Wolves

Whitetailaddict
 
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RE: Wolves

Postby Whitetailaddict » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:53 pm

I want to point out that wolves only breed once a year in march, and if they aren't successful they don't do it again. The alpha female only comes into heat once a year, and no other wolves in the pack but the alpha male and female can breed.
 
And i also want to agree with the fact that it is mostly our fault that the population is so low. we have to think about the management of the deer herd before we pull the trigger. Where i hunt, there has been extreme overharvest for probably 5 or more years, and the big woods can't sustain harvests like that with wolves, bears, and severe winters on top of that. The deer can't sustain themselves. I know a guy up there that used to harvest ten does a year for several years before the herd dropped so much these last two years. Thats just irresponsible in my opinion. We are the ones pulling the trigger and now were paying for it because we killed too many deer. I have never killed more than one doe in a year (and only three in the last 8 years), and probably never will up north because i know the land up there can't sustain that. We need to go to bucks only for the next two years up north at the very least (i know that won't happen though). But even if we still can shoot does, it's our responsibility not to if we want the herd to rebound. Then once the herds get to higher levels, we can start controlling them again, but in a smarter way this time. Not just shooting anything and everything that moves and overharvesting the deer. Just because people could buy unlimited doe tags doesn't mean they should have killed as many does as they could, and now our hunting is in the dumps because of the irresponsibleness of us hunters.
 
Mtnman had another good point too. hunting should be more about the experience and not about the killing. all people want to do is kill stuff now, guys in our camp do and i tell them every year i hate it. The experience of it all is what got me hooked on hunting in the first place, and is what i still love so much about it now. We all need to get back to that tradition and experience that made it so special, not just only want the killing, which is what its like for some people now. I'm not saying we don't have that tradition or the same experience anymore, but it's deffinitley not as strong, and i think we need to get away from the killing just to kill thing. We need to be smarter about our management actions starting now.

Osty
 
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RE: Wolves

Postby Osty » Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:46 pm

I would like to see elk and bison but wonder what the impact would be on the habitat.  I guess I'm more traditional and think of WI as a deer state.
 
Wolves are here and are going to grow unless there is some kind of management.  Wolf tags or some kind of hunting season to regulate the numbers.  I agree hunters have shot a fair amount of deer but eyewitness accounts of wolves chasing deer, livestock, dogs, or humans is something we can't ignore.  I think we are in that natural cycle of rise and fall of populations.  If the deer herd is down, the wolves will move on.  As soon as the herd grows, the wolves will grow.

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buckhunter21
 
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RE: Wolves

Postby buckhunter21 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:16 pm

ORIGINAL: Goose

You all bring up good and valid points but, from what I have read on predation on deer I can not honestly blame wolves for where the deer herd is at. Yes predators do have a impact on deer and it varies every year based on fawn drop and winter severity.
I really believe that WE are the ones responsible for the lack of deer that is reported by most hunters.
WE are the ones that should manage the deer in our local.
WE are the ones pulling the trigger.
WE should take on the role of being conservationists not killers,who just because we have the tags to kill 6 deer should go out and  kill 6 deer.

I feel that if you think the numbers are way down and there are less deer in the woods, when you point at somebody or something to blame, you have 3 fingers pointing back at yourself.

Don't take this post the wrong way...it's just too easy to blame everything else IMO.

 
I agree...Wolves may play a part in all of this, but a very small part indeed I think.  We are the ones shooting everything we see because the DNR gives out tags like they're candy.  I would puit 99% of the fault on us!
QDM!

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RE: Wolves

Postby wack » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:04 am

Yes, Mntmn I agree and the numbers do back you up as 530 wolves take 18 deer pr year on average should take about 9,500 deer in 1 year. Wolves are not the main reason for low deer numbers. It's a combination of the things mentioned and yes, hunters are the biggest part of the equation. Problem is, we are not all biologists, not many of us have kept up on all the research, I for one thought for many years that our DNR would make the right decisions for us and not sell too many tags. I thought I was doing my part taking more doe than bucks, letting young bucks and even a few trophy bucks walk. I averaged 6 deer per year for quite some time and of those 6 per year, .5 were bucks, taking on average 1 buck every 2 years.

 "Wolves only breed once per year." ? I have a close relitive who owns 1 male and 1 female wolf. I'm no expert on wild wolves but the female wolf I do know in captivity has gone into heat twice a year. Regaurdless if I'm right or wrong, Wisconsin wolves have averaged 5-6 pups per wolf pack per year period. This may mean that a pack might have 1 pup while another has 7 or any other combination that comes to the average of 5-6 pups per year. Yes the alpha male and female are the only ones in a pack to breed. I also do not believe we can determin numbers and season goals by numbers alone. Mother nature doesn't always stick with the averages and numbers. A great example of what I'm saying is our deer estimates and the bear estimates. Some how we have to make these estimates more accurate and I don't think that can happen from an office in Madison, we need more input from the fields. What a huge and mind boggling task.

 "I would like to see elk and bison but wonder what the impact would be on the habitat." 

 The DNR has done a good job studying the impact of elk in the Clam Lake area and that info is available to read. It looks real good to me but check it out and make up your own minds, the WI DNR website has a lot of info, WI leads the way in wildlife research DATA. WI. DNR also has a herd of Bison located in the Sand Hill Wildlife area. It's not a big herd, they take the excess bison and sell them to farmers that have privately owned herds. A perfect opportunity to get started on impact studies much like they did for elk in 1995. Bison may or may not be a good idea, with out a test herd, we'll never know for sure. The impact of a small herd, 25 or less would be minimal and if it doesn't work, it wouldn't be hard to undo. With radio collars it would be simply track them down capture or kill. We may find that we can handle a few bison, never to reach hunting levels but placed in State and National parks may have a great impact on tourists. We may find that they do great. As anti's try to figure it out, we've taken some of the resistance away from elk. Elk is our best bet by far and bison in my eyes gives the anti's one more distraction while giving hunters 1 more offensive battle ground. When hunters start saving animals and bringing back endangered species we gain a lot of animal lover support and maybe even turn a few of them into hunters.

 Deer hunters are on the defense in Wisconsin. We're always fighting to keep our rights, defending our rights, wouldn't it be nice to fight for a positive gain for once instead of being on defense all the time? Fighting to add more hunting instead of fighting to keep what hunting we have left?

 I also agree hunting is about the experience, but to keep people hunting and actually attract more hunters, sitting in a woods that has no big game animals isn't the experience I'm after. I could sit all day, months on end watching deer, elk, bears, wolves and so on with out killing a thing. Sitting all day seeing only squirrels, only makes me depressed. I might as well stay home. Since our deer population is my fault, instead of buying a $165 hunting license this spring, I spent $195 on the RMEF fund raiser. I haven't made up my mind about if I will hunt deer this year yet. I've always tried to do my part deer hunting but I don't know what my part is anymore. Do I help the DNR lower the deer numbers in my area some more? EAB.  Do I hunt the CWD zone? Should I stay home? The experience? I'm thinking it might be more fun to sign up with RMEF volunteers to help with habitat improvements in Wisconsin instead of hunting. I'm kicking myself for not signing up for a bear tag this year, with 5 bear points, I might have gotten one for '09, I'll be signing up for a 2010 bear tag for sure and I'll be watching to see if and when wolf tags are going to happen. I'm not sure what my part is for deer hunting, but for the deer population, bear numbers need to come down, wolf numbers needs to be kept in check, and the elk need a big boost. All I know for sure is I won't be deer hunting in the regular deer zone where deer are at or below DNR goals, the existing food chain, the elk, bears and wolves, needs those deer more than I do. When and if wolf tags become available and I get  a wolf or bear tag, I will try to take a wolf and bear from the Clam Lake and or Black River Falls areas to best help the elk. In my mind, that far outweighs going after "problem" wolves and bears further south where the Dept of Agriculture will get first crack at the "problem" predators.

 It will be interesting to see how the DNR is going to approach putting together a wolf hunt. Will it be land owners getting Ag tags? Will the DNR try to do it themselves like the 38 wolves they killed last year? Wolf zones? Seasons? I have yet to see the DNR asking for hunters input but they will and we need to think about it and be prepared to give good answers.

 
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Goose
 
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RE: Wolves

Postby Goose » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:51 am

Maybe they will have earn-a-wolf [:D][:D][:D]
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Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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Centralwisconsinland
 
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RE: Wolves

Postby Centralwisconsinland » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:41 am

Most likely it would be shoot five doe and earn a wolf.
It's easier to do a job right the first time than to explain why you didn't.

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RE: Wolves

Postby Whitetailaddict » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:02 pm

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.

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RE: Wolves

Postby wack » Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:58 am

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?
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RE: Wolves

Postby Whitetailaddict » Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:39 pm

That is very true. it is difficult, but it doesn't take a genius to see there are too many. And WI has set a minimum wolf population at 300 to be in WI at all times, so we could bring them down below five hundred, it's just a matter of how many we need or should take out is all. It is quite a fine line, but we absolutely need to start controlling them, we could easily be over 1000 in a couple years or sooner if we don't, and that should be something no one wants. When there aren't many deer up north, the uneducated wolf lovers that keep fighting for more wolf protection will get to see wolves up close while the packs are eating their dogs down south.[:D]

wack
 
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RE: Wolves

Postby wack » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:48 am

 I also would like to point out that Wisconsinites owe a lot to the western states who have had wolves and been fighting the wolf battle for many years. If it wasn't for them, our wolf population would still be under Federal control and our deer hunting wouldn't have a chance. Let's not forget about our brothers and sisters in Wyoming and other western states who are fighting to save there own hunting and still under Federal control. There are many organizations that we can join to fight this problem on a national level and they need our support too.  
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