Not sure how much time you spend in the Northwoods, but tourism drives absolutely everything, groceries, gas, bait, restaurants, resorts, taverns, mini-golf, go karts, fishing guides, the list is endless…
There are exceedingly few good jobs that far North – absolutely everything is driven by tourism. Many businesses are just one bad season away from going out of business. You used to see a line out the door for breakfast before the opener at restaurants, now it is hardly worth their time to open – some don’t anymore. For you and I, going up North and not seeing a deer is an inconvenience. If we want to be successful we might have to scout a little more, put a few more miles on the boots, and pay attention to the sign that we see in the woods. At the end of the day, not getting a deer impacts our life very little. For the folks who live up there, no hunters means no food on the table, no money to fill their propane tanks, and no money to put gas in their vehicles. It is really a sad deal. I was talking to a bar / restaurant owner’s wife the last time I was up who was in tears. Last snowmobile season was so cold many sledders didn't make the trip. Deer season looks like it will end the same way. Hanging on by a thread...
Do I blame the wolves? Of course I don't, but it is tough to argue that they are not a contributing factor to the low deer numbers.
A couple hundred years ago Mother Nature kept everything in perfect balance the way the Lord created it. We messed that up pretty good, and aside from hunting, there is no way to keep the deer herd in check. The wolves fall into the same category, how are we going to keep their numbers in check? I would argue the same way – hunting. The only problem is, at least from my perspective is that the balance is off a bit. On my father’s land and adjacent state forest in Vilas County I see Wolf sign 3 to 1 over deer sign.
I would think one of the easier methods to figure out what is roaming around the woods is by the tracks they leave. There are Wolf tracks absolutely everywhere, it is almost ridiculous. Try finding a deer track… That one is tough. Used to be lots of buck rubs, try to find one now. Used to be able to easily find areas where deer were bedding down, now you have to walk for hours on end over hundreds of Wolf tracks.
I do believe that the Wolf belongs in the Northwoods, no different than the deer. That is the way nature intended it. My perspective is that we need to manage both populations. Go take a walk in the Northwoods and tell me how you feel about it. You will see more Wolf sign than deer sign and likely come away with a different perspective.
It is not my intent to bash anyone for their opinion on this, this is just mine… Right now we are issuing plenty of deer tags, anyone can buy one, and there does not seem to be much concern on their numbers. I’d just like to see a similar standard for the Wolf. Let’s skinny that herd down too, or have more of both, either way would be fine with me. Just seems off-balance at the moment. Lots of Wolves, and not so many deer.
When there are a low number of does, it does not take an exorbitant number of Wolves to keep the herd thin.
-I quit reading after that.I guess some are all about the almighty whitetail and who cares about anything else. sad....
So, we should be more concerned as hunters over sharptail grouse populations, which most of us have never seen? Uh, OK. This isn't an endangered species (wolf), and the issue is OVERPOPULATION, not declining numbers.
Your error is you believe the population estimates, which in the majority of people's opinion that spend any time in the woods, is simply wrong. The population estimates are just that, estimates, and the estimates might be precise, but they are not accurate. The numbers also, in my understanding, are an "at least" estimate, meaning there are at least 800 wolves in the state. You earlier completely dismissed the idea of 2000 plus wolves in the state, even though many within DNR believe the number is closer to 2000. How else do you explain zone quotas being filled within two days? The hunters/trappers that killed them must be superhero hunters if the population is that low.
I compare it to the bear population estimates. The DNR biologists estimated to an accuracy of about 1/2 of the believed actual bear population in the state. Yet, you trust their wolf and deer population estimates? Why?
"I guess a lot of folks on here don't care much for conservation. pretty sad we don't care about wildlife in other states. i guess all some care about is the almight whitetail....folks must watch too much boner collector "
Just about everyone cares about conservation. But, wolves ARE NOT ENDANGERED! There are thousands and thousands of wolves from Alaska, through Canada, and the West and Midwest.
"as far as wolves killing all the deer, please read the deer mortality study. wolves definitely killed deer but there were many other things that killed deer at much higher rates, like hunters. wolves are hardly the only cause of the low deer populations (if you can even call them low). "
Everyone agrees that hunting is the cause of the most mortality of deer populations, and that was understood before the study. The study was primarily started to estimate buck recovery rates to address SAK population estimate accuracy concerns, not to disprove that hunters are the biggest cause of deer mortality.
Also, there are many kills listed as "unknown predator" because they couldn't determine the cause of the demise of the deer. Wolves usually consume just about everything. So, if the only thing they find is a radio collar, they can't pin the death to a certain predator, but guess what killed the deer? In addition, the study was only in one small area of northern WI near Winter. Hard to predict the mortality of all of northern WI from one small area.
If there are 2,000 wolves in the state, and the estimates are 20-40 dead deer per wolf, that is 40,000 - 80,000 dead deer, with the majority north of Highway 29. The TOTAL archery kill in the ENTIRE state of WI last year was 87,000 deer. It is not out of the realm of possibility, and perhaps probable, that wolves kill considerably more deer north of Highway 29 than all archers. Yet, we continue to hear from wolf huggers and DNR that wolf kills are inconsequential. Don't pee down my leg and tell me its raining. Ask the hunters out West about how the increasing wolf population hasn't crashed the elk herd.
"i'll say it again, the days of wisconsin being a deer game farm with an unsustainable deer herd are over, better get used to it"
Then the state better get used to it to. They better get used to an accelerated decreasing hunting license sale loss. Somehow you believe we are at deer numbers that are acceptable. Many in the northwoods see less deer now then they did in the 1950's and 1960's. But, go ahead and protect the vermin all you want. If you really care about the future of hunting, you should be more concerned about the decrease in hunters rather than protecting an overpopulated carnivore.
Of course I would only put a carcass on your own land or someone that gives the O.K.. There are a multitude of critters that will gladly eat most any carcass, eagles, ravens, and crows, then all the ground scroungers.
Often meat of beaver and muskrat can be used for bait. I had a relative(deceased) who always cooked beaver meat for his dogs. Yes, he was 'old school'. There are a handful of people that will take a fresh beaver or muskrat all the way to the table.
Nothing brings out the anti's like trapping talk.
I know most of us make Venison Chilli. I'm sure Wolf chilli would be good too! (As long as you purchased a tag)