Facts vs. Fiction

Fiction:  Wolves do not attack humans

Fact:      There have been many documented fatal wolf attacks throughout history in
              North America,  Asia, and Europe. Three recent attacks occurring
              in North America are cited below.

              The case of Candice Berner a 32 year old female:
              Location: Chignik Lake, Alaska
              Date: March 8, 2010

              Candice Berner, a teacher and avid jogger, was discovered dead
              along a road by snowmobilers,who found wolf tracks in the
              snow around her. The Alaska State Medical Examiner ruled death 
              was caused by “multiple injuries due to animal mauling. The
              Alaska Department of fish and game used DNA evidence to confirm
              Wolves were responsible.
              Source, Alaska Department of Fish and Game

              The case of Kenton Joel Carnegie a 22 year old male
              Location: Points North Landing, Saskatchewan, Canada
              Date: November 8, 2005

              Four wolves at Points North Landing had begun feeding on camp
              refuse that fall and were habituating increasingly to human
              activities. On November 4, 2005 two of Kenton Carnegie's camp
              companions, an experienced bush pilot and a geophysicist, met
              up with two aggressive wolves on the airfield close to camp.
              The two young men beat back the attack, photographed the
              wolves and told everybody in camp. On November 8, ignoring
              a warning from the bush pilot not to go out, Carnegie went for
              a walk and didn't return to the geological surveyors' camp where
              he was working. His body was found partially consumed in an
              area known to be frequented by four wolves which regularly fed
              on human refuse. The pathologist who performed the autopsy
              testified Carnegie had lost about 25% to 30% of his body mass in
              the attack, with the top midsection to the thigh having been
              partially consumed. Although originally the possibility that the
              culprit was a black bear was not ruled out, a coroners' jury
              concluded after a two year inquiry that the attackers had
              indeed been wolves.
             
Source: Dr. Valerius Geist, University of Calgary; Evidence
                         review and Findings, Alaska Department of Fish and Game

              The Case of Patricia Wyman a 24 year old female
              Location: Haliburton Forest, Haliburton County, Ontario Canada
              Date: April 18, 1996

              Wyman was a wildlife biologist who worked as a caretaker in the
              Wolf Centre section of the Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Preserve.
              She was killed by four captive wolves on the third day of her
              employment.
             
Source: Based on an investigation by Erich Klinghammer,
                         Ph.D. Director Institute of Ethology, NAWPF-WOLF PARK
                         (21 March 2000). "Ontario Wolf Attack Information
                         CAPTIVE NON-HUMAN SOCIALIZED WOLVES KILL CARETAKER
                         IN A CANADIAN FOREST AND WILDLIFE RESERVE.".
                         www.wolfpark.org. © 1997 - 2000 Monty Sloan / WOLF! Magazine.
                         Archived from the original on 2008-03-22.
                         Retrieved 10 February 2015.

Fiction:  Wolves only prey on the weak and sick

Fact:      This is simply not true. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s
              study of wolf predication on elk in Yellowstone National Park,
              they found that wolves tend to kill calves and wolves can and
              do kill prime-aged animals.
             
Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Dec. 2011). Gray Wolf Biology.
                         Retrieved from https://www.fws.gov/midwest/wolf/aboutwolves/
                         wolfbiology.htm
 
Fiction:  Wolves do not carry diseases.

Fact:      Wolves are carriers of up to fifty diseases an parasites that can be
              transmitted to previously unaffected wildlife, livestock, and people.
              Two of the diseases that have gotten much attention in the study of
              diseases transmitted by wolves are Echinococcus Granulosus and '
              Neospora Caninum. Visit our disease tab to get factual and detailed
              information on these vary dangerous diseases.

Fiction:  Wolves do not destroy game herds.

Fact:      The [Yellowstone] elk herd peaked at about 20,000 animals in 1992,
              a few years before wolves were brought back from Canada
              after being absent from the region for decades. Since then,
              the herd has declined about 80 percent.
              Source: Yellowstone National Park elk herd continues
                         steep decline, by Matthew Brown, Associated Press
                         retreval: http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/
                         yellowstone-national-park-elk-herd-continues-steep-decline/
                         article_f85bca14-7830-11e1-b2e4-0019bb2963f4.html

              The moose population in Michigan's western Upper
              Peninsula appears to have dropped....wolves increasingly
              may be targeting moose because of falling deer numbers
              Source: Where are all the Michigan Moose? Survey sees drop,
                         by John Flesher, Associated Press  retreval:
                         http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/
                         2015/03/17/survey-moose-population-decline-michigan/24915125/

Fiction:  Wolves do not hurt our economy.

Fact:      Wolves cost the American taxpayer millions of dollars per year.  
              Countless lawsuits filed against the Federal Agency charged
              with administering the Endangered Species Act. Farmers and
              ranchers across the country are under siege trying to protect
              their livelihoods as wolves prey on their cattle and sheep.   

Fiction:  Wolves bring balance to nature.

Fact:      Elk herds are being decimated in our western states. Moose are
              disappearing at such an alarming rate that environmental
              groups are petitioning to list them as endangered species.
              White-tailed deer numbers in the Northern Forest Zone of
              Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula are at the lowest
              numbers seen in recent decades.
 
              Wolf populations have steadily and exponentially grown
              over the same times periods.  Wolves eat elk, moose,
              and whitetail deer.       
      

Fiction:  Wolves only kill what they eat.

Fact:      Surplus killing by wolves is heavily documented and is a hard
              proven fact. Below are a sampling of cases:

              Two Dot, Montana – Five sheep had been killed by a wolf and another five
              were wounded, three of them fatally.
           
        Source: 'It's a completely different predator' by Brett French, Billings Gazette, Mar 18, 2008
                         Retrieved from http://www.orwelltoday.com/wolvessheepkill.shtml

              Bondurant, Wyoming – A pack of wolves killed 19 elk Tuesday night on
              the McNeel Elk Feedground……Of the 19 elk, 17 were calves and two
              were cows    
               Source:Wolves kill 19 elk in one night on southwest Wyoming feedground, Managing Editor Christine Peterson, Casper Star Tribune, Mar 25, 2016
                         Retrieved from http://trib.com/lifestyles/recreation/wolves-kill-elk-in-one-night-on-southwest-wyoming-feedground/
                         article_e14960d8-efc2-5a9f-a299-7634b7513a3b.html
                
                        
              Northcentral Minnesota – Surplus and excessive killing of deer by
              wolves was only during winter 1995-1996 (11 of 17 deer investigated).
                          Source:Surplus Killing of White-Tailed Deer by Wolves in Northcentral Minnesota, by Glenn D. DelGiudice,
                          Forest Wildlife Populations and Research Group, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
                          Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1382858


              McCall, Idaho -- During the night of June 29 [2004], the nine wolves
              in the Cook pack took part in what biologists call a "surplus killing"
              north of McCall. They killed 70 sheep, far more than they could eat.
              In all, the pack — Idaho’s largest — reportedly killed more than
              190 sheep the past two summers.
                         Source:Wolf pack wiped out of ‘Surplus killing’, by Zachary Smith, High Country News, Oct 11, 2004
                         Retrieved from https://www.hcn.org/issues/284/15048

              Dillon, Montana – Wolves killed 122 buck sheep in a pasture south of Dillon
              earlier this month, surpassing the number of sheep killed by wolves in
              the entire state in 2008, state wolf managers said.
              Source:Montana wolves kill 120 sheep near Dillon, Mont., The Spokesman-Review, Aug 282009
              Retrieved from http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/aug/28/wolves-kill-120-sheep-near-dillon-mont/

              IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — A southeastern Idaho ranch lost 176 sheep as
              the animals ran in fear from two wolves that chased through a herd of
              about 2,400 animals south of Victor.
              Source:Wolves kill 176 sheep in Idaho, by the Associated Press, Casper Star Tribune, Aug 20, 2013
              Retrieved from http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/wolves-kill-sheep-in-idaho/
                         article_a38ea337-36a2-50c0-9486-733993b458b4.html

              Jackson Hole, Wyoming -- Pile of about 20 to 30 dead elk (cows and calves)
              by the road pulled there by elk feeders. Some had small amounts of
              flesh eaten (10 to 15) pounds from hind quarters, left to die. Others caught
              by nose. Nose, lips and tongue eaten off and left to die. Wounded and
              stressed elk laying away from herd, unable to get up. (4 or more).
              Source:Personal letter, Jerry Wilson, March 19, 2002
                         Retrieved from http://wolftracker.ca/?page_id=432


 










How many wolves inhabit Wisconsin?  Currently the Wisconsin DNR estimates a minimum count of 232 packs that have 925 to 956 wolves living in our state. The count is up 6.8% over last year's minimum count. (Note:  This is a minimum count and many believe the number is much higher.)

How many deer do wolves eat?  Check out the link below to review an analysis of the 2015 deer season vs. wolf deer kill by county in the Northern Forest Land


Please click the link below to see the relationship between the White-tailed deer harvest decline and the increase in unmanaged wolf population.