No, these are wild wolves and they only breed once a year in march. At no ither time do they breed. And yes they might average 5-6 pups, but they also only average 1-2 survivals on those pups. Some packs may have a better survival but that is a select few because wolves can't take care of all those babies, and only the strongest babies survive. There are literally competitions by the pups. More packs wind up with one or no pups than do packs with three or more pups. But the average is 1-2 pups surviving, so regardless of individual packs, the average is 1-2.
OK, I did some more digging on the DNR website and came across this page http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/er/publications/wolfplan/appendix/appendix_b.htm
If someone can read this and put it in English for me, I'd understand it much better. lol I can find where the DNR says each wolf pack averages 5-6 pups per year but I haven't found anything that says how many of the 5-6 survive.
So lets say each wolf pack has 2 pups that survive after they have 5-6 pups. 143 packs times 2 is 286+530= 816. That is still 316 wolves, 63% over the goal. This still proves just how difficult of a job it is to predict the wolf population. It's impossible for some bean counter to set the policy without good physical evidence from the field. Things like how big the pack is, how experienced the mother wolf is, how bad the winter is, and many other factors can dramatically change the formula. Also I wonder if pup survival is based on pack number.
A pack that has 5-6 pups may bring the pack number up, but as the pack grows, some of the up and coming alphas get run off, out of the pack. A pack of 6 wolves who have 5 pups survive should be 11 wolves. Say 3 get run off leaving 8 wolves. We come by and count them and assume that the pack only had 3 pups survive when in reality 5 survived and 3 adults went off to start a new pack. Just how do we keep track? Now let's say those 3 loners move south (Wisconsin wolves have been found in Ill and as far away as Indiana.) and yet they still counted towards the number of wolves up north.
My point is again, we are walking a very fine line between too many wolves and not enough making it a near impossible task of keeping the wolf population close to the 500 goal. If we take too many out, they're put back on the endangered list, if we don't take enough out, we risk our deer and elk population. With the elk population at 150 and no where near caught up to the bear and wolf populations, and the deer numbers in a large part of this area below DNR goals, we are in a unique situation that could make or break our hunting future in northern Wisconsin.
1-2 pups, 5-6 pups, it really doesn't matter. The bulk of the deer up north are gone, deer hunting stinks, and in the time it will take to bring them back we could also bring back elk. Deer hunting up north will never be the same unless of course we wipe out the wolves again and start over with the bear population. The only answer is to fix and stabilize the food chain the best we can.
So how do we go about setting up a wolf hunting season?
"Maybe they will have earn-a-wolf [:D][:D][:D] "
"Most likely it would be shoot five doe and earn a wolf."
Glad to see we're taking this seriously. lol
I would think that there are several options just by looking at how the DNR handles other seasons like sturgeon spearing , turkey hunting, bear hunting, bobcat hunting, ect. Of these Wisconsin hunts, what if any fits best for wolves? I am kind of leaning towards the sturgeon spearing model. Probably the most exact and controlled harvesting model used by the DNR. Any thoughts?
American by birth, hunter by choice.