2017 Wolf Number Climb to Record High

Monitoring efforts, conducted from Dec. 2016 through mid-April 2017 primarily by volunteers and paid agency staff under the supervision of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, detected an overwinter minimum wolf count of 925-956 and 232 packs.

“This represents a 6.8 percent increase from the 2015-16 minimum wolf count (866-897 and 222 packs),” reported David MacFarland, DNR large carnivore specialist. “The current minimum count represents the third year of growth and a record high for Wisconsin.”

Wisconsin Wolf Summit II

Wisconsin Wolf Facts, in a collaborative effort involving wildlife and farm groups, sponsored Wolf Summit II-Focus on Wisconsin, on Saturday, April 8. The event ran from 9 a.m to 2:30 p.m. at the Sugar Camp Town Hall, located 10 miles north of Rhinelander just west of Hwy 17. 

Over 60 people attended the meeting to hear nationally known speaker, Jim Beers, who retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Beers is an expert on diseases and parasites, and is an advocate for overhauling the Endangered Species Act and giving management to local governments, such as counties

The audience also heard from Wisconsin DNR's Nathan Roberts, PhD, WI DNR large carnivore scientist on wolf counting methods, and Dave Ruid, certified wildlife biologist with the Rhinelander USDA Wildlife Services, who gave an in depth presentation on how fully intergraded state management reduces wolf conflict in the Badger State. 

Presenters also included Wisconsin Wolf Fact's Laurie Groskopf and Mike Brust who gave presentations on the Wisconsin DNR's study on Wisconsin Resident's attitude toward wolf populations, and local governments position on wolf population targets. 

Senator Tom Tiffany gave an update on State and Federal delisting efforts since the first Wolf Summit.  He also discussed the success of public input and the legislative process.

Click on the links below to view the presenters presentation materials.

Court upholds delisting of wolves in Wyoming; Great Lakes decision still pending

March 3, 2017 

In the Great Lakes region in the late 2000s, you could be forgiven for not knowing the status of gray wolves.

The species volleyed back-and-forth from listed to delisted, including a short-lived hunting season that ended when wolves were, on December 19, 2014, again placed under the protection of the Endangered Species Act.

But today, the first of two high-profile cases involving wolves’ listing status was decided: A federal appeals court upheld the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 decision to delist wolves in Wyoming, reversing a lower-court ruling that restored federal protections, according to reports. Wyoming has roughly 400 wolves, and the court ruling indicates Wyoming has adequate management plans to ensure a healthy population.

A similar case in the Great Lakes is still pending.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has long contended that wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan have recovered to the point where they’re no longer threatened, so hunting and trapping should again be allowed under state control.

Gray wolves were once hunted to the brink of extinction in the lower 48 states, but they recovered under Endangered Species Act protections and reintroduction programs to the point where they now number around 5,500, according to Fish and Wildlife. The combined gray wolf population of the three western Great Lakes states is now about 4,000. The agency described wolf numbers in Wyoming and those Great Lakes states as “robust, stable and self-sustaining.”

But federal courts have blocked multiple attempts to take them off the endangered list, most recently in 2014. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last fall heard oral arguments in challenges to those rulings before just now ruling on the Wyoming case.

According to reports, the delisting of wolves sooner rather than later would allow farmers to kill the animals if they threaten livestock, and state representatives recently asked House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin for a fast floor vote before the season during which most cows and sheep will give birth begins in earnest. That followed testimony before a Senate committee a week earlier from the president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, who said producers need to be able to defend their livestock and livelihoods.

Source:  Associated Press by Brian Peterson

Breaking News

Milwaukee Journal SentinelPublished 6:17 p.m. CT Jan. 17, 2017 

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson and Democrat Sen. Tammy Baldwin are political opposites, but have come together on the issue of removing federal protections for the gray wolf.

Johnson and Baldwin joined Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) to introduce legislation on Tuesday that would remove protections for the gray wolf in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Wyoming under the federal Endangered Species Act .

The bill would replace federal protections with state wolf management plans. The legislation comes after a federal judge's decision took away the power of states like Wisconsin to manage their wolf populations.

As their numbers have grown, wolves have become increasingly controversial, heightening conflict with landowners, hunters and others.

But some wolf advocates have pushed to keep federal protections, saying they doubt states will do an adequate job of protecting wolves.

Collette Adkins, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said wolf populations have not significantly recovered in some areas.

“Here we have Congress meddling and replacing the science with a political compromise that undermines the Endangered Species Act,” Adkins said.

The bill is the latest effort by Congress to respond to court decisions protecting wolves with legislation to turn regulation over to states. In Wisconsin, U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) sponsored a bill last week that mirrored the Senate bill.

In a joint statement Tuesday, Johnson said the bill does not modify the Endangered Species Act and would not prohibit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from returning the wolf to federal protections if it deems federal protections are needed.

Johnson said future "decisions should come from wildlife experts, not from courtrooms."

Said Baldwin: "I've heard from farmers, sportsmen and wildlife experts and they all agree. The wolf has recovered and we must return its management back to the State of Wisconsin, both for the safety and economic well-being of Wisconsinites and the balance of our environment."

From 2012 to 2014, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources conducted hunting and trapping seasons for wolves after they were removed from a list of federal endangered species.

But Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan lost much of their power to regulate wolves when a federal judge in December 2014 returned wolves in the western Great Lakes back to federal protection. The Fish and Wildlife Service has appealed the ruling. Wyoming also lost its management over wolves.

In Wisconsin, the lack of controls played a pivotal role in a growing wolf population. The DNR estimated the state's minimum wolf population at 866 to 897 during the winter of 2015-'16. That represented a 16% increase over the previous winter.

Last winter’s wolf count was the highest since the 1970s when wolves, once eradicated from the state, returned to northern Wisconsin from Minnesota.

The bill includes language that says the action can't be subject to review by the courts. Adkins said such separation of powers is essential, adding that the Fish and Wildlife Service's appeal of the federal judge's ruling should be allowed to play out in the courts.

Rural Issues Roundtable

Last Saturday October 29th, WI State Senator Tom Tiffany moderated a Rural Issues Round Table hosted by US Senator Ron Johnson, with special guest Iowa Senator Jodi Ernst, that took place in Rhinelander, WI.

Topics discussed specific to the delisting of the Great Lakes gray wolf included: the USFWS and the WI DNR both list the population as fully recovered following the criteria defended by the Endangered Species Act, impacts on rural communities, impacts on hunting opportunities, impacts on farming, the lost of harvest for research and proper management for a health population, and abuse of the Equal Access to Justice Act by anti-hunting organizations such as the HSUS and CBD who are using it to line their pockets with our tax dollars.

Mike Brust, President of the Wisconsin Bowhunters Association; Matt Lallemont, Associate Delegate for the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation; and Lucas Withrow, Vice President of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association; spoke for the need for delisting efforts to uphold the original delisting ruling following the wolf management recovery criteria set by the Endangered Species Act and the USFWS approved state management plans.

Other topics discussed included rural broadband, forestry (good neighbor authority), and EPA clean water.

A dairy Holstein calf is the latest wolf fatality in WI. 

The incident happened on Sept. 6, in Waupaca Co., where few wolf depredations have
occurred. As wolves move south in search of their natural prey, deer, they will
opportunistically prey on farm animals. Watch for an update on the interactive
map on the DNR wolf page.

A 26-year-old man is recovering in hospital after being
attacked by a wolf while on shift at a northern
Saskatchewan mine.

The incident happened Monday morning at 12:05 a.m. CST at Cameco's Cigar Lake
uranium mine, about 660 kilometres north of Saskatoon.

Cameco spokesperson, Rob Gereghty told CBC News that a contractor at the mine
was mauled by an unprovoked wolf while taking his lunch break outside.

"The injured contractor received immediate medical attention from a security guard
who interrupted the attack and scared the lone wolf away," Gereghty said.

"He wasn't more than about 50 to 60 metres away from our main campsite."

Gereghty said the man was airlifted from the mine to a Saskatoon hospital where
he is expected to make a full recovery.

Meanwhile, security and employees on site have been put on alert and a walking
ban is in place.

"All personnel at our Cigar Lake site will use vehicles to get around until further notice."

According to Gereghty, this is the first time anything like this has happened at the
Cigar Lake mine. He said conservation officers are currently at the mine dealing
with the situation.

"We do our best to work in harmony with environment and the wildlife," he said.
"So this was very unfortunate that this interaction took place."

He said the company takes a number of steps to mitigate wildlife interactions
such as educating the staff of potential risks and making sure that food is properly
disposed of.

Source  CBC News

Wisconsin Wolf Facts Responds to Patrick Durkin's Letter in
the July 22nd issue of the Wisconsin Outdoor News.

Bear Hound Killed in Iron County

Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves depredated a Bluetick hound on 8/31/16
in the Town of Knight, Iron County.

This depredation represent the total number of 31 dogs that have been killed by
wolves in 2016.

Bear Hound Killed in Langlade County

Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves depredated a Plott hound on 8/31/16 in
Ainsworth Township, Langlade County.

This depredation represent the total number of 30 dogs that have been killed by
wolves in 2016.

Bear Hound Killed in Bayfield County

Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves depredated a Black and Tan hound on
8/29/16 in the Town of Washburn, Bayfield County

This depredation represent the total number of 29 dogs that have been killed by
wolves in 2016.

Bear Hounds Killed in Bayfield County

Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves depredated two bear
hounds on 8/27/16
in Bayfield County. A Black and Tan hound was killed in the Town of Bayfield,
and a Bluetick Hound was killed in the Town of Washburn.

These depredations represent the total number of 28 dogs that have been killed by
wolves in 2016.

Bear Hounds Killed in Ashland and Bayfield Counties

On August 21st, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves depredated
a 7-year-old bear hound on 8/20/16 in the Town of Chippewa,
Ashland County.

On August 22nd, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves
depredated a 2.5-year-old Walker hound and injured a 1.5-year-old
Walker hound on 8/21/16 in the Town of Barnes, Bayfield County

These depredations represent the total number of 26 dogs that have been killed by
wolves in 2016.

Bear Hounds killed in Bayfield and Florence Counties

Over the weekend, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves depredated the following
bear hounds:
A 3-year-old Walker hound killed on 8/12/16 in the Township of Drummond, Bayfield Co.
A 4-year-old Walker hound killed on 8/13/16 in the Township of Drummond, Bayfield Co.
A 2½-year-old Black and Tan hound and a 2½-year-old Bluetick hound killed on 8/13/16
in the Township of Drummond, Bayfield Co.
A 4-year-old Plott hound killed on 8/13/16 in the Town of Tipler, Florence Co.

These depredations represent the total number of 24 dogs that have been killed by
wolves in 2016.

Bear Hounds Attacked in Bayfield and Douglas Counties
On August 5th, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves injured a seven-year-old Walker hound in the Town of Solon Springs, Douglas County.

On August 6th, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves depredated a two-year-old Walker
hound and a two-year-old Walker/Plott hound in the Town of Delta, Bayfield County.
These two depredations  bring the total number of dogs killed by wolves to 19 in 2016. 

Bear Hound Killed in Ashland
On August 2nd, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves depredated a 1.5-year-old Bluetick bear hound in the town of Jacobs, Ashland County.  This represents the 17th dog killed in 2016.

Feds Released Dangerous Wolves Into the Wild
Fish and Wildlife Service officials ‘focused on wolf welfare rather than public safety’

By: Elizabeth Harrington
The Washington Free Beacon
August 1, 2016 5:00 am

Interior Department officials placed the welfare of wolves over public safety, neglecting to inform residents when wolves were roaming and killing cattle in New Mexico, according to a new audit.


An official in charge of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program, which was established to conserve the species, was found to be protecting wolves she considered “genetically valuable,” even though they posed a danger to residents in the area.

The agency’s inspector general released an audit last month detailing how the former program coordinator covered up complaints against a wolf that posed a “human safety hazard.”

Team employees in Catron County “deliberately avoided documenting complaints to protect certain wolves,” the inspector general found. Allegations made by the Catron County Board of Commissioners were confirmed by Fish and Wildlife Service employees.

“As an example, the county employee described an incident involving one male wolf, serial number M1133, that had been captured in a residential area of Reserve, NM (the Catron County seat), after numerous complaints,” the inspector general said. “[The Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program] said that wolf M1133 could be paired with a female and released because [the program] considered the wolf genetically valuable and stated that it had no documented history of nuisance behavior. [Interagency Field Team] IFT personnel, including the former IFT coordinator, met with ranchers and county officials to discuss the release plans.”

The coordinator said the wolf could be released since it had “no nuisance complaints” against it, despite being informed that the wolf was “extremely habituated” and “a human safety hazard.”

The wolf was released “despite strong opposition from the county.” It then killed cattle in another community.

The former coordinator was described by other employees, including a senior wolf biologist, as “‘overly passionate’ about individual wolves and thus reluctant to remove them from the wild when it was appropriate to do so.”

One employee said the coordinator was “more concerned for the individual [wolf] than the species.” She was also seen “crying when one of the wolves in the program had to be killed.”

“The county commissioner and the county employee alleged that FWS officials focused on wolf welfare rather than public safety,” the inspector general said. “We also spoke to several Catron Country residents who said that IFT did not notify them about the presence of wolves, did not properly manage nuisance wolves, and falsified or concealed wolves’ locations, which caused them to be concerned about public safety.”

The Mexican Gray Wolf was added to the endangered species list in 1976. Since then, the Fish and Wildlife Service has overseen a program to grow the population and monitor the wolves to prevent livestock killings.

The former coordinator of the program cited in the report took up her position in January 2011 and was transferred within the agency in August 2013.

The official first denied that she gave certain wolves “preferential treatment” despite their danger to the community, but eventually admitted to the inspector general that she “did treat them ‘differently’ from other wolves.”

“She said that she gave genetically valuable wolves more care, allowed their nuisance behavior to continue, and provided them more opportunities to breed,” according to the inspector general.

Other allegations of misconduct by program officials included not notifying the public when wolves were roaming near their homes and removing cattle carcasses to prevent ranchers from discovering them.

“One resident told us that IFT members did not tell people in her area that the wolf had been seen there even though IFT had been searching for the wolf several days before its capture,” the inspector general said. “She complained that IFT members should have notified residents at the start of the search to avoid putting them and their children, pets, and livestock at unnecessary risk.”

Another rancher said the program told him there were no wolves in the area, even though the rancher could see a wolf pack feasting on an elk carcass just outside his back yard.

“One landowner told us that he believed he had seen where [program] personnel had removed livestock carcasses from his property, and he had heard about statements made by [program] staff that caused him to suspect they removed dead livestock to protect wolves from scrutiny,” the inspector general said. “The landowner added that he had seen numerous locations on his property where a bloody struggle associated with a suspected livestock depredation had taken place and that he saw tire tracks in the dirt nearby but no carcass.”

Allegations of misconduct go back to 2000, when a rancher said 36 of his cows and 71 calves were killed by wolves over a 5 year period. The program only reimbursed the rancher for 7 cows and 15 of the calves.

“A third rancher said that depredations have cost his ranching business several hundred thousand dollars over the years,” the inspector general said. “He said that in 2005, he lost 109 animals but was only reimbursed for 18.”

Bear Hound Killed in Bayfield County

On July 30, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves depredated a seven-year-old Plott hound in the Town of Washburn, Bayfield County.  This represents the 16th dog killed in Wisconsin by Wolves this year.

Bear Hound Attacked in Burnett County

On July 29, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves attacked and injured a four-year-old male Walker hound in the Town of Blaine, Burnett County

Bear Hound Killed in Lincoln County

On July 26, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves depredated a 6 1/2 year-old female Plott hound in the Town of Corning, Lincoln County.

Source: Wisconsin DNR

Bear Hounds Killed/Injured in Bayfield, Doulgas, Iron, and Lincoln Counties

On July 23rd and 24th, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves depredated or injured the following bear hunting dogs:

- A two-and-a-half-year-old male Black and Tan hound killed on 7/22/16 in the Township of
  Drummond, Bayfield Co.
- A six-year-old male Redtick hound injured on 7/23/16 in the Township of Barnes,
  Bayfield Co.
- A one-and-a-half-year-old Plott hound killed on 7/23/16 in the Town of Knight,
  Iron Co.
- A Bluetick hound killed on 7/23/16 in the Town of Solon Springs, Douglas Co.
- A seven-year-old Walker hound killed, and a two-year-old Plott hound injured
  on 7/23/16 in the Town of Corning, Lincoln Co
Source: Wisconsin DNR

Wolves Kill Seven Sheep Near Wisconsin Rapids

A group of 7 sheep near Wisconsin Rapids were killed by a pack of wolves last week. That was confirmed by DNR large carnivore specialist David McFarland Tuesday, who said the attack on the sheep doesn’t represent any new threat to the area or danger to people. McFarland says wolves don’t often attack sheep, and he said they rarely kill so many at one time. Wood County has had wolf packs for some time, but McFarland says he can’t say for sure how many packs are in the area. The DNR estimates there are as many as 890 wolves in Wisconsin, well above the DNR’s target goal of 350.

Wisconsin Wolf Population Increases to Record High
June 16, 2016

Wisconsin had a minimum of 866 to 897 gray wolves in 222 packs in the winter of 2015-'16, according to a report released on June 16, 2016 by the Department of Natural Resources.

The population estimate represents a record high for the species in Wisconsin and a 16% increase from 2014-'15. The data were obtained in the annual winter wolf monitoring program conducted by DNR employees and volunteers. The work is done in winter, when the wolf population reaches an annual low and the animals are easiest to track and count. The wolf population typically doubles in spring after pups are born, then declines through winter due to various sources of mortality.

The wolf is protected in Wisconsin under the Endangered Species Act since a Dec. 2014 federal court decision. Wisconsin held wolf hunting and trapping seasons in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The state's wolf population has increased the last two years. The 2015-'16 work included a record 17,759 survey miles, according to the DNR.

2 GOP Legislators Plan Summit on Wolves
Lee Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 2:51 p.m. CDT May 9, 2016

Two Republican lawmakers from northern Wisconsin said Monday they would convene a Great Lakes wolf summit this fall involving public officials, scientists and citizens from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan to push for state management of wolves.

The legislators are calling for the summit in the wake of a federal court's decision in December 2014 that returned protections of the Endangered Species Act to the western Great Lakes wolf population.  "Our intent is to send a crystal clear, grass-roots message that it is irresponsible to ignore this issue any longer," the legislators said in a statement, entitled "Enough is enough."

Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) and Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake) called for the summit, noting that wolves have killed or injured livestock or pets in 14 cases so far in 2016, according to Department of Natural Resources records.

Wolves Kill Three Jackson County Elk; 17 Still Alive
BLACK RIVER FALLS — Three more elk in Jackson County have been killed by wolves, leaving the herd number at 17.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said the three were killed in a recent two-day span.  “It’s always a big disappointment to learn of a mortality given how hard we have worked to restore these majestic animals to the county,” said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR deer and elk ecologist. “However, losses are an expected and unavoidable part of a project like this. Our objective of translocating 75 animals to Jackson County is based on anticipating some initial loss in the foundation herd.”

Twenty-three elk from Kentucky were released in August. Department of Natural Resources biologists are documenting elk movements and survival as they acclimate to Jackson County through the use of satellite and GPS tracking collars. This technology provides department staff with daily location information.

Kentucky and Wisconsin staff and partners are currently in Kentucky trapping elk for the next cohort heading to Jackson County. Kentucky has authorized trapping of up to 50 elk annually as part of a five-year effort to bring 150 elk to Wisconsin.  All elk captured this winter are expected to arrive in Jackson County this spring, and will be released after fulfilling all required health testing, quarantine and acclimation periods. This year’s effort is expected to conclude the Jackson County reintroduction effort — elk trapped in future years will supplement the current Clam Lake area herd.

SourceLaCrosse Tribune

Wolves slaughter 19 elk in Wyoming-Updated 2:21 PM ET, Sun March 27, 2016
A pack of wolves killed a herd of elk earlier this month; The wolves ripped the fetuses out of the cows’ bellies and ate them. Evidence suggests the fetuses were ripped out while the cow elk were still alive, as it appears the cows got up and walked a few feet before collapsing from loss of blood and succumbing to merciful death. The unborn calves were the only thing the wolves ate.

Wyoming officials say there's nothing they can do in such cases because wolves are federally protected and managed.

A pack of wolves slaughtered a herd of elk in one night, Wyoming wildlife officials said Friday.

Nineteen elk, mostly calves, were found dead several days ago at a feeding ground near Bondurant, a town southeast of Jackson, said John Lund of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. A contractor delivering feed to the herd discovered the dead animals.  Lund said wildlife officials are concerned because wolves usually eat what they kill or come back later to feed.

The pack suspected of killing the elk has nine wolves, he added.

There are about 1,100 elk in the area, he said, and about 7% of the population has been lost to wolves this winter.

"There is a significant concern among wildlife managers," he said, noting that there are no reports of wolves attacking humans. "Our concern is big game."

But there's nothing the state agency can do, he said. Wolves are federally protected and managed.  In 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service planned to take wolves off the endangered list and turn over management of the animals to Wyoming, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website. That would have allowed state-regulated hunting of wolves.

But a federal judge ruled in 2014 that wolves remain under federal control and be relisted as an endangered species.  The federal agency could kill wolves that are attacking livestock but not wildlife, said Mike Jiminez, the wildlife service's Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf coordinator, according to the Casper Star Tribune.

Wolves, once nearly extinct, were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in the mid-1990s, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website. The number of wolves grew and spread across the region.


Coping with Wolves in Wisconsin: Part 2
Feb 16, 2016 By Earl Stahl, Ph.D.

When wolves were reintroduced to the upper Midwest, it set up conflict in both cattle pastures and courtrooms.  Part 2 of our analysis of how that has played out in Wisconsin defines the problem and looks at whether or not non-lethal control methods are effective.

Coping with Wolves in Wisconsin: Part 1
Feb 11, 2016 By Earl Stahl, Ph.D.

The impact that wolves may have on some farms can far beyond the depredation event, specifically when it comes to herd management.

Do non-lethal control methods reduce wolf depredation? Ranchers say no

Some think wolves are majestic icons of the West. Others consider them superb predators that threaten livestock and wildlife populations. And that makes for heated debate over how, or even if, humans, other animals and wolves can coexist. For western ranchers, the debate is simple: as long as there are wolves, livestock will suffer cruel and unnecessary deaths.

Dog Killed in Wolf Attack at Brighton Beach in Duluth

February 10, 2016 Updated Feb 11, 2016 at 12:23 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- A dog was attacked and killed by a wolf Tuesday at Brighton Beach in Duluth.

The Department of Natural Resources took a look at the dog after the attack and saw deep, open bite marks on both sides of the dog.
Officials say these marks could only be created by a timber wolf.

Terry Irvin and his 10 year old, Golden Retriever, Leo, walked the trails of Brighton Beach about three times a week.
Many times Irvin let Leo off his leash to roam. He said the dog always came back when he called him.

"So I wasn't concerned. I knew that I would whistle and keep walking and eventually he would catch up," said Irvin. On Tuesday Irvin called for Leo after the two had been separated for about 10 minutes, but Leo didn't respond.  Irvin knew something was wrong and went looking for his pet.  "I basically ran up the trail to the spot where I last seen the dog and I didn't go very far in the woods and I found his body. He was already dead," said Irvin.

Irvin took the dog to the Northshore Veterinary Hospital but there was nothing they could do.

Doctors there are now warning pet owners to be extra vigilant when walking their dogs.  "Again, having them on leashes is really important. But if you do have an encounter, don't just walk away; walk away slowly. Make yourself bigger by putting your jacket on top of your head, vocalizing," said Jessica Bailey, a Veterinarian at Northshore Veterinary Hospital. 

Veterinarians at the Northshore Hospital say this is the first dog, killed by a wolf, they've seen in the area.
They said such inner-city attacks are not common, but DNR officials did warn that they're seeing a growing number of wolves in the area due to the high number of deer as the wolves are looking for food.  Sometimes when the deer can't be found, wolves turn to other animals. In this case, a dog.

From the DNR:
Effective Dec. 19, 2014,

Minnesotans can no longer legally kill a wolf except in the defense of human life.

A federal judge's decision to immediately reinstate Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan place the animals under protection of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Wolves now revert to the federal protection status they had prior to being removed from the endangered species list in the Great Lakes region in January 2012. That means wolves now are federally classified as threatened in Minnesota and endangered elsewhere in the Great Lakes region.
Only agents of the government are authorized to take wolves if depredation occurs.


Student's Death Confirmed as Continent's First Fatal Wolf Attack

By CanWest News Service November 2, 2007 

SASKATOON -- A coroner's inquest has found that Ontario student Kenton Carnegie was killed by a pack of wolves in northern Saskatchewan two years ago, making it the first documented case of fatal wolf attack in the wild in North America.

Carnegie's parents shook hands and hugged the six jurors, some who were crying Thursday after they delivered their verdict at a Prince Albert hotel.  The jurors sat through three days of testimony, looking at graphic photos and listening to disturbing details of how Carnegie was likely attacked and eaten.  "I was saying I was sorry to them for what we had to put them through," said Carengie's father, Kim, who is from Oshawa. "They were saying, 'No, don't worry.'"

Carnegie, a 22-year-old engineering student on a work term from the University of Waterloo, was last seen alive as he headed out for an afternoon hike from the Points North Landing supply depot on Nov. 8, 2005.  Points North Landing is about 850 kilometres north of Saskatoon.
Two hours later, worried co-workers found the young man mauled to death in the bush, less than a kilometre from the work camp.
Although no one witnessed the attack, searchers and local officials heard wolves howling and saw their glowing eyes in the dark when they went to retrieve the body, which was surrounded by wolf tracks in the snow.  Bite marks from wolves were also identified on his remains.
But two animal experts debated during the inquest whether wolves or a bear had first attacked and killed Carnegie.

Paul Paquet, a carnivore expert in Saskatchewan, testified it was likely a black bear. He said the pattern of the attack and the feeding and dragging of the body was consistent with bear behaviour, not wolves.

Mark McNay, a retired wildlife specialist from Alaska, said he had no doubt that wolves killed Carnegie. No bear tracks were found near the body and no bear had been spotted in the area for at least a month. Most adult bears would also have been hibernating at the time.
Now that Carnegie's wolf-related death is official, his father said he hopes people will give up any notion that wolves are cute and cuddly wildlife.

"Now people will say, 'Well, what about Kenton Carnegie, the guy who died from a wolf attack?' " said Kim, sobbing and shaking.
"We wanted the truth to come out. We wanted the public to be aware."

As well as confirming that a wolves killed the student, the jury also made several recommendations that will be passed onto the Saskatchewan government, including the need to establish safety standards at garbage dumps where predatory animals like wolves and bears are found.


How many wolves inhabit Wisconsin?  The  2019 - 2020 wolf monitoring reports counts 1034 - 1057 wolves in 256 packs, a 13.1% increase.  Using a new method that has been used in others states for years, the WI winter wolf estimate is 957 - 1573 with the most probable number as measured at the lowest point in the population cycle being 1195.

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.