cruelty…It is a childish prank or sign of deep-seated psychopathology that will someday erupt into far worse violence against people?

Coyote in fresh snow by John E Marriott

America’s trapping boom relies on cruel and grisly tools

The following is an investigative piece by Tom Knudson that exposes the gruesome realities of  trapping wildlife and the industry that supports it all. 

Source: Reveal from the Center for Investigating Reporting by Tom Knudson January 14, 2016 
Day after day, the mountain lion struggled to free itself. But the steel-jaw trap held its grip.
Desperate, the big cat bit the trap so hard that it broke a tooth. It tugged and wrenched and twisted. Finally, exhausted and dehydrated, the 7-foot-long male died in the mountains of Nevada in 2013, its left leg still pinned in the trap.
Across the United States, the resurgence of a frontier tradition – commercial fur trapping – is taking a hidden, often grisly toll on wildlife. The activity is legal. It is regulated by state agencies. And for the most part, it doesn’t pose a threat to species’ survival.
But it is carried out in ways that often inflict prolonged suffering and capture many species – including mountain lions – by mistake. And much of it is happening on public land, including national forests, even wildlife refuges.
Fur trapping might seem like a page from the past, a reminder of the days of Daniel Boone and coonskin caps. And in most of the world, it is. Among the few nations where it occurs, none is more important than the United States. Every year, 150,000 trappers here capture and kill up to 7 million wild animals, more than any nation on earth.
In all, more than 20 species are targeted for their fur, from foxes to raccoons, coyotes to river otters. But it is the spotted, marble-white fur of one animal that has sparked a Wild West-like trapping boom in recent years.
That species is the bobcat, a stealthy, stub-tailed cousin of the Canadian lynx that inhabits 47 of the 50 states, yet is rarely seen. As a commodity, bobcats are traded by their pelts, which are skinned off the animals after they are trapped and killed in the field.

For trappers, the value of a pelt has soared, from under $100 in 2000 to more than $1,400 for top-quality items. Just as the Gold Rush drew a flood of greenhorns into the mountains in the mid-19th century, so too has the prospect of striking it rich in fur drawn novice trappers into the countryside today. Although average prices dropped below $400 last year, bobcat pelts remain one of the most valuable wildlife products in America.
Most of those pelts, though, don’t stay in America, where fur has fallen out of fashion because of concerns about cruelty and pressure from animal advocacy groups.

What’s fueling the market now are buyers in China, Russia, Europe and other parts of the world where fur is a symbol of wealth and power, where luxury garments made from the pelts of 30 to 40 animals sell for $50,000 to $150,000. The number of bobcat pelts exported from the U.S. has quadrupled in recent years, climbing to more than 65,000 in 2013, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
I wanted to know more about that trade, to connect the dots from the wide-open spaces out West where bobcats are caught and killed to the high-end fur stores overseas where eye-popping bobcat attire is sold. What I discovered was a world of stunning scenery and searing pain, a landscape where bobcats and other animals are captured with a device so hazardous that it is outlawed in more than 80 nations, from Austria to Zimbabwe: the steel-jaw trap.
Traps work by slamming shut on the paw or leg of an animal and holding it until a trapper arrives. Often, they are instruments of torture. Bones can be broken. Tendons are torn. Flesh is frayed. Some animals break free by chewing or twisting off a paw or limb. {Click HERE to read the full story}

Trapper Larry Gogert, shown holding fox and coyote pelts, says trapping is less cruel than the natural world. “If you didn’t catch them, they’ll suffer. Something else will kill them,” he said. Credit: Max Whittaker for Reveal

The home page for the Michael’s Furs/Montana Fur Traders website features a woman swaddled in pelts. Credit: Michaelsfurs.com

How to slander wolves even further than they already are (or hey CHEEZburger, what’s up?)

By Lin Kerns of Canis Lupus 101 Blog Spot

How to slander wolves even further than they already are (or hey CHEEZburger, what’s up?)

Last night, during a final check of my email before bedtime, I saw my usual subscription to CHEEZburger pop up in the inbox. I thought, nice… something sweet to see before I go to sleep. Imagine my shock when I happened to see a completely, unfunny twist on, of all things, an animal. Aren’t these the people making money by promoting the goodness of our furry, feathered, finny, and scaley relatives? Not exactly and not anymore.

So there is a new “species” making the headlines these days: the coywolf. I have even relayed such news. However, I have left the audience to their own intelligence and not tried to insult them or their sensibilities. This article, reprinted in part by CHEEZburger, contains a rather exciteable degree of discovery on this hybrid that now “number in the millions.” That’s a scary way of saying that no one really knows how many there are out there. Also, surely you have noticed that while a species may be a “man made” term, your name is a term used for what you are called. I’m still not sure what that was all about. This is the usual expanse of consciousness on an otherwise item left in the lap of real science.

But what is so bad, so vastly horrific, is that the author makes out coywolves to be “super fast killing machines.” Not animals seeking to survive by living on the refuse of human populations, living,  hidden away from people, as much as possible due to an innate lack of trust-no, these are animals that will come for your children and whisk them away in the middle of the night never to be seen again! Yes, that’s what was stated.

Wolves don’t do that to children and the people who believe such nonsense are an ignorant, superstitious lot. Certainly coyotes don’t do that; everytime I’m out in a field and see one, the critter always runs away. And your dog? Well, really? However, supposedly this super concentrated blend of genetic material recombines into some super powered spidey juice that conforms a hybrid animal into one bad ass mofo you wouldn’t want to see in a dark alley, much less in your own backyard!

How does that happen? It doesn’t. And if you wish to believe in such tripe, then I’ve got a few websites for you to visit, like “Queen Elizabeth raised an alien baby” or “Peter Pan, still young, is alive on the island of Bali.” No one in the scientific community can, so far, agree that this is even a new species or simply a hybrid (which I suspect it is). But if coyote DNA is dominant, which I agree that it is, then wouldn’t the hybrid find the characteristics of said coyote to be dominant, as well?

Let’s get back to wolves… because the coy-hybrid has wolf DNA within each cell of its body, now they are further reckoned to be fond of humans as food? Since when? The Middle Ages when, let’s face it, science didn’t exist at all, but old wives’ tales during long winter nights took precedence? But to FURTHER perpetuate a myth by, of all groups, CHEEZburger, is an outright betrayal of everything they’ve ever stood for.

Is CHEEZburger only about the hamster, the rabbit, the kitten, and the puppy? Are you only worthy of defence if you are merely soft, cute, cuddly, and/or photogenic? Does any creature who belongs to a list of predators is seen as inconsequential? I don’t think that’s so, because I’ve seen support on this particular website for lions, leopards, and tigers. What gives then that wolves are targeted? And why with such vehemence?

I, along with many other good folks and organizations spend a majority of our time trying to save wolves from dying out on a planet riddled with greedy politicians, Big Oil and Mining puppeteering ranchers, and Billy Bob Redneck who just wants to shoot and kill theem. And we certainly don’t appreciate having our work undermined by a web page supposedly devoted to animals. We need help, CHEEZburger, and not some sarcastic piece of tripe that will further aid those aforementioned non-wolf people.

What I’m asking you all to do, if you are still with me and you believe that what you see below is offensive, is to go to the link marked SOURCE  and write a comment. If you love wolves, and I know you do, then please take a minute of your time and make your voice heard. And if CHEEZburger does not respond or apologize, then unsubscribe them. Thanks for reading and howl on, my wolf pack. Howl out LOUD.

Best to all,

Science of The Day: Coyotes and Wolves Are Mating to Create The ‘Coywolf’

Science of The Day: Coyotes and Wolves Are Mating to Create The 'Coywolf'
There a new species emerging right before scientist’s eyes. And this doesn’t happen very often.
Because of a lack of other wolves to mate with, scientists believe they are mating with coyotes and dogs to create an entirely new species: the coywolf.
The number of coywolf has grown into the millions in northeastern North America during the last century.

According to The Economist:
The mixing of genes that has created the coywolf has been more rapid, pervasive and transformational than many once thought. Javier Monzón, who worked until recently at Stony Brook University in New York state (he is now at Pepperdine University, in California) studied the genetic make-up of 437 of the animals, in ten north-eastern states plus Ontario. He worked out that, though coyote DNA dominates, a tenth of the average coywolf’s genetic material is dog and a quarter is wolf.
The DNA from both wolves and dogs (the latter mostly large breeds, like Doberman Pinschers and German Shepherds), brings big advantages, says Dr Kays. At 25kg or more, many coywolves have twice the heft of purebred coyotes. With larger jaws, more muscle and faster legs, individual coywolves can take down small deer. A pack of them can even kill a moose.
Basically the combination of wolf, coyote and dog DNA has created super fast killing machines.
Hold your children close, America.

North Woods Living, Tips for ‘Coexisting with Your Wild Neighbors’

Living in the north woods near wild animals can be a wonderful experience. There is nothing that can match sighting a

Life in the Northwoods photography by Michael Crowley

Life in the Northwoods photography by Michael Crowley

bobcat with kits, a doe with a new fawn, snowy owls, bear, swans, and porcupines.  If you have chosen to live in a north woods rural area, here are a few tips for living along side wildlife or better yet, methods for coexisting with your wild neighbors. After all, these wild creatures you have chosen to live among were here first. Living along side wildlife requires respecting their habitat and teaching them how to respect yours as well.

In the news this week in rural norther Wisconsin.

Bill Lea photograph

Bill Lea photograph

Bears have been coming to close, Grantsburg Village Board and Wisconsin DNR took the first steps toward formulating a plan.  It is unfortunate that this plan calls for lethal methods as a way to solve the problem between wildlife and humans. Has there been any measures taken to prevent these bears from coming into the village limits?

There are non lethal methods that north wood’s residents can use to deter wild animals..

  • Keeping your pets safe.

First of all, do not leave pets or their food outside. Leaving pets and their food outside will attract wild animals.  Keep your pets leashed or in a fenced area while out-of-doors, Do not leave pets unattended out-of-doors for long periods of time.

  • Don’t feed wildlife.
Industrious wild bear (photographer unknown0

Industrious wild bear (photographer unknown)

Wildlife can fend for themselves and know where to find their own food. Do you need to feed wild birds? Why do you feed wild birds? Bird feeders are for humans more than wild birds. Humans feed wild birds for the pleasure of viewing them. But these viewing backyard bird feeders attract more than wild birds.  Wild bears enjoy an easy meal off of a backyard bird feeder. Deer, raccoon, and squirrel will also find the backyard bird feeder tempting. Feeding wild birds can result in wild animals becoming habituated to humans. When wild animals become habituated to humans it can have disastrous effects. Imagine stepping outside to feed the birds and you encounter a sow with cubs. Everyone knows how this encounter could turn out.

Other concerns for  do not feed the birds including it may delay migration or changing birds habits.

  • Wild animals are attracted to garbage and gardens.

it is recommended to keep your garbage out of sight and smell of wild animals.. keep your garbage cans in a locked bear proof shed. If you have a garden just fence it in or even use an electrical fence. Even garden compost will attract wild animals.

  • What to do when you encounter wild animals in your backyard.

Assuming you have done all of the above methods to keep wild animals away from your home and family.  The next step is to teach wild animals, bear, coyote, bobcat, cougar, and wolves to fear you, Wild animals have a natural fear of humans. If you live where these wild animals do, then teach them to fear you. This is the best way to keep them out of your backyard.

Photograph of a wild coyote by Ron Niebrugge

Photograph of a wild coyote by Ron Niebrugge

Always keep a safe distance between you and any wild animal that has wondered onto your property. Use a loud device as a deterrent, such as a blow-horn, or fire crackers to scare these unwanted intruders away. Never throw these devices at or on the animal. The idea is to deter not to harm them.

Another wild animal deterrent called hazing which will teach them to fear you. Again, it is recommended to keep a safe distance away from any wild animal you encounter.  Hazing method involves making yourself larger than the wild animal by waving your arms and shouting at the wild animal saying, “go away coyote!”

Other methods of hazing you can use are pepper sprays and a blow-horn is a very good deterrent to keep on hand. You may need to use these deterrents several times to make the unwanted wild animal get the message. Wild animals have a natural fear of humans and you may need to remind them of this natural fear.

There may be times when a wild animal could be dangerous. If the wild animals appears skinny and unhealthy or stumbles this could be a sign of Rabies. In this case stay away from the wild animal. Call local law enforcement. While you wait for them to arrive keep tabs on the whereabouts of the infected animals from a safe distance.

In summary, wild animals have a natural fear of humans. Living along side of wildlife requires keeping space between their habitat and yours.   In other words, educate yourself on how to safely live with your wild neighbors.

Feature photograph is by Michael Crowley of Life in the Northwoods