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Illinois hunting and fishing

Three wolves in Illinois in 2010?

March 18, 2010 at 10:44 AM

This has already been an unusually busy year for wolf watchers in Illinois.

Since January, at least three credible reports of large canines have surfaced out of northern Illinois.

Closest to home was a shiny-toothed rascal shot near Walnut in Bureau County last week by a coyote hunter. Though details are sketchy and genetic testing has not been conducted, that may well be the sixth wild wolf confirmed in Illinois and the second this year.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Another large, wolf-like canine was shot near Big Rock in northern Illinois in January according to Bob Bluett, furbearer biologist for the Department of Natural Resources. “It was taller than the guy when it was hanging from its hind feet,” Bluett said.

And just this week Bob Coine of Oregon came forward with a trail-camera picture taken on March 9 that appears to show a live wolf walking along the edge of a corn field.

“A picture doesn’t tell the whole story, but it’s sure a whopping good candidate,” Bluett said.

Beyond reports that include some proof are a rash of recent sightings from near Tiskilwa, Toulon and elsewhere.

Is Illinois suddenly overrun with canis lupus? Will the soulful howls of timber wolves become commonplace in the Prairie State?

“It’s hard to tell a wolf from a coyote at 150 yards. If somebody comes clean, it’s been my perception that (federal investigators) can accept the fact a mistake was made,” Bluett said. “But it somebody starts shipping hides and doing other stuff, they get in a corner as to how much they can follow federal rules for endangered species and where that line is.”

Most biologists believe wolf numbers in Illinois are very low. That view may change if somebody turns in a female wolf or some young pups.

But late winter is prime time for young male wolves to get booted from their pack and to wander.  Those are the wolves we’ve seen in Illinois, whose wanderings prove the journey from Wisconsin is very doable for a four-legged canine looking for love.

The first confirmed wild wolf in Illinois was shot on Dec. 29, 2002 by Randy Worker in Marshall County. I still remember fielding that call and thinking, “No way is this a wolf.”

Since then we’ve had three other wolves killed in Illinois and a handful dispatched in neighboring states. That’s why I’m now quicker to believe callers who cry wolf. Actually, I’m surprised when a year passes without a dead wolf.

Then again, barring changes in federal status, wolf reports may dry up in the future. More hunters are aware it is illegal to shoot wolves in Illinois, since the canines are protected as both a federal and state endangered species. I bet a handful of timber wolves had already bit the dust in recent years without so much as a mention.

That’s true even though wolf shooters typically go unpunished in Illinois. “It’s hard to tell a wolf from a coyote at 150 yards,” Bluett said. “If somebody comes clean, it’s been my perception that (federal investigators) can accept the fact a mistake was made.”

Beyond concerns about repercussions, wolves are starting to create other worries.

Coine fears for personal safety. “I am genuinely concerned,” he said. “I’ve spent time in wolf country in Alaska, the Arctic and Canada. Wolves are predators and there are certain things that trigger them to attack.”

Others says top-line predators could put even more pressure on the Illinois deer herd.

Personally I see both concerns as an overreaction given the current status — even in the wake of news that a jogger was apparently killed by two wolves in Alaska this week.

In my mind, while there is limited suitable wolf habitat in parts of Illinois, there are too many people, cars and roads for the big predators to last very long.

Then again, as Bluett notes, “I think (wolves) have proven to be a lot more adaptable than people once thought.”

A lot more widespread in Illinois this year, too.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Shelbyhunter, I know what you’re saying. It’s premature to get worked up over. On the other comment, no, I’m not worryied about the healthcare issue either, there’s hype in that also (both ways). I AM worried about my ghillie suit though, it’s starting to show signs of wear! I’m having a hard time sleeping thinking about it…
:-(

Posted by Marc Anthony on 03/20 at 11:31 AM

LOL - now THAT is something to fret over. It’s been your bread and butter for how many years?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/20 at 11:37 AM

So how would you defend yourself if your out in the woods (getting dark/no firearm) if you meet up with Mr Wolf?  Sounds like most attacks are two or more animals so a single wolf would have to be desperate or rabid. Some “Whoop Ass” pepper spray?  Pack a cat with you and toss it over as a snack/piece offering?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/20 at 12:10 PM

Shelby ” It’s been your bread and butter for how many years?”
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Zero. Unfortunately, I make no income from hunting. Just addicted!

Posted by Marc Anthony on 03/20 at 12:33 PM

Just like the vultures, the wolves have learned to patrol highways.  How easy can it get?  Fresh rabbit, raccoons, tons of opossum and squirrel and occasionally, some road-kill venison.  Last year while coming back from Minnesota in August, I found it strange that there was virtually no road kill…one fresh opossum and a skunk in Minnesota and Wisconsin combined.  Once we were south of Rockford and especially I-80, the amount of food laying on the highway rose significantly…at least one road-kill something every other mile. I think the wolves have followed the highways south…especially those who are on their own.  No need to risk life and limb getting kicked in the face when all a loner has to do is walk south along a road and follow the food.  Eventually, those loners will find a mate and a set-up in territory they’ll call home.  A pack is born.  IDOT has already done more to bring the wolves back to Illinois than DNR ever will.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/20 at 01:16 PM

Men have lived on the continent for 1,000 generations.  No one understood how the natural world operated better than the North American Indian Tribes.  That these tribes universally held the wolf in high regard should give us something to think about.  Perhaps it’s a cultural thing.  Wolfophobia, my word, is just another example of how our white culture runs counter opposed to native Indian culture…the very people who could teach all of us a thing or two about the wolves and the pristine lands they once roamed.  Maybe we should see the return of the wolf as a sign of hope.  That’s the way 1,000 generations of men who were better woodsmen than any of us saw it.  It’s something to consider…. 


It’s not hard to argue that, excuse me here, white culture

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/20 at 02:07 PM

Anyone read about the interbreeding of Wolves and Coyotes.  They produce fertile offspring.  More common then once thought based on the DNA research. Happening out east where male wolves can’t find a female mate.

Coywolves have the wolf characteristics of pack hunting and aggression and the coyote characteristics of lack of fear of human-developed areas.

Wolves are human shy.  I’d never be afraid of a pure wild wolf. I could see Coywolves being a problem.  Breeding and finding a female mate isn’t an issue if this is happening. 

I would think Illinois would be the perfect place for this to happen.  I wonder if some of the sighting in Illinois are Coywolves. 

This will be an issue for the protection of the pure Wolf in Illinois.  How can you protect a pure wolf if there is a good population of halfbreeds.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/20 at 02:22 PM

You take a male ass and a female horse to produce a male mule.  The question “Is the mule a species?” is a little weird.  How can a species exist if 99% of the population is male and probably sterile?  Compare that to the inter-breeding of wolves and coyotes.  Viable males and females are produced…so is a wolf/coyote a species?  That’s how Natural Selection works…adaptation to sustain life.  Yeah, it’s going to get complicated…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/20 at 02:50 PM

Here in Illinois we have a fair amount of coydogs already (half dog and half coyote). I wonder what would happen if a coydog and a coywolf would breed? Would we have a coywolfdog? That’s all we need is a pack-hunting, bicycle chasing, howling canine to infiltrate the prairie state. LOL.
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Would it be protected because it has wolf and dog in it or an open season because of the coyote in it? Now that would be a controversial discussion!

Posted by Marc Anthony on 03/20 at 03:44 PM

For the record, Dogs and wolves are the same species. Coyotes are a different species.
.........
Wolf = canis lupus
Dog = canis lupus familiaris
Coyote = canis latrans
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DNA research has shown that “coydogs” are nowhere near as common as popular belief. Coyote/wolf crosses are much more common.

Posted by Henry Holt on 03/20 at 06:35 PM

Marc…Invasion of the Coywolfdog’s a BEST seller from The Big buck Nemesis Marc Anthony!...There’s your money maker!...Just don’t forget about ME & HawgNSonsTV @ least a cameo!

Posted by HawgNSonsTV on 03/20 at 06:47 PM

Trent, why didn’t I think of that? OK, I’ll give you a cameo appearance LOL.

Posted by Marc Anthony on 03/20 at 06:58 PM

Marc ...You’ve been thinking to hard about your ghillie suit!

Posted by HawgNSonsTV on 03/20 at 07:06 PM

I’ve run into a pack of wolves in the wilderness (in Michigan) when I was alone and they wanted nothing to do with me. Actually, the lead wolf look afraid and ditched into the brush. They could of easily killed me if they wished. But you know what…..they didn’t.

Let’s keep our heads on straight when we talk about these creatures.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/20 at 08:40 PM

lions and tigers and bears oh my! well not exactly how bout cougars wolves coydogs bears and rattlesnakes. the dnr can play dumb folks but whats goin on here is the dnr lending a helping hand in reintroducing former native species by the way did anyone ever figure out how the bear got here in west central illinois? the fact is we have a very healthy population of deer here in illinois and thats where the predators come in and thats why there here whats happening is migration and evolution and we have a front row seat to it folks. the coydogs are a little know problem so next time you see a yote pay attention to color size and temperment if it seems unphased as to your presence and it has a diff color and is big chances are its a coydog ever seen a coyote pitch black and gray underbelly? how bout a pure white yote without red eyes bout 75 lbs? we had a coydog in our back yard last summer 30 ft from me i was standing at the door to our garage he was unphased that i was there i yelled at it and he walked thru like he owned the place. coyotes dont bother me coydogs when they pack up with yotes are a major deal folks add that to the wolves and watch out but this is a fact of life. its called evolution and migration. more and more sightings of cougars and wolves the state of iowa has already recognized the fact they have them but what i want to know is did they just walk across the i-80 bridge howd they get here. the dnr has already told us about the reintroduction of rattlesnakes towards central illinois the massauga now thats a nasty snake the very reason why my dad wont hunt shrooms any more. just rambling folks but 50 years from now the species in illinois will be alot different than now . heres a good one ask the dnr how snake den state park got its name and they tell you the story of how the major creek snakes around flowing in to the main watershed and how it snakes back and forth cross the terrain. hahahahaha that was made up to keep people from being scared to go there ask the old timers who ran the shovels coal mining theyll tell you the story bout how they dug up dens of snakes when they were strip mining before the frost line got to deep. i just want the dnr to tell us what they are reintroducing and why.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/20 at 09:43 PM

LOL - afraid of a little massasauga (Sistrurus catenus) - one of the most reclusive (shy) and sensitive snake species out there - now that’s funny. Yes, they have been introduced (not re-introduced) into areas that they currently occupy. Population augmentation to prevent the species from extirpation. Some people actually care about conservation. If you actually see a massasauga (one that’s not actually a garter snake), consider yourself lucky. Otherwise, more mushrooms for us.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/20 at 10:27 PM

you are right reclusive they are and afraid yes thats why they bite i do not plan on limiting my activities in the outdoors because of a little snake or the chances of a cougar stalking me being in a boat or a treestand have more risks not saying we should all stay home heck i could fall of the ladder painting the house just saying that we all have to be aware of our surroundings and understand that when we walk into the woods or put in at our favorite lake no telling what we may see or what may happen. theres no boogey man in the woods just be aware when your in the outdoors. thats what they tell you when you go to alaska, rockies, arizona, southern cal, why should illinois be any different?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/20 at 10:51 PM

illinoistrapper…. “i just want the dnr to tell us what they are reintroducing and why.” If you really believe that the DNR is doing all of these species re-introdutions, find out. Send them a registered letter, return receipt requested. It is a “Freedom of Information” request. Ask for copies of any an all doccuments, includeing emails currently in the possession of the DNR regarding any program to stock wolves, coyotes, coydogs, bears, or rattlesnakes from outside of Illinois. I doubt there will be anything but you can try. I remember when the DNR and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation proposed the reintroduction of Elk into Illinois, the Farm Bureau and the legislature pinned their ears back so quick for even thinking about it, there is no way they are running a super secret animal import program. Think about it, the DNR is broke, haveing trouble meeting payroll, getting gas into vehicles or parts for tractors. What would it cost (at government rates now, not private sector) to set up a wolf (or any species) import program here, meetings out the ying yang to set it up, select the location for releases, send biologists to Yellowstone to work with another states biologists and US Fish and Wildlife personnel to trap the critters, transport them back to IL., purchase tracking collars for them (no way a biologist is going to run a program without data collection it’s the only way they get to publish a scientific paper on their work- that is how they get to run around to conferences and present their work), and then run a monitoring program….. program steup and that first canine would cost somewhere between 50K and 100k and a full program would exceed a million.  All of that to get them shot on sight. None of the wolves or the bear had a biologists tag, collar or band on it- for heavens sake they even band Hummingbirds! Just like with the coyotes in the early 70’s, this is nothing more than species populations dispersal and pioneering from surrounding states.

illinoistrapper….... you are dead on about coydogs though…... that is an predator that has been supersized from a 30# mouse eating coyote to a 75# or more predator that will take on some adult deer, is more aggressive and sometimes does not fear humans

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/21 at 08:11 AM

IL trapper - You ever heard of puncuation and capitalization. Your stuff is just plain hard to read.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/21 at 08:16 AM

Interesting. I have always read that relocating rattlesnakes was not feasible. They would not recognize known den sites and eventually freeze to death.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/21 at 01:41 PM

Please don’t confuse reintroduction with releases. I’m not aware of any large scale massasauga introduction efforts in the state (although I have not been keeping up with the projects for some years). They have captured, bred/incubated, and released wild massasaugas in the Carlyle Lake area (the state’s premier massasauga site). There are other locations in the Allerton Park area (Piatt County) and some Chicago-area preserves. The species is primarily an upland-wet prairie type of species so it’s unlikely to find them in your favorite mushroom areas. And, yes, any snake will bite if handled, harrassed, and especially if you stick your finger in its mouth - something any well-intentioned mushroom hunter will avoid. Water snakes are by far the “nastiest” in this state(using illinoistrapper’s terms). And I mispelled my last post, massasaugas are Sistrurus catenatus catenatus (just solidifying my dorkiness). I love how we can go from wolves to coydogs to snakes…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/21 at 07:25 PM

Shelbyhuntr,
  Sounds like you may know a little about herpetology. IS IT POSSIBLE to relocate rattlesnakes successfully? OR will they attempt to return to their historical den location. I have read that if a den site is destroyed,the rattlesnakes will not actively seek out a new den and will eventually die. I have read the same about relocated snakes. They can’t “find” their original den location and perish. Is this true?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/21 at 07:54 PM

LOL. Yeah, to say that I like herps is a bit of an understatement. They’re what ultimately led me to get my degrees in ecology and evolution. You’re right, Rasputin, success rates of snake introductions of any species (including rattlers) outside of their natal habitat are pretty low. They rely on many different sensory cues to locate their hibernaculum and if they often have trouble making new home ranges because of their “imprint” on their natal habitats (most usually die from predation, starvation, or roadkill as they try to migrate away from their introduction sites). The massasaugas exist as local metapopulations so captures/releases within the same metapopulation usually can be made with no negative consequences. It’s always a roll of the dice when trying to establish new populations from oustide sources.
***
Illinoisbonecollector, I’m not quite sure much money has yet to be spent on the massasauga in the state (relatively speaking). A lot of the work has been done by the INHS through the U of I (grad students = cheap labor). In all my years, I have yet to see a massasauga in the wild (I have seen wild-caught captives from Illinois). Given their small size and secretive behavior, the species really could occur anywhere in the state where there’s suitable habitat. It is the habitat that is scarce in Illinois (wet prairies), which makes the snakes so rare. The area around Carlyle Lake (not the lake itself) is ideal. There are a lot of other wet prairie habitats in central Illinois where this species has been observed. I could go on and on about snakes (LOL), but I’ll stop now. smile

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/21 at 08:18 PM

illinoisbonecollector and anyone else interested, here is a good link to the INHS that shows all the reptiles and amphibians currently known in the state: http://www.inhs.illinois.edu/animals_plants/herps/ilspecies.html
The INHS has a lot of good scientists that have dedicated many years and way more than 40 hrs/wk to better understand and conserve our state’s natural heritage.
illinoisbonecollector, I hear ya about the copperheads and timber rattlers. I think the main reason why they haven’t received as much attention in Illinois as the massasauga has been due to their status in other states. Copperheads and timber rattlers are still relatively common in other states, but massasaugas are globally rare due to habitat destruction, etc. Rarest snake in Illinois? Haha, that’s tough to say. Massasaugas certainly are rare. There are some pretty rare water snakes in southern Illinois (southern water snake, Mississippi green water snake). Did you know that we’re supposed to have a population of coachwhips in Monroe County? That’s pretty unique. Illinois has a lot of different ecotypes (from Ozark bluffs and Shawnee hills to savannas and plains), which makes for some diverse herp species. Just more food for the thousands of wolves coming into our state smile

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 07:01 AM

We may stray off topic but we have managed to keep the discourse civil. Hot button topic and nobody has needed a time out.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 07:53 AM

We must be all grown up!

Posted by Marc Anthony on 03/22 at 08:30 AM

Agreed!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 09:16 AM

Marc I have trouble buying the “unnecessary possible hazard” hazard arguement when it comes to wolves. Now if you want to call treestands an unnecessary possible hazard, I’ll buy that, but you have to cross out the word “possible”. That’s a classic example of the difference between real risk and percieved risk.
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“Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. That is to say, you cannot love game and hate predators; you cannot conserve the waters and waste the ranges; you cannot build the forest and mine the farm”
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As far as living with large predators I do find it to be pretty easy to buy into some of the conservation axioms of Leopold. That said, no one ever said it would be easy to live with them, and I won’t dispute that hunters stand to lose part of what they’re accustomed to when the big bad wolf comes to town. But should that automatically rule out wolves cougars and bears?. I don’t think so.
Part of me says people today have grown lazy fat and complacent, and having wolves in our backyard might slap our sense of entitlement upside the head.
...........
We’re supposed to be “hunters” for Pete’s sake, not “harvesters”. You’d think deer hunting had become a Sunday stroll to go corn shucking.

Posted by Henry Holt on 03/22 at 09:35 AM

Hawg, I DO believe there are wolves in Illinois.  If you read back, I saw one not long ago in Knox County.  By the way, the treehugger name refers to being in trees while hunting, not literally being a tree-hugger.  I don’t understand what it is that you disagree with me on.  Seemed like you were taking shots at me.  If it’s that I think the trail picture looks like a big coyote to me, it does…just my opinion.  Not saying I’m right, just saying what it looks like to me.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 10:15 AM

From the WDNR site- dog depredations by wolves
2010 as of 2/3 1 killed –3 injured
2009 22 killed – 7 injured
2008 21 killed – 1 injured
2007 11 killed – 6 injured
While most of these were hounds (bear dogs) Bluetick, Walker, Plott, some were Dachshund, Poodle, Beagle, Spaniel, and Lab.
Suggestions for keeping fido from being on the menu.
Guidance for pet owners in wolf range near forested areas:
·  Do not leave pets outside overnight unless they have a sturdy kennel
·  Avoid feeding deer near your home
·  Don’t leave cat or dogs food outside at night
·  Don’t deposit table scraps or animal products near home sites
·  Keep pets on a leash or in visual/ auditory range on walks and vocalize regularly including use of whistles
·  Don’t allow dogs to roam at large
·  Avoid releasing dogs outside for bathroom breaks after dark except in areas with good lighting or fenced
I had some other comments but since were playing the Rodney King thing I will just add If an apex predator has never confronted you on their terms then you don’t understand the reality of the situation.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 10:21 AM

Henry, first of all, a complacent hunter I am not. I love to work hard to fill my tags which is why I choose to hunt mature bucks and does only. You know, it seems like you just can’t win sometimes when you choose to hunt one way and then be accused of being “self absorbed” or classified as being something you’re not. When you say “harvesters” above, we are indeed harvesters and hunters. Yeah, some people want to fill tags and do it with the least amount of resistance but I certainly am not one of them. I enjoy the hunt whether or not I fill the tag and I have been skunked many times with no regrets. Having said that, if someone prefers to hunt that way, who are we to label them as “wrong”? I certainly don’t appreciate it when being labeled as something I’m not from someone who enjoys the sport in a different manner than I do (and I’m not referring to you). We must learn to respect each other’s ways or we’ll come apart at the seams.
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I think you made your point though. I for one am not saying that wolves are the devil himself but rather saying that we’re entering an area of untested waters. Call it risk management if you will. This IS NOT about saving our deer herd for just the big buck hunters like some would want to believe but rather looking into an issue that hasn’t been explored here in Illinois, that’s all. No more or no less. I know you’re a canine lover and have a lot of experience in that area and I can appreciate that but try not to look at this in a personal sense. These are wild wolves moving into different terrain as compared to Wis, MN, ID, Mich, MT, etc. This is a prairie state with a fraction of the cover as the aforementioned states and with a higher density of people. Wolves are aggressive, hunt in packs, are territorial and kill often. That’s a simple fact. I’ve hunted with them and they do disrupt all wildlife around them, that’s also a fact. Now I want to also add for the record that I also think it would be a really neat thing to see Illinois have some of the native animals back, including the bear. I think it would be selfish for anyone to stop the reintroduction of wolves or to allow the reintroduction of wolves without a proper assessment…period. This isn’t about making deer hunting easier for me or you, it’s about seeing if wolves will be a viable asset or a nuisance to families with children who play in the the timber, farmers who are concerned for their livestock or the non-hunting community’s family pets.
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So again, the wolves being designed by nature being who they are, it would be fair to everyone for a proper assessment or study before being allowed back to Illinois. You and I both know unfortunately, that Illinois doesn’t have the financial resources to do such a study, so we’ll never see one in the near future. Well, actually we do, it’s just that the money doesn’t stay in the DNR but that’s a whole different issue.

Posted by Marc Anthony on 03/22 at 10:56 AM

I didn’t mean to imply that you (personally) were complacent. As I understand it you shoot your deer on the ground, which takes more effort than most hunters are willing to put into it.
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I can’t say I was in favor of “reintroducing” wolves out west or in the northern midwest. I think we should have let nature take it’s course on that one. They were already on the comeback. I’m not sure what a study would prove though. Generally speaking, it seems that biologists and conservationists are in favor of large predators as a part of a balanced ecosystem. Now if politicians were writing the report….....

Posted by Henry Holt on 03/22 at 11:59 AM

I should also add that I’m only in favor of allowing predator populations to return if they are managed by hunters. Management with large predators may be difficult to pin down, but it MUST include maintaining a healthy fear of humans, ie come too close and you’ll get shot. Cougars especially seem to learn real quick from anti-hunting laws and turn joggers into snacks after just a generation or two.

Posted by Henry Holt on 03/22 at 01:09 PM

Henry, I didn’t think you were implying complacency towards me, I just wanted to elaborate on that. I do agree with you on the issue of letting hunters manage the predator populations. I’m in fear of the DNR introducing some type of predator without public knowledge just to satisfy the Farm Bureau. You know, that would be the ultimate weapon against us! Introducing a federally protected predature that thrives on big game and not having any enimies…now that’s scary!

Posted by Marc Anthony on 03/22 at 01:35 PM

I agree. A bunch of packs of free-roaming protected wolves in this state would be disasterous to our state’s deer herd and public safety. However, the key word here is “protected”. I don’t see how the species can naturally reach these densities in Illinois and still remain listed under the ESA. MN has already petitioned to have the species de-listed up there. It’s just a matter of time. Their populations are increasing - which (depending on how you look at it) is a good sign in the places that can support them. It also doesn’t make much sense that the DNR would waste money releasing them in the state given the current free-for-all on coyotes. The DNR would have to implement some sort of strategy to protect wolves from coyote hunters if they wanted their investment to work. As it stands now, it looks like the DNR is turning a blind eye to the issue. It’s just a matter of time…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 02:09 PM

The concern over wolves attacking humans is way over-blown.  If they were half as dangerous as some people fear, then why are there no regular reports of wolves attacking people in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, etc.  It’s just not happening.  Someone posted a link to video where 2 women and a dog in Alaska where set upon by seven wolves.  No doubt it scared the hell out of them, but the dog lived (needed stitches) and the two women where not touched.  Now, does anyone really believe that these 7 wolves could not have had all three dead if they really wanted to?  From another perspective, the National Parks Service claims that for every million visitors at least one person will be violently attacked…by another person.  You don’t hear of wolves attacking people hiking and camping in the back country of Yellowstone or Glacier…because it just doesn’t happen.  Claiming that wolves are dangerous to people is code for “they’ll eat my deer”.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 02:50 PM

Thanks for the info Murdy, guess I’d missed that.
Now I do have a question sparked by some comments here.
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1. Since Illinois is more populated and the terrain in more open wouldn’t vehicles have an impact on numbers if they were to reastablish? I was just looking over the yellowstone site and it seems that the wolves are not as hardy as some are making it sound. Seems the wolf population is down due to few breeding pairs and a high pup mortality rate.
..
Here is an interesting article about the impact of wolves from a standpoint of science and it goes hand in hand with wolves having an impact on their enviroment.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031029064909.htm
..
Now my next question is in the case of yellowstone has it occured to anyone that maybe the elk herds population was artificialy too high in the first place? Seems to me that less than 200 wolves can’t be totaly responsible for whats going on with the elk out there and in the case of the Great Lakes area we all can admit over hunting period is probably responsible for hunter success rate dropping more than wolves.
..
3.Since the wolf is federaly protected shouldn’t any studies be the responsibilty of the feds?
..
All that being said I would hope there would be some sort of checks to keep things in control if wolves were to reastablish in the state.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 03:08 PM

Last year, 245 people were killed by deer.  By extension of the “dangerous” wolf proposition…the deer should be exterminated and never allowed to return.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 03:10 PM

From a safety standpoint I would not personally be concerned about wolves anywhere in NA and especially not IL.  The wolf attack issue is interesting.  Only 2 confirmed deaths in NA.  But, worldwide they have been responsible for a very significant number of human deaths. 


Killing humans seems to be a learned behavior and they are capable of being very proficient ‘man killers.’  I hope our wolves never turn bad.  They need to make sure they kill the wolves responsible for the recent death in Alaska.


Check out this link.  Scroll down to 93-95 in India…80 children dead!


http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Wolf_attacks_on_humans


I was the one that posted the link about the gals jogging with their dog.  Someone needs to die before it is noteworthy?  I was just giving an example of what living with wolves is like.  If you think that sounds like fun, keep hoping for the return of the wolf. 


I hope you do not have any dogs on all that land you so proudly own.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 03:56 PM

I don’t know what the density # would be but as more sightings occur it makes me think there maybe more here than previously thought or, it was a long snowy winter did that with the lack of deer in Wi. help push them to a milder climate with more food?
The wolves in Mn. and Wi. have been taken off the ESA list at least twice if not more in the last several years by the Feds only to have animal rights and enviro groups file lawsuits to put them back on.
They coyote hunt and trap in Mn. and Wi. and I did read a news release (from 2008?) in which a coyote hunter killed a gray, reported it and was not charged due to the circumstances. So it does happen.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 04:03 PM

I am more likely to die driving to my tree stand than I am from falling out of my tree stand.  So, therefore I will never where a safety harness again.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 04:19 PM

ajfranks, 90 wolf fatalaties in India is a drop in the ocean when you consider the fact that they have 50,000 fatal snake bites in that country EVERY YEAR. What that statistic has to do with wolves in NA is beyond me, and besides, what in the hell does absolute astronomy have to do with wolves in India?

Posted by Henry Holt on 03/22 at 04:35 PM

Cool, i say bring back Black Bears also…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 04:52 PM

I was making the point that wolves have the potential to be real good at killing humans.  It is interesting that the wolves in NA have not been a significant threat to human life, but they have been worldwide. 


It is a good site that covers many topics (not just astronomy) and is the best compilation of wolf attacks on humans I could find.  Check out the home page before you disregard it. 


And - absolute astronomy has as much to do with wolves, as snake bites have to do with wolf attacks on humans.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 05:00 PM

Let me preface my comments by saying this is a moot point (imo) as it pertains to IL, I don’t believe a pack will ever establish itself in IL (and thank god for that).

I hear a lot of comments about sharing deer and they would just kill the sick and the weak and maybe we will have to hunt a little harder and we have too many deer anyway, etc.  Nonsense.  If a pack established itself in IL, you would see a drastic reduction of deer numbers in that area. 

Exhibit A:  These are actual elk counts that have been done in idaho’s lolo wildlife management zone.  Real numbers, from official aerial counts, completed by real biologist. 

Zone 10:
1994 – 9,729
1998 – 5,079
2003 – 2,643
2006 – 3,452
2010 – 1,473

85% decline

Zone 12:
1995 – 3,832
1997 – 2,667
2002 – 2,048
2006 – 1,658
2010 – 705

81% decline


Imagine an 80% plus reduction of deer numbers in the county you hunt.  Sound good?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 05:16 PM

Darn spell check needs to figure out what I mean- I meant wear, not where.  Sorry - I don’t want some peta wolf lover catching that first.  I am sure I could find more, but that is the most glaring.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 05:31 PM

TreeHugger….what the hell are you talking about I took shots @ you?????????

Posted by HawgNSonsTV on 03/22 at 06:16 PM

Maybe you look like a coyote at 150 yds away…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 07:59 PM

An 80% reduction?  Gee, I guess that means in January I’d only see 20 deer per mile instead of 100.  20 deer per mile is what we were seeing 20 years ago and we were killing deer back then.  Wolves for deer…I’d make that trade.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 08:35 PM

The most powerful land baron in all of Illinois has declared the king’s deer too plentiful.  Bring back the wolf he declares and worry not what the poor landless peasants have to say.  For he owns the land, the deer and is vastly more intelligent than…well, pretty much everyone.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/22 at 08:44 PM

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