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- For wolf information contact:
- David MacFarland
Dog depredations by wolves in Wisconsin
Each year, with the beginning of the Wisconsin bear hound training and hunting season, hunters are reminded to exercise caution if they plan to train or hunt bear with hounds. Hunters should use the caution area maps below to help reduce conflicts during this year's bear dog training and hunting season.
**Anyone suspecting a wolf attack in northern Wisconsin should call USDA-WS immediately at 1-800-228-1368.
Caution areas, dogs and wolf behavior
When wolves attack dogs in hunting or training situations on public land, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will create "wolf caution areas" (what are wolf caution areas) to warn hunters that a specific pack has attacked a dog or group of dogs (see maps below). Bear hunters are urged to exercise greater caution if they plan to train hounds or hunt bear with hounds near any caution area, especially if near an actual kill site. Table 1 contains a summary of the 2012 dog depredations by wolves with links to additional information and caution area maps.
As with other wild canids, wolves are very territorial and will guard their territories from other wolves, coyotes and domestic dogs. Wolves are probably most aggressive toward strange wolves and dogs at den and rendezvous sites when their pups are small, during the breeding season in January and February, and when they are protecting a fresh kill. Wolf packs have pups in spring and then later will use rendezvous sites from mid May to late September, after the pups are big enough to leave their den. Adult wolves are very defensive of pups at rendezvous sites and will attack other predators, including dogs, that get too close to the rendezvous site or the pups. (What are rendezvous sites?)
A pack will use from two to three to as many as six or more rendezvous sites during the summer. The exact locations vary from year to year and throughout the summer. The sites are usually forest openings or edge areas, with lots of wolf tracks, droppings and matted vegetation. Move two or three miles from any rendezvous site, if possible, before releasing dogs. In addition, avoid releasing dogs at baits recently visited by wolves. When looking for bear sign at a bait, make sure to also look for wolf tracks. Be familiar with your own dog's tracks, so that you can distinguish it from any wolf tracks. If a specific bait site is receiving a lot of wolf use, discontinue using it until wolves have left and concentrate on an alternative bait site. Some hunters have had success with bells on dog collars to reduce wolf attacks, but some dogs with bells have been attacked by wolves.
Although wolf attacks on pet dogs in residential areas are rare, they do occur and have increased in recent years. These types of attacks represent a special kind of wolf depredation to domestic animals. For additional guidance and information about protecting pet dogs and bear hounds from wolves, see guidance for hound and pet dog owners.
|Depredation date||County||Wolf pack||Dogs||More information|
|1/18/2012||Douglas||Lake Nebagamon||1 dog killed (bobcat hound)||Map/info|
|2/7/2012||Ashland||Magee Creek||1 dog killed (Plott, male, 11 years)||Info|
|5/4/2012||Ashland||Pine Creek||1 dog injured (Yorkshire terrier)||Info|
|7/6/2012||Forest||Atkins Lake||2 dogs killed (Plott, male/female, 5 years||Map/Info|
|7/18/2012||Douglas||Moose Road||1 dog injured (pet beagle)||Info|
|8/9/2012||Bayfield||Flag River||1 dog killed (Plott, female, 4 years)||Map/Info|
|9/18/2012||Bayfield||Siskiwit Lake||1 dog killed (Plott, female, 7 years)||Map/Info|
|9/29/2012||Lincoln||Ranger Island||1 dog injured (Red bone, 1.5 yr old, male)||Map/Info|
|10/7/2012||Douglas||Moose Road||1 dog killed (Walker, female, 1.3 years)||Map/Info|
|12/30/2012||Jackson||Nochi Hani||1 dog killed (Plott, male, 5.5 years)||Map/Info|
Caution areas are created to warn hunters and dog owners about wolf attacks that occur in hunting situations. Caution areas do not represent actual wolf territories but rather are generally considerably larger than the actual pack territory.
Lake Nebagamon Pack, Douglas County
On January 18, Wildlife Services investigated a complaint and verified wolves depredated a bobcat hound. The depredation occurred in Douglas County, Town of Solon Springs and six wolves were involved. Hunters and dog trainers should be aware of the potential conflict and should exercise caution within the area outlined on the map below. The caution area includes Highway 53 on the west, Highway AA and A on the south, Highway 27 and S on the east, and Highway B on the north.
Magee Creek Pack, Ashland County
On February 7, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves killed a pet dog that was not used for hunting. The depredation was located on private land in the Town of Jacobs. No caution area map was created.
Pine Creek Pack, Ashland County
On May 4, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves injured a pet dog on private property in the Town of Chippewa. The site is adjacent to a farm where Wildlife Services has initiated wolf trapping. Four wolves were in this pack last winter. No caution area map was created.
Atkins Lake Pack, Forest County
On July 6, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves from the Atkins Lake pack killed two Plott hounds on private property in the Town of Crandon. Both dogs were 5 years of age - one male and one female. This pack consisted of seven wolves last winter. Hunters and dog trainers should be aware of the potential conflict and should exercise caution within the area outlined on the map below. The caution area includes Highway 45 to the west, Highway 8 south, County S and Highway 32 on the east, and Yellow Birch Road and Old Railroad Grade on the north.
Moose Road Pack, Douglas County
On July 18th, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves injured a pet beagle. The attack occured on private land in the Town of Dairyland. No caution area map was created.
Flag River Pack, Bayfield County
On August 9, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves from the Flag River pack killed a bear hound while training on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The dog was a 4-year old female Plott hound. Six to seven wolves were detected in this pack last winter, and pups were probably produced this spring. Hunters and dog trainers should be aware of the potential conflict and should exercise caution within the area outlined on the map below. The caution area includes Highway A to the west, Fairview Road, McLean Road, and FR 248 on the south, FR 236, FR 258, Campbell Road and Lenawee Road on the east and Highway 13 on the north.
Siskiwit Lake Pack, Bayfield County
On September 18, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves from the Siskiwit Lake pack killed a bear hound while hunting in the Town of Bell. The dog was a 7-year old female Plott hound. Hunters should be aware of the potential conflict and should exercise caution within the area outlined on the map below. The caution area includes Highway C to the east, Campbell Road and Boundary Road on the south, Lenawee Road on the west and Lake Superior to the north.
Ranger Island Pack, Lincoln County
On September 29, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves from the Ranger Island pack injured a bear hound while hunting on county forest land in the Town of Tomahawk. The dog was a 1.5-year old male Redbone hound and is expected to survive. Hunters should be aware of the potential conflict and should exercise caution while hunting in that area.
Moose Road Pack, Douglas County
On October 7, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves from the Moose Road Pack killed a hound while bear hunting in the Town of Dairyland. The dog was a 1.3-year old female Walker hound. Bear hunters should be aware of the potential conflict and should exercise caution within the area outlined on the map below. The caution area is bounded by Highway 35 to the east; County T along the south; the Minnesota/Wisconsin line on the west; and Moose Road on the north.
Nochi Hani Pack, Jackson County
Wildlife Services has confirmed that on December 30, wolves killed a 5 1/2 year old Plott hound that was chasing coyotes on the Jackson County forest. The wolves are likely from the Nochi Hani Pack. Location of attack was Komensky Township. Hunters should be aware of the potential conflict and should exercise caution within the area outlined on the map below. The caution area is bounded by Pray Road on east side, Highway 54 to the south, County Road K on the west, Black River, Lake Arbutus and East Branch Black River on the north side.