There has been a lot of buzz about the presence of a wolf (wolves) in Kewaunee County over the past summer and fall. And as often happens, the reported presence of such an animal spawns many anecdotal accounts, and rumors are set in motion and grow. Unfortunately some individuals seize the opportunity to have a little fun, garner some attention, or just mess with people’s concerns and fears. Recently, information has been circulated that is completely inaccurate about multiple wolves being stocked in the area. I would like to think someone was just trying to create a little fun mischief, however this kind of information can really set some people off.
Here are the facts. We are aware that a single radio collared wolf has dispersed from Upper Michigan into our area earlier this year. This animal has been cruising the landscape between southern Kewaunee and Northern Manitowoc Counties for months now, showing up on multiple trail cameras throughout the area. It has spent more time in the Lipski Swamp area of the Besadny Wildlife Area, however it has recently been spending more time to the south. It is somewhat unusual for a dispersing young wolf to spend so much concentrated time in an area like ours, and frankly for it to survive as long as it has, crossing roads in unfamiliar territory. However it stands to reason that it is finding plenty to eat and not feeling the urge to keep searching for “greener pastures”. No reports of harassment or injury to livestock have occurred in the area while this wolf has been present. So it has kept itself out of trouble, and there are no plans to take action with this wolf at this time.
There have been reports of this wolf being seen in the company of other wolves in the area. The fact this animal has hung around so long does give the impression that it might have found another wolf and is establishing a territory. To date, no confirmable evidence has been found by or provided to the DNR that documents the presence of more than one wolf. And the area this animal has been cruising is larger than a typical pack territory. We welcome any and all reports of wolf presence, and should this animal remain in the area during the winter; we will be especially interested in documenting its presence and that of any other wolves, as it is during the winter months that we establish a minimal statewide count of wolves including the size of packs and wandering/dispersing individuals. Joshua Martinez(Kewaunee, Door and Brown County biologist) and Steve Easterly (Wisconsin DNR Wildlife Biologist) welcome any wolf reports that people would like to provide.