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Lee Lane

As I sat grilling my steak on the deck of my parents rural Effie home, I watched 3 timber wolves run across my parents back field, almost in a playful manner as if they werent hunting. It didnt surprise me too much, in the last 4 years while bowhunting Ive seen so many wolves in so many different treestand sets that the local wolf biologists up in Ely would be jealous. Not to mention a few close encounters , one where I had the liberty of 6 coming within 5 feet of my ground blind Via some well placed calling sequences a few novembers ago. All im saying pretty much is that I challenge the claim by the wolf biologists that there are "ONLY" 5000 some Timber Wolves In the WHOLE state of minnesota.

I live to bowhunt, Infact I scout and hunt more than some people that I know go to work, Ive seen too many wolves in too many chance encounters in too many ares too many miles apart for me to believe these claims. I have read a few of David Mechs books on wolves and all I can say is he was NOT studying wolves in the same ares I see them in thats for sure! """actually he was""" I dont want to extinguish the TIMBER WOLVES from the face of the earth, however I do ask this question.........HOW many is TOO many??????????

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jigglestick

I guess I dont care how many are out there.

wolves do tend to be on the most hated list, for who knows what reasons. I think it's just something we have been taught ever since I can remember. a hate what you fear kind of thing.

I think if they are damaging domestic pets, livestock and or threatening the well being of any particular human, then they need to be thinned.

I dont think the deer herd is suffering to bad because of the wolves. they're here just trying to survive like the rest of us.

Lee, are you related to the lanes that live/lived over in blackberry out by blackberry acres?

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Lee Lane

Nope and Im not related to the lanes that ran that guy over in town either:^) I dont hate wolves my genuine concern is that the wolves im used to seeing used to be fearful of humans and the ones im seeing these days dont seem to have a care in the world about human presence. As for the deer.....Ive seen and killed my biggest bucks in areas that seem to be infested with timbers......Ive also found some dandys that were wolf killed ..it was hard to deal with ....espicially when a guy has many hours dedicated to a certain deer. ...but its natures way.

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jigglestick

I figure it's all part of the hunt. same as if another hunter was to take the buck I've been watching all season, though I usually know what there is for other hunters in any area I hunt in.

speaking of which, sometimes in the fall I'm looking for another person to hunt with. both to share the hunt with, and also for safety reasons.

maybe we could go kick around in the fall and lay the smack down?

I shot my first decent buck this past fall. not huge, but I got him with my bow. actually it was a double. I got the doe first and then 4 minutes later he came dogging her scent and I whupped him too! it was beyond cool.

I'm pretty serious about scouting stand placement and scent control.

the only thing that really holds me back is if what ever I'm doing for work has me tied down. last year worked out great. i worked for my brother and afforded all the time I wanted.

I took advantage of all my rain days and got soaked several times, but I logged my hours up a tree!

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Lee Lane

You hunt over by blackberry alot? i mostly hunt up north togo north of nashwauk and effie areas ...too many blaze orange buffoons everywhere else for me!

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jigglestick

nope, haven't hunted over there for years.

I rifle hunt at my brothers north of GR, but since my pop has passed, I may stray a bit more.

during bow season, I hunt in the deer/moose lake area, and I work over a pretty good piece of land north of winnie. very nice area up there.

only see others during rifle season if I happen to go up there then.

your right, I can't stay far enough away from blaze orange.

this is how I spent thursday morning before rifle opener.

101_0647.jpg

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glenn57

hey jigglestick, them funny lookin timberwolves. J/K. smirklaughlaughcrazywinkwhistle

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PITLEAK

NOT TO MANY PEOPLE CAN SAY THEY SHOT 2 DEER SAME DAY W/BOW!!!NICE JOB

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maros91

"ONLY" 5000 some Timber Wolves In the WHOLE state of minnesota.

That number may be a bit high. Everywhere I check they say 2,900-3,000. I think we should thin them down in some areas especially when there goal was to have only 1,2500-1,400. MN has the 2nd highest population of wolves. 1st is Alaska.

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petepeters

I had a pack of at least 4 take up residence around my house this winter. I have a detached garage which is a hundred or so feet from my house and I came around the corner early in the morning to find two less than 25' from me. They saw me and jogged away. I also saw 4 running across the lake a few days later and saw singles near there in the week to follow. I am in the middle on the thinning issue. I personally like wolves and they dont seem to bother me. I enjoy seeing them. I also hunt and I am not sure wether to believe that they are the culprite for my poor deer hunting season. I guess I tend to think that we are invading their territory and not vice-versa. But I also understand that people want and should be able to take wolves for the protection of their property without having to feel like criminals. I just cant get my head around people wanting to kill them for sport.

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JBMasterAngler

There was a time where deer feared people too...now in some areas they are so tame that they can be fed by hand...I think it's a situation where the wolves are becoming tame (I use that term loosely of course) as more and more people visit the north land. As is the case with any animal, if they are damaging or endangering people and their property they need to be dealt with. As far as sport hunting, I have mixed emotions about it. Maybe do a lottery system similar to the elk hunt in grygla and see how that works. I'm thinking not a state wide hunt, but maybe a couple zones where numbers seem to be the highest...which would be where? Wolves are the ultimate symbol of the wilderness, and I have had only a few oppurtunities to see them, and it is a cool sight to see! I think thinning the deer numbers would do more for thinning the wolves than an actual wolf hunt itself. I don't think anyone would be opposed to hunting more deer for a longer period of time. Plus it would help the moose in NE minnesota as well. smile

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northernsportman

They are certainly around, I went to a walk in lake with a buddy the other day. There was a set of tracks that were as big as my hands! On the way back, we took the same trail we had a couple hours before. There was 2-3 sets of tracks on our tracks following ours out. Kinda cool.

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lakevet

Originally Posted By: Lee Lane
"ONLY" 5000 some Timber Wolves In the WHOLE state of minnesota.

That number may be a bit high. Everywhere I check they say 2,900-3,000. I think we should thin them down in some areas especially when there goal was to have only 1,2500-1,400. MN has the 2nd highest population of wolves. 1st is Alaska.

I thought Canada was #1 for timbers. I hear all you need is to buy a small game license to hunt them in Canada. Correct me if its wrong. Those who talk about the timber being endangered tend to forget Canada immigrants will gladly expand to Minnesota. I personally like a few of them around. Tend to discourage other hunters and make the hunt more challenging. A deer who is under constant 24/7 wolf pressure tends to be somewhat skittish. A true survivor.

lakevet

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Lee Lane

On the positive side , timber wolves create a tight buck to doe ratio making for an intense rut if you can time it right, wich I usually can. they also educate bucks so well that after a year or two of dodging wolves they are grizzled escape artists creating more big buck opportunitys for veteran bowhunters willing to sacrifice time and effort. Do I think the numbers are down after last winter because of wolves?? I most certainly do especially after that brute of a snowfall we had last march. However thats not always a bad thing I only did see one buck all last fall but he was a hoss and I saw him twice. Had there been more does during the later than normal rut we had last year due to the late rutting moon there would have been less competition for breeding rights and I probably would not have called him in , wich i did on both occasions that I saw him. My reasoning is there are just more wolves because i see way more, in some areas everytime that I hunt I see wolves! some areas that were good to me in the past ive abandoned because all I see anymore Is wolves. now wouldnt it make sense that if there were just as many wolves 10 yrs ago and 20 yrs ago id have seen lots of wolves while deer hunting back then? Ive never seen a timber pack while hunting untill about 7 yrs ago.. I seen one. The next year I seen a pack of 6 and every year after Ive seen more and more..... Just sounds like more wolves to me(I) Im sure the people down In St. Paul dont feel to great about killing any timber wolves after all they dont live In rural effie , they dont have to scratch a living up In the northwoods> I do then again I was never saying that we should kill any , I was simply saying that theres more and they dont seem to turn tail and bolt from the scene as they onece did. One more thing....theres a big differance between a deer thats not afraid of people and a timber wolf thats not afraid of people(I)(I)(I) the people down in st paul would change there attitude real quick if their kids had to wait for the school bus on a rural dirt road where I sight timber wolves constantly.

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Lee Lane

I really have no desire to kill a timber wolf .....Ive already got my first email from a wolf lover tee hee!! besides what would i do with one make a rug? my interest lies in a boone and crockett rack of a whitetail deer;)

and yes 5000 is the number of wolves in minnesota between 98 and 2000 in a book written by david mech ..wolf biologist up in ely and professor at the U, I just re-read it again to make sure and thats the claim

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finnbay

I must say this is one of the most balanced discussions on wolves that I've seen. Good points in both directions. I grew up north of Grand Rapids in the Balsam area, and we had a neighbor who was a big trapper. In the 60's when trapping wolves was still legal, he would get 8 to 10 a year. Bad deer populations in the middle 60's, but that was mostly due to bad winters in '64,'65 and '66. There probably aren't many more in that area now then there were then. I still hunt on the old homestead and see about a similar amount of wolf sign now as I did then. One of the big reasons why there are so many wolves now (besides protection) is the large deer herd. I now live just south of Ely and see a LOT of wolves in my travels. I've photographed several in the last few months and have seen many that I haven't shot pix of. Bottom line for me is that I don't have a beef with having wolves around as long as they aren't taking my pups off of the back step. Part of the reason why I love this country in northern MN.

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Lee Lane

I guess I have to clarify myself again:S I was never saying one way or another that we should have a season or kill any timber wolves..thats for the biologists to figure out...all I was saying is that I see ALOT of them ....some cross right near the end of our driveway and my kids wait for the school bus there...this concerns me since im already at work at that time on occasion and like I said they seem to be less fearful of humans. My reason for this post was to read other peoples expierences and opinions . not to go on a wolf HATING tyraid!!

Or taking your dog right off the chain....happened to us 10 yrs ago when we lived in talmoon.

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finnbay

Lee, I hope I didn't come across as disagreeing with you because I don't. I think you've given some great experiences and insight.

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Lee Lane

nope finnbay no offence taken...some nicce pics also! the wolves ive had close encounters with looked alot more intimidating though I must say. I guess I can say ive never been afraid of wolves or has it bothered me to hike a mile or more through known wolf turf in the dark to get to a treestand untill 2 yrs ago when I had two encounters that scert the s%$# out of me. One was on the bear lake road halfway between togo and nashwauk and I hunted the area again this year and it seems literally infested. I could hear wolves yelping and wimpering in the bog and seen wolves on every occasion i hunted there last fall. The other was on the holstrom spur that runs from north of effie "craigville" i think) to togo. another infestation but thats a wilderness setting so it dont really matter to me much. any way you look at it the wolves came up on me as I was walking to my treestand in the pre morning darkness......presumably from me fumbling around in the darkness like a sasquatch. Imagine my suprise when I shined my weak little caplight to see many sets eyes about 15 yrds away. Yep It freaked me out but I aint giving up morning rut sessions in november so I got over my fears.

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finnbay

my mom grew up in Bigfork and my grandmother was born in Craigville. We used to hunt the Holstrum Spur when I was a kid. Never had a close encounter with wolves up there, but ran across some round 8 inch pug marks in fresh snow one year. That sent some shivers up my spine!

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Lee Lane

I dont want to sound like an idiot but whats a pug mark? otherwise i guess im not understanding.....and as for the spur ive been looking for moose sheds up there this spring cuz ive seen alot of moose tracks no sheds but lots of wolf scat and tracks. with all the cougar reports ive heard up here in the last few yrs it wldnt surprise me if there were a few of them lurking out that way also.

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finnbay

Yep, a pug is a cat track. We had a neighbor who had a St. Bernard with huge feet and these tracks were bigger than that.

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magnum mike

I saw a BIG BLACK cat with a long slender tail in that area about 15 years ago. It was on HWY 1 a few miles west of Togo near the first turn to Thistledew. There have been more recent sightings of big cats in northern MN lately but I believe they have been around for quite some time.

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Lee Lane

My brothers lives off 522 in togo. The mail lady who often gives the low down on where shes seen big bucks crossing swears up and down she seen a cougar right down from my brothers house, he asked her " are you sure that it was a cougar and not a bobcat or dog" lol and she said it had a tail 4 feet long and shes 100% positive. who knows ive never seen cat tracks there but its a big area and im sure if there was one residing in the area it would be about as skittish as a 98lb weakling on muscle beach.

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JBMasterAngler

I would love to have a population of mountain lions in minnesota! Would make it seem so much more wild. Unfortunately I think the numbers of mountain lions are about as permanent as we are at highway rest areas frown Most of them are young males traveling from the black hills of N.D. I don't think transplanting any females to minnesota to establish a population is tops on the DNR to do list though.

Anyway, back to wolves. Me and my dad used to go grouse hunting at beltrami state forest up past URL and we would have wolf encounters all the time. Rarely seen any, but at night it was constant howling. We used to camp at a snowmobile camp, and sometimes we felt like we were surrounded...I'm not a sound expert, but I'm guessing they would get as close to us as the forest edge (which was about 10 or 15 yards away). One minute they'd sound like they're 3 miles away, then the next they're howling from your back yard. Nothing like waking up in the middle of the night to your dad in his longjohn's peeking out the tent with shotgun in hand. Was too funny to be scared.

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fishuhalik

I gotta chime in here. From what I've observed, while wolves may not devastate a deer population in an area, they sure do scare 'em out quick. I hunt directly behind the house i grew up in, about 15 miles north of nashwauk. 2 falls ago we had a couple of spots with so much sign that i was pretty much guaranteed a big buck. Also, we were seeing alot of nice does, young ones, etc. The night before opener, a pack of wolves moved through. We were listening to 'em all night. Anyways, we ended up not seeing a deer for almost a week. After a while they started coming back, but we never did find any more new sign from the big bucks.

On a side note, what area do ya hunt north of nashwauk lee? I know the area within about a 25 miles radius like the back of my hand.

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gregg52

finbay those are cool pictures specially the black one

cooooool

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Biggerfish

I gotta chime in here also.

I have deer hunted near the Brainerd area for almost 20 years. I do not recall seeing any wolves in the begining, but over the past 5-6 years we see them consistantly. I had one walk within 15 feet of me sitting on the ground with my back against a tree about 3 years ago. He looked right at me and just kept walking at the same pace. Did not seem to worried about me being there. I wish I could say the same about me...Had to go change my shorts after that. The thing that amazed me the most was the size of it and how long the legs are on them.

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jonny_redhorse

Nice wolf images Ken!...I also saw timber wolves on the Holstrum Spur years ago....I had a deer shack at he intersection of the Holstrum and Hwy#1 years ago(by Schindlers Logging/sawmill operation)...it was common to hear them howling on quiet evenings when I stayed there in summer....I also saw them (wolves) on the Kendall Logging Camp Road which turns north off the Holstrum Spur........Been awhile since I've been up there but sure is beautiful country....wild desolate area for sure...

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Marbleye'd

I was just told that where I was living on Deer lake that there was a timber wolf in the neighbors driveway. I'd really hate to see their dogs be killed. Theres a huge area back behind the dump by bass lake that I've heard has alot of wolves in it. I have hunted there as well ,riffle season anyway, I was told that while bow hunting they were seeing up to 10 deer a night, I got out opening morning with 5 other guys and one buck was shot and nobody else seen anything. The buck was my friends grandson's first deer. You couldn't beat the smile off him!

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