Category Archives: Canids

Repost: Wolverines in the Upper Midwest

I spent quite a bit of time on this post recently and it got a massive update due to the wolverine that was killed in North Dakota. That post was a huge success and traffic went though the roof for a few days as my post got linked around quite a bit. It even got linked to the MSM in this article from the Capital Journal of Pierre, South Dakota. I have never heard of this illustrious journal before, but I must say that that Midwestern hick journalist sure did a bang-up job. You never really realize how much excellence there is in the world until you actually look around and notice it for once. Cynics are wrong. The competence of our species never fails to amaze me.

The article refers to me as a “wolverine expert, a hat I will be happy to try on if not wear regularly. I wear quite a few hats as it is, and there’s not a whole lot of room left in my polymathic/dilettantish identity wardrobe. It’s getting to where some days I actually get out of bed and wonder who I am today.

Separate posts on this blog deal extensively with wolverines in Oregon, Washington, Idaho (here and here), Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, Nevada and New Mexico. There are also five posts on the wolverine in California.

This post was split off from an earlier post that got too large, California Wolverine Rediscovered After 85 Years. This particular post will deal with the question of wolverines in the Upper Midwest. Until recently, wolverines had been extinct in the Upper Midwest for 85-200 years.

However, one was photographed recently in Michigan. Furthermore, there have been some tantalizing sightings in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota and even a few in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri in recent years. It is distinctly possible the wolverines may be reclaiming some of their historical territory in the Upper Midwest. If so, this is fascinating indeed.

In 2004, a wolverine was photographed in Ubly, Michigan, 90 miles north of Detroit. They were extirpated from Michigan almost 200 years ago.

DNA testing of this wolverine showed that it was from Alaska. How it got from Alaska to Michigan is anyone’s guess. On March 14, 2010, this wolverine was found dead in Sanilac County, Michigan, south of where it was originally sighted in Ubly.

There have been other sightings in Lower Michigan. In November 1958, a wolverine was seen near Cadillac, Michigan by a boy who was deer hunting. A wolverine was sighted around 1998-2000 in Tawas, Michigan. In August 2009, a wolverine was spotted by motorists twice in short period of time just outside of Alpena, Michigan which is on the shore of Lake Huron in the far north of the Thumb near the Upper Peninsula. In November 2009, four people spotted a wolverine outside of West Brach, Michigan in the north of the Thumb south of Huron National Forest.

These wolverines could have come down from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan because there are wolverine sightings there. Or possibly they could have come from Southern Ontario near Port Huron, though that area is densely populated. There is known to be a population in Ontario, albeit in the northern part.

The sightings on the Upper Peninsula have been in Delta County, Tahquamenon Falls State Park and the Keweenaw Peninsula. I assume that the Upper Peninsula population came from Ontario, possibly across the St. Mary’s River, if it freezes over in wintertime.

A forest road in Delta County, Michigan. This road is in Escanaba State Forest. A wolverine was sighted here in an unverified sighting sometime between 1999-2004. During this period, there was about one wolverine sighting a year in Michigan, all from the Upper Peninsula.

The forests here have been changed massively from 100 years ago, when most of the White Pine was logged off. I assume what we have here is Eastern second-growth forest coming back in after the old growth was logged off. This second-growth explosion is fueling an increase in wildlife numbers, especially deer, all over the East Coast.

Tahquamenon Falls in Tahquamenon Falls State Park. This area is located at the far east end of the UP near Ontario. The town of Paradise is nearby, as is Whitefish Bay. If the St. Mary’s River is frozen over, wolverines may well come down from Ontario to the UP. The part of Ontario near Sault Saint Marie is pretty sparsely populated. An unverified sighting of a wolverine was reported here in 2002.

 

There was also an unverified wolverine sighting in the UP on November 21, 2001 at 3 PM, crossing Highway M-64 1 mile south of Silver City in Ontonagon County. In August 2008, a wolverine was spotted in the UP in the garden of the Big Bay Lighthouse on Lake Superior.

In the late 2000’s, there was rash of wolverine sightings around Babbitt, Minnesota, which is near Ely in the far northeastern part of the state near Canada. A tiny lynx population has recently also been confirmed there. The sightings around Babbitt appear to be genuine. Babbitt is surrounded by the Superior National Forest and there are frequent sightings of bears and even wolves in the area, even inside city limits.

In addition, there was one documented sighting in northeastern Minnesota in 1965, but details are lacking. In 1974 there was a report of a wolverine in a hay field in north-central Minnesota, near the North Woods. There was also a sighting on Koochiching County on the Minnesota border with Canada in 1982. That sighting was deemed credible.

In early 2008, there have been reports of dog and horse kills in and around Rollag, Minnesota lately. Certain things about the killings indicate that a wolverine may be doing this. Rollag is far to the north, getting up near the North Woods. It is east of and not far from Fargo, North Dakota.

There is also a report of a wolverine captured on a security camera in 2005-2006 at a Ford dealership in the town of Zumbrota in Southeast Minnesota. This land is very much prairie.

In 1991, a baby wolverine was seen dying by the side of the road on Highway 232 near Lake Nichols close to Cotton, Minnesota. The motorists did not know how rare it was or else they would have kept the carcass. In 1999, a wolverine was spotted by a canoeist in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota on the border of Ontario, Canada.

In November 2004, a wolverine was seen eating a gut pile from a dead deer near Askov, Minnesota. In 2005, a wolverine was spotted in the Tamarack National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. In Summer 2006, a fisherman fishing in the Narrows between Big and Little Cut Foot Sioux Lakes in Northern Minnesota saw a wolverine. He was able to watch it for 15 minutes until it caught his scent and left. In Summer 2008, a wolverine was spotted in the forest of Eagles Nest, Minnesota, south of Ely and north of Tower. In Fall 2008, a hunter spotted a wolverine in the Black Brook Swamp east of Camp Ripley, Minnesota.

In 2010, a deer hunter saw a wolverine in Douglas County, Minnesota. Another wolverine was photographed near there five years later. In July 2010, a wolverine was seen by a motorist at night on US 53 ten miles south of International Falls, Minnesota. In Summer 2010, a wolverine was seen outside of Chisholm, Minnesota near Superior State Park.

In July 2011, a wolverine was seen crossing Highway 232 near Lake Nichols close to Cotton, Minnesota.

On January 12, 2012, a wolverine was spotted somewhere in Southern Minnesota. Someone went out to their car late at night, and a wolverine was by the garage. Tracks were found the very next day. On July 12, 2012, two hunters saw a wolverine while driving on the Dick’s Parkway road 13 miles south of Warroad, Minnesota. The GPS location was given as 48 42.131, -95 20.566. On October 20, 2012 at midnight, a wolverine was seen on someone’s driveway in Ham Lake, Minnesota.

At 6 PM on On October 13, 2013, a wolverine was seen in the Superior National Forest crossing Pike Lake Road on the east side of Pike Lake between Lutsen and Grand Marais, Minnesota. This is seven miles from Lake Superior. On June 6, 2014, a wolverine was spotted in Jordan, Minnesota in a corn and alfalfa field. It was running away from a neighbor’s elk ranch. Two men observed it for a full two minutes. The areas consists of open farm country with some random tree lines.

On June 13, 2014 at 2:30 in the afternoon, a wolverine was seen crossing Road 327 in Watowan County, Minnesota. It was seen two miles east and six miles north of Saint James, Minnesota on the Watowan River.

On April 30, 2015, two wolverines were seen running, one behind the other, just east of Rush City, Minnesota in the Saint Croix River Valley. In May 2015, a wolverine was photographed by a trail cam in Douglas County, Minnesota. I have seen the photo and felt that it was interesting but inconclusive. I showed the photo to a wolverine expert, and he also said it could be a wolverine, but it was unclear enough so it was inconclusive.

Old State Route 52 north of Zumbrota, Minnesota. It’s hard to believe that wolverines inhabit such terrain. Wolverines are recolonizing their old habitat on the US prairie. Why?

 

Many have questioned whether wolverines were actually common in prairies or if prairies merely served as population sinks. It is looking more and more like prairies are a natural home for wolverines, strange as it may seem. If these reports are accurate, it means that wolverines are re-colonizing Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and possibly also Iowa, which is fantastic news!

Prairie Island (Sioux) Indian Reservation near Zumbrota, Minnesota. Is it possible that wolverines in the past preyed on the vast buffalo herds of prairie, perhaps especially on dead buffaloes?

 

The occurrence of the wolverine in Wisconsin is very rare but documented.

On an unknown date, a wolverine was spotted on Peshtigo Brook Fire Road where it joins Kitzinger Road near Gillett, Wisconsin.

In May 1978, a wolverine was spotted by a boy and his father while walking along the Oconto River in Oconto County eight miles west of Crooked Lake, Wisconsin. The boy was able to observe it for one minute.

We receive a number of undocumented sightings by email to this site. One man grew up in Land O’ Lakes in Far Northern Wisconsin on the border with Michigan in an area known as the North Woods. This is an area of very thick, wild forest and swamps. There are many wolves, bears and possibly wolverines in this part of Wisconsin.

In 1982, the man saw three wolves in his front yard. In 1990, he and his friends treed 22 different bears in a single day while training bear dogs. They also had a frightening standoff with a wolverine on that day. From about 1983-1995, when he engaged in frequent deer hunting, the man saw one or more wolverines every year.

In September 1990, a wolverine was seen several times over two weeks. The last time the man saw one was in 2006 near Rhinelander, Wisconsin. All sightings took place between 1983-2006 in the North Woods approximately between Rhinelander and Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin. The bear density in this region is said to be incredible, or at least it was 10 years ago (Bangs 2009).

In the early 1990’s, a wolverine ran in front of a man’s car in Marinette County, Wisconsin.

A wolverine was photographed on top of a woodpile in Green Lake County, Wisconsin in recent years. The disposition of the photo is unknown. There are also recent sightings in the Black River Falls area and to the north in Wisconsin from 2000-2007. A 2003 sighting in Lafayette County in the far south of the state was regarded as credible by the the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. In 2004-2005, a wolverine was spotted in Niagara, Wisconsin in the fall on opening day of deer hunting season.

In 2010, a roadkilled wolverine was found by the side of the road in Green Lake County, Wisconsin. In November 2010, a father and son saw a wolverine while sitting in a deer stand north of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

In March 2011, a wolverine was seen crossing Highway 53 between New Auburn and Bloomer, Wisconsin. On July 29, 2011, a wolverine was seen crossing the highway on US 20 east of Sac City, Wisconsin. On November 25, 2011, a deer hunter saw a wolverine run by his blind south of Gillette, Wisconsin. In Fall 2011, a wolverine was seen twice in a one week period by two hunters in Northern Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, one mile south of Brown County. Over the next year, a wolverine, suspected to be the same one as before, was seen in area.

On November 6, 2012, a wolverine was spotted by a man and his girlfriend hunting deer on their farm in Buffalo County, Wisconsin. They observed it for half a minute. A wolverine had been seen in the area 20 years before in the early 1990’s.

In July 2013, a wolverine killed a woman’s two cats at a home at in Wisconsin at Highway 53 and I-94 Highway 9 miles form Eau Claire and 6 miles form Osseo. A few days later, a neighbor came within three feet of a wolverine. Three weeks before, a nearby tavern owner said he had seen a wolverine on a county road. Around the time the woman’s cats vanished, neighbors in the vicinity started seeing their pets disappearing. Before the cats were killed, it had been eating the woman’s cat food for some time. On August 28, 2013, a man saw a wolverine running away from a trash bin at a gas station in Elk Mound, Wisconsin.

On June 13, 2014, a wolverine was seen in a field only two miles north of Independence, Wisconsin.

There have been a few unverified sightings of wolverines in North Dakota recently. In 1988, two wolverines were seen along the Little Missouri River in the Badlands of far western North Dakota by a very experienced fur trapper. In 2004, there was an unverified sighting of a wolverine near Minot. The observer watched it for a good five minutes. On June 23, 2013, a wolverine was seen in the Turtle Mountains in Far Northern North Dakota on the Manitoba border. In February 2015, mailmen spotted a wolverine on their route near Rugby, North Dakota. That is 50 miles east of Minot and 60 miles south of the Manitoba border with Canada.

There have also been wolverine sightings in South Dakota in the past 60 years. There was a verifiable wolverine sighting in the south-central portion of the state in 1961 (Aubry et al 1967). From 1998-2016, an 18 year period, three wolverines were seen in Lake County, South Dakota. One was an adult and two were juveniles. The adult was severely mauled by people’s dogs. On July 12, 2012, someone saw a wolverine near Nisland, South Dakota on the Belle Fourche River in Western South Dakota 25 miles from the Wyoming border. Their neighbor had seen a wolverine shortly before the sighting. People 10 miles northwest of Nisland said that they had seen a wolverine earlier.

A female wolverine was shot dead by a farmer on May 21, 1960 in a cornfield in central Iowa (Haugen 1961). No one quite knew how she ended up in central Iowa. She was infected with Trichinella spiralis, a parasite. (Zimmerman et al 1962). However, one report said that this wolverine had been transported into the state in 1960. There were reports around 1995-2000 of a “black animal” going from north to south through eastern Iowa killing dogs. It may have been a wolverine.

Five different people spotted a wolverine in Southwestern Iowa in 2008. A wolverine was seen in Mid June 2010 near Canton, Iowa near the Maquoketa Caves. In 2011, a bowhunter spotted a wolverine in Southeastern Iowa. In July 2011, three people spotted a wolverine walking across County Road V68 1/4 to 1/2 mile north of Highway 3 in Fayette County, Iowa. It was headed in the direction of the Wapsipinicon River. This is 10 miles north of Fairbank, Iowa.

On July 31, 2011, a wolverine cub was seen on the deck of a house in the hills north of Sioux City, Iowa. In mid-July 2102, a wolverine was photographed in Fonanelle in Adair Country in Southwestern Iowa; however, it is not known what happened to the photograph.

Incredibly enough, there have been a number of wolverine sightings in Nebraska in recent years.

It makes sense because wolverines are native to Nebraska, at least in the more mountainous parts to the north. In the Hall of Nebraska Wildlife in the University of Nebraska Natural History Museum, there is a mounted specimen of a wolverine that was shot on Scott’s Bluff, Nebraska in the 1880’s. That area is in Far Western Nebraska on the North Platte River only 20 miles from the Wyoming border. This part of Nebraska borders on Southeastern Wyoming, which is known to have wolverine populations.

In particular, wolverines have been repeatedly sighted in and around Antelope and Knox Counties in Far Northeastern Nebraska near the Missouri River and the South Dakota border.

This area is near Louis and Clark Lake and the Santee Sioux Indian Reservation. In this area, there have been many sightings along the Verdigre and Niobrara Rivers. For instance, in Summer 1998, a number of people spotted a wolverine near Verdigre, Nebraska. One was seen chasing a deer out of a draw in the middle of a hay meadow.

Photo of the area of NE Nebraska around the Niobrara, Verdigre and Elkhorn Rivers where there have been numerous wolverine sightings. That is probably the Verdigre River in the foreground.

Photo of the area of NE Nebraska around the Niobrara, Verdigre and Elkhorn Rivers where there have been numerous wolverine sightings. That is probably the Verdigre River in the foreground.

In April 2012, a fire and range ecologist spotted a wolverine running away after a cedar burn operation in a steep area near Scotia on the North Loup River. This is about in the dead center of Nebraska.

On October 29, 2014, a wet wolverine that seemed to have been swimming somewhere was seen in a pasture in Central Nebraska near Doniphan between Hastings and Grand Island. This is quite close to the Platte River where it may have been swimming. The area is between Lincoln and Platte, Nebraska.

There has also been one sighting north of Gordon in northwestern Nebraska on the headwaters of Wounded Knee Creek near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This area is east of the town of Whiteclay, Nebraska, now the scene of a famous fight over selling booze to Pine Ridge Indians.

A view of the terrain around Whiteclay, Nebraska. A wolverine was sighted on the South Dakota border about 17 miles east of here.

A view of the terrain around Whiteclay, Nebraska. A wolverine was sighted on the South Dakota border about 17 miles east of here.

Incredibly enough, there have even been wolverine sightings in Missouri. On October 28, 2011, a man spotted a wolverine emerging from a cornfield and crossing State Highway E just south of Highway 13. This is hilly farm country. This area is in Western Nebraska not far from the Missouri River and is close to the place where the borders of Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri all meet. There are a number of good sightings in both Nebraska and Iowa, so it is possible, though bizarre, that wolverines may exist in Western Missouri.

The first Grey Wolf in 94 years was seen recently in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. It was a lone male. The UP, Minnesota and Wisconsin all have healthy populations. The Black Bear and wolf populations in Minnesota have shown dramatic increases in recent years, and there is now a healthy population of over 25 lynx in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for the first time in 30 years.

In other great news along similar lines, an Eastern Grey Wolf, the first in 160 years, was detected in Massachusetts. It killed over a dozen lambs before the farmer shot it to death. The killing was probably justified, but it is unfortunate that the first wolf in the state in over 150 years got shot to death. There will probably be more wolves coming to the state after this one, though.

Click the wolverines label at the end of the post to see other posts on wolverines in the US, including many sighting reports and photos.

References

Aubry, K. B., McKelvey, K. S., and Copeland, J. P. 2007. Distribution and Broadscale Habitat Relations of the Wolverine in the Contiguous United States. Journal of Wildlife Management 71(7): 148-158.

Bangs, Ray. 2009. Personal communication.

Haugen, A. O. 1961. Wolverine in Iowa. Journal of Mammalogy 42: 546-547.

Zimmermann, W. J., Biester, H. E., Schwarte, L. H., and Hubbard, E. D. 1962. Trichinella spiralis in Iowa Wildlife during the Years 1953 to 1961. The Journal of Parasitology, 48:3:1, pp. 429-432.

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Filed under Animals, Canada, Canids, Carnivores, Iowa, Mammals, Michigan, Midwest, Minnesota, Mustelids, North America, North Dakota, Regional, South Dakota, USA, West, Wild, Wildlife, Wisconsin, Wolverines, Wolves, Wyoming

Are Cats and Dogs Genetically Domesticated?

Badc writes:

Progressive in this case is domestication, I remember an experiment by soviet scientists to domesticate silver foxes, the results was that the domesticated foxes had smaller snouts.

Robert, have you read about the domestication of silver foxes.

I think east Asian are the most domesticated race.

I think you may be correct. The more progressive races do seem more domesticated.

Yes I have read about those experiments. I think our cats and dogs have had domestication actually bred into them. That is, even when they are first born, they are already different from purely wild cats and dogs of the same species.

We think that our cats and dogs act good because we trained them that way, but I think there is more to it than that. They come out of the womb already part domesticated. In other words, with some more wild cats and dogs, you could raise them from birth and they might never settle down very much. It’s well known that some species just do not domesticate well.

Why are cats and dogs genetically domesticated? Maybe we have been breeding them that way for 9,000 years. Humans weren’t always so nice. When humans had pet dogs and cats 1000’s of years ago, some may have come out of the womb wild and never settled down. Their human owners may have just killed these wilder offspring because they are just not compatible to be pets. Or perhaps they turned them loose. Or perhaps they were likely to run away.

Possibly the very first dogs and cats to be domesticated were already pretty docile as this is what allowed them to be domesticated in the first place. Perhaps after the first domestication, pet stocks were repeatedly reinfused with new pets captured from the wild. The ones likely to be captured from the wild and adjust well in captivity were probably already more docile.

We don’t really have any wild cats and dogs to compare to our pets. Sure, we have bobcats, mountain lions, etc. and coyotes, wolves, etc. I have heard that coyotes don’t make very good pets. I saw a man at a gas station with a strange little dog that looked like a coyote. He told me it was in fact a coyote and its parents were killed and they took it in as a pet. I believe he said they didn’t make very good pets. I believe that the so-called dingo in Australia is simply Canis domesticus that has been running around wild for 40-50,000 years. They are just about the same species as Fido. I hear that dingos are pretty wild.

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Filed under Animals, Canids, Carnivores, Cats, Dogs, Domestic, Foxes, Mammals, Science, Wild

How Wolves Change Rivers

How Wolves Change Rivers, narrated by the great leftwing writer George Monbiot. After wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone, there were remarkable effects on the ecosystem across the board, all beneficial. Animal populations that were too high got reduced and populations that were too low increased. Birds came back in great numbers. So did beavers, mice, weasels, badgers, rabbits and even bears. Vegetation exploded, especially trees and bushes. And the rivers themselves were dramatically altered, changing from damaged streams to normal, healthy rivers.

This is called a trophic cascade, and the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone is one of the most striking examples of one seen in recent years. This cascade may not be reproducible in whole outside the park due to the effects of hunting, but I think you should see some beneficial changes in ecosystems with the reintroduction of wolves.

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Wolf Wars

WolfWars_08_13_2014

I haven’t the faintest idea what all of this mad wolf-slaughtering is doing to the wolf populations in those states, but it seems preposterous that as soon as you take an animal off the Endangered Species list, you go on a wild slaughtering campaign against it. What’s the rationality in that?

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Grand Canyon Wolf Gunned Down

From the Center for Biological Diversity. I am acquainted with a few of these people, including the director, Kieran. I have worked with them a bit on a few things here and there. I love what they do. Theirs is one of the most effective, kickass environmental groups out there.

Background: A wolf from Wyoming left the state, apparently wandered all the way through Utah down to the Grand Canyon in Arizona where it was photographed and caused quite a sensation. Wolves used to inhabit this region, but they have not been seen in many years. Further, wolves are rare to absent in Utah. It seems to have left the Grand Canyon and wandered again 150 miles north of the Grand Canyon to Beaver, Utah, where it was shot and killed. Utah apparently has no laws protecting wolves and in fact, encourages and even promotes killing them, although few if any wolves reside in the state.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has idiotically taken wolves off the Endangered Species list even though they are very much in trouble in a number of states. The feds turned wolf management over to the states. Most every state that has wolves has then embarked on a wild wolf-massacring campaign. These campaigns have occurred in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming in the West and in the Great Lakes area of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

A federal judge has recently halted the Great Lakes states’ wolf slaughter “management.” There really is not any management going on at all in most of these states. Instead all there is is wild, unrelenting wolf slaughter. It is unknown what effect this massacring will have on wolf populations, but it is conceivable that at some point, they may reduce the population so low that it may need to go back on the Endangered Species list again.

Certainly wolves need to be fully protected in places like Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, Arizona, Colorado and Iowa. Wolves are being killed in Washington, Colorado, Iowa and Utah where population numbers are very low.

It’s what we feared the most. Echo, the wandering wolf who became a worldwide sensation after showing up at the Grand Canyon this fall, has likely been gunned down in Utah.

Here’s what we know: State wildlife officials have confirmed that a 3-year-old female wolf with a collar from Wyoming was shot Sunday night by a hunter outside Beaver, Utah – about 150 miles north of the Grand Canyon. Echo is the only Northern Rockies gray wolf that has been confirmed this far south, and DNA evidence will most likely show that she’s the victim.

Once again we have to mourn a dead wolf. Once again we see this same horrific pattern. It’s normal for younger wolves to leave their pack and set off looking for a new mate and new territory. But again and again – in Colorado and Iowa, in Washington and now Utah – these wolves have been gunned down in horrific cases of malice and mistaken identity.

Smart as they are, wolves don’t read border signs, and they can’t tell an ignorant human with a rifle that they aren’t coyotes. The result is another dead wolf to add to the 640-plus already killed this year by guns, traps and poisons.

The wolf haters, no doubt, are delighted with the latest killing and are determined to keep this bloody campaign going. They have influential friends like Utah’s own Congressman Rob Bishop, the powerful new head of the House Natural Resources Committee, who has vowed to end protection for wolves from coast to coast — making what happened near Beaver neither illegal nor rare. The government of Utah has even spent $800,000 on lobbyists to strip protection from wolves so they can be freely killed in the state. They don’t want to learn to live peacefully with wolves. They want to destroy them.

Sadly there will only be one Echo, the first wolf to hear her howls ring through the Grand Canyon in more than 70 years. If she has indeed been gunned down, we won’t forget her. All wolves deserve to the chance to to roam freely and survive.

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What Are the Odds of a Human Surviving a Wolf Attack?

From the Internet. Fascinating stuff. Although a number of responders said they would bet on the human or said that a smart human can indeed take out a wolf, but your odds are a lot better if you are armed, with anything. However, many other responders said if you a wolf attacks you and you are unarmed, get ready to die. You’re gone. Overwhelmingly, your chances of survival are near zero.

First thing to note is that they are extremely intelligent, far smarter than a dog.

I raised many hybrid wolves, mostly German Shepherd breeds, and one 80% wolf that was awesome with me and my partner, but no one else dared go near it – luckily it never really wanted to mess with people, but if you picked a fight with it, you picked the wrong one to fight with…

The thing with wolves is the intelligence and the chess match you are involved in from first encounter. They are always thinking two steps ahead and know what to do, even as youngsters…

…If you are in a fight with a wolf, I’d give you less than the minute it took for them to down a pig, and unless you’re some kind of ninja, you’d never remember what happened. They know where and when to strike you and know how to do it and are so smart.

99% of the time, you are going to die.

Maybe if you knew some kind of special wolf triangle choke where you could incapacitate the wolf, but just like everyone else says, you’ll lose that fight 99 times out of 100.

A wolf is not a dog.

You wouldn’t stand a chance in hell against an adult wolf.

Oliver Starr has dozens of accounts of living with wolves, including several on this very subject, and one thing that is quite clear is wolves are not just wild dogs.

Wolves chew right through solid metal objects. Think of what they could do to your measly flesh.

My friends had a part wolf dog. The most noticeable difference was the mouth. That wolf dog was very friendly, but he had a long head and was all teeth. Having read Oliver Starr’s story I would not give myself good odds of surviving if he had ever tried to take me down. He once chewed through a metal cooler to get some lunch meat and routinely chewed open food cans.

Wolves are not dogs, and it only takes two dogs to kill an adult human.

Even if you do live and kill the wolf, you might wish you had not survived:

If you do manage to fight the wolf off, you could be hurt really bad, possibly life threatening. A bite can tear open major veins, crush bones and rip open your abdomen or throat.

Police are allowed to use deadly force against even large dogs that seriously attack them. It is considered a deadly force encounter.

That is why I as an officer am allowed to shot a wolf or dog that I feel is going to attack me. It is considered a deadly force encounter.

If you don’t have a gun, the best thing to do is to climb a tree, but that probably won’t work as wolves are fast as lightning.

A wolf will kill most adult humans easily. That is why always presume a fight to the death, and you had better want to live. Yes, some people have hysterical/psychotic strength, but that happens rarely and cannot be depended on. Best advice climb a tree (if you get the chance, good luck with that) if unarmed, otherwise shoot them.

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Can You Train Wolves?

From the Internet, an interesting question. Since wolves are so much more vicious than dogs in terms of police attack dogs, why not train wolves to take down suspects instead of dogs? As it turns out, we’ve already tried it, and it is a total failure. Dogs, even German Shepherds, are pretty much great big pussies most of the time, and wolves are wicked, savage, untrainable, permanently wild beasts who do not belong anywhere near humans. We have even bred dogs down to where they were 1/4 wolf, and they were still completely wild and untrainable. Amazing.

A friend of mine lived in Alberta, Canada and he told me wolves were everywhere up there. He absolutely hated wolves. “Wolves are a plague,” he said. “If you don’t have any near you, consider yourself lucky.”

A long time back… I trained dogs. A lot of them were for the police.  Someone had the idea that we should be training wolves. I have seriously never been afraid of a dog. They just like me. I know the right body language…I know their body language…they can sense that startle response, and you learn to suppress it. I know when to stand there and let them smell you.

We realized pretty quickly that full wolves were not going to be trained so we bred them with German Shepherds down to quarter wolves. They were still wild. We couldn’t make a connection with them under any circumstances. They almost never made eye contact, which made it seem like they had a crazy look in their eyes. They looked right through you.

When you attack train a dog, there is a lot of non-verbal communication while the dog is sizing up the situation…usually…it’s a game to the dog until the last second right before they take you.

None of that takes place with a wolf. There is no game. They don’t care what you want. When they get hold of you [wearing pads], it’s different than the same size German Shepherd. They fling you down and start towards your neck. And getting them to stop…they will turn on the handler.

They scared the shit out of me. I seriously doubt you could survive an attack without some fluke luck of some kind. None of the tricks I knew were recognized or acknowledged by the quarter wolf. We gave up with zero success.

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Filed under Animals, Canids, Carnivores, Dogs, Domestic, Mammals, Wild, Wolves

Shut Down Wildlife Services Now

This is just stupid. The agency is completely out of control. Shut it down now!

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Filed under Agricutlure, Animals, Canids, Carnivores, Corruption, Crime, Dogs, Domestic, Environmentalism, Government, Law, Mammals, Oregon, Pollution, Public Health, Regional, Texas, USA, West, Wild, Wildlife, Wyoming

Gray Wolves Found in Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana and Maine

They’re coming!

Link is to story about wolves in Indiana and Nebraska.

I do think that the delisting of wolves in the Midwest was a bad idea.

They have been dispersing out of the core Midwest are (Michigan UP, northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin) into North Dakota and South Dakota for some time now. A few stragglers have been found in Iowa and Illinois and a few have even been killed in those states. One was recently killed in central Illinois near Peoria.

But I found it amazing that wolves have actually shown up in Indiana and Nebraska. One was found dead in a farmer’s field somewhere in Indiana (In the east-central part of the state, not too far from Indianapolis!) and a hunter in Nebraska (actually in the center of the state) shot and killed one, which is a violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and he could face a big fine for that mistake, as he was dumb enough to turn the animal in to authorities. Incredibly enough, 12 years ago, a wolf was shot dead in northeastern Missouri!

There have also been a few wolves shot in Maine in recent decades, and I believe one was sighted in eastern Massachusetts. They are definitely believed to exist in Colorado, as one was recently photographed there.

Coyotes have now dispersed across the entire eastern US and I believe they are now found in all 50 states. The problem is that it is not so easy to tell a coyote from a wolf in the world. It’s perfectly legal to hunt coyotes in the East. Hunting wolves? Not necessarily. A hunter mistaking a wolf for a coyote could find himself with a hefty fine.

The deer population is exploding across much of the eastern US, and it has turned into a huge problem. The presence of a traditional predator, the wolf, might go a long way towards correcting that problem.

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Filed under Animals, Canids, Carnivores, Endangered Species, Environmentalism, Law, Mammals, Midwest, North America, Regional, USA, Wild, Wolves

Mountain Lion Kills, Eats Wolf

Here.

Pretty amazing. There have been only three cases on record of this happening. The wolf was a yearling, so it was about as big as a coyote. Top predators killing and eating each other. That can’t possibly be common.

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Filed under Animals, Canids, Carnivores, Felids, Lions, Mammals, North America, Regional, USA, West, Wild, Wolves, Wyoming