Thursday, June 11, 2015

Wisconsin Wolf Numbers Up

According to the Wisconsin DNR, wolf numbers are up 13 percent over last year.  On June 11, the state wildlife agency estimated a total of 746 to 771 wolves roamed the state after their winter counts from Dec. 1, 2014 to April 15, 2015.  This number also included 208 packs and 30 lone wolves, with the densest population in the northwestern part of the state in some of the Wisconsin's best grouse and woodcock cover.  

Every place I hunt now has a wolf pack, something I didn't even consider 20, even 10 years ago. The pack roaming around my cabin in Saywer County has now split into two packs -- Seeley Hills North and Seeley Hills South.  This pack killed a friend's black lab last June.  That said, I don't want to sound like an alarmist.  As I wrote in a Jan./Feb. article in Pointing Dog Journal, I think Fergus or Jenkins is more likely to get struck and killed by a car or die of Lyme disease complications than be killed by a wolf.  I will keep them close as I hunt this fall, however, particularly in areas of known depredation.

A few months back, the wolf was relisted as an Endangered Species, and the Wisconsin DNR no longer has the authority to manage them.  There will most likely be no fall wolf hunt in Wisconsin.  The good news here is upland hunters won't have to worry about their dogs stepping in a wolf trap. 

See the Wisconsin DNR's wolf page for more info.

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