The sad reality is that this is exactly what happens if wolves are not managed properly. Dogs get killed. Many are hunting dogs, but others are just playing in their yard out here in the country. Most don’t get reported like the ones in this article because people don’t understand the process of getting reimbursed or don’t want to go through the hassle. When dogs get killed by wolves, parents are afraid that kids are in danger. Then you have the vicious cycle of fear and people begin to change their patterns. The easy solution is to let states manage their wolf populations.
To read one of my 2013 articles for Wisconsin Outdoor News regarding wolves, please click here:
Thanks to everyone that participated in last week’s, “Can you name this track?” challenge. For those that voted mountain lion, you are correct. That’s what I instinctively thought when I saw it in the mountains of Colorado that day too and exactly why the hairs on my neck stood up. Over the years, I’ve seen the tracks of many wolves, bobcats, dogs, and other predators, but never a mountain lion until that day. I could instantly tell it was differently than any track I’ve seen and I’m sure the picture doesn’t do it justice.
Our polls were correct too with 64% of those voting choosing the mountain lion. Bobcat and wolf each had 14% and dog had 7%. This video shows how to correctly identify a mountain lion track. Stay tuned for more great polls.
Mountain lions have been popping up here in Wisconsin in recent years as well. In fact, one went through Lincoln County just last year. I remember my grandpa and uncle talking about seeing a cougar in Lincoln County when I was a kid back in the 90s. Besides thinking they were crazy, I thought it was pretty cool that they passed through our area. Their mystique made me think back to the Little House on the Prairie days when the mountain lion screamed from the Big Woods. As you can see in this informational website about mountain lions, they have been expanding their range and on the move in recent years. That means we will likely see more pass through so keep your eyes open for mountain lion tracks on your explorations.
Mountain Lion Territory
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Deep in the mountains near Basalt, southeast of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is where this adventure began. My cousin Tom, a couple of our friends, and I were mule deer and elk hunting. Deep snow was expected so we abandoned our tent and headed to town. Indeed, the snow arrived! Enough to collapse our tent, but luckily we were in the comfort of our hotel room. The next day we explored a new hunting area. Each going our own separate way, I discovered these tracks as I walked through thick underbrush, barely able to see in any direction. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I was wired and ready for anything. Any idea what they might be?
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