News Release...

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
West Central Region Headquarters - Eau Claire
PO Box 4001 Eau Claire, WI 54702-4001
Phone: (715) 839-3700 TDD: (715) 839-2786
For Release: July 23, 2001

Adrian Wydeven,
mammalian ecologist, WDNR, Park Falls. (715) 762-4684 ext 107
Todd Naas,
wildlife biologist, WDNR, Washburn. (715) 373-6056

Dogs killed by wolves in Bayfield County
Washburn, Wis. -- A wolf pack in Bayfield County recently killed three dogs being trained by bear hunters. The dogs were killed in two separate incidents on July 5th and 18th. In each case the dogs had apparently gotten close to wolf pups and the wolves appeared to be protecting their home territory.

Dog training is permitted across northern Wisconsin from July 1 through August 30. Bear hunters were training their hounds in an area of an established wolf pack said Adrian Wydeven, Park Falls, mammalian ecologist for the Department of Natural Resources' Bureau of Endangered Resources. The pack roams areas west of the Little Sioux River, to Lenawee Creek, and from Siskiwit Lake and Star Route south to FR 236 and County Highway C.

On July 21, wolves also killed a hound being trained on bears in eastern Douglas County. The dog kill was in the region of the Shoberg Lake wolf pack that had been involved in killing 2 hounds last year. This pack roams an area from the Brule River on the north, south to Highway Y, and from Highway 27 on the east to Highway 53 on the west.

Hunters training hounds may want to avoid these areas, or exercise greater caution when training or hunting these areas.

Most wolf packs never kill dogs, Wydeven said, but once they do it may continue. "We know from our history of wolf packs that once they kill a dog, they will normally kill one or more additional dogs over the next year or two."

In 2000, two packs killed three hunting hounds. Each pack had killed dogs within the previous two years. No dogs were killed by the other 64 packs in the state. The tendency to kill dogs will normally last for 2 or 3 years within a specific pack, Wydeven said.

Depredation on dogs seems to more frequently occur in newer packs. Many packs that have been in the state for 10 or more years have never killed dogs, the biologist added.

In June 2001, DNR caught two wolves in the Bayfield County pack to monitor its movements. A 67-pound adult female caught on June 25 was fitted with a radio collar and is being monitored by DNR pilots. A male pup caught on June 20 weighed 19 pounds, and was ear-tagged, but not radio-collared because of the small size. The pack may consist of 4 or 5 adults and up to 6 or 7 pups produced in April.


The following counties are in the West Central Region: Adams, Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Marathon, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Portage, St. Croix, Trempealeau, Vernon, Wood.

The public affairs manager for the DNR West Central Region is: Dave Weitz (phone - (715) 839-3715.