General Wolf Facts and 2012 Wolf Hunt


Wolf Facts: Dispelling myths and misconceptions

Wolves eat 16,000 deer per year at current levels
Car accidents account for 27,000 deer deaths
Deer hunt accounts for 340,000[1]

50-60 cases of wolf disturbances a year half dogs and half livestock.[2]

Since 1995 the DNR has allowed citizens to help track wolves.  The citizen must attend a wolf ecology course which can cost between 70-150 dollars, attend a track training course, take a mammal track test, and 3 surveys on DNR guidelines.  This will allow any citizen to become a member of the tracking team in Wisconsin.[3]

Wolves diet distribution:

55 percent deer
16 percent beavers
10 percent snowshoe hares
19 percent other small mammals[4]

Maturation process

Each pack has only one dominant breeding pair.  The pups and yearlings make up the rest of the pack.  At three years wolves will leave the pack or stay to work towards dominance.  Both are dangerous options.[5]

Wolf Hunt 2012

The wolf in Wisconsin only gets the protection that it is forced to receive.  The Federal government delisting the wolf off of the ESA has had immediate results.  Wisconsin has started a wolf hunt the same year as the wolf became delisted.  The Department of Natural Resources is immediately planning on profiting off of the delisting of the wolf.  The wolf was delisted in 2012 from November of 2012 to February of 2013 the wolf hunt is scheduled to take place.  The 2012 wolf hunt is a complete experiment.  116 wolves are going to be killed, and 1160 license were sold.  The state was broken up into 6 zones. Each zone has a particular quota to be filled.   Trapping proved to be the most effective way.  Many questions have been raised on the legitimacy of trapping.  Online videos detailing how to trap wolves have made it easy to catch wolves and shoot them while they are trapped.  The wolf quota has filled up much faster than they expected.  After only 1 month the quota was nearly filled. There are unknown consequences of the wolf hunt.  When an Alpha is killed or the breeding female what will the rest of the pack do?  These questions are concerning, what will the pups and yearlings do if the alpha is killed?  Will this result increased livestock attacks?  It is very possible that the hunt will have the opposite effect with encroachment becoming more common during winter.  There is also the issue of hunting wolves and pushing them away from their habitat and into human areas.  The real question is why didn’t the DNR take one season to test the impact by killing 5% of the population instead of nearly 20%?  The upcoming year will reveal the impact of the wolf hunt.  It’s scary to think that the results may be miss construed and more wolves will be killed next year.

[1]  Department of Natural Resources, “Misconceptions and Myths,” October 26 2012,

[2] Department, “Misconceptions,”.

[3] Department of Natural Resources “History in Wisconsin,” October 26 2012,

[4] Department of Natural Resources “Diet,” October 26 2012,

[5] Department of Natural Resources “Breeding Biology,” October 26 2012,