One Down

pondwolf-1

Seeing as the wolves were continuing to visit our house almost daily, making it impossible to let the dogs out for even a minute without close supervision, we decided it was time to do something to ease the tension.

It was time to do a wolf hunt.

So we went out on the pond in front of the house and froze some bait into the ice, including a moose foot, a deer hide and some marten carcasses.

The next morning, the moose foot was gone as were several of the marten carcasses. The night had been mild, and the moose foot and a few of the marten didn’t have a chance to freeze solidly into the ice before the wolves scarfed them up. But the deer hide was still there, as were some of the marten.

I decided to keep a close eye out and by late afternoon that same day I had made sure not to venture outside for a couple of hours, had kept the noise level in the house low and hadn’t turned on any lights. Around 4:30 pm, I got up off the couch, and looked out on the pond.

Two wolves, tugging at the deer hide.

It took a couple of minutes to get everything organized and to sneak out on the deck. I took aim at the largest wolf and shot. I could tell I hit it, but didn’t wait around to see if it would fall over. Instead I quickly racked in another round and shot again. With the second shot, the wolf went down instantly, for good. The other one ran off to the right – it was safe, as I had only one wolf tag.

The one I shot was a big male timber wolf, over 7 feet long from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail, and my brother-in-law, to whom I gave it (he’s a trapper), estimated it to be over 100 pounds. It had a bit of mange under the armpits and some wear between it’s shoulders, but  otherwise the fur was reasonably good. We didn’t see any ticks, or any evidence of injuries. The colour was typical gray.

There were wolf tracks on the pond and in the field in the days that followed, but nothing now for a couple of days. Perhaps the other was trying to figure out what happened to it’s mate, or partner. I’m hoping this event has made it and the other wolves in the neighborhood more wary of our house, as in it’s not a safe place to hang out.

Eight deer did show up the other morning, more than I’d seen all year. I’m sure it was my imagination, but they seemed relaxed and happy.

As I have said before, I  like wolves, but I don’t like it when they start to be too brazen. And I love my dogs. A few people I know have been out walking their dogs and had a wolf attack their pet. Several more simply ‘lost’ their dog during the night. I do not want to have that happen to us.

I will buy another wolf tag for 2016. For the rest of 2015, the wolves are safe – at least from me.

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12 comments
  1. Gord Ellis Sr. said:

    Bruce: Somehow I managed to stumble onto your Wildlifeperspectives! They are great. There’s plenty there to keep me reading for the next month or two. Thank you for the good , rational musings about the various interrelated subjects of life in NWO. I love it. Is it possible to have each entry sent to our e-mail address monthly?

    Gord Ellis Sr.

    • Uuummm, I don’t really know how to do that . . . . I’m glad you like the site, though . . . . part of the problem is that my internet access is very iffy – often there are hours on end, and sometimes days, when I can’t get on. I think there is a way for you to be informed each time I post, at least that is what other readers do. Check on what the options are, and let me know if you can figure that out. I’ll try to be more helpful, but sometimes I need help from Lil, and that’s an issue right now (she is providing care to her mom and bother – no internal strife!).

  2. Have you ever considered maybe getting a fence for your dog? Isn’t it illegal to hunt wolves?

    • We have a kennel for the dogs right next to the house. However, the wolves have tried to get at the dogs when they were in the kennel, so we don’t consider it safe to leave them in there unattended.
      In this part of Ontario, wolves are very common and can be hunted by Ontario residents under the authority of a small game license if you purchase a wolf tag, which are valid for the calendar year. Two wolf tags can be purchased in a year. The wolf hunting season is closed during the summer months. People who have Aboriginal and Treaty Rights can hunt wolves at any time of the year with no need to purchase a license, and have no season or limits to regulate their wolf harvest. If a person has a trapping license and is authorized to trap, these individuals can also harvest wolves on the area(s) they are licensed to trap. Seasons apply, but their is no limit on the number of wolves they can harvest (there may be other limitations in other parts of Ontario).
      Non-residents of Ontario can also harvest a wolf if they have the proper licenses (which are very expensive).

      There are other restrictions associated with wolf hunting as well.

      Ontario is presently proposing changes to the regulations on hunting wolves, which will actually make the hunt less restrictive. I’ll be commenting on these changes shortly.

  3. Very interesting post. It’s a good reminder to people that there are still places in this world where we are part of the ecosystem. Here in California we have our first established wolf pack since the 1920’s. The ranchers are nervous about the future with wolves. The wolves killed their first livestock and there is no recourse for the ranchers that doesn’t include a fine or jail time.

    • Given the number of wolves here, I’m always surprised at how little livestock depredation there is. Locally, the worst seems to be a farmer who has exotic animals (he sometimes has African or Asian game animals). With respect to compensation, policies need to be well-thought out. It’s no good to limit options so narrow that they don’t make sense to people who you really need to have on board to keep populations of species like wolves viable.

  4. WLDK said:

    Terrible.

  5. That is simply terrible. Wolves live in the bush. They are an integral part of the environment and always have been.Leave them alone; they belong there. Humans and their pets are the intruders. There are many of us who want to be able to see free animals, yet you bait these wolves to shoot them? Hunters and trappers only get wolves because they bait them. That is outrageous. If the wolves were actually coming after your dogs, why didn’t you tie the dogs up and use them as bait? “One down” . What a terrible, egoistic statement – that says loudly ” more to go”.

    The time will come when the law will recognize that all people have the right to see free animals and that the few who kill them have no right to steal these lives from the wolves and all of the people who want to see them alive. Your personal agenda (and pride of your baiting and shooting of wolves who hadn’t actually done anything to your dogs) for killing animals does not go unrecorded by people who are logical observers of the environment and people. You say you want to protect your dogs, but who protects the martens, moose, wolves, and all the other animals that are trapped and shot? Your so-called scientific priorities are based on your desire to kill free animals, not the welfare of the environment or of future generations of people.

    Terrible, you should be ashamed of yourself, not proud.

    • Well, if you are keeping tabs on wolf management in Ontario (or elsewhere), you should have noticed the government is making it easier for more wolves to be shot. The general consensus is there are too many of them right now, and most scientists agree that it’s totally unrealistic to ‘just leave nature alone’. Think about it – what happened to all those animals that used to live on land now covered by big cities? Lot of rats there now, do you leave them alone? BTW, do you recall Cecil the lion? If so, read this https://mises.org/blog/economics-hunting-and-species-conservation. You don’t have to agree with it, or with anything I say, but it’s best to have an open mind. Yours does seem closed.

      • zenphoto64 said:

        Are there too many chickadees? Too many robins? People only manage what they want to kill. I seek to photograph wolves and all other free animals and they are very scarce. If not for baiting, hunters and trapper wouldn’t see them either. There was never a problem with animal populations, only the desire to exploit them for money and kill for fun as well. ” One down” ?

  6. Are there at times too many rats or mice in towns and cities and homes (and when there are, do you catch them in a live trap and release them . . . where?)? Are there bison and elk roaming around knocking down fences and trampling agricultural fields? (the answer is yes, and those populations are controlled by hunting). What happens when bears roam into the suburbs? There are thousands of wolves in Ontario and many thousands more in Canada. They are abundant and I know people who have had their dogs snatched by them when out for a walk. It’s not a simple world where everything is ‘live and let live’.

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