Dennis Anderson

Dennis Anderson has been a Star Tribune outdoors columnist since 1993, before which, for 13 years, he held the same position at the Pioneer Press. He enjoys casting and shooting. Dogs, too, and horses. Also kids and, occasionally, crusading in his column for improved conservation.

Seven wolves in seven Wisconsin counties taken so far

Posted by: Dennis Anderson Updated: October 19, 2012 - 11:00 AM

Seven wolves were killed in the first four days of Wisconsin's wolf season, four males and three females.

The seven were scattered among a like number of counties: Vilas, Rusk, Iron, Eau Claire, Oneida, Lincoln and Taylor.

The harvest spread indicates, obviously, that wolves are generally dispersed in the northern part of the state. But in time, as the hunt continues, biologists might draw several conclusions from the Wisconsin harvest, both in number of animals killed and how widely — or not — the harvest ultimately is dispersed.

If, for example, as many experts believe, gray wolves, like other canines, have the ability to, essentially, "learn,'' by watching, it's possible the rate of harvest will slow as the season progresses — in other words, as surviving wolves learn from association what occurred, and how it occurred, to harvested wolves.

To that end, it's possible the early Wisconsin harvest, being so widespread, and occurring at a fairly fast rate, doesn't indicate so much that Wisconsin wolves are more abundant than the DNR there believes, but more that packs will fairly easily give up individuals in the early going of a hunt (especially when they've been protected so long), but won't sacrifice surviving pack members as readily as time goes on — as remaining animals "learn'' with greater precision to avoid hunters and trappers.

Four of the wolves killed so far in Wisconsin were taken Monday, the hunt's first day, all by gun.

Another, by trap, followed on Tuesday, another on Wednesday (by gun) and another Thursday (trap).

Times of the kills were 7:15 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m. (two), 5 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.

So far, the Wisconsin DNR has sold 663 resident and six non-resident wolf licenses.

 

 

 

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