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10/10/2019 05:03PM
It's a proposal from a state legislator so it has a long long way to go, but I actually think it's not a bad idea. I was also surprised to see in the article that so far 15 wolves have been introduced to the area with the goal of 30.

Proposed Isle Royale moose hunt article.
 
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SlowElk
senior member (51)senior membersenior member
 
10/10/2019 07:49PM
Had to read again. Hunting sounds like a better idea than bringing in more wolves.
 
10/11/2019 02:25PM
SlowElk: "Had to read again. Hunting sounds like a better idea than bringing in more wolves."
What's your perspective on the moose/wolf relationship?
 
SlowElk
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10/11/2019 02:39PM
Hello Awbrown.

On an island? I’m not really sure and not qualified to say. How did the moose get back on IR?

My opinions don’t mean squat, but the first random thought that popped into my head was that if there were too many moose maybe they can be moved elsewhere? Not sure if that is a great idea either. It is my understanding that Moose populations have been way down for a long time, and that wolves are at least partly to blame?

If I read the article correctly there are already 15 wolves on IR? How many do you think that land mass can support?

I believe nature has a way of balancing things out over time, but is never static.
 
hexnymph
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10/11/2019 02:42PM
I'm in! The wolf reintroduction has gone poorly to put it nicely.

Hex
 
SlowElk
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10/11/2019 03:44PM
Hopefully I can learn more from some of you guys. While not a completely closed system, I wonder if genetic diversity plays any role on the island.
 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
10/11/2019 04:07PM
hexnymph: "I'm in! The wolf reintroduction has gone poorly to put it nicely."
Hex, if you're going to blow such wind, you should at least add some substance.
 
hobbydog
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10/11/2019 04:19PM
Why do humans think they need to try control everything in nature? They have an incredibly poor track record of doing so.

I love to hunt as much as anyone and a dream hunt would be a fly in moose hunt but I am ok with leave IR as it is.
 
Bearpath9
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10/11/2019 04:29PM
I don't think that 15, or even 30, wolves would have much of an impact on 2000 moose. But then, I also think about the re-introduction of wolves in Yellowstone, which quickly reduced the over-population of Elk, and improved the eco-system there. Does that part of the lake freeze over in winter ? If so, then if the wolves can't kill enough moose to survive, they just go back to the mainland.
The article didn't say, but is there a deer population also ? The wolves may decide that moose, except for the old, sick and young, aren't worth the risk, and concentrate on deer instead.
Maybe a combination of both would work, with limited hunting until a balance is achieved.
 
Bushpilot
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10/11/2019 05:04PM
SlowElk: "Hello Awbrown.

On an island? I’m not really sure and not qualified to say. How did the moose get back on IR?
."


I am not sure how moose got on the Island. But it is said they were brought to the Island to hunt for sport by Island people.
 
SlowElk
senior member (51)senior membersenior member
 
10/11/2019 05:05PM
Ok, I missed the part about there being 2000 moose. That is great news.

Wasn’t there 0 moose on IR about a decade ago?

Somehow I think no one in MN wants any MI wolves showing up on the north shore.
 
Bushpilot
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10/11/2019 05:08PM
SlowElk: "Hopefully I can learn more from some of you guys. While not a completely closed system, I wonder if genetic diversity plays any role on the island."
Don't know about the genetics with the moose. But the wolves were inbreed. At one point 2 wolves were on the Island. A male and female. Father - Daughter.
 
10/11/2019 05:09PM
The original populations of moose and wolves on Isle Royal migrated over ice or in the case of moose swam. The island has been studied due this unique predator prey relationship for decades. The relationship is over dependent on these 2 species only and has shown that the wolves prey on young and sick creating a lopsided mature moose population with it's own attending problems like unusually high browse lines on brush and trees and slowing reproduction.
The wolves as pack animals very territorial were competing between packs and lack of reproduction diversity.
Without a predator the moose will die off due to over-bowsing and disease. The study is well documented and researched. About The Project: Overview
Personally I believe the island too small to support wolf populations and if the moose are to stay hunting may be the best way for control. The license sales alone would go a long way to support the National Park.

butthead
 
Bushpilot
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10/11/2019 05:10PM
Bearpath9: " if the wolves can't kill enough moose to survive, they just go back to the mainland.
The article didn't say, but is there a deer population also ? The wolves may decide that moose, except for the old, sick and young, aren't worth the risk, and concentrate on deer instead.
."


No deer on the Island.

Wolves that have been moved to the Island have already left via the winter ice bridge. Which wasn't supposed to happen because of global warming.
 
riverrunner
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10/11/2019 05:15PM
hobbydog: "Why do humans think they need to try control everything in nature? They have an incredibly poor track record of doing so.


I love to hunt as much as anyone and a dream hunt would be a fly in moose hunt but I am ok with leave IR as it is."


Why do you think they don't have to.

Humans have been changing their world ever since they have been around.

Other animals change theirs also just by being there.

Or by direct action on their part.
 
Bushpilot
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10/11/2019 05:18PM
SlowElk: "Ok, I missed the part about there being 2000 moose. That is great news.


Wasn’t there 0 moose on IR about a decade ago?

Somehow I think no one in MN wants any MI wolves showing up on the north shore."


There have been moose on the Island for more than 75 years. Maybe 100?
 
SlowElk
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10/11/2019 05:32PM
Thank you for all of the great replies.

I have been a big fan of the wolf recovery from the start.

But...: Thought I remembered reading that about 10 years ago there were 6000 wolves in the area north of Duluth, and that the last moose on IR was taken down around that time?

Edit: A quick internet search says that I must be mistaken, and brings up more to read.


Link
 
10/11/2019 07:04PM
The primary denizens of Isle Royale in the 1800's were Lynx and Woodland Caribou. Caribou were hunted out and Lynx were trapped out by the 1920's.

The last Caribou seen on the island was in 1925, and none have ever tried repopulating the island via the occasional ice bridges. In addition, the climate there is probably a bit more tropical than what caribou prefer today.

Moose were first spotted on the island in 1908 and the wolves crossed over in 1949.
 
dex8425
senior member (65)senior membersenior member
 
01/09/2020 06:52PM
There are lake superior caribou on other islands in the lake, so the climate isn't the problem. All the moose are the problem, since moose (and deer) carry a parasite that is harmful to caribou.

They keep moving the caribou back and forth away from the wolves. Caribou are on the Slate islands now.
 
Marten
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01/09/2020 07:43PM
I find it interesting that the moose have done so well on the deerless island but are in big trouble in many other areas with Whitetail deer and their ability to host ticks and brainworm with few ill effects.
 
Bushpilot
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01/09/2020 07:59PM
The moose population skyrocketed after the demise of the wolf. The demise of the wolf was inbreeding and disease brought to the island by a dog. I am surprised that wolves in other places haven't caught parvovirus with the flood of pets into the backcountry.
 
Pinetree
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01/09/2020 10:37PM
Bushpilot: "The moose population skyrocketed after the demise of the wolf. The demise of the wolf was inbreeding and disease brought to the island by a dog. I am surprised that wolves in other places haven't caught parvovirus with the flood of pets into the backcountry."

I think they have to some extent.
I do know also we did have a lot of mange this last decade and wolf losses from it. Yes fox and coyote suffered from mange being real bad.
 
ZaraSp00k
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01/10/2020 08:38AM
It's amazing the ignorance in this thread given how famous the moose/wolf study on the island is. Even if you don't read, it's been on the tube and the interweb like what, a million times?

looking at how much they get for a license to kill a moose in Ontario, maybe charging the same on the island for a hunt would be a good idea
2500 x 1000 = a 2.5 million
although I'm not in favor of it if the money goes to MI, that's chump change to them, but to the park service, that's real money
 
01/10/2020 09:10AM
Or just go the protectionist route and let them be. To slowly die of poor reproduction , over browsing, and a variety of herd diseases.

butthead
 
woodsandwater
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01/10/2020 09:47AM
Ridiculous. Ignorant. Absurd. This topic has been discussed many times on this Board. Isle Royale is not only a unique National Park. It is an International Biosphere. Wolves and moose have been studied there since the 1940's. When I was a student at Michigan Tech I was privileged to work on the study during the summers of '78 and '79. What will be most interesting will be if there are any litters of pups this Spring. Wolves will do the job and restore balance as they have in Yellowstone.
 
Bushpilot
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01/10/2020 10:01AM
Is it a moose wolf study when man keeps trying to bring wolves back to the island? They fly the wolves in than when the lake does freeze over many leave. Why do they leave? Should we make them stay? I don't see much difference in a hunt or bringing wolves to the island. Other than one will generate money ( maybe not the government has lost money on things like timber sales??) the other will burn money. Also one will reduce the number of moose the other might kill a few moose. Both has man fooling with nature to achieve the results we want. Maybe if man was banned from the island the wolves would stay. I know the Indians of Grand Portage feel they should have a part in a moose hunt on the island.

I have been going to the island since the early 70s and have seen the wolf and moose population go up and down. I have not seen a wolf in my last two trips to the island.

The moose are staving. Their size has gone down by about 20% from lack of food. The moose on the island are now half the size of an Alaskan moose.
 
nofish
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01/10/2020 10:28AM
It seems like the reintroduction of wolves to the island is a difficult proposition. They can bring the wolves in but they can't keep them there, they are dependent upon warm winters and no ice bridges to the mainland. If they do keep a population of wolves on the island can they keep a large and diverse enough population to prevent the inbreeding issues the last population faced?

It seems like man trying to make the wolves do what they want doesn't really work. Should be keep forcing the issue while letting the moose continue to over populate?

If it is determined that wolves HAVE to be on the island maybe a interim hunting season is allowed to help control the moose population while the wolf population is left to grow. If and when the wolf population starts to grow large enough to impact moose populations then you can start to reduce the number of moose hunting permits that are allowed until the moose population can be controlled by the wolves alone. At that time you can suspend the hunting of moose on the island.

I do have a concern thought that nothing prevents the scales from tipping the other way down the road. You may get to a point where the wolf population gets too large and starts killing too many moose. If reintroduction of wolves is the mandate it must come with the ability to manage their population if it becomes to large. I know managing a wolf population through hunting and trapping ruffles all kinds of feathers but if man is going to intervene to increase a species population it needs to be able to then start limiting the growth of that species population when it starts to negatively impact other species. The goal should be a moose/wolf balance but from what I've seen of the island its been very hard to strike a balance naturally. If man intervenes then we need to be all in on what that entails. You can't simply stop when there are a lot of wolves again and let them have whatever impact they are going to have. 25 or 50 years from now we could be on the other side of the discussion talking about how to reintroduce moose to the island and what we should do about all those wolves.
 
dex8425
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01/10/2020 10:48AM
Nature does prevent the scales from tipping the other way. If there are too many wolves, the wolves will kill each other and/or will starve, because wolves can really only take ill or young moose. Healthy adult moose fight back and either drive wolves away or kill them and the pack gives up. When the wolf population was higher, (I think 50-60 was the highest it ever got) there were a lot of wolf on wolf killings since the packs are so territorial. Several also fell into old mine pits.

Caribou, on the other hand, don't fight wolves, they just run away. Little hard to do on a small island like michipicoten.
 
hobbydog
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01/10/2020 11:29AM
Before the white man arrived, moose, buffalo, caribou, elk and wolves all managed to flourish along with a whole host of other wildlife. And they did that without humans trying to micro manage it. Amazing.
 
ZaraSp00k
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01/10/2020 01:01PM
I'm trying to figure out how a hunt would help the UP, dropping a few bills at a cafe, paying to park their vehicle, and the boat passage, I can't see much money would being spent there.

On the other hand a lot of money would be dropped at the island, especially if they ran it like the hunt camps in Ontario. Seems to me the Indians could do a good business housing the hunters, wine and dine them, at Grand Portage.
 
VaderStrom
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01/10/2020 03:03PM
As always, great stuff on here. I claim no knowledge on the matter but love to read the theory and justifications of your opinions. I've never been out to IR but would love to paddle around it someday. Thanks all for sharing your thoughts and opinions. Keep 'em coming.
 
Pinetree
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01/10/2020 10:48PM
dex8425: "Nature does prevent the scales from tipping the other way. If there are too many wolves, the wolves will kill each other and/or will starve, because wolves can really only take ill or young moose. Healthy adult moose fight back and either drive wolves away or kill them and the pack gives up. When the wolf population was higher, (I think 50-60 was the highest it ever got) there were a lot of wolf on wolf killings since the packs are so territorial. Several also fell into old mine pits.


Caribou, on the other hand, don't fight wolves, they just run away. Little hard to do on a small island like michipicoten. "


Seen a picture of the a wolf canine tooth and other remnants showing that wolves will eat wolves.
 
KarlBAndersen1
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01/11/2020 08:45AM
In every one of these conversations I am always humored by those who think there is any kind of "balance" in Nature.
There is none.
There WAS.
But no more.
It ended the day the first human knocked a gopher on the head with a stick or plucked a fish out of a stream.
These animals - in whatever form, place or amount - are only here today by our mercy.
"Balance" exists in huge regions - not tiny little microcosms.
The wolves in the Arrowhead region do not bring any kind of balance. The wolves in Yellowstone don't bring any kind of balance. They devastate and destroy any living creature they encounter simply so they can stay alive, and having many friends in those regions who inform me of their observations, they also wipe out populations simply for the hell of it. They like to kill.
We are here and we are here until we destroy this planet with our roads, our sub-divisions, air ports, shopping centers and probably the single worst element of all that destroys flora and fauna like no other - golf courses.
Quit talking about balance in Nature. It doesn't exists. It doesn't exist.

 
Bushpilot
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01/11/2020 09:18AM
Pinetree: "dex8425: "Nature does prevent the scales from tipping the other way. If there are too many wolves, the wolves will kill each other and/or will starve, because wolves can really only take ill or young moose. Healthy adult moose fight back and either drive wolves away or kill them and the pack gives up. When the wolf population was higher, (I think 50-60 was the highest it ever got) there were a lot of wolf on wolf killings since the packs are so territorial. Several also fell into old mine pits.



Caribou, on the other hand, don't fight wolves, they just run away. Little hard to do on a small island like michipicoten. "



Seen a picture of the a wolf canine tooth and other remnants showing that wolves will eat wolves."


Yes they will eat each other. Even more common is for a pack to raid another packs den and kill there young. They wont always eat the pups sometimes they just kill them. This can also be the result of man playing a role in over populating an area with wolves. We have all seen what role it has played with the moose population in Minnesota.





Just found this link to wolves killing their own.

I wonder how things went on Isle Royale? One pack could have killed off the other packs. This would leave the only way to reproduce..... was incest.

This was taken a few years back on the NW side of the island by the study group that lives on the island. These wolves walked over from the main land. They were than stalked by the people on the Island. They turned around and went back to the mainland.
 
Bushpilot
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01/11/2020 09:27AM
Pinetree: "Bushpilot: "The moose population skyrocketed after the demise of the wolf. The demise of the wolf was inbreeding and disease brought to the island by a dog. I am surprised that wolves in other places haven't caught parvovirus with the flood of pets into the backcountry."


I think they have to some extent.
I do know also we did have a lot of mange this last decade and wolf losses from it. Yes fox and coyote suffered from mange being real bad."


The last wolf I saw was a dead one on a game trail 4 miles east of Lindens land and old house in Isabella. It had mange bad and weighed less than 40 lbs.
 
LindenTree
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01/11/2020 11:02AM
Bushpilot:

The last wolf I saw was a dead one on a game trail 4 miles east of Lindens land and old house in Isabella. It had mange bad and weighed less than 40 lbs.
"


I saw a Wolf with mange walking down Hwy 1 right by the old forestry office in Isabella in the early 2,000's. Can't remember what time of year, probabally late winter or early spring. The thing was pretty scrawney, I felt sorry for it, hoping it would die soon.
 
Zwater
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01/11/2020 12:12PM
Quote KarlBAndersen1
"We are here and we are here until we destroy this planet with our roads, our sub-divisions, air ports, shopping centers and probably the single worst element of all that destroys flora and fauna like no other - golf courses.
Quit talking about balance in Nature. It doesn't exists. It doesn't exist."

Ok. So I take you are NOT a golfer?
 
ZaraSp00k
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01/13/2020 10:13AM
hobbydog: "Before the white man arrived, moose, buffalo, caribou, elk and wolves all managed to flourish along with a whole host of other wildlife. And they did that without humans trying to micro manage it. Amazing. "

that's because the area was sparecly populated with people. You must be unfamilar with the history of the red man in SW US and Mexico long before the evil white man came.

they pretty much did the same, and for good measure, ate each other.
 
campnfish
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01/15/2020 12:44AM
Not sure if this was mentioned, i heard this on the MeatEater podcast not to long ago, but the oldest gray wolf From the island was killed by the new wolves they relocated to IR in 2018. He was 12 and was one of two left before they introduced the new wolves, some from MN i believe. As for the other who was a female, the MPR article i read about this said they have yet to locate her and she was not collared.
 
Bushpilot
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01/15/2020 07:33AM
I think the "other " wolf was the daughter of the 12 year old killed by the new wolves.
 
Pinetree
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01/15/2020 10:52AM
 
Bushpilot
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01/15/2020 11:40AM
Pinetree: " Update "
The male wolf was 11 years old and his mate, who was both his sister and daughter, is now nine years old.

Interesting article. I am going read it again.

 
01/16/2020 08:34AM
hobbydog: "Before the white man arrived, moose, buffalo, caribou, elk and wolves all managed to flourish along with a whole host of other wildlife. And they did that without humans trying to micro manage it. Amazing. "

Actually that statement has a lot of flaws...Number one there is no going back we are here now, we have a responsibility, even if true the only way to go back to the good ole days when allegedly everything was in balance and worked perfectly before people settled the US Would be to remove the people? How ya gonna do that? Just isn’t a realistic way to view the environment. I disagree with your assessment but really no sense in arguing it just isn’t an option.

Since modern wildlife management and hunting seasons/techniques, we have good history of managing species. Wolves are recovered in MN, Turkeys are back in MN, Otters are back in Iowa and MO for just a couple of examples of direct “micro-managing” by humans. Maybe you hate those animals and don’t think we should of managed them back? I would say we are part of the environment now, our poor methods in the past caused some of the problems and now we have a responsibility to manage where we can.

Through research we know exactly what will happen on Isle Royale...the population will crash and could even disappear. I can listen to an argument for study purposes that we should let it happen or see how bad it could get, but to say they will “flourish” without human intervention defies all logic and current knowledge?

T
 
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