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Wisconsin : Wiley the Coyote: A Wisconsin Hunter's Story of Love and Transformation ( HAPPY STORY!!) :)

Animals  (tags: Hunter, Coyote, killing, goodnews, conservation, animalrights, protection, GoodNews, ethics, environment, wildlife, rescued, society, animaladvocates, humans, animalwelfare, law, habitat )

- 1951 days ago -
It is not often that a hunter calls me, asking for help. In November, I found an urgent message on my answer machine. I returned the call immediately. Rick Hanestad, Nascar All American Series driver, life-long hunter wanted to save a coyote!

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roxy H (350)
Monday February 18, 2013, 3:45 am
Please read this and take action.... This is AN INSPIRATIONAL STORY! AND NEEDS TO BE SHARED!!! PLEASE!!!!!

roxy H (350)
Monday February 18, 2013, 3:46 am
This is Patricia’s latest column. After the horrifying news I shared yesterday, I hope this warms your heart and reminds you what we are fighting for.

“I cannot tell you how this coyote has turned me upside down. Wiley is a member of our family. I feel like I am fighting for the life of my relative!” ~ Rick Hanestad, Dunn County, Wisconsin

It is not often that a hunter calls me, asking for help. In November, I found an urgent message on my answer machine. I returned the call immediately. Rick Hanestad, Nascar All American Series driver, life-long hunter/trapper and hound hunter, was calling me to help him save the life of a coyote.

Rick launched into his story. His father and uncle farm over 1000 acres in western Dunn County. In March, 2011, his uncle allowed a neighbor to hunt turkeys on his land. The DNR promotes coyote killing 24/7 year-round, so that hunter killed a lactating female coyote. Rick said, “Patricia, I don’t like that. When I heard a female was shot in the spring, it made me sick to my stomach.” He and his then 7 year-old daughter and 14 year-old son went looking for her pups. Three days later they found five crying puppies, their eyes not yet open. But he was “so scared of the DNR” that he just raked around the den to make sure it was the den of the coyote killed. When he checked again, then the fifth day since the coyote had been shot, only one pup remained alive, dehydrated and weak. Rick and his family spent the night dripping fluids down his throat. They named him Wiley.

Asked what he thought would happen, Rick said, “I figured that at about 6 months he would be so vicious, I would either let him go, or shoot him.” Did he ever show any aggression to their old male lab, their children, or their horses – to anyone? “Never. He is such a sweet animal. I trust him absolutely with my 8 year-old daughter. He is best friends with our dog.”

In November, 2012, a policeman was called out to neighboring land on a deer-stand dispute. Seeing the coyote outside in a pen, the policeman informed Rick’s wife that “the DNR will be out to pick up your coyote.” (to kill him )

Rick dedicated himself, full-time, to save their family pet. He called the local warden, the town supervisor, his legislators, and an outdoor radio host in Minnesota. Hanestad wrote Representative Mursau’s aide,” In our state we have numerous coyotes, but without hunting dogs, who ever sees one? I would love to take him to things like a biology class at schools or other situations where his extraordinary kindness around people could be shared.”

He continued, “I also found out about an individual that lives about an hour from our home in Ladysmith, WI. This person (owns) a place that people take their hunting hounds to chase coyotes in an enclosed pen. Talking with one person that uses the pen I was told that coyotes are chased and, on occasion, tore to pieces by hounds while people watch. This guy does have a license legal by our state. I can’t believe it! “ A neighbor’s son had seen a coyote killed by a pack of dogs in that enclosure, with people enjoying the “sport”.

Wisconsin coyotes have been taken legally from our state, for this legalized fenced torture, and required reports have not been made for 10 years. There has been no DNR oversight. Former DNR head of special investigations, Tom Solin, told me, a decade ago, that the DNR should not allow coyotes to be used in these enclosures because they cannot climb trees or hide from the dogs. They get ripped apart on the ground.

Hanestad was looking for a way to get his coyote’s story to the public. Someone at the DNR gave him my name. He told me, “They might as well send 5 police officers, because they will not be taking our coyote, they will be taking me.”

All this required is a commonly DNR- issued captive wildlife license. I made a few calls targeted to captive wildlife DNR personnel, asking if Hanestad has to promise to have this coyote ripped apart by dogs to get the appropriate license. The next day, Rick called me, joyfully: “The DNR will sell me Wiley for $24.00, and the cost of the state license, no fine, and I just have to build him a 144 square foot pen. He would be standing in his own feces. I am building him an acre. He is ours!”

Rick says Wiley is the star of his hunting community. People come to sit in the living room and hear him sing a thousand different songs. “Patricia, the different vocalizations amaze me on a nightly basis. I’ve heard coyotes numerous times in the wild, but no one can possibly appreciate how beautiful they sound. My family gets to hear different songs every night.”

Hanestad describes himself as having a deep lineage in hunting. His uncle taught him hunting and trapping from the age of five. All his teen years he trapped, on average, setting 100 traps on a trap-line. His average take was “130 coons, 40-50 red foxes, and 15-20 coyotes per season”. He told me, “I always heard ‘the only good coyote is a dead coyote’. The coyotes would be snarling in a foothold trap, and I would beat them to death with a stick. I have killed hundreds of them. I never thought about it. I thought of it just like getting rid of weeds.”

And now? “It makes me sick to my stomach when I think of what I did in the past.”

Does he think other coyotes are just like Wiley? “Absolutely – they don’t do a thing to harm anybody.” Why does he think they are so hated? “Ignorance – it is just ignorance.” Does it make him rethink all of his assumptions about animals?


Hanestad emailed me, “When the warden and the state wildlife biologist came to visit him, Wiley fell to his back and the biologist scratched his belly. The biologist stated ‘oh my god; he’s just like a dog’. That to me was worth its weight in gold because on the spot I changed his opinion of coyotes.”

I asked him how many hard core hunters he thought would be changed by meeting Wiley. Hanestad replied “20% the first ten minutes – and 100% if they had experienced a week of what I have. How could they not be changed?” But he cautioned, “Some people choose to remain ignorant.”

Wiley Coyote, Trickster, power animal, has come to Wisconsin. Wisconsin citizens can no longer tolerate a legislature and DNR who choose ignorance.

The Natural Resources Board meets Feb. 26 in Madison to take comments on permanent rules to use packs of dogs to hunt wolves. The deadline to register to comment is February 19 at Written comments can be made through February 22.

Patricia Randolph of Portage is a longtime activist for wildlife. or
Here are more photographs of Wiley and his adopted family:


Donna Hamilton (159)
Monday February 18, 2013, 7:23 am
Thanks, Roxy.

Joe R (190)
Monday February 18, 2013, 8:02 am
Shared, Thanks Roxy.

Terry V (30)
Monday February 18, 2013, 9:14 pm

Help Save Coyotes

Anti hunting- Earth child

Danuta W (1250)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 3:34 am

katarzyna phillips (6)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 4:39 am
lovely story, good luck to all involved and thanks for sharing!

Christine Stewart (134)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 4:57 pm
I am glad he finally discovered that there is no need to trap and beat to death coyotes- but I am sorry for all the ones that didn't escape his childhood wrath.

Suzanne L (99)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 5:20 pm
Thank you so much for posting this Roxy. The photos of Wiley are truly heartwarming. He is possibly the luckiest coyote on earth. Love is transformative. Once when I was waiting for a train I saw 2 little figures moving down the train tracks. As they got closer I could see it was a coyote and an old female hunting hound. The hound had probably been discarded after hunting season and had paired up with the coyote. Vigilantly they passed by the people at the station. I felt so sad for them, but at least they had found each other. There are now coywolves (coyote-wolfe mixes) in Toronto. One is living in a part of the city where the people have become accustomed to him/her and are leaving him/her alone. Someone found the den and it has a bunch of balls in it as well as dog toys.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 6:07 pm
Thanks Roxy for sharing this somewhat positive story. Though this man seems to have just made a 360 in favor of protecting these fab animals rather then brutaly trapping and hunting them with dogs, i just can't see how we should forget the hundreds he enjoyed killig,including finishing them off with sticks. I still see him as sub-human...No excuses for his cruelty.

Paul Girardin (126)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 6:42 pm
Noted & shared!

This is so beautiful!

All wonderful people!

roxy H (350)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 7:37 pm
Hi all... sometimes it takes our own personal "abuse" stories to snap ourselves into a transformation of some type of epiphany into a change.. be it humanity, animal rights, global, self change..or what - ever.. and this story i see as one of those. Myself I worry about this family and Wile-E..and applaud them for coming out of the shadows into the public. Because of their strength they might be able to help make a change within this terrible abusive corrupt state of Wisconsin. I am terribly worried about poachers going after this beautiful coyote because of myth and hatred and wanting to own the "fur" because of fame and fortune. I almost didnt post this story because of this fear. But because of the important message it might bring to all the wolves and other animals... i sincerely think Rick and his family want to bring change. So I am wanting everyone to suppot these people and really stand behind with all protections for them. They need to rally for all protection.... Thank you Rick and most important...keep singing you beautiful canine

Tuesday February 19, 2013, 7:56 pm

Migi H (19)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 8:16 pm
Love the photos of Wiley! A really heart-warming, beautiful story. I supposed it's never too late to "repent", though I do feel sorry for the ones that were not spared. Very much agree that “some people choose to remain ignorant.”, but for every person that changes their mind, all that efforts to get his story out would be worth it!

Katrina & Willi D (90)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 8:39 pm
Thank You Roxy! Lovely Story!!
All was so nice to read and see the photos!

Kenneth L (314)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 10:37 pm
Wow! Super cool! Thanks Roxy. What a great story. Of course coyotes are like dogs. Same as wolves etc. All canines (unless I'm mistaken). They eat food like everything else, which means prey and if the opportunity arises, it means chickens or cats etc. But they aren't being 'bad' or 'evil'. Any attacks on humans by coyotes are very very rare. I've sat in my back yard and have them saunter by 30 ft. away and stop and look at me if I whistled to them like a dog.
Most hunters or trappers have to do exactly what this guy did when he hunted and trapped---turn off all and any empathy or sympathy or compassion or emotion when they kill. A fair number never hunt or trap again once they feel those things for some individual animal.

. (7)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 10:51 pm
Terrific story!! Thanks Roxy!

Leslene Dunn (84)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 10:54 pm
Noted - a true miracle and I thank God for convicting this man and for changing him.

Marie W (67)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 11:37 pm

Nimue Michelle Pendragon Gaze (339)
Wednesday February 20, 2013, 1:05 am
Noted with hope.

Veronique L (209)
Wednesday February 20, 2013, 2:56 am
Noted thaks Roxy!

Patricia H. (440)
Wednesday February 20, 2013, 3:21 am
noted and shared, thanks for posting

paula eaton (30)
Wednesday February 20, 2013, 3:49 am
Thank you.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday February 20, 2013, 4:14 am
This is encouraging

Louise G (1)
Wednesday February 20, 2013, 5:48 am
Noted, thanks!

Liz NO FWDS G (72)
Wednesday February 20, 2013, 6:12 am
Thank you for a beautiful heartwarming story and for the gorgeous pictures of Wiley,it gives me hope for mankind to be more compassionate for all living creatures that deserve to live their lifes as we humans do and not to be hunted and to suffer so much.Thank you Roxy.Liz Xx

Michele Wilkinson (106)
Wednesday February 20, 2013, 6:55 am
Beautiful story.
Thank you

MmAway M (507)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 3:08 pm
Thank you so much Roxy! xx

Chris W (79)
Friday February 22, 2013, 12:53 am
:) nice

. (0)
Sunday September 1, 2013, 3:24 pm
tell Canada Goose Clothing Company that you wont be buying their clothes till they stop using coyote fur
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