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Wolves and The Wisconsin Deer Herd
Last Post 08 Feb 2011 04:57 PM by DFronek. 7 Replies.
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Foremost MediaUser is Offline
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24 Nov 2009 04:52 PM

    I have been hearing a lot of talk about how the wolf population is hurting the deer herd here in Wisconsin.  What's your take?  Have you ever seen a wolf in the wild?

     

    Here is you take on the subject:

    Read: Are Wolves taking a bite out of the Wisconsin Deer Herd?

    If a Man Speaks in the Forest and There Is No Woman Around to Hear Him – Is He Still Wrong
    PorknbeansUser is Offline
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    25 Nov 2009 06:42 AM
    I've seen some up North, but not around the Southern part of Wisconsin. When you see one it is a little un-nerving.

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    HuntinaddictUser is Offline
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    22 Mar 2010 07:39 PM
    Not only are they killing deer, they are causing a lot of trouble with the elk the DNR is trying to re-introduce into the state. I don't know why the hell they put wolves back in Wisconsin. Nothing but a problem. Not that everyone wants 'em out west either but at least there is more room for the bastards out there.
    joswaldUser is Offline
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    25 Mar 2010 09:39 AM

    Wolves hurt the deer herd by design.  Just like deer hurt the forest by design.  They would browse themselves into oblivion and create an unhealthy and less diverse forest if left unchecked.  We need to recognize that there is a balance in the ecosystem that we and the deer have upset.  Reintroduction of wolves is a healthy thing for the overall health of the woods, land and animal populations.  The downside is that we might not see as many deer as the balance shifts in the meantime. 

    I've heard reports of wolf sightings in Northern Illinois in the last few years of pairs running the river ice and in the forest preserves.  Could be mistaken for coyotes, but when I bring this up these folks usually know that what they saw was much bigger than a coyote. 

    Do I want a wolf in my backyard?  Not really considering my family and neighborhood pets' safety.  But I do think they have their place in the wild areas of Wisconsin and the greater Midwest.  I'm all for an open season on them to manage their population goals just like all the other species we target.

    Chris LarsenUser is Offline
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    25 Mar 2010 10:29 PM
    Hi guys,

    One point of contention here. Wolves were never re-introduced into Wisconsin. They migrated here from Minnesota and Canadian packs. This migration is precisely why managing them is so tough. The DNR is considering moving some of the elk herd because they are being predated on by the wolves. Problem is, the wolves will simply move with them. Jason, nearly the entire state is in favor of managing them with hunting. Unfortunately, eviros and antis keep blocking this. The state DNR was successful in moving the packs off the endangered species list and the enviros and antis challenged in court and won. This pack will continue to expand until someone is killed. If it's a non-hunter, the case may go the other way. If it's a hunter, those folks will probably celebrate. Let's see what the future holds.

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    joswaldUser is Offline
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    26 Mar 2010 05:23 PM
    Good points Chris... my mistake on the "reintroduction." More like "restablishement" on their own. Either way, the net effect of wolves in Wisconsin will improve the overall health of the ecosystem. Instead fighting over wolves, we need to be concerned with the effects of climate change and fragmentation as management challenges. Let's hunt/manage wolves like all other species and move on to more pressing issues.

    I hate to think that the death of any person, regardless of hunting affiliation, would be celebrated on either side, or serve as a catalyst for a new wolf hunting/trapping season. It can't come to that. Let's continue to debate this and push for it reasonably. I'd hate to see someone get hurt this way and become the focus of a management debate.

    In the meantime, let's all be careful in areas wolves are known to be. In the South and West, folks live and play among dangerous snakes, wolves and gators. Caution outdoors is a way of life, and maybe we in Wisconsin need to be a bit more aware of this going forward. The woods were never intended to be a place of perpetual rainbows and smiley cartoon critters.

    I'm interested to hear how our Southern contributors deal with snakes, gators and other nasties in the field where they hunt and fish.
    Hoyt07User is Offline
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    31 Mar 2010 08:40 PM
    We had a single male around our "area" winter of '08. last summer we were mowing a part of our woods close to a swamp edge to make a bedding area. After we found the 3rd deer carcus, in a 50 yard circle, there was a low "cry" from in the tags, not more than 80 yards... that you could hear over the DR brush mover we were running... that was our first experence... we got trail cam pics of 3 different pups all fall along with the female, but never this "black male"...

    opening night of gun season i get out of my stand. Never fired a shot, and the few deer i saw were acting normal with all the shooting that was going on. i was walking out of my stand (and i walk slow, carefull of every step, because i need to just sneek around the downwind side of a food plot and the route that most of our deer take to feed.) about half way down my trail i hear what i thought was a bird or a squirrel rustle in its nest. Thought nothing of it. Got about 30 yards further down the trail and i herd it again. Except this time it was in a slightly different location. Now i was kinda freekin out. i turned around and shined my flashlight behind me. Sure enough it was a wolf no more than 40 yards behind me, and not one of the pups, this thing was huge! its back was about as high off the ground as my belt! when the light hit it, i was reaching for my knife on my belt and it took off right away. Needless to say, i ran into the foodplot and loaded my rifle asap. i meet up with a fellow hunter that was on the opposite side of the plot and i was finaly able to settle down.

    Even tho i know a wolf would probably never attack a human, the fact that it felt that confortable to come that close to me is scary. i will be careing my handgun in the woods from now on.

    Since that incident, we have seen the pups chase a fisher up a tree when we were hunting. And we have been able to replacate the howls at night to bring them in close enought to see with a spot light...(cut cornfeild). They must think that an new wolf is in the area and have to come check it out... their crys will chance pitch and i just try to duplicate it as much as possible.. we've done this twice now and its pretty cool.

    We do see more wolf tracks than deer. Weve walked upon numerious wolf kills on our property also... and its not pretty when theres snow on the ground... lots of blood.

    Needless to say, we will just have to wait for wolves to move on when the deer are all gone. We are not going to waist our money on food plots, and two of my uncles are probably not going to rifle hunt that property next year. We only got 2 bucks off it this year.

    Location of this pack is between Eau Claire and Wausau about 15 miles south of HWY 29.
    DFronekUser is Offline
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    08 Feb 2011 04:57 PM
    Well, back around 93' I was talking to a Wildlife bioligist from the State and a USDA Bioligist about the wolves. I was told then that 14 or 16 wolves were trapped, radio collared and brought into WI.from Canada for reintroduction. Now it is my feeling that now that we have an established population and growing negativity that the states stance is now they migrated here from MN. Ok, so why haven't wolves migrated in from the UP of MI into northern WI.then. Think about it. I'm not anti wolf, I see them out there and caught them in coyote traps as well as other trappers have around the state.I just believe if we dont have a management plan soon they are going to decimate the deer herd. The deer herd in the north is down and it stands to reason with not just the wolf numbers on the rise but the coyote and bear populations as well. I think the DNR failed to take these 3 things into serious consideration when they issued so many bonus tags over the years. Now blame it on over hunting. Over hunting was blamed on the low elk numbers as well out west up until the truth couldn't be covered anymore.By protecting the wolf the way they are is only guaranteeing their demise. You cant stock pile wildlife without dire consequence to other species.I recently got the 2010 wolf depredation report from the DNR and you would be surprised at the number of wolf depredation issues that there were in 2010. I will try to post.
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