Wolf study uncovers interesting early findingsAn interesting report has come out of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where 57 adult deer and 44 fawns were fitted with tracking devices in 2009 and monitored through August of 2010 to determine mortality and effect on predation to them and their offspring.
An interesting report has come out of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where 57 adult deer and 44 fawns were fitted with tracking devices in 2009 and monitored through August of 2010 to determine mortality and effect on predation to them and their offspring.
Wolves, coyotes, bears and bobcats were the primary predators in the study area. Deer densities ranged from 14.6 to 16.1 per square mile.
There were 11 wolves in two packs that inhabited the area. This area is very similar to areas in northern Wisconsin. During the study, data collected showed that the survival rate of the adult deer was 73 percent while the survival rate for fawns was 37 percent.
Of fawn mortality, 41 deaths could be attributed to predation. Coyotes preyed on 13, bobcat nine, bear two and an eagle took one. Wolves accounted for only two fawn deaths. In the adult deer, coyotes killed six, wolves three and bear took out two. Surprisingly, coyotes appeared to be the No. 1 predator on deer. The study will continue for two more years.
Presently, a similar study is also ongoing in Wisconsin. The data generated should be very interesting!
Some research papers indicated that wolves are also a very intense predator of beaver. In a paper entitles “Food Habits of Wisconsin Timber Wolves” by Brett A. Mandernack, published in the spring of 1983, 16.8 percent of the wolves diet was beaver compared to 55.42 percent deer. Scat was analyzed for the dietary content. Similar studies in Canada reported an even higher level of diet made up of beaver. Off the cuff numbers presented indicate that 700 wolves would eliminate 7,000 beaver per year.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on their website also now has posted maps delineating where in the state dogs have been attacked and killed and where livestock has been threatened and depredated. Wolf ranges are also indicated and kill sites marked.
Amazingly, central Dunn County has a wolf pack with three verified cases of livestock depredation documented. Check out the site at http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/er/mammals/wolf/wolf_map.htm#map for more inform ation.
The next couple of years are going to be very busy for the fishery biologists who manage our cold water resources in Wisconsin. They have been directed to get input from the public on what the fishermen and fisherwomen in the state feel could be done to improve trout fishing to make it all it can be.
Trout populations, trout streams and trout anglers themselves have changed significantly since they were last polled and data collected from angler input on a statewide basis 23 years ago. The DNR wants to better understand these changes and use what they learn to help make trout fishing even better in Wisconsin. A series of public meetings will be held throughout the state to gather this information.
Marty Engel, our local fish manager, is helping to organize this effort. Our area meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 23, at the Agricultural Service and Educations Center, 1960 Eighth Ave., in Baldwin starting at 7 p.m.
A complete list of all the meeting sites and dates can be found on the DNR website along with an online poll that can also be taken. Check it out on their website at http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/trout. This is your chance to be heard!
Each year the DNR schedules a series of meetings throughout the state to gather input and provide information on the structure of the upcoming deer season.
The 2010 harvest summaries and recommendations for 2011 season frameworks, increasing hunter survey participation and new deer research progress will be discussed. Local wildlife biologists will be on hand at each meeting to provide information on local deer management units and answer questions. The meetings are intended to share information with the public about Wisconsin deer management and how it is applied in the local areas where they live, hunt or farm.
St. Croix and Pierce county meetings are set for Saturday, March 12, at the Peace Lutheran Church south of Baldwin from 9-11 a.m. and will include DMU 60A, 60B and 60M. For information contact Mike Soergel at 715-684-2914, ext. 111.
Barron and Polk County meetings are set for Monday, March 14, at the Turtle Lake High School Library in Turtle Lake starting at 7 p.m. For information contact Kevin Morgan at 715-637-6867 or Michelle Carlisle at 715-554-1728.
by Tom Kerr
U.S. Fish &
As we recover from another winter snowstorm and hope that spring will arrive soon, the Fish and Wildlife Service is preparing to seed several Waterfowl Production Areas with native prairie grass and forb seed.
Although winter may seem like an unusual time to seed native prairie, the conditions are prime for assuring a good distribution of seed and good seed to soil contact. Many of the native prairie seeds that we use are very small and only need to be covered with less than a 1/8 of an inch of soil.
We use a tractor mounted broadcast spreader that rotates back and forth, spreading seed over the top of the snow. With temperatures in the 20s and some sunlight, the dark seeds will absorb energy from the sun, heat up and slowly melt down into the snow, eventually reaching the soil.
As part of our management of WPAs and knowing that we wanted to create ideal conditions for over-seeding prairie, we cropped select fields for three years to reduce weeds and prepare an ideal seed bed for prairie.
The exposed dirt in the soybean stubble creates ideal conditions for the seed to settle and eventually, with spring frost heave, work their way into the ground creating good seed to soil contact, an important part of seed germination. As the snow melts in the spring, the dark earth absorbs energy and warms up, giving the prairie seeds a head start against the exotic cool season species.
Native prairie grasses and forbs are better able to withstand deep snow than cool season exotic grasses like brome. Following snow melt, the native grasses will provide standing cover for many nesting birds, especially pheasants, mallards, meadowlarks, Henslow’s sparrows and many other species that are dependent on large open areas of grassland. With time and some patience, these seeded prairies will start to resemble some of the prairies historically found in St. Croix County.
If you would like more information about the St. Croix Wetland Management District, visit our website at http://www.fws.gov/mi dwest/stcroix/.
Closed game fish season
Anglers are reminded that the game fish seasons (walleye, bass and northern), are closing in March. Anglers cannot fish for these species even for catch and release fishing.
Once the season is closed, anglers cannot even target these fish. Therefore, someone who is using a tip-up with a large treble hook and large minnow/sucker or shiner for northern, casting a top-water bait for bass, daredevil for northern or other type of bait targeting game fish, that angler would be in violation.
For inland waters the game fish season closes on March 7.
For Wisconsin/Minnesota boundary waters the game fish season closes on March 1. Make sure you check the fishing regulations for specific waters, species and closing dates.
For any questions or to report a violation, call Warden Paul Sickman at 715-684-2914, ext. 120.