EEKS Wolves!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by sisterpine, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Just found out the reason the the Elk have been so scarce this fall! A family of Gray Wolves have moved to the mountain beside our place! At least they have scared off the coyotes....I am distressed to have to deal with protecting my hens from wolves for the long winter up here not to mention the huge owls, coyotes, hawks, eagles , and mountain lions! If all of these it is only the wolves I am afraid of personally! they are very big!
     
  2. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Wolves are part of the environment nearby. I've never had any wolves come near the poultry, but have had fox and coyote visits. Coyotes have taken sheep from a raiser nearby, though they don't have a decent sized dog, which I think they should consider. I never see wolves, though in winter their tracks are just a few hundred yards across the pond. In fact, I'm fond of knowing they exist still in our wilds.
    It may be a good time for you to consider a livestock protection breed of dog, such as a Kuvasz or Great Pyraneese.
     

  3. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    We have Timber Wolves coming into our yard on a fairly regular basis. Coyotes have been more or a problem with the chickens and the wolves just seem nosey.

    I like to seem them but they are big rascles.
     
  4. FrankTheTank

    FrankTheTank Well-Known Member

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    Little story about coyotes here in W Wi. My brother was Turkey hunting a week or so ago. He had a few turkeys move into position for a clear shot. Immediately after he shot the turkey a coyote bolted from the woods heading staight for the dead turkey. Well lets just say the coyote didnt get a free lunch that day.

    Local fur guy said that its too early for coyotes here. No winter coat yet or something like that.
     
  5. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

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    Wild wolves shouldn't be much of a problem, especially if you have a good dog... if they were reintroduced wolves in the beginning stages of the reintroduction program, it might be a different story... our wolves here were pen-raised and kibble-fed before being released, so there was quite a bit of trouble before the program people saw the light and revamped their approach. In contrast, just about everything I've heard about wild wolves so far isn't much reason for concern - oldtimers here swear that we still have timber wolves (probably gray wolves), but if they're around, they're as elusive as the mountain lions and stay out in the safety of the wild. People with livestock only have trouble with smaller predators really, now that the reintroduction wolves are on the wild track where they should have been in the first place.
    Do you have a good dog?
     
  6. Erica Calkins

    Erica Calkins Member

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    I don't know the laws in your state but you might want to check into trapping your land. Or have someone trap it for you! Erica, Mich.
     
  7. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Sister pine...I have a real tough time tryng to picture someone who was a Police Officer saying "EEKS"!!! :p :p :p It just makes me laugh! Now, come on.... You aren't seriously eeking about wolves are you, after dealing with really dangerous critters like the dregs of human society? :confused:

    It just tickles me that someone can get upset about wild life and then without a thought get in their car and so something that's really likely to kill you...DRIVE!


    :haha: LQ
     
  8. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Gray wolves (Canis Lupus) are called 'Timber Wolves' in latitudes below the Arctic and smaller than the gray wolves called "Tundra Wolves" up there. Southern variants of gray wolves are rare to find and smaller, they may be called 'desert wolves' in those locales. Red Wolf is the other species variant species of Canis which has a different taxonomy than Lupus. A wolf is the predecessor to our domesticated dogs and of a similar social structure. They adhere to the alpha dominance, which in the case of domestic dogs is the dog owner, and the wild wolf has the natural order about dominance with the alpha female/male bonded pair and their offspring forming pack units generally between 6 to 20 animals (large packs generally further north that hunt large wild ungulates like moose, caribou, or musk oxen...size of pack is determined by food supply and effieciency needs for downing large game and the size of established territory away from a competing pack of wolves).

    I'm a bit of connoseur by reading most wolf books out there. I suggest reading Brandenburg and a book called 'Brother Wolf' for starters. I know that some people find reason to instill fear about wild wolves which is almost always unfounded. A wolf would generally not expend energy in harassing a homestead unless starved of their natural prey, and would more likely pursue a large meal with the pack that they are used to hunt. If that prey is Elk, than that is part of nature's course for them to live that pattern out and hope human interference doesn't see fit to dominate in upsetting the balance within the ecosystem. I've lived peacefully over 14 years among a black bear territory and wolves....both of which might terrify a stockman or city dweller. Never have I been afraid or have heard of that much damage from wolves that are more plentiful here than a lot of other places. The concerned homesteader with wolf problem shouild consider firstly a guardian dog that has a territory the wolves recognize and stay away. Only as a last resort should a wolf be threatened with death by human. IMHO

    moonwolf
     
  9. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    I have a healthy wolf poputation in my area, the only trouble they ever were, is to take dogs that were tied up. The behavour of dogs irritate them, and they will attack a dog (and maybe you if you're close by). They will send a lone wolf out of the bush to lure the dog(s) into the forest where the rest of the pack lay in wait.They have come into my yard, but I've never had trouble with them. There is plenty of deer, rabbits, etc. for them to eat. I think the only time they are a problem is if they are hungry and there is little for them to eat. I will not destroy an animal until it becomes a problem. You must do what you can to secure your livestock when living close to nature, and take precautions to avoid tempting wildlife into you're living area. It is our responsibiity to peacefully co-exist with nature, no theirs. :)
     
  10. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Yes even old lady cops can be frightened by mean looking very large wolves! I have 2 dogs 75 pounds or so each. These wolves are every bit as big as my dogs which i think is pretty darn big for a gray wolf. I just went for a short hike and saw some prints, they have very large feet. Around here gray wolves are very very protected untill they kill your stock, then the forest service will come and try to capture to relocate or kill if needed. But not till you can prove the stock was killed by the wolf.
     
  11. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wolves have a highly developed language including ear movement, tail movement, vocal, etc. In comparison, dogs are nearly mute. It has been theorized (and makes sense to me) that dogs undercommunicate, or are badly misunderstood by wolves and coyotes and get themselves into trouble because of it.
     
  12. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    sisterpine, Does the government compensate for any loss of stock?

    I lost 2 beehives to black bears. When I submitted a claim it compensated enough to replace the hive equipment, though not for the honey or bees.

    Kuvasok dog are a breed that won't get lured to a wolf pack. Coyotes could also can kill dogs tied up or gang up on a smaller dog. A coyote here is called a 'brush wolf' so some farmers think they are just like pack wolves, which of course, they aren't. A coyote would weight maybe 50 lbs, which is only 1/3 to 1/2 the size of a gray wolf. Cougars probably have killed more pet dogs unsupervised outdoors in 'wild' areas, especially it seems near lake shoreline lots.
     
  13. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    We've had wolves on our property, they were beautiful and I loved seeing and hearing them, but not good for the sheep flock. Our Great Pyrenees keep them far off now, and more importantly the cougars, which I think are a lot more scary.
     
  14. TexasArtist

    TexasArtist Well-Known Member

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    One thing I know some people that live in a wolf area, is they put leaves in a old bucket they dont care about and then pee on them then take them to the outside perimiter of the property and and sprinkle the leaves around. The scent of humans kinda drives them away a bit. They dont really trust humans but will come around if they are the reintroduced kind cause they are used to humans a bit.
    Wolves mostly hunt the sick or wounded of a species. They are kinda the buzzards of the mammal world.
     
  15. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in a wolf area (northern MN) and wolves never bothered the neighbor's free range chickens, or our rabbit hutches and horses. We'd see tracks and their kills when logging in the winter. They'd leave a circle of hair, blood and tracks with a bit of spine and maybe antlers in the middle.

    I've heard a few stories about supposed wolf killed livestock where the DNR tracked the "wolf" tracks back to peoples' homes- the family Black Lab goin' out with the fellas for a night of sheep killing! The guvmint will pay you for wolf losses but you have to take the neighbor to court.
     
  16. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Boy that's a lot of wolf stories LOL. Around here I know there have been several cases of wolves killing sheep and some other livestock during this past year. I do not iknow if the government pays for damages or not but that sure is worth finding out as I plan on having more livestock sooner or later. I don't tie up my dogs as they do not go off of our property and I want them to be able to run from danger and protect themselves etc. I guess a "wait and see" attitude fits me for the moment. The whole thing just too me by surprise as last spring the Forest Service Game guy came up and made it a point to tell us there were 4 wolves about 5 miles south of us and a family of grizzlies about 3 miles south. I just did not expect to see them withing a 1/4 mile of our place so soon!