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Wolves

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Anybody else see or hear any wolves this year?? Our party heard them almost every night out of 11 nights, and the 2 camps near us both had hunters see them. One camp had a hunter see 2 and the other camp had a guy see 8 running in a pack past his stand opening morning and then heard them around his camp after dark just outside of the campfire light while he was sitting there. We looked for tracks the next day and sure enough we found at least 2 sets. This guy has hunted this spot for around 30 years and has heard them in the past, But never had them this close. Made him kind of nervous. Made my 13 year son very nervous sitting around his fire talking about it the next night. Seems to be alot more of them around every year. We had a good season,[6 for 6, but hunted 9 days] but are in agreement with alot of other hunters that the deer numbers are down. I wonder what kind of impact a large pack of wolves has on the herd?

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Yes, I did. On opening morning I walked 1.5 miles into a tamarack swamp and was setting up my ground blind 2 hours before legal shooting. I made a bit of noise and a pack of wolves no further than 75 yards away started howling at me. I nearly soiled myself.

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Last deer season, I realized I left my hunting hat in my stand, so I decided I was going to walk back out there in the evening after hunting. Where I gutted my deer was about 20 yards from my stand, my stand is about 200 yards from my cabin. I get up to my stand, grabbed my hat, and as I was walking back, one ran out about 10 yards on the side of me, it scared the crap out of me. The next morning the gut pile was gone. I was a little more cautios walking to my stand also!

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I saw one on the second morning and I believe the same one on the third morning. It was BIG! Up where I hunt, they aren't that rare. I had 2 within 10 yards of me when I was bear hunting... and I was on the ground, we just had a stare down.

Good Luck!

Ken

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I had 2 within 10 yards of me when I was bear hunting... and I was on the ground, we just had a stare down.


Oh ya, Who won? smirk.gif

Wow, Im pretty sure I would have been shaking when that happend. Were they growling, or just staring at you?

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Not exactly related to this thread but thought it might be an interesting read.

A few years ago my brother was sitting on the ground next to a tree when he spotted a timber wolf approaching. He raised his rifle in preparation to protect himself but other than that he made no sound or movement. I have no idea why he didn't let the wolf know he was there. Anyway, the wolf actually got to within 20 feet of him before my brother decided he better do something to avoid confrontation so he moved his foot. At this distance he didn't want to startle the critter but just get its attention. He said the wolf stopped dead, looked up at him and you could see the look of deer in the headlights surprise take over. My brother commented that its eyes got about as wide as saucers before it turned tail out of there. He said it was a bit hair raising for him as well.

Bob

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3 years ago I ran into a pack crossing a beaver pond. I was with my wife and she started yelling at them. It was like they didn't even care. They just walked off without as much as a second look. I don't care about them during the day, but walking to the stand in the dark scares the crap out of me when I know they are around me.

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I heard what I thought to be 3 different wolves in a pack starting to howl at sunrise on Sunday morning. The howled for about 2 minutes, then silence. They were less than a 1/2 mile from my stand. I confirmed with my hunting partner and dad if they heard them, which they did. Seems to be more and more each year in the TRF/Crookston area.

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I joined a group that has been hunting the area around Emily for 25 years. They have had mixed results, but usually get something, even if its just one or two deer. I went up for an extended weekend last week (from the 8th to the 11th) and didn't see one deer. That's not entirely unexpected (weather, unlucky, or whatever). The really weird part was all the areas that had trails, rubs, scrapes and scat last year were just gone. There was almost no sign the whole time we were up there. We had 9 people in the woods over the weekend and no one saw anything. I went to a spot all day Saturday that they've ALWAYS got deer in and didn't see a thing. Nothing, no movement, no grunts or bleats, not a thing. I was in a drive Sunday morning through an area that traditionally has had deer. It was the deepest, darkest, densest part of a swamp and I found trails, but they all were really old: no fresh (no old either) markings, no fresh scat, trees fallen over the trails. My thinking leads me to think something made the deer leave en mass. A mountain lion would do that, but that's kinda in left field. I think there are wolves that have moved into the area, three people in my group go to the same area for bear hunting, they said they heard wolves off in the distance, which isn't that unusual. I think the wolves are either in the area or moved through and pushed the deer out. I was listening to a radio program on the way home and they were saying that wolves moved in up by Roseau and chased the deer out.

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One thing about wolves chasing the deer out is if the deer are in fact chased out then the wolves will follow. The wolves will not stay in one area and simply wait for deer to return, they will hunt them. If there are no deer there, their won't be any wolves. The wolves will follow their food sources.

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I heard some large packs near Goodland, and near Longville as well. There are a lot of wolves out there.

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What a myth! Wolves and cats don't push deer out of an area. Good grief. If this were true we wouldn't have the deer population we have in this state for they'd be pushed out. These animals know how to live around each other. If this myth were true don't you think hunters would push deer out of an area too and so hunting after opening day would be pointless?

Last week where I hunted we had snow on the ground from Tuesday through Sunday. In my wanderings I noticed very little deer sign. I did not encounter one wolf or cat track. I did not find much in the form of rubs or scrapes either BUT, I know for a fact that five bucks were taken out of the same area during that same week from stands in about a 200 yard radius and plenty other bucks were spotted.

We also took a couple 8-pointers near Hibbing in another party I was hunting with.

One point of interest was that of all 7 bucks taken only one of them had a swollen neck. He was the last one taken on Saturday morning. They just might not be moving around much.

Bob

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The first weekend we saw "plenty" of deer and deer sign. We saw some wolf crap here and there with one sighting of a wolf. The second weekend in a span of 100 yards on one trail I saw a deer pelvic bone, and 12 piles of wolf crap on the way to a stand. Friday morning the snow came and I saw 1 set of deer tracks, and two sets of wolf tracks not 40 yards from the shack. We saw no deer on Friday. Saturday it snowed again, 3 deer seen and a few deer tracks but plenty of wolf tracks. Sunday morning while out pulling some stands we saw 4 sets of deer tracks from the night before. They were being pushed by the wolves. We crossed a wolf trail every 20 yards in the woods. On the access logging trail we saw wolf tracks come out of the woods and go back in every 20 yards all the way down the trail to another logging trail a 1/2 mile away. Down this logging road a big congregation of wolf tracks walking the trail with a set breaking off and entering the woods every 15 - 20 yards. The "pack" was running deer the night before as the wolf tracks outnumbered the deer tracks easily 20 to 1. The wolf crap was down the middle of the wheel rut used by 2 vehicles 10 hours earlier. There were numerous piles on that trail one pile even within 20 feet of the parked vehicles. Not sure at all how many wolves in this pack but the "deer drive" they made in that section of land was, if not very discouraging, very impressive. Personally I can not wait until we can get tags for those vermin.

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I hunt west of Hibbing. I have been following a beautiful 12 pt. for three years. The last picture was from 9-1-07', on 9-15-07' I found the remains of a wolf kill, by one of my stands. On opening evening I was trying to push a deer out to my wife and I found that same kill sight, only this time I found the skull and undamages antlers of my 12pt. I quick scored him at around 140. Over the last few years the wolves along #65 have gotten totally out of control. It is time the DNR acts. So much for wolves killing the young and the sick. They went after a fully mature adult buck in the fall, no deep snow, not stressed from the rut.

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Of course they don't just eat the sick. Wolves are wild animals and they will eat what they can. Does that mean that we should get rid of wolves? Absolutely NOT, wolves are an important part of the environment. However I hope with the delisting of wolves in some of the states down there that in the near future they do open a wolf trapping season for you boys in Minnesota.

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4buckisland. How do you know this deer was killed by wolves? It could have died from a poor archery shot or interal injuries from a car accidient. I think people are overly worried about wolves. If it can be backed up that the wolf population is out of control with real data then im fine with a season or trapping. But these animals have every right if not more then us to be in the woods. I would guess the actually wolf population is higher then projected just like i think the Bald eagle populations are higher then reported. Im going up north this weekend by I' Falls and would think it would be pretty cool to see a wolf. We had had wolves in my uncles land about 3 years ago in Ottertail County. My uncle saw one drag a fawn into the woods. We still saw alot of deer that year. Besides wolves have a huge range and the deer will come back. When they start stalking farm animals then I think we need to do something about them.

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I shot a doe the weekend before rifle season with my bow and by the next saturday the gutpile was gone and my thoughts about wolves getting to it were confirmed by the wolf howls about a mile to my west. Out of 8 people we saw and shot only one deer opening weekend. The wolves had made a push, yes wolves ochestrate deer drives to get the deer moving with actual posting wolves that wait for the others to push them their way. The good part is that there is a cut about a mile away where there are quite a few deer but the wolves hang around there most of the time. By last thursday the deer had moved back onto our property and we saw a bunch of deer and shot 2 in one afternoon. the wolves in my neck of the woods can stay. They take their share, I take mine. No deer? Wait a week.

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When wolves kill a lot of deer, there is more food to go around for the remaining deer. When there is more food, more does have twins and triplets. The population will bounce back quickly.

If wolves could decimate the deer population if left unchecked, why were there any deer left before we started killing wolves by the thousands?

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It's not a myth that wolves move deer. While they don't chase them out forever they seem to put them in different areas. We usually don't have any issues with wolves, becasue we are far enough west and south. But they are moving out of there traditional areas. I heard a small pack of at least 3 while duck hunting, people saw one in the area that we deer hunt. We didn't see half the deer we usually see this year. We push the deer so its not that they weren't moving. Most of the time we chase 15-20 out and this year it was 5 or so. Not giving all the credit to the wolves, but we know they are there, and in the 5 or so square miles that we hunt, they seem to have pushed the deer out. Last year after a light snow we had a pair of wolves go threw the woods we pushed sometime earlier in the day, and there wasn't one left in there. So it's not a myth, but i don't expect the wolves could eat all the deer, but they do put a dent into them, more noticeable in area of not so many trees, as in our areas of broken farmland.

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I agree with fishermann, wolves are important to the environment, I think they have just as much right or more to the forest and what lives there as we do. We are the ones intruding. Sitting by the campfire listening to a pack howling makes the experience that much better. I also think wolves coming to within 50 ft, of a campfire with people around it may not so good. They don't seem to fear man like they used to. I suppose like the mountain lions in CA. Maybe a limited harvest, like 50 animals a year or whatever would not be a bad idea.

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Quote:

Quote:

I had 2 within 10 yards of me when I was bear hunting... and I was on the ground, we just had a stare down.


Oh ya, Who won? smirk.gif

Wow, Im pretty sure I would have been shaking when that happend. Were they growling, or just staring at you?


I was bear hunting and standing in belly high grass along a ditch, stiff wind in my face. They came up to the opposite side of the ditch literally straight across from me, and the first one was all coiled up ready to jump it when he noticed I wasn't natural. I did have on head to toe leafy camo including a full head/face mask... no cut outs (it's a bug suit too). He un-coiled and stood there trying to wind me, but couldn't. Stared at me, I'm sure trying to figure out what I was. I remained motionless to see what they would do. The other one milled around behind him and never really gave me a second glance. After a bit he turned around and walked back another 10 yards or so and sat and looked at me for another short while and then turn and trotted off into the woods with the other one following behind him.

I had a muzzleloader and never really got it ready to fire. Figured there was no need to, as the chance of an attack were about as good as me filling a bear tag! hehehe grin.gif I was nervous but not really scared... pretty neat experience to be that up close and personal to a Timber Wolf... They are big!!!

Good Luck!

Ken

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I understand your point hunterlee and agree. My point was that just because a wolf or pack is in an area, the deer don't vacate it. There are too many that think this is the case. What the wolves do isn't much different than what we do. We enter the forests by the hundreds of thousands every fall, we make drives, we sit in ambush and yet, the deer are still there before, during, and after we are there. They know how to avoid us and they know how to avoid wolves, most of them that is. Those that don't are either on our dinner tables or in the wolves bellies.

There are a lot more of us in the woods from early September through the end of December than there are wolves but the deer population remains the highest it has ever been in recorded history and climbing as well as the wolf population. It is a myth that wolves in an area move deer out of the area just as it would be a myth to think we do the same.

I thought we were civilized enough to be able to get past this wolf hysteria.

Bob

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We hunt 7 miles South of Cook. During the 2004-2006 deer seasons our local wolf pack had been in and around our hunting area on a regular basis. The effects we saw were reduced deer movement. The deer were much more on the defensive than when the wolves are not in the area (very much like after we all hunt for 3 days straight). This year the deer movement was back to normal. Lots of deer have been seen by our group with only 1 wolf track. The local pack contained around 7 animals last year. One of our hunters had 5 wolves follow a game trail past his stand in 05 and in 06 a young kid had 3 go right under his stand.

The Alfa male was/is a large black animal.

I have also seen wolves while bow hunting on the NW side of Lake Vermilion very close to the cabins/ homes in the area. This year I saw one on Wednesday Oct 17th and several days later we heard one wolf howling on and off for a couple of hours one morning. They are very cool animals. I do believe that there are many more than the DNR acknowledges.

They are a fact of life in NE MN. I saw my first one in 1979. I would love to see a big alfa male up close- from my stand shocked.gif

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This weekend my friend had a pretty crazy wolf encounter. We were up in Ely so i could visit VCC and do a little grouse hunting. While i was visiting the school he went to the WMA really close by and set off into the woods with his chesapeake bay retriever. About 45 minutes in he starts to hear some wolf howls off in the distance, which he thought nothing of and kept hunting. All of the sudden his chesapeakes back hair stood straight on end and she started to growl and bark. At this point he took out his gps to see where he was and then he heard the pack start to howl closer. He turned back and started walking towards his truck, but the howling kept getting louder and louder. He ended up running as fast as he could back to his truck and turned around when he got there and there was three wolves standing about 100 feet behind him staring at him!! Most likely they were just after his dog, but im definatly glad i wasnt with him at the time. He was still shaking when he came to pick me up at the school, lol.

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This has been mentioned before but it warrants repeating. The next time you talk to this friend be sure to tell him to never do that again! That is, never run! Never run from a wolf, dog, cat, or any other predator. That will most definitely invite a chase and attack. It's far more to one's advantage to face them head-on than to let them attack from behind. Most likely the reason they were still there when he got to his vehicle was because they were in chase mode. Sounds like a close call and he's lucky to have made it back without a fight on his hands.

Bob

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