SMOKE A PACK: Take Advantage of Expanding Wolf Hunting Opportunities

Published on February 3, 2014

In the past five years, opportunities to hunt wolves in the United States have greatly increased. Here’s the lowdown on how and where to take advantage of this exhilarating hunting experience.

Wolves once roamed over much of the United States, but wolves do not do well with farming, ranching, and the industrial revolution. Over the course of our country’s history, wolf populations in the Western United States were all but wiped out while remnants of timber wolves remained in the forested areas of the Upper Midwest.

Thanks to recovery efforts, wolf populations have expanded greatly in the Midwest over the past 20 years. Large populations are established in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. So large, in fact, that they have become a serious problem, and the governments in those states, particularly in Minnesota, pay large sums for wolf control every year.

Wolves have all but wiped out the deer population in some areas of northern Minnesota. After decimating the animals in one area, they move to another and the population rebounds. I have personally witnessed this behavior. In one region where I hunt deer, the wolves expanded to the point that I was seeing more wolf tracks in the deer trails than deer tracks. A neighboring farmer lost a couple calves to wolves, and the government trapper caught eight wolves on his farm, which seemed to make a small difference. Wolves are efficient predators and often kill far more than they can consume when the conditions permit it.

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