A very interesting possible end around of longtime federal inaction on the out of control Wisconsin wolf packs.
Wisconsin's Unmanaged Wolves
The 350 number, in my opinion is obsolete.
Generally speaking, the sustainable population is two thirds or three fourths of the total population. This is a common rule of thumb for species management.
If we take 66% of 920 wolves, we have a sustainable population of 607.
Trouter, you do realize the State wolf management plan is broken into regional zones with population objectives for each unit don't you? Your comments suggest otherwise. Please take time to research to make informed posts as some people take what they read here as gospel.
Like what was posted, what "management" is taking place with wolves? I mentioned this earlier with WDNR using the word "management" with CWD. Neither are being managed, as actions implemented do not fit within the definition of management. Both programs fall under the definition of "monitoring" which is a big difference. Only wolf management is currently scientifically possible, but just not politically possible.
When WDNR was "managing" wolves, the number of permits available in the northwoods were not effective. Permits were filled within a matter of days (4 days for Zone 2), and anyone living in the northwoods quickly realized the number of permits issued did not make a serious impact on population levels, and should not have been considered a serious attempt at controlling the population.
For instance, the 2014 quota for Zone 2, which covers most of NE Wisconsin, was only 15! By the 4th day when they closed the season, 29 wolves had been already killed. They were killed so fast and hunters/trappers were so successful the WDNR could not react in time. WDNR estimated this was over 20% of the entire Zone 2 population of wolves. Obviously, this completely undermines their population estimate. In fact, that same year, a friend of mine had one game camera picture with 7 wolves on it. That amounted to over 5% of the wolves in an area covering most of NE Wisconsin (Zone 2) standing in front of his camera. Anybody can surmise the population estimate was much too low. I personally don't think WDNR has effective tools to properly estimate the wolf population, and that hinders effective management.
In fact, restricting permits in the northwoods was stated by WDNR to be limited because "it is good wolf habitat." Don't be surprised when/if wolf hunting and trapping is allowed again that WDNR will not make a serious attempt to reduce wolf numbers to the 350 population goal...ever. The WDNR has basically stated they want relatively high populations of wolves in the northwoods.
I didn't say I don't see them, I was saying I don't hunt stupidly. I live just south of the Gile. I'm aware of where the larger concentration of wolves are around me and I avoid those areas. The reality is the numbers have not only leveled off but started to go down due to an outbreak of distemper. That would be a case of mother nature taking management into her own hands since the state can't.
Some very good stuff posted yesterday!!
Capt, I am a bear and grouse hunter/guide. I know brother of the bush is a bear hunter as well. Might be a few others I dont know by the handles.
Duck, I can tell you there are many places in Iron county I will not consider going. Still to date one of the largest wolf wallows for lack of better term. Was just north of 182 where the snow track crosses east of the bear river. Someone had dumped a bunch of carcasses, and to say the area was torn up dont come close. Further up the trail where it crosses the bear river. Even more crazy amounts of tracks, etc. Someone had put a chunk of deer fat on the sign by the bridge could see where the wolves were trying to get at it. A pair that day had sat on top of the big rock in the middle of the river next to the bridge. I know more southern Iron. Further up on the northside of the Gile they are thick. I wont ever go back up there to hunt. A friend started to 2 years ago. Warned him to stay out. After 2 weekends, and loosing 3 dogs wont ever go back again! They are there even if your not having them line up for your viewing.
You will often hear people say. If I see fresh sign will move on. Sad part is most often you are not going to see any sign. I actually like to see it. So I know roughly where they are. Even then no guaruntees. When we coyote or cat hunt. Will cut a piece up as much as possible before turning dogs out Checking all roads, etc around a piece. A lot of extra time, and effort. Still there could be a few inside that didnt move, or were bedded up. Or they may come in after you check.
I posted a couple weeks ago. That twice this winter already. We have had wolves come in on the dogs. Luckily both times the dogs ran them out, and no injuries. But, what about next time.
Here is something to think about. I get a chuckle out of it, but its rather serious. I know a 70+ year old woman. That walks her dogs every day. Strapped to her side is a 44 for protection. Started doing this a few years ago after being confronted by a pair, and followed for over a mile. She was lucky that day. Yet, more often than not. You are being watched, or followed without even knowing it. Thats the scary part!!
Trouter, you cannot compare the customs of tribes today to that of the past. They have given up on many of the old ways. So many contradictions in what they say and do these days as well. Many in the LDF tribe are of the bear clan. Considered to be a brother, and not to be hunted. Yet, many do hunt them. Able to take 1 a day every day!! No tribe I know of is currently trading furs for goods anymore.
Next time we get a fresh snow a day or 2 before a weekend. I implore all of you to come north, and take a drive around on the back roads looking for tracks. Get on a snowmobile and go a little deeper. Hike in on some of the logging trails. You will then no doubt see what we are talking about. My offer still stands as well. Be happy to take anyone out on a track survey.
I have no kind words for otters. But neither do I think they should be eliminated from the state.
Without a doubt, there is a higher wolf density in northern Wisconsin than there is in other parts of the state. But the wolf management plan covers the entire state, not just one section.
Managing wildlife on a statewide scale is quite the challenge.
Central WI and north of Hwy 8 is like comparing the winters in FL to WI. (ie Bayfield, Douglas & Ashland counties)
The survival challenges to the northern deer herd are much more numerous then the central farmland herd. “Farmland” should say it all. Maybe they have more food sources??.
I lived through the Wolf numbers going from zero to what they are today. It’s a sin what the DNR did to nurture the Wolf population to what it is today.
I’m sorry but I’m old school and the Wolf has no place in the current environment in Wisconsin. I don’t care what any half ass study says. I’m surprised bear hunters or grouse hunters haven’t chimed in with the number of hunting dogs harvested by the Wolves. Eradicating the Wolf will only help the Deer population. What ever happened to common sense?? The deer herd did quite well from the turn of the century to the early 2000’s.
Every wolf should be culled. Every last one. I’m for the three S’s. Oh, by the way, you won’t find the three S’s in any wolf study.
Trouter I love your trout fishing posts and see you are a very good sportsman and troutfisher. Just one honest question and honestly no offense. When you see an Otter on your favorite trout Stream do just say to yourself “It’s a vital part of the eco system” or do you try to cull it out of your fishery?
Good Luck Quint