December 22, 2011

Too many wolves...

... in Wisconsin.

26 comments:

The Crack Emcee said...

Stop picking on The Democratic Party,...

DADvocate said...

Crack - I'm religious but not spiritual.

Hey there, Little Red Riding Hood.

Big Mike said...

Is it wrong for me to hope that the first time a pack of wolves surrounds, kills, and eats a human, it turns out to have been an ardent environmentalist?

At any rate, where there are wolf packs and hikers -- and especially cross-country skiers! -- those hikers and skiers had best own, and be trained in the use of, a gun.

MadisonMan said...

I can't remember the short story we read in 9th grade that ended with the two enemies trapped under a log, or something, and then the wolves come.

MadisonMan said...

(The name of the short story, that is)

Firehand said...

A guy named Capstick called it Disney Syndrome: "Just because this animal is a predator or big, powerful, territorial herbivore, doesn't make it dangerous, no; if it sees I have nice intentions it will behave." And other such idiocy.

You have big predators around, they're going to do their thing. And that's going to include eating things you might wish they wouldn't. Which includes the occasional hiker, bicyclist, etc. Were things taken to excess in the past? Yes; doesn't change that there were reasons people decided wolf packs didn't make good neighbors.

Sorun said...

Is it wrong for me to hope that the first time a pack of wolves surrounds, kills, and eats a human, it turns out to have been an ardent environmentalist?

The first time? You mean it's never happened before but now you're thinking it's might happen in Wisconsin?

Sorun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sorun said...

I can't remember the short story we read in 9th grade that ended with the two enemies trapped under a log, or something, and then the wolves come.

There was a horror movie in the 70s, set in northern MN, about wolves attacking snowmobilers. But it's not much more realistic than a swarm of 10 foot-tall poisonous spiders attacking Madison and eating all of the school children.

Sorun said...

And that's going to include eating things you might wish they wouldn't. Which includes the occasional hiker, bicyclist, etc. Were things taken to excess in the past? Yes; doesn't change that there were reasons people decided wolf packs didn't make good neighbors.

You'd be really hard-pressed to find historical incidents of wolves attacking humans. (Give it a try.)

Wolves were killed off because they're scary, not necessarily dangerous. Any mostly because of their attacks on livestock, of which they are a real danger.

Wolves and cougars were eradicated in Yellowstone NP to spare the herbivores. Yellowstone was originally a glorified petting zoo. What a stupid idea that was.

karrde said...

I remember the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources publishing estimates of wolf numbers, habitat, and range. (The most interesting to me is this, since it studies the effects of wolves on deer hunting.

Fewer than 700 wolves are known to live in Michigan. Currently, almost all live in the Upper Peninsula.

In the Upper Peninsula, 17000-to-29000 deer are eaten per year by wolves.

For comparison, that area of MI sees about 64000 deer taken by hunters annually, and 35000-to-100000 deer dying due to winter hardship.

Are wolves endangered? It doesn't look like it, unless people start offering bounties for wolf-pelts again.

But I'm reminded of the Disney-esque view of nature. I notice that while Bambi had to run from hunters, he didn't have to run from wolves. And the film never mentioned starvation during winter as a danger...

But the numbers given above indicate that the average wolf takes many more deer per year than the average hunter.

edutcher said...

It's those damned Mormon wolves again...

Big Mike said...

Is it wrong for me to hope that the first time a pack of wolves surrounds, kills, and eats a human, it turns out to have been an ardent environmentalist?

At any rate, where there are wolf packs and hikers -- and especially cross-country skiers! -- those hikers and skiers had best own, and be trained in the use of, a gun.


Meadhouse in "Call of the Wild"?

DADvocate said...

Disney Syndrome - I've heard of it, a good term.

Wolf attacks on people, it wasn't hard at all.

The main reason I got a concealed carry license is for protection from wild animals. I enjoy walking and bike riding and live in a remote area where I can go for quite a distance at times and not see another person. No wolves, but verified sightings of bears, reports of mountain lions plus the usual wild dogs, coyotes, etc. Attacks are rare, but rare doesn't mean never.

Scott M said...

The main reason I got a concealed carry license is for protection from wild animals.

As a fellow CCW'r, I'm glad you did, but the reason caught my eye. I doubt a large ursine attacker would think twice about mauling you simply because he couldn't be sure you were packing or not (lol). Open carry would seem to make more sense in this situation anyway, I would think.

Sorun said...

Wolf attacks on people, it wasn't hard at all.

Yes, they exist. None that I'm aware in the lower 48 in the decades since their recovery began (early 70s).

I carry a gun in the wild as well, but a much greater danger are idiots with irrational fears than a wild wolf, by many orders of magnitude.

DADvocate said...

Open carry would seem to make more sense in this situation anyway, I would think.

I don't want to freak out any of the locals I might happen to go by or be unnecessarily hassled by the local law enforcement (they're not bad guys but if they saw or were reported open carry, they'd probably chekc it out).

DADvocate said...

a much greater danger are idiots with irrational fears than a wild wolf, by many orders of magnitude.

No argument there. I'm glad to see that you seem to have a realistic attitude. Dogs are greater threat.

Sorun said...

Also, I'm skeptical that there are "too many" wolves in Wisconsin. The target number comes from biologists' estimates of the number required to maintain a viable population.

There may be too many on your ranch, but there aren't too many in the state.

From the article: "Also, in Wisconsin, lawmakers are expected to introduce legislation that could lead the way toward a hunting season for wolves."

This is expected. But how do you hunt wolves? Be specific.

Firehand said...

Sorun, check European and asian history: lots and LOTS of records.

Lots of reports in early settlements here, less of the documentation of Europe. It's happened; and it's happening:
http://www.examiner.com/gun-rights-in-seattle/wolves-killed-ak-teacher-report-adds-new-fuel-to-nw-wolf-war

This reminds me of the 'no historical record of cougars attacking people' argument; they didn't, or just no records of it? Someone disappears in the woods and no sign found... it's like the official records of shark attacks: the only ones counted are the ones we KNOW of.

Firehand said...

Also http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8565567.stm

Been more in Alaska and Canada because there've been more wolves up there for longer. Do I think packs are going to start playing like some lion prides in Africa and specifically target humans? No. Doesn't mean I'm willing to say "Wolves won't attack people", either.

Sorun said...

Firehand, I wasn't implying it never happened. But it's too rare and irrelevant to bring it up when talking about the state's new responsibility to manage its wolf population.

Look at your own first post: "And that's going to include eating things you might wish they wouldn't. Which includes the occasional hiker, bicyclist, etc.

Oh, really?

Kirk Parker said...

karrde,

"... unless people start offering bounties for wolf-pelts again."

My wife is from northern Minnesota. The story is told of her parents stopping by the side of the road on the way to their honeymoon (this would be in the early '50s) while my future father-in-law attempted to shoot a wolf they had spotted; the bounty was actually a fairly significant amount of money at the time and the young just-starting-out couple wasn't going to miss out on an easy one.

Firehand said...

You'd be really hard-pressed to find historical incidents of wolves attacking humans. (Give it a try.)

Not rare in history. And I pointed out that when you have big predators and people in the same areas, there are going to be problem; not exactly irrelevant.

andinista said...

Too many wolvss = not enuff Great Pyrenees doggiess garding livvstok. Buy morr Pyrs, n givv em 2 d farmers

andinista said...

Cuz a kid miitt b dinner 4 a wolf, gotta get rid of d wolffss
same panssy logic as:
cuz a kid miight get shot by a firearm, we shood ban alll firearms

If uu wan get riddd of all wolvss cuz a peep might somewherr, sometimm get eaten,

then yr jus a no-account fraidy-cat, k? Scaarrd of yr own shadow, n whinin for somebodd elss 2 protecc uu from d boogeyman Man upp, dooddd

Wolvvs r a gift from God, dat we shaar d Earth with Toss ur misguided species-ism in d ashheep of historii.

Firehand said...

And the misdirection hits: point out big predators + humans = occasional problems, it translates to "YOU HATE WOLVES!!!"

I'd state my full opinion on that idiocy, but I'm trying to remain more polite for the season.