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B-man715

Tell Me Why we "Need" Wolves??

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B-man715

Just wanted to share what happened to a friend of mine while running his beagles in the U.P.

I've seen a picture of what happened and it makes my stomach churn.

There is no wolf season this year in the area that this took place.

MARQUETTE - An Ohio man whose beagles were attacked and killed by wolves earlier this month in Chippewa County said Tuesday he will never return to the Upper Peninsula to train dogs again.

"I won't be back," said Jim McGuire of Amanda, Ohio. "There's no way I could come back and in good conscience turn my dogs loose and have this happen again."

McGuire's pledge ends 20 years of traveling with friends to the beauty of the Hiawatha National Forest to run hunting beagles on snowshoe hares.

On Aug. 7, Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife technician Tim Maples of the Sault Ste. Marie field office had initial DNR contact with McGuire. The two men spoke on the phone.

"He said that he and his friends were training dogs near Rudyard on Aug. 6 when wolves attacked and killed their nine beagles," Maples said in the report.

The two friends of McGuire were Larry Harrison and Scott Derrick from Charleston, W.Va. Others had also been on the trip to Michigan from out of state, but had already gone home, McGuire said.

In his report, Maples listed nine beagles reported killed including six males and three females. The males ranged in age from 2 to 5 years old. One of the females was 2 years old and the second was 9 months old.

"The dog owner provided pictures of five carcasses," said DNR Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason.

On Monday, DNR officials released the photographs and the Maples report to The Mining Journal.

The incident was first publicized after a news release Thursday by state Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, who said the reported wolf attack "points to the dire need and urgency for improved management of the wolf population in the Upper Peninsula."

DNR officials said they were continuing to look into the incident after McGuire provided some conflicting details of the story - primarily the number of dogs that were killed.

The photographs showed individual dead beagles, from relatively close range, lying in the grass or other vegetation. At least one of the five dogs in the photos had been torn open extensively.

Maples said the attack was said to have occurred about 11 miles west of Rudyard. DNR wildlife biologist Brian Roell in Marquette said a single beagle was killed by a wolf in that same vicinity last year while a hunter was training his dog.

Roell said the presumption could be made the beagle killings from the past two years were likely the work of wolves from the same pack.

A field investigation was conducted on the afternoon of Aug. 7 by Maples and two other DNR employees. They searched the area around a global positioning satellite coordinate provided by McGuire, but they found nothing.

"There had been heavy rainstorms that morning," Maples said in the report.

The day following the search, Maples again spoke with McGuire. According to the report, McGuire stated he and his companions lost contact with their dogs at about 9 a.m. Aug. 6 and believed something had "gone wrong."

"He said they found the first dog carcass about 10 minutes later and about one hour later he saw a wolf about 40 yards from one of the kill sites," Maples said.

McGuire told The Mining Journal the wolf was dark gray and was the only the second wolf McGuire had ever seen. He tried to scare the animal away.

"I just screamed and it took off running," McGuire said. "It was 40 yards from us and 40 yards from one of the kills."

They didn't see any wolves after this point.

"They continued searching until 3 p.m. when they found the last of the nine dog carcasses," Maples said in the report. "He (McGuire) also stated that one of the carcasses they found was completely covered with moss and dirt."

Days later, one of the dogs showed up, alive but malnourished at the animal control office in Sault Ste. Marie.

"The owner was contacted and he replied that he did not want the dog back and this should be given to a good home," said DNR spokeswoman Debbie Munson-Badini in Marquette.

McGuire said Tuesday there were actually 10 dogs in the training session. One of the dogs came back wounded and the animal was taken to a veterinarian for surgery.

"He's home and he's doing fine," McGuire said.

McGuire confirmed that four days after the incident one of the beagles came into a camp and was taken to the animal shelter and was "going to a good home."

McGuire said finding the dead dogs ripped into was horrible.

"This was not a good thing that happened up there," McGuire said.

McGuire said one of his companions had raised one of the beagles from a pup. The young man carried the dead dog a good distance out of the swamp and later took it home to West Virginia to bury it.

Roell said the DNR wildlife division was officially logging the dog killings as a wolf depredation incident.

"The division has evidence consistent with a wolf attack on multiple beagles," Badini said. "The division is unable to confirm the number of dogs involved in the incident, but will continue to evaluate any new information about the situation."

Roell said the number of dogs involved was ultimately not important. Roell said the killings could prompt the DNR to study the area as a place to potentially designate a future wolf hunting zone.

The state will hold its first wolf hunt this fall. A total of 43 wolves may be killed from three U.P. wolf management areas, all located west of Chippewa County.

McGuire said the loss of the dogs was bad enough, but his inability to come back to the region - fearing the same fate for other dogs - forces him to also be "losing the U.P."

This latest excursion was McGuire's second trip to the area this summer. He and eight others had also come to Michigan last October. McGuire said the men had no family or historical ties to the region. They came here several days each year because they had a good time with their dogs and they loved the Hiawatha National Forest.

"It's just a beautiful place," he said.

McGuire said he asked DNR officials where he could run hunting dogs in the U.P. without fears of another wolf attack.

"They said there's no place like that," McGuire said.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.

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Ufatz

It is a very sad story, no question. But some of it is very conflicting and confusing. But I will go with wolves killing ALL the dogs across the scattered area because nothing else makes any sense.

If you go where wolves live you will have to agree to their rules. If you go where big bears live....you are in thier livingroom and you must always be aware you are near animals that can KILL AND EAT you.

It is humbling for most folks.

If you've spent most of your life around bears and wolves you get the message. Sometimes things they do are not pretty nor are they what we wish. But they ARE what the animals are.

As an old sourdough once said to me "Ya see that area across the river there? That ain't Disneyland."

The dog owners have my sympathy.

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walleye18

I travel across the country with my job. Been in Idaho for the last 5 years quite a bit.

Talked to some folks who work dogs for running bears and cats. The same thing is happening to them...they are losing lots of dogs to wolves!

The wolves key in on the howling and come in and wipe them out. Ive seen the pictures - not a pretty sight. The solution the groups that run dogs do is keep close to the dogs as much as possible and when they start making noise, get there as fast as you can. Alot of folks who run dogs have gotten out of the sport as well.

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blindluck

I have to stir the pot on this one. Isn't this 100 percent the fault of the dog owner? "According to the report, McGuire stated he and his companions lost contact with their dogs at about 9 a.m. Aug. 6". Wouldn't some e-collars have resolved the situation? How about a gps collar?

I have been hunting dog owner for 3 years and haven't had a problem with losing contact with the dogs. They ALWAYS come if I have to give them a bump with the e-collar (with a range of out to a mile) and if we are in a forest exercising them and can't keep eyes on them we turn their beeper on. Although not ideal if you are hunting I would think that the beep alone would scare other wildlife away. If they start to get quiet we call out to them and might give them a bump to come in. I usually run 3 dogs at a time on 2 transmitters. I can see where 9 dogs would be a challenge, but it sounded like they could've given a transmitter to one of their companions. Could've run 6 dogs on 3 transmitters. That would probably work. Maybe if they stay together as a pack you would only need to collar a few of them. I've never used a gps collar but I have looked at them and they definitely would've helped the owner catch up to where the dogs went.

I understand that some people don't want to use e-collars and I'm not trying to sell them, but if you are walking a dog into a dangerous area/situation how can you honestly not have one? I used to watch that show Mountain Men on TV but had to stop watching once that "Mountain Man" got his beagle killed. He was always using them to track cougars or wolves or something. I just don't see how in this day and age the owner isn't responsible with the technology that is available.

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Ufatz

Well Kyle, I was a little puzzled by so MANY dogs being killed by a "pack of wolves" but no report of more than one wolf being seen or heard. While I am no expert I have spent a LOT of time around wolves and with people who work with and study wolves and while random and apparently senseless killing by wolves DOES happen they are usually killing to eat. It also appears, from the story, the dogs were killed over a large area. Over what period of time? And the owners had NO inkling something was wrong at any time? And then someone finds one of the dogs and the guy does not want it back? What?

I concede the story is probably correct but I remain bothered by the time and distances involved and no sounds apparently heard by any of the owners.

Since I cannot explain some of the story I guess I have to go with what they say. But I will remain puzzled, and saddened by the loss of those great hearted little dogs. I truly hope this was something that could not be prevented and not an act of careless irresponsiblity.

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mwal

Wolves do not not tolerate other large canines in their area. Hounds run around out of your sight baying the prey. The hound maybe only 100 yards form you but you cannot see it. Wolves home in silently on the hounds and take them out. My brother used to hunt yotes with hounds in NW WI but once wolves became established they killed all the yotes as well as attacked the hounds. Seeing what they do to a hound is something you will never forget. I saw one of the dogs that was killed. I am sure that is why the owner in the earlier post didn't want to come back. The wolves grab each end of the hound and literally pull it apart. They are not killing for food it is completely a territorial dominance issue. They do not tolerate large canines in their home range. This happens to dogs in the homeowners yard as well. WI DNR used to post the statistics for the Northern counties. Once wolves come yotes disappear and fox increase as they are to small to be perceived as a threat. The same way that yotes run fox out of their territories. When I used to trap fox we noticed the same behavior from yotes towards the fox.

Mwal

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walleye18

spot on mwal!!

You are so correct. Western states, as I wrote prior are experiencing as you explained in your post.

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B-man715

I have to stir the pot on this one. Isn't this 100 percent the fault of the dog owner? "According to the report, McGuire stated he and his companions lost contact with their dogs at about 9 a.m. Aug. 6". Wouldn't some e-collars have resolved the situation? How about a gps collar?

I have been hunting dog owner for 3 years and haven't had a problem with losing contact with the dogs. They ALWAYS come if I have to give them a bump with the e-collar (with a range of out to a mile) and if we are in a forest exercising them and can't keep eyes on them we turn their beeper on. Although not ideal if you are hunting I would think that the beep alone would scare other wildlife away. If they start to get quiet we call out to them and might give them a bump to come in. I usually run 3 dogs at a time on 2 transmitters. I can see where 9 dogs would be a challenge, but it sounded like they could've given a transmitter to one of their companions. Could've run 6 dogs on 3 transmitters. That would probably work. Maybe if they stay together as a pack you would only need to collar a few of them. I've never used a gps collar but I have looked at them and they definitely would've helped the owner catch up to where the dogs went.

I understand that some people don't want to use e-collars and I'm not trying to sell them, but if you are walking a dog into a dangerous area/situation how can you honestly not have one? I used to watch that show Mountain Men on TV but had to stop watching once that "Mountain Man" got his beagle killed. He was always using them to track cougars or wolves or something. I just don't see how in this day and age the owner isn't responsible with the technology that is available.

Even though it is not uncommon to be a half mile (or more) from a pack of hare hounds, Jim was only two hundred yards from where the incident took place. The dogs went silent (which is common and what happens on a check). After ten minutes they walked in to see why they [the beagles] hadn't picked the track back up, only to find all of their dogs dead.........

You are very nieve to think that a tracking collar and a shock collar will prevent wolves from killing hounds..........

A beeper collar to prevent an attack???????? Oh boy......... You better stick to chasing quail in Iowa with yer bird dogs........... Running hounds in the woods is entirely different than walking behind a pointer in a CRP field.

And yes, Jim has tracking collars and e-collars, as does 95 out of a 100 other hound hunters. The wolves just chew around them.......

100% his fault??? You have to be kidding....

Truth is there is not a god dam thing you can do to protect a hound from wolves, short of running where there are no wolves..... The problem with that is areas like that keep shrinking every year.

I know my reply is coming off with some anger, I apologize, but the subject hits home with me.

Several of my friends have had their beagles (and big hounds) killed by wolves in the past 10 years.

Where I hunt in Washburn county, it was very rare to see a wolf track 4-5 years ago. I've seen them a lot more often in the past two years. Even if a track looks days old, it scares the hell out of me when I put my dogs down. It's not a matter of if, but when something bad will happen.

Why does this need to happen? It seems the coyotes and bears (and not to mention humans) can do a fine job at filling the wolf's niche...... My ancestors (and yours too wink ) didn't eradicate wolves without reason..........

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Ufatz

I do not blame you for being a bit angry; you are of course totally correct about the futility of collars of ANY kind as wolf protection. Wolves come right into yards in AK, grab a dog and run for the woods again....with the owner standing there hollering!

This entire episode is very sad for anybody who cares about dogs. And Beagles are great little pals and hunters. In the end it is up to us to protect them and part of that, when in wolf country, is going to have to be keeping them OUT of the area. If it limits our recreation then I guess that's the way it is. I do not much like wolf hunting but it is going to become a neccesity in some areas.

I have had wolves try to take my dog and some dam close to me while they were at it. It IS spooky. I was always armed but when you have several of them around you it only takes ONE of them to dash in and grab your dog while the others are running around distracting you.

Wolves aren't cartoon characters and they are not pets. They can be very interesting and clever animals and are the epitome of wild and wilderness and free roaming.

Again: this was a truly sad business.

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skee0025

I was always armed but when you have several of them around you it only takes ONE of them to dash in and grab your dog while the others are running around distracting you.

Why an armed person would even let it get to that point escapes me. One hanging around and my gun would be out, still around a few moments later, it's getting used. More than one wolf, bodies are gonna be dropping once I clear leather.

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mwal

Remember until wolves were delisted you were not allowed to defend your dog and the wolf had to be be threatening your life for you to defend yourself. There are now cases of bird dogs under control being taken out. I have been seeing wolf tracks where I grouse hunt. Last year my dog came running to me whining with her tail tucked from over a ridge I rushed to the top but did not see anything. She had never acted like that before and would not leave my side for about 30 minutes and hunt again. We have jumped bears before and they did not bother her so I am sure it was wolves in the area. Be careful out there keep you eyes and ears open.

Mwal

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walleye18

Not only do you have to be careful out in the woods with your pooch, but if your dog does run into a wolf/wolves - you better be quick!

Our creator made them superb killing machines....they will make "quick order" in dispatching and killing your dog!

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LABS4ME

I have no desire to wolf hunt... but I am glad there are those who do... I have no problem with a limited numbers of wolves out in the wild, but there ARE too many.

We do not have 'wilderness' for the most part in our States. Yes MN has the boundary Waters... and there are large tracks of woods in WI and the Upper Penn... but there are also cabins, and hunters and dogs and roads, and people that own those lands and people who invest in and pay taxes on those lands... I have seen my buddies deer herd all but wiped out on their 2000 acres of land north of Dairyland. That is after 100s of thousands of dollars used to purchase, 1000s to put in food plots and trails and then years of managing the herd. The wolves came in and wiped it out. They moved on to other land a couple of years ago as there was not any food left... and left them to start over. Fair? I'd say no. There are those who'd argue that. They will be back. The herd is showing signs of rebounding. At one point the DNR estimated 12 wolves living on/around the property... Figure out the qty of deer taken in a year's time....

Do I want to see the wolves erradicated? no. Do I think it is responsible or even normal thinking that they should have free range in today's world? No. It is not the 1800s any longer. Large tracts of govt held lands should be where the wolves reign.

If I ever see a wolf within gun range of one of my dogs, it will be the end of that wolf. I will NOT take the chance knowing they WILL kill it given the chance. It is the same scenario as the wolf killing the dog... a top predator killing another predator. Again I have no desire to shoot one... especially for sport, but I will not lose sleep if I have to.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Ufatz

Well Skeeo225, that's mighty big talk. And just what would be the point of dropping all those wolves once I "clear leather" and blaze away? I think you maybe have seen too many gunfights between wolves and Clint Eastwood maybe. Ha Ha Ha.

Look fellas, I don't want to come across as one of the deluded souls who believe wolves are lovable and should be allowe to run unfettered wherever they choose. I've seen what wolves do to a moose calf or caribou or deer and it is pretty wrenching. They should be controlled in the lower 48 and we even control them to some extent in AK and the far north CAN. But I have never seen the need to kill one and frankly was never in a situation where I HAD to kill one. I have seen them at distances from 20 feet to two miles. Have had one come and lay in the meadow behind my cabin watching me sometimes. When I have had encounters with my dogs I have kept the dogs right next to me and went on about my travels. I DID have a nice Lab one time who thought he'd charge out and tangle with a small bunch but I changed his mind!! But that was the same male Lab who started out to tangle with an entire sled dog team near Tok. Ha Ha Ha.

They must have their place, but when they begin to impact civilized areas they have to leave or be removed. Simple. On the other hand, we have to cut them some slack too.

That is all. I'm done.

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skee0025

Well Skeeo225, that's mighty big talk. And just what would be the point of dropping all those wolves once I "clear leather" and blaze away? I think you maybe have seen too many gunfights between wolves and Clint Eastwood maybe. Ha Ha Ha.

It was your example that brought that up, and the point would be to protect my dog, but after reading your last post it appears your just making up stories....

"I have had wolves try to take my dog and some dam close to me while they were at it. It IS spooky. I was always armed but when you have several of them around you it only takes ONE of them to dash in and grab your dog while the others are running around distracting you."

"Have had one come and lay in the meadow behind my cabin watching me sometimes. When I have had encounters with my dogs I have kept the dogs right next to me and went on about my travels. I DID have a nice Lab one time who thought he'd charge out and tangle with a small bunch but I changed his mind!!"

So which story are you going with? The story where the one wolf lays in the meadow or the one where you as an armed individual wouldnt defend your dog when the wolves tried for it"?

Just curious.

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Ufatz

The anecdotes are true. No reason to "make up" wolf stories. I have a whole batch more for you if you like. I have not seen a reason to kill a wolf just because it is being a wolf. IF..a wolf EVER actually made a grab for on of my dogs of course I would shoot it. I HAVE fired a shot over the heads if a small pack when it was just too annoying to my travel with a dog and they scattered and were not seen again.

They are fascinating animals, capable of a variety of behaviors. IF they are creaating problems with domestic livestock or pet animals or making trouble in an area they will HAVE to be removed. No mystery and no question of the need.

But there is no reason to "slap leather" and kill then just because you SEE one in the woods. There is enough senseless killing going on in the world today....of ALL species.

If you like my wolf stories maybe I'll pass along a few more. Like the "village wolf" maybe or the "hiker's wolf." And even a couple shooting wolf stories. But not by me. No reason.

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Archerysniper

It's not only dogs they are going after.

Click here

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