Indiana Shames Itself With Backroom Deal On Live Bait Dog Training

Inside Outdoors
By Don Jordan

NRC Official Comment Form Must Be Used If You Want Your View Considered:

Posted 11/20/1010

Indiana has officially joined the ranks of states that sanction blood sport by permitting a "live bait dog training" operation near Linton, Ind., to operate with the blessings of the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources.

After opposing this practice for nearly two years, the state's most powerful and largest bureaucracy suddenly issued operating rules for a single live bait training facility near Linton on Nov. 16. It was a bolt from the blue, and a major change of direction in a state that most considered to be an ethical state when it comes to dealing with hunters, trappers and associated businesses.

Now, Indiana joins the ranks of states like Alabama where setting hunting dogs loose on captive wild animals is an accepted practice, right up there with dog fighting. Indiana has now earned its nickname within the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as the "Mississippi of the Midwest."


While the DNR is calling the Linton business "dog training running pens" the name change from "live bait" does not change the reality.

Here is the process:
a. a coyote or fox is trapped alive

b. instead of killing the animal, the trapper keeps it alive in a tiny cage
c. until a live bait dog training outfit buys the animal for $200
d. the coyote is shipped to the penning business where it is kept until
e. its turn to be bait arrives and it is turned loose inside the fenced area. Indiana allows one coyote or fox per five acres, meaning 20 animals would be placed in a 100 acre fenced area. Indiana rules allow seven dogs per coyote/fox to be inside chasing these animals, meaning 140 dogs could be inside chasing "bait" in a 100 acre enclosure.
f. the dogs eventually corner the coyote/fox and tear it to pieces. bait animals that survive get to do it all over again the next day.
The proposed rules allow dog running 16 hours a day, and the only escape for the coyotes is death by shredding. Indiana claims its penned running business near Linton will save the coyotes and foxes from being ripped apart, gauranteeing these animals will be subjected to "training" sessions every day.

Most recently, a group of 12 veterinarians sent a letter to the Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette in which they oppose the practice of using coyotes for live bait dog training on medical and compliance grounds: "It is unlikely that due to the level of care required and the cost of doing so, any injured animal will receive proper care. These regulations are also unenforceable, as a Department of Natural Resources officer would have to be present in each pen constantly to obtain basic understanding of compliance," the Veterinarians said in their letter.

"They are even putting electric fence around the bottom of the fences now to keep the coyotes from digging under them. So, now, when the dogs corner a coyote, it is not only be ripped by the dogs, but shocked by the fence it has been forced up against," said CeAnn Lambert of the Indiana Coyote Rescue Center, during an interview on Inside Outdoors Radio.

Got the picture? See this video if you don't quite understand yet:

According to Lambert, who appeared on Inside Outdoors radio on Nov. 20, the sudden change of DNR opinion came directly from the Chairman of the Indiana Natural Resources Commission, Bryan Poynter, a so-called "citizen member" of the commission. The Indiana NRC sets policy for the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources and most members are appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels.
Poynter is a realtor who has an outdoor radio show in Indianapolis. He is a major contributor to Republican politicians.

Trappers get cash out of this deal too. A coyote sold to be live bait goes for $200 while a coyote pelt is worth only $12.

Money talks as always, but it talks louder in Indiana than it used to. This was a backroom deal, apparently brokered by Poynter, Gov. Daniels and Indiana Beagle Association representative Jack Hyden, another Republican contributor.

And because of it, our wild animals (they do belong to us, the residents of Indiana, not to the Indiana Beagle Association) are entering a new era of inhumane treatment and suffering.

Want to do something about it? Write your newspaper. Call your local radio station talk show host. Most of all, write and call the office of Gov. Mitch Daniels and express your outrage over this assault on Indiana wildlife. Call 317-232-4567.

The NRC is also accepting comments, but they have limited the means of contact. You have to go to their web site and obtain a form for making your comment. On the internet, go to and look for an item the DNR is calling "Dog Training Grounds Coyote/Fox.

Thirty-nine states have banned live bait dog training, including Florida which recently banned the practice. There were 50 live bait businesses operating in the Sunshine State. Indiana is now on the wildlife Hall of Shame and ought to be called to the carpet on this inhumane and bloodthirsty practice. It is a crime against nature.


©Copyright 2010. Donald Lee Jordan

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