Pro Save the Human Species
Written for the Yooper Spectator - Oct. 2006
Bear Dogs Killed by Wolves at Baraga Plains
By C. J. Williams
photos courtesy of Pete Richardson
The following information about bear dogs killed by wolves in the Baraga Plains is from a radio interview of John Alexander of downstate Sanilac County by Bill Moore. The interview aired on Bill’s Oct. 14th “Outspoken Sportsmen” call-in radio talk show, which can be heard each Saturday morning from 8-12 on Escanaba WCHT, 600 AM.
Last August, a group of bear hunters from the downstate “thumb” area arrived in Baraga County where they typically spend as much as two months time at their camp.
Two to three weeks are usually spent training their bear dogs in the Baraga Plains and the remainder is spent hunting. This year they brought 15 hounds with them and were looking forward to opening day on September 15th.
On August 29th, two of John Alexander’s top dogs were running a cold track together about a mile from the Sturgeon River Gorge in the Six-Mile Creek area. One returned alone, which isn’t all that unusual, but in the distance they could hear a different sort of bark from the dog that didn’t come back. It wasn’t a “tracking” bark; it was a “fear” bark.
They tracked the dog through its radio collar, which was giving out a very weak signal. They checked along a riverbank and found nothing. Finally, when they stepped on some packed down ferns, they found the dog’s remains and its collar buried in a shallow grave. Wolves had obviously killed the dog and apparently were planning to return and pick the bones since they’d covered it as best they could.
The following Sunday, the dogs were being trained to track once again and after awhile headed back to the general area where the first dog was killed. Most came back out, but two more of John Alexander’s dogs didn’t make it.
The men could hear strange signals from one dog’s collar that changed between a running signal and a treed bear signal. They went looking for it, but by the time they found the dog, wolves had eaten about a quarter of it and took off when the men approached. They figure the wolves were tossing the dog around and that’s why they heard the odd running and then treed-bear signals.
The other dog was killed outright, but not eaten. In both instances, the loss was reported to the MI-DNR who investigated and confirmed that the dogs had been killed by wolves.
John Alexander said the wolves would howl and circle the camp at night, coming within 100 yards looking for weak spots to get at the dogs. They saw very few fawns and he suspects the wolves have pretty much cleaned them out.
He estimates the pack running where they hunt to consist of as many as thirteen wolves and said there’s a “huge” one around Old US-41. (In these areas and elsewhere throughout the western U.P., a map shows
there are packs on top of packs, in some places as many as five. This map is most likely outdated, and it’s possible there are even more layered packs now.)
In total, Jack Alexander lost one nine-year-old “top-line” tracker and two five-year-old “pack” dogs to wolves, and they don’t come cheap. Bear hounds with good bloodlines are worth $5,000 or more.
The man knew of three other dogs that were killed by wolves, but said the owners chose not to file a complaint with the Baraga DNR. As for hunting in the Baraga Plains next year, the men might come back for a shorter period of time, but perhaps not at all. When running 15 dogs or more, the investment must be looked at in terms of risk. There’s also the human safety factor, as those of us who live with wolves in our yards and on our porches well know.
Bill Moore began and ended the interview by apologizing to John Alexander and his hunting party on behalf of the citizens of the U.P.
Since Michigan doesn’t compensate bear hunters for their loss, many don’t bother to report attacks, so the true number of bear dogs killed by U.P. wolves isn’t known. That the state should even consider compensation is questionable. Why should taxpayer money be used to pay for wolf depredation when wolves are purposefully allowed to proliferate for the Wildlands Project agenda?
Ever since Gang Green decided to “rewild” the U.P. with a gazillion unmanaged wolves, they’ve claimed there’s never been any documented attack on humans by wild, healthy wolves.
When one realizes that the documentation criteria is manipulated in favor of Gang Green and their Wildlands Project, the odds of proving such an event took place is decidedly in their favor. In reality, wolves have injured and killed lots of people over the years, and many of them have occurred in the lower 48
While researching one night, yours truly found the following information in a list of obituaries published long ago in an old Sault Ste. Marie newspaper:
Thursday, June 2, 1887 (Pg. 4) - A letter from Fulton County, Ark., says James Smith and John Howell, who were passing through that county last week were attacked by a pack of wolves. Two leaped upon the horse and seized Howell by the neck, wounding him so seriously that he died. Smith was dangerously wounded, but succeeded in escaping to the house of Jack Arnette, closely followed by the wolves. From there they went to a creek near by and attacked James Thompson, one of a fishing party, fatally wounding him and seriously injuring a companion. A party started out to hunt them down and succeeded in killing one, but the others are still in the neighborhood.
October 31, 1891 (Pg. 7) - Foreign Intelligence, The two small children of Jerrard Jensen, living near Austin, Minn., were torn to pieces by wolves.
December 5, 1891 (Pg. 6) - General News, Andrew Gulick's three children were killed and partially devoured by wolves at New Brighton, but a few miles from St. Paul, Minn.
Readers with computer access can read many, many other accounts of wolf attacks on humans from the late 1800’s all the way up to more current times at the last link below. Some specifically state that the attacking wolves weren’t rabid, but instead were “lean”. The Webpage also includes information about the criteria needed to prove that a wolf has maimed or killed a human being. Please contact YS for an e-mailed forward of the western U.P. wolf pack map.
The Real Cost Of Living With Wolves
Some Pictures Are From www.bigstockphoto.com
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