Wolf Problems Return To Steuben Area Farm

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3 years 9 months ago #179 by WWH Admin
This is in my neighborhood...well...very close.

Steuben farmer Jeff Drake remembers the date well: Aug. 4, 2013. That’s the day he shot an 80-pound grey wolf chasing cattle on his property. Fast forward 14 months and Drake has had another confirmed wolf kill, this time a Limousine bull calf that was confirmed by USDA-Wildlife Services “…to be depredated by wolves on October 3, 2014.”

“It makes me sick; I’m really getting tired of this,” Drake said.

Drake suspects wolves also killed two day-old calves last spring, but their bodies were never found.

“They told me that when they’re that young the wolves may take the bodies back to their dens to feed their pups,” he said.

All told, Drake has had three cattle confirmed killed by wolves since 2012, as well as the two missing calves. He is now awaiting action on his Wolf Depredation Reimbursement Request from the DNR.

“I apologize for the delay in reimbursement,” wrote Brad Koele, DNR Wildlife Damage Specialist on Nov. 5. “the wolf compensation program is funded by the sale of wolf hunting/trapping licenses and applications and State Statute requires the Department to prorate claims when funding is not sufficient to pay for all depredation claims. Because the department will not know the total amount of revenue generated from applications and licenses or the total amount requested for wolf damage compensation until the end of the calendar year, all wolf damage reimbursement requests need to be held until the end of each calendar year before payments can be made.”

However, in speaking with Koele last week, he said he doesn’t expect to have to prorate claims, thanks in part to a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

“Beef prices are up, and it is hurting some farmers,” Koele said. “The fortunate thing is we haven’t had to prorate in the past and I don’t anticipate prorating this year. We should have sufficient funds.”

Last year the DNR had 45 wolf depredation claims and paid out $151,333. This year there have been 29 claims for hunting dogs and 29 for livestock, nearly all calves.

“So far this year livestock claims are down, but dog claims are up,” Koele said.

Up the road from Drake at the Mitchell family’s Spring Creek Cattle Company two calves were killed earlier this year, but USDA-Wildlife Services said the bite marks were too small to be a wolf and it was probably the work of coyotes.

“They don’t claim them as wolf kills,” said Amy Mitchell. “Apparently, the size of the bite marks was off a few centimeters, which is odd, because we’ve never had problems with coyotes before.”

“I did see one of those buggers by my house last Thursday, I’m pretty sure. So they’re around,” added Amy’s father-in-law, Bob Mitchell.

So what is it about the Steuben area that makes it the only place south of Portage to have confirmed wolf kills?

“It’s like a lot of Crawford County; it’s remote by southern Wisconsin standards,” said Dave Matheys, DNR wildlife biologist out of Viroqua. “But the Drake farm? It’s just kind of one of those head scratchers.”

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3 years 9 months ago #189 by redarrow
Replied by redarrow on topic Wolf Problems Return To Steuben Area Farm
With the increased dissatisfaction by wolf hunters regarding how the season is run by DNR, I expect a continued decline in revenue generated by the wolf hunt to pay the farmers and houndsmen for their losses. I know part of the problems is because of how the State Legislature drew up the law, but the numbers of applicants for wolf tags will continue to dwindle with shortened seasons and with most of the harvest going to trappers who are a minority in WI. Highly recommended voicing your opinion during the public input portion of the upcoming meetings.

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3 years 9 months ago #194 by yotefever
Replied by yotefever on topic Wolf Problems Return To Steuben Area Farm
How about the limit be removed and all wolves can be shot during the season in order to get more revenue, that should increase the number of those applying. If the wolf lovers want to 'save' the wolves they can donate to the program so that there is a limit put back on wolves. Funny how people that live in the big city want the wolves and those that have to live with the wolves are supposed to put up with the killing of livestock and fear of letting kids outside.
Small bite marks???? maybe it was a young wolf????? I guess I'm no 'expert'.

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3 years 9 months ago #196 by aellingson
Replied by aellingson on topic Wolf Problems Return To Steuben Area Farm
I think the applications will drop for the 3rd straight year. My guess is that this years drop will be substantial. It'll be interesting to see if WI makes any changes. Surely those that only had 2 to 5 days to trap must be furious. I was fortunate to have zone 6 to fall back on. I think they will get a lot of comments from their survey.
The continued drop in revenue will be an issue.

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3 years 8 months ago - 3 years 8 months ago #203 by howler
Replied by howler on topic Wolf Problems Return To Steuben Area Farm
I would suggest you learn to protect your calving females better.
Wolves roamed Wisconsin long before you beef people came here, and they have every right to roam and hunt freely.


www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1189262831118071
Last edit: 3 years 8 months ago by howler. Reason: added pleasure

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3 years 8 months ago #204 by WWH Admin
Replied by WWH Admin on topic Wolf Problems Return To Steuben Area Farm
Banned
Your unwelcome here howler

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