The Michigan DNR is beginning to find some the information it’s been looking for regarding November’s wolf hunt.
The agency wanted to know if last year’s harvest was effective in taking out problem wolves that are likely to have caused a number of livestock depredations. DNR staff employed several methods, including linking hunters with farmers that had suffered livestock losses.
“Seventy-seven percent, so almost 80% of the wolves taken, were taken from a pack that is known to have caused depredations,” DNR wildlife biologist Brian Roell said.
The DNR also measured the proximity between where each wolf was harvested and where each depredation occurred. Roell says the average distance was well under five miles.
“(The average distance is) certainly well within the average movement of a wolf, which could be moving anywhere from 10 to 20 miles a day,” he said. “Obviously, at the individual wolf level, we don’t know, but certainly at the pack level, yes, these are the packs that are implicated in causing problems.”
The DNR is studying the age of the wolves by examining teeth collected from carcasses. Officials are also studying the reproductive status of the female wolves that were killed. Roll says the results of a wolf hunters survey should be available in the near future.