Wolves Impacting Humans - A Dog Owner's Story
Impacts of wolves on one Northern Wisconsin pet owner. These are real human/wolf interactions as verified by the WI DNR and USDA Wildlife Services.

Wolves Impacting Humans - A Farm Family's Story
Impacts of wolves on one Northern Wisconsin farm family. These are real human/wolf interactions as verified by the WI DNR and USDA Wildlife Services.

View the report below to see where wolves are attacking cattle, hunting dogs, pets, and "non-livestock" (Humans). 

Have you ever wondered how much wolf depredations cost the taxpayers? Check out the report below showing the over 2 million dollars that have been spent reimbursing the good citizens of Wisconsin for cows, dogs, sheep, etc. that wolves have killed, maimed, or eaten.  

Below is a sample of depredation investigative reports completed by State DNR and Federal Wildlife Investigators.  Current or specific depredation reports can be obtained by emailing the Wisconsin DNR staff at Helen.Hartman@Wisconsin.gov.

In 2017, 59 Confirmed or Probable wolf incidents were documented by investigators from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) Wildlife Services is the subcontractor for the WI DNR doing investigations. APHIS can be contacted at 1-800-228-1368 in the north or 1-800-433-0663 in southern WI.

Wolf incidents include attacks on farm animals, pets, and hunting dogs. They also include threats to human safety and the safety of pets or other animals, and harassment.

The breakdown of confirmed or probable wolf incidents in 2017: 7 harassments, 18 hunting dog depredations, 2 pet depredations, one threat to human safety, and 31 farm depredations. Depredations by wolves mostly involve the death of an animal or animals. A few involve injuries to animals.

Counties that have had at least one confirmed or probable wolf incident in 2017: Clark (3), Bayfield (5), Portage (2), Douglas (16), Taylor, Dunn, Wood (2), Price (6), Marathon (3), Rusk, Burnett (7), Vernon, Langlade, Sawyer (6), Ashland, Juneau, Washburn and Adams.

Twenty-six other complaints were determined to be unconfirmed complaints. This means that there was not enough evidence present at the location to determine the cause of the attack. Wolves often consume prey in short order, and weather conditions may also erase track or other evidence. It is likely that some of these 26 incidents were also due to wolves.

Twenty two complaints were determined to be non-wolf. The vast majority were caused by coyotes.

To sign up for the new Livestock Instant Depredation Alert, scroll to the bottom of the DNR home page and click on the red envelope at the bottom right. A long list of information materials and updates is available on this site, including the Livestock Instant Depredation alert for damage by wolves, coyotes, and bears.


On 2/12/18, USDA Wildlife Services received a report of Cattle Harassment from a farm in the Town of Amnicon, Douglas Co. An investigator arrived the next day to determine the source of the harassment. Wolf tracks and scat was present at the location, and approximately 130 animals had experienced the harassment by wolves. The farmer noted that wolves had run his cattle through a pasture fence a month prior to the complaint, and he had also seen a pair of wolves about 100 yards from his feedlot in an adjacent pasture. A guard dog was acting agitated for several days. This farm has a chronic problem with wolves and a verified damage threat in an area with high wolf/livestock depredations.

02-12-2018 Wildlife Services Report

An Australian Shepard house dog was let out to “do his business” on Feb. 28, 2018 at 10 pm. The owner heard the dog in distress, and it appeared with a deep laceration on its left shoulder, and the hide was pulled back from the rib cage, as well as other injuries. The pet was sutured and a drainage tube put in. Wildlife Services responded on March 1. Wolf tracks were found (one set) about 40 yards from the house. The dog was examined, and in addition to the above injuries, canine punctures were found on the rump that were consistent with a wolf bite. This area has had wolf problems previously. The owners were instructed not to let the dog go out at night without a leash. The attack happened in the City of Pittsville, Wood Co.

03-01-2018 Wildlife Services Report

On 4/4/18, in the Town of Pilsen, Bayfield Co., a farmer found a dead calf that had been fed on. Wildlife Services responded on 4/5. The pasture was bare of snow, but a wolf track was found that went towards the area where the calf was found dead. The carcass was removed to a warm location to examine the bite marks. Large diameter canine bite marks were found on the carcass. This is a confirmed depredation.

04-04-2018 Wildlife Services Report

A calf born and tagged 4/7/18 was found dead the next morning. Wildlife Services responded that afternoon. Numerous wolf tracks were found in the pasture. This farm has had chronic problems with wolves, and the carcass was largely consumed. This was coded a probable wolf depredation.

04-08-2018 Wildlife Services Report


The graph below shows the disturbing trend of increasing number of wolf depredations over the last 5 years.

               source: WI DNR Progress Reports/Annual Reports to USFWS

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.