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Old January 3, 2014, 12:57 PM   #1
bcarver
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wolves

for those that have introduced wolves where they hunt: How has it affected the deer harvest? opinions are great but any links to data are appreciated.
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Old January 3, 2014, 01:48 PM   #2
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my brothers favorite place to hunt used to be a spot known only as "skyline" here in north Idaho. it was his favorite because you couldn't actually call it hunting, it was shooting. you were guaranteed to see at least 3 to 5 dozen deer on any given day regardless of weather, time of day, etc. last time I went out there there were 2 deer and a lot of puppy dog tracks...

I like to camp and do my huckleberrying out of the clarkia wilderness. it used to be my brother in laws go to place for elk hunting. last time we went up there were no elk, no signs of elk, no deer, no signs of deer, and not once but twice we found wolf tracks inside our own tracks... they were TRACKING US!!!!

now on Craig mountain where all of the wolfs are still kept in "the wolf research facility" the elk are so thick they just added an extra season with 150 tags... coinkidink? I think not.
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Old January 3, 2014, 01:55 PM   #3
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I wonder what will happen when the raising wolf population meets the raising hog population.
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Old January 3, 2014, 01:57 PM   #4
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bacon and fur coats for everybody!
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Old January 3, 2014, 02:09 PM   #5
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I hunt in NW WI I saw and shot my 1st deer in 5 years in wolf country. It has a huge impact. We also have had loss of deer due to harsh winter late spring last year and this winter has started out very harsh as well combined with Timber wolves and high populations of Black Bears and Bobcats and the DNR allowing over harvest of deer the herd has plummeted. We had a nice fresh snow during rifle season and all we saw were wolf tracks in many areas scouting for sign not a single hoof print crossing a road to be seen. The kill in the management unit I hunt is down 70% from 8 years ago. Also when wolves are around deer seem to be very nocturnal. The only people that love wolves are people that do not live where the wolves do. We have to be careful grouse hunting as the wolves have been killing bird dogs. They have always attacked bear and coon hounds but they are further away from the hunter's now they go after pointers 100 yards from the owner. They also attack dogs on chains in peoples yards. You can look up on the WI DNR website and see how many pets are killed in each northern county. NOw they are pushing further south and expanding there range as they eat there way out of game animals. The wolves are not fully to blame for declining deer herd but are a major factor. They and bears are the limiting factor in the ELk program that was started over 10 years ago. Kentucky traded some Elk for bears and there Elk heard has gone through the roof and is providing hunting opportunities. WE were promised to be hunting Elk by now but strangley hardly any calves survive. The difference predators. You do Not want wolves reintroduced. Check out all that has happened around Yellowstone and in Idaho

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Old January 3, 2014, 03:43 PM   #6
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally posted bymwal:
I hunt in NW WI I saw and shot my 1st deer in 5 years in wolf country. It has a huge impact.

WE were promised to be hunting Elk by now but strangley hardly any calves survive. The difference predators. You do Not want wolves reintroduced.

Wolves were not reintroduced to Wisconsin. They came back from the brink of extermination from being protected and by natural pack expansion here from the U.P. and Minnesota. The Elk stocked here in Wisconsin were stocked in an area that is not prime Elk habitat. There are also more reasons for their low rate of increase in numbers than just wolves. Predation on calves by bear is the number one reason calves don't make it to adulthood. The current herd is only175 animals. In the last 15 years there has been over thirty elk known to have been killed in car/elk collisions, over 1/6th the total population. Then there is the poaching. Yes, wolve prey on elk, but they are not the reason you can't hunt them. A high percentage of calves being born in the years previous to 2013 were cows. A higher percentage of bulls need to be born before a hunt would not hurt the breeding population. In 2015, there are plans to introduce elk into the Black River Forest, an area much more favorable for elk. Hopefully in the near future, a few very lucky folks who draw the few permits available will get to enjoy an Elk hunt, here in Wisconsin. As for wolves depleting the deer herd in Northern Wisconsin, hunter indecrection, predation on fawns by black bear(40% and more) and harsh winters are just as resposible as the wolf. If you are seeing wolf tracks, there ARE deer around. Wolves do not stick around when there is no food. They do not eat snow nor is their primary food source rabbits and mice. If you are seeing high numbers of wolves and their tracks in an area, there are plenty of deer there too. Just because hunters don't see them and are unsuccessful isn't the wolves fault. Wolves have been studied by Wisconsin biologists as long as whitetail deer. These folks have learned that wolves have minimal negative impact on deer populations, since they feed primarily on weak, sick, or disabled individuals. The approximately 800 wolves in the state take appoximately 32,000 deer a year, close to the same amount killed in car/deer collisions. Both are a drop in the bucket compared to the numbers taken by hunters. Approximately 500,000 deer are taken in Wisconsin every year by hunters. This shows that it is very unlikely that wolves have any impact at all on individual hunter success.
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Old January 3, 2014, 04:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Wisconsin biologists as long as whitetail deer. These folks have learned that wolves have minimal negative impact on deer populations, since they feed primarily on weak, sick, or disabled individuals.
Off subject: The best book on deer period (IMHO) is based on studies done in Wisconsin by biologists there. They do some great studies there.

Deer adapt when wolves come into the picture. They are now hunted all year long and learn from it. The fact that you are not seeing deer is the result of pressure and much more natural than to see them standing in the middle of a field.
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Old January 3, 2014, 06:47 PM   #8
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back to the question

hey buck460 what you say is almost exactly what I read on the internet.
What I want to know is where you hunt have you noticed a change now that it has wolves. It would help to know where you hunt too.
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Old January 3, 2014, 06:49 PM   #9
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unbias

I am neither pro or con. But 32000 deer sound like a lot of extra deer.
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Old January 3, 2014, 09:26 PM   #10
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally posted by bcarver:

hey buck460 what you say is almost exactly what I read on the internet.
What I want to know is where you hunt have you noticed a change now that it has wolves. It would help to know where you hunt too

I hunt West Central Wisconsin. There are 4 large packs known to inhabit this and the surrounding area. Two of the packs are known as the Wildcat Pack and the Bear Bluff Pack. The Bear Bluff pack may sound familiar to some and was virtually eliminated a year or so ago because they were becoming to bold and attacking dogs allowed to run loose. There has also been nuisance animals eliminated from packs located in Fort McCoy on farms that are within fractions of a mile from me. I have noticed no change in overall deer populations since the wolves have become noticeably present, but also know that there were wolves in the area a decade or so before most folks realized it and started to whine. While the gun deer harvest this year was down from last year, bad weather for opening weekend and the season starting after the rut had ended were the main reasons. Bow hunters did about the same as last year and I believe the late muzzle-loader season had a higher success rate. Nasty weather for the late antlerless and the holiday hunt also meant low hunter numbers and lower success. With the success of the last two wolf seasons here in Wisconsin(100% or more of quota) wolf numbers will now be stable at a lower number than in the past. This means less deer taken by them.

Quote:
Originally posted by bcarver:

I am neither pro or con. But 32000 deer sound like a lot of extra deer.
That number was a high estimate using a 40 deer per animal per year figure. This means one wolf would eat one deer every nine days. Even if they ate nothing else, this is still a high estimate. In Spring and Fall where they are present, Beaver make up the majority of the wolf's diet, with small game and other rodents being eaten at all times of the year. With an estimated population of 1,600,000 deer in the state, 32,000 is only about 2% of the population. Like I said, a drop in the bucket and not a really a factor in hunter success overall. In northern counties and areas of high wolf densities, this percentage may be even higher, maybe 5%. This still will not make a drastic decline in deer numbers compared to over hunting and hard winters.
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Old January 4, 2014, 03:06 PM   #11
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They just introduced wolf hunting in the U.P. here this year. Supposedly there is around 800-900 wolves in MI. They felt that was enough to allow a restricted hunting season. I read a stat recently saying wolves were the 2nd leading cause of deer death after cars.
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Old January 4, 2014, 10:38 PM   #12
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thanks

thanks for the info. I never heard about the beavers until recently, I wish something would grab the one on my lake.
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Old January 5, 2014, 09:04 AM   #13
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Worse thing there is for deer hunters and their State's deer herd Grey Wolves are. Northern MN is full of them nasty eating everything animals. When its said wolf only eat the sick & the lame. That's a crock!! They eat anything they choose to chase and usually catch what the chase more times than not. But there is a catchy saying here in MN that many apply having to deal with the unsavory behavior of Grey Wolf. {Shoot, Shovel, & Shut up!!}

The problem I have with wolf passing near my deer stand. Once they do. Any deer that might have been within 1/4 mi. are gone at least 1 full week before migrating slowly back into the area. After dark and wanting to barbeque my supper after a long days deer hunt.. This chef will only feel comfortable if I have a center fire pistol or rifle close at hand. If and when there is a wounded deer within 1/2 mile of my cabin. I'll hear the wolves going after it just after darkness falls. The viscous noise Grey's make when pursuing their quarry will make the hair on anyone's Back stand up. I've experienced that situation more than once. So hears a little advice: If you have a politician that promotes wolf introduction into your State. Take a firm stance against doing so. Otherwise you might experience what we encountered here in Minnesota. Un regulated numbers of canis lupus indulging themselves in perpetual predation of this States deer, moose, and just about everything else that inhabits the woods & fields also.
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Old January 5, 2014, 10:02 PM   #14
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I dont know about deer but it has effected our elk hunting.

Do a google search on Elk hunting Idaho Lolo area.

Its pretty bad!
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Old January 5, 2014, 10:23 PM   #15
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wyoming wolves

I have heard that the deer and elk populations are way down since the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone. There were packs established outside the Park in two years at most. The animals don't seem as visible, but there it is hard to discern what the causes are or if I am just not seeing them. Like other posters have said, disease, winter kill, and vehicles collisions are all factors to consider. Hunter harvest reports show deer are way down from five years ago, but about the same as ten years ago. Elk harvest was way up in 2012 from 2011, but has been holding pretty steady for ten years. I didn't find pre-1995 data in a quick search from when wolves were reintroduced in Yellowstone.

This is the second year that it has been legal to hunt wolves in Wyoming and I have heard that the harvest for wolves is way down from last year. I have heard that the wolves are getting very wary already of any human contact. Hopefully that means less livestock depredation. I am curious as to where most of the wolves were killed as predators. There were only two wolf areas with unfilled quotas and 39 killed as predators.
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Old January 7, 2014, 01:26 PM   #16
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Here is a link to the fish and game responce to wolves in Idaho effect on elk

http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/...ws/2010aug.pdf

My family has hunted the Lolo zone for years
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Old January 8, 2014, 04:20 PM   #17
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I don't know what they have done for the deer population, but they have vastly improved wolf hunting.
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Old January 8, 2014, 07:00 PM   #18
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Wolves may catch a few beaver, but when it is froze up I can guarantee you that they can't open a lodge and get to them. Wolves are somewhat leery of a large beaver because they are a dangerous. A beaver to protect himself immediately go for the legs and can beak them with ease.
I have an aquiantance in Orr, Minn. and the wolves put him out of the cattle business. In the winter the wolves on a couple of occasions chewed through a closed barn door and killed cattle. This was documented by the DNR and they paid for depredation losses. In the spring,calf depredation was very high. The pack got established in he area and devastated it. This was before they were delisted. Because of depredation, over a 9 year period the Feds killed 61 wolves on his property, and they finally bought his cattle business out. Wolves, in late winter and early spring when they kill a cow, deer or what ever just eat the fetus and go on to kill something else. They only eat frozen animals if they are driven to it by hunger. If live game can be had they kill it.
Wolves are OK and have a place in the eco-system that contains lots of wilderness. But I don't believe they are compatible in populated areas where there is domestic livestock. All they have to contribute is the price of a hunting license. I also don't believe that they have the same genetics as the wolves did say century ago. They have become a cross bred, hybrid animal. The alpha instinct, and environment, food supply awareness in thier breeding traits of natural selection is gone. The Apostle Islands on Lake Superior is an example. The moose population crashed, the wolf population continued to grow due perhaps to inbreeding, now they have crashed to less than a half a dozen animals and the moose are flourishing again.
The wolf can no longer maintain a balance, which makes it necessary for us to step in and manage them.
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Old January 9, 2014, 12:53 PM   #19
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City folk cry save the wolf, but let a pack of wild dogs run loose in their neighborhood, and they will cry for animal control to remove all of them.

If wolves were that wonderful, they would not have been reduced in numbers to begin with.
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Old January 9, 2014, 01:42 PM   #20
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Before the white man was a major force in the west one of the most highly populated places for wolves was the valley that runs parallel to the west coast to the coast line its self. Basically every major city in the in California, Oregon and Washington. Id vote to put wolves back where they had the highest presence before the we kicked them out.

Imagine a pack of wolves running around down town LA. in the 1800 that area was full of wild life. We should bring all that back.

On the flip side Idaho (not counting the panhandle) was very barren and empty. There was a few deer running around and some coyotes. Now we have Elk and Wolves in some areas of southern Idaho.
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Old January 9, 2014, 02:04 PM   #21
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wid dogs

hey danny that is so true. when the dogs start grabbing cats people want the dogs shot when they are just being dogs.
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Old January 9, 2014, 06:16 PM   #22
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lucas McCain:

Wolves may catch a few beaver, but when it is froze up I can guarantee you that they can't open a lodge and get to them.

Wolves prey on Beaver generally right before and right after freeze-up. The big Rodents are actively feeding on the shoreline at this time and are slow and awkward in deep snow. Wolves are leery of any large prey as an injured wolf in the wild is a dead wolf.

Quote:
Originally posted by Lucas McCain: The Apostle Islands on Lake Superior is an example. The moose population crashed, the wolf population continued to grow due perhaps to inbreeding, now they have crashed to less than a half a dozen animals and the moose are flourishing again. The wolf can no longer maintain a balance, which makes it necessary for us to step in and manage them.
This is the natural cycle between predator and prey. It has been going on for millennia. Even before the first creature crawled outta the sea to inhabit Terra. It happens to every prey/preadtor relationship, not just wolves. Fox and rabbits have their coordinating cycles as do Grouse and Goshawks, and Snowy Owls and Lemmings. Man's intervention rarely manages anything, but instead we either screw it up or we tilt it in our favor. The deer and elk populations are a prime example. We eliminated large predators and now there are more deer and elk in this country than before Columbus set foot here. We inflated their populations to make it easier for us to hunt them and for our success rates to soar. By removing their predators and auxiliary feeding(both for their health and to increase the carrying capacity of their habitat), we dummified them. When wolves came back, either introduced or self established they found a large quantity of big dumb animals and thus their populations grew faster than they ever would in a natural state. No their fault....ours.

Quote:
Originally posted by bcarver: hey danny that is so true. when the dogs start grabbing cats people want the dogs shot when they are just being dogs.
This is the kind of hypocrisy I see all the time. Leave the dogs alone, they are only attacking the cats cause they're just being dogs. But when a wolf kills a trophy deer or some farmers cow, they need to be exterminated because they are just being wolves.

Wolves have a place in the wild. While many will never be completely happy with what they prey on, and will never have low numbers with the inflated numbers of their prey we desire, they are an important part of our world. But because we do not want a decline in their prey, we will always need to hunt them to keep their numbers down and to keep their fear of man.
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Old January 9, 2014, 06:38 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcarver
How has it affected the deer harvest?
Haven't really noticed them messing with the deer so much. It's the elk they hunger for!

I have noticed (nothing scientific, mind you) that the elk seem to be forming larger herds than they used to. Seems they have learned over the last 15 years that there is safety in numbers. Used to be that elk were scattered in small groups all over my neck of the woods, now we are seeing herds of 200+ animals. My theory anyway.

I have seen the remains of a herd of antelope run into a box canyon and killed by wolves. Nasty business, rotting 15 carcasses, nothing eaten but their haunches.

I would just as soon the wolf wasn't re-introduced. I thought we had it pretty good after our grandfathers spent years getting rid of the vermin!

I will get one some day, I had a few close calls! They are really, really wily and take off before you get much chance for a bead on them! Soon, real soon I'm a get me one!
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Old January 9, 2014, 06:48 PM   #24
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buck460, I wouldn't call it hypocrisy. The dog and I are not in competition over a cat, but the wolf and I are in competition over a nice buck. Or a coyote and I over quail.
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Old January 9, 2014, 10:19 PM   #25
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Dogs are wolves that have been bread into different physical characteristics.

People who want to save wild dangerous animals never have to deal with them. Their thinking is as long as I am safe and secure, screw the people who do not live in my neighborhood.
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