Wisconsin Wolf kill reaches 50% of statewide quota after first day of season; DNR to close three zones

SAJ-99

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You have not provided a shred of evidence that wolves are not directly causing high additive mortality impacts on the deer population within areas occupied by wolves.

You have not provided a shred of evidence that deer predation by wolves has not reduced deer harvest by humans in areas occupied by wolves.
Sorry to jump in, but my statistics alarm went off on those comments. Wouldn’t that be the null hypothesis? No way he can prove a negative. So the negative is the baseline and he (or you) should have to reject it by proving the reverse, I.e that they do have an impact. To do that you would need to figure out when wolves showed up. Wisconsin has deer harvest stats by county to cross reference with known wolf areas. And don’t forget that WI had a wolf seasons a few years back, so that is a variable to control for. And probably should find EHD outbreaks too. Severe outbreak will kill hundreds of deer in a single county alone. But those may get eaten by wolves so not sure if you want to consider that compensatory.

I’m sure wolves do reduce the population but it is a little more complex than we try to make it. That is why we have barstool biology.
 

Bowhunter999

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I don’t believe too many people will disagree with the fact that wolves will not regulate their numbers on their own. As long as there is a food source, they will continue to propagate ! Some States are now allowing wolf numbers to be controlled through hunting with a projected harvest level, which appears to be a reasonable means of controlling numbers. But, I get the impression from some posts, that this is in question of being correct. And, even these control attempts are completely being fought by pro wolf advocates. Just what are the thoughts of these advocates regarding management, or are there none ? Is the basic concept of pro wolf, to allow full protection with no regard to numbers ? We have seen several instances of courts being the deciding factor of control attempts and stopping them from occurring. As stated in other posts, I am not in favor of wolves. But, since they are here and spreading in numbers, it only seems logical that those numbers should be kept in check. The predation that is occurring presently is not going to remain stagnate, it will become worse as wolf numbers increase. It appears that several posters are okay with the wolf issue, but it also appears that advocates are not okay with controls and seem to think that there is no future problem. Just where is the break even point without controls and how are these controls to be handled ??
 

NR_Hunter

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Thanks for making it easier for us to get a wolf season here, Wisconsin. Super helpful.
 

Shangobango

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mtmuley,

Thanks for your private message and your responses here.

Did you read the sources I provided?


"This leads to the most common misconception people have regarding predation, namely that the individual killed by the predator would still be alive if the predator was removed. This simplistic view is used, for example, to justify many predator control programs, and ignores the concepts of predisposition and compensatory mortality. Simply, if predisposition is present, the individual killed by the predator was likely to have died from some other cause anyway. To illustrate, research in New Mexico has shown that individual mule deer killed by pumas were in significantly poorer condition than the population as a whole (Bender and Rosas-Rosas, 2016). This illustrates predisposition; such individuals were increasingly likely to die from some other factor if not killed by a puma. Hence, mortality in these populations was primarily compensatory (Figure 4; Bender and Rosas-Rosas, 2016). Primarily compensatory predation was similarly seen with pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), elk, and desert bighorn (Ovis canadensis) across multiple populations in New Mexico (Figure 4)."

"The direct effect of predation at the level of the individual is that an individual is either killed by a predator or not (potential indirect effects of predation are addressed below). Whether that individual is killed or not often depends upon its degree of predisposition. In other words, is there some characteristic of that individual that makes it more or less likely to be killed by a predator? Many factors can predispose individuals to predation or any other cause of death. For larger animals, perhaps the most important of these is nutritional or body condition (Hanks, 1981; Mech and Peterson, 2003; Bender and Rosas-Rosas, 2016). Individuals in poor shape are more vulnerable for many reasons, including less ability to fight or flee, less environmental awareness and hence less ability to detect the presence of a predator, greater susceptibility to disease and accidents, etc. Other traits can also predispose individuals to predation, including age, debilitation (i.e., injury), and diseases such as chronic wasting disease (CWD) (Errington, 1967; Mech and Peterson, 2003; Mech, 2012; Krumm et al., 2010)."

Wisconsin DNR

"Many deer hunters tend to believe that every deer killed by a predator results in one less deer available for a human hunter to harvest. Research has found the truth to be more complicated. Predators do not, in fact, always reduce the population growth rates of prey. Biologists use the terms “compensatory” and “additive” to describe the impact of predation on any given wildlife population. If predation is “compensatory,” it means the total number of prey to die in any given year does not change as a result of predation. It means the predators remove the number of animals that would have been lost anyway to other causes."

Thanks for that.

I am trying to think of a real world example of compensatory mortality with big game animals but coming up short.

I go back to fawns and calves. I don’t see how their mortality could possibly stay the same as the number of predators and therefore predation rise. I thought fawn and calf recruitment was an important part of ungulate population dynamics.


We don’t have wolves down here and that is fine with me. Between mismanagement, poaching, feral hogs, disease, and habitat degradation, the game populations around me have enough to deal with.

Please don’t tell some of the FB hunting groups I am a member of that we don’t have wolves though. Wolves and black panthers or rampant according to a lot of folks down here. Wouldn’t want to ruin a good chunk my entertainment by educating them.
 

BrentD

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Thanks for that.

I am trying to think of a real world example of compensatory mortality with big game animals but coming up short.

I go back to fawns and calves. I don’t see how their mortality could possibly stay the same as the number of predators and therefore predation rise. I thought fawn and calf recruitment was an important part of ungulate population dynamics.

Why is this hard? Just a lifeboat effect after all. Compensatory mortality on juveniles is particularly common.
 

Shangobango

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Why is this hard? Just a lifeboat effect after all. Compensatory mortality on juveniles is particularly common.
It’s hard because it doesn’t make sense.

There was a recent study done here, where over 3 years, 70% of the whitetail fawns in the study died due to predation.

It is going to be a tough sell to ever convince me that the 70% of fawns being eaten by bears, bobcats, and coyotes, would just have died because of something else if they hadn’t been eaten.
 

Trial153

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I got to laugh. When there is some hair brain ballot initiative the first thing hunters spout off is that it's not science based and goes against wildlife management via state agencies. So in those cases state wildlife are the good guys....
Then when they disagree with something the agency does, in case a quota number and legal hunting.... then hunters say how the agency's suck, are anti hunting and dont know their asses from a hole in the wall.

Hunters downfall will be because of their own arrogance, egos and behaviors.
 
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Hydrophilic

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Thanks for that.

I am trying to think of a real world example of compensatory mortality with big game animals but coming up short.

I go back to fawns and calves. I don’t see how their mortality could possibly stay the same as the number of predators and therefore predation rise. I thought fawn and calf recruitment was an important part of ungulate population dynamics.


We don’t have wolves down here and that is fine with me. Between mismanagement, poaching, feral hogs, disease, and habitat degradation, the game populations around me have enough to deal with.

Please don’t tell some of the FB hunting groups I am a member of that we don’t have wolves though. Wolves and black panthers or rampant according to a lot of folks down here. Wouldn’t want to ruin a good chunk my entertainment by educating them.

I can go through some of my papers and PM them to you. It's a topic addressed by wildlife biologists as it is complex. You can have some areas with additive predation, other areas with compensatory, or some areas with both additive and compensatory. You can even have local populations experiencing both among different age classes.

I re-read my posts and did not see where I made a declarative statement about Wisconsin, I was simply addressing a common, false narrative among hunters that 'shooting a wolf/cougar/coyote saves 10 deer for me'. I also requested data showing population trends for WI deer..my initial post on predation below

"Your statement about wolves 'chomping' down on deer for years doesn't mean anything significant, regarding population trends, without data. Predation can be compensatory, or additive. You can still have a growing deer population with compensatory predation. If predation was compensatory the WI wolf hunt was nothing more than recreational hunting for the purpose of managing wolves at some arbitrary number and completely insignificant to helping the deer."

The biggest favor you can do yourself, as an informed hunter, is stay in contact with several of your state/local game biologists, along with keeping an eye on new research that comes out. The best available truth usually lies somewhere in that amalgam. In my experience, listening to most hunters talk about wildlife management is a recipe for disaster as it usually involves anecdotal evidence / stories / uninformed statements / anger / extreme bias.
 

BrentD

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It’s hard because it doesn’t make sense.

There was a recent study done here, where over 3 years, 70% of the whitetail fawns in the study died due to predation.

It is going to be a tough sell to ever convince me that the 70% of fawns being eaten by bears, bobcats, and coyotes, would just have died because of something else if they hadn’t been eaten.
70% died or 70% of those that died, died of predation.

Starvation, trucks, and many others make for a lot of compensatory mortality.

Do you hate bears as more than wolves. You should. They kill way more fawns. This is true just about anywhere there are black bears and ungulate offspring. Why do they get a pass from everyone?
 

Hunting Wife

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Thanks for that.

I am trying to think of a real world example of compensatory mortality with big game animals but coming up short.

I go back to fawns and calves. I don’t see how their mortality could possibly stay the same as the number of predators and therefore predation rise. I thought fawn and calf recruitment was an important part of ungulate population dynamics.
Mortality in young of the year across most species of wild animal is extremely high under normal conditions. This is almost universal. They succumb to all kinds of things- general unthriftiness or birth defects, drowning, weather, exposure, accidents, predation, bad moms, siblicide, you name it. People have a hard time with this concept because obviously for us, reality is the exact opposite. Almost none of our young die, and that is a huge anomaly in nature.

Figuring out the where the threshold lies between predation removing animals that would have died anyway, and predation becoming additive requires data on mortality, predators, vital rates, etc. Without these data, all of this debate about wolf predation being compensatory or additive is purely speculative. It could be either...or both...depends on the situation.

You personally participate in a real world example of compensatory mortality in big game animals all the time. Hunting seasons and harvest have been managed using this concept for decades.

Straying a little from the wolf issue but since hunters as a group tend to struggle with this idea, here’s an article that is relatively easy reading that illustrates predation and compensatory mortality in fawns:


The key take-away...even though predation is identified as the leading cause of mortality in many studies, the overall mortality rates differ very little between areas with predation as the leading cause of mortality and areas without predation as the leading cause. That is what compensatory mortality looks like, in a very simplistic nutshell.
 

Shangobango

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I can go through some of my papers and PM them to you. It's a topic addressed by wildlife biologists as it is complex. You can have some areas with additive predation, other areas with compensatory, or some areas with both additive and compensatory. You can even have local populations experiencing both among different age classes.
Thank you! That would be outstanding.
 

Panda Bear

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Mortality in young of the year across most species of wild animal is extremely high under normal conditions. This is almost universal. They succumb to all kinds of things- general unthriftiness or birth defects, drowning, weather, exposure, accidents, predation, bad moms, siblicide, you name it. People have a hard time with this concept because obviously for us, reality is the exact opposite. Almost none of our young die, and that is a huge anomaly in nature.

Figuring out the where the threshold lies between predation removing animals that would have died anyway, and predation becoming additive requires data on mortality, predators, vital rates, etc. Without these data, all of this debate about wolf predation being compensatory or additive is purely speculative. It could be either...or both...depends on the situation.

You personally participate in a real world example of compensatory mortality in big game animals all the time. Hunting seasons and harvest have been managed using this concept for decades.

Straying a little from the wolf issue but since hunters as a group tend to struggle with this idea, here’s an article that is relatively easy reading that illustrates predation and compensatory mortality in fawns:


The key take-away...even though predation is identified as the leading cause of mortality in many studies, the overall mortality rates differ very little between areas with predation as the leading cause of mortality and areas without predation as the leading cause. That is what compensatory mortality looks like, in a very simplistic nutshell.
This is spot on !
 

Shangobango

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70% died or 70% of those that died, died of predation.

Starvation, trucks, and many others make for a lot of compensatory mortality.

Do you hate bears as more than wolves. You should. They kill way more fawns. This is true just about anywhere there are black bears and ungulate offspring. Why do they get a pass from everyone?
70% that died, died of predation.

The main predator was black bears. Something along the lines of 80% if I am not mistaken.

I don’t hate wolves or bears. Quite the contrary actually. I am in the minority here in that I don’t mind the recently delisted Louisiana black bear being around. I am fascinated by them.

My concern overall and with the study I was speaking of is that the study stated that predation by black bears in the study area was not detrimental to the deer population. I am trying to understand that conclusion.

The decline of the deer population in the study area, which happens to be a place with which I am intimately familiar, has me and many others looking for answers and solutions.
 

BrentD

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...

You personally participate in a real world example of compensatory mortality in big game animals all the time. Hunting seasons and harvest have been managed using this concept for decades.
...

AKA the Paul E. Errington, "Shoot'em 'cuz they are going to die anyway" theory of game management.
 

Shangobango

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Mortality in young of the year across most species of wild animal is extremely high under normal conditions. This is almost universal. They succumb to all kinds of things- general unthriftiness or birth defects, drowning, weather, exposure, accidents, predation, bad moms, siblicide, you name it. People have a hard time with this concept because obviously for us, reality is the exact opposite. Almost none of our young die, and that is a huge anomaly in nature.

Figuring out the where the threshold lies between predation removing animals that would have died anyway, and predation becoming additive requires data on mortality, predators, vital rates, etc. Without these data, all of this debate about wolf predation being compensatory or additive is purely speculative. It could be either...or both...depends on the situation.

You personally participate in a real world example of compensatory mortality in big game animals all the time. Hunting seasons and harvest have been managed using this concept for decades.

Straying a little from the wolf issue but since hunters as a group tend to struggle with this idea, here’s an article that is relatively easy reading that illustrates predation and compensatory mortality in fawns:


The key take-away...even though predation is identified as the leading cause of mortality in many studies, the overall mortality rates differ very little between areas with predation as the leading cause of mortality and areas without predation as the leading cause. That is what compensatory mortality looks like, in a very simplistic nutshell.
Thank you!

Here is the study I was referencing if anyone wants to take a look:https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/asset..._of_white-tailed_deer_on_tensas_river_nwr.pdf

The deer population in the area has suffered precipitously since this study was concluded.

I am not blaming the whole issue on predation. I do think it is a piece of the puzzle along with more hunting pressure and feral swine.

What I am concerned with is the perception that the black bears are being managed to the detriment of deer and turkeys and LDWF not being forthcoming about it. That is a widespread perception among hunters here.

Sorry for the derail but I think that my concerns here are not completely off topic to the discussion in general.
 

Shangobango

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70% that died, died of predation.

The main predator was black bears. Something along the lines of 80% if I am not mistaken.

I don’t hate wolves or bears. Quite the contrary actually. I am in the minority here in that I don’t mind the recently delisted Louisiana black bear being around. I am fascinated by them.

My concern overall and with the study I was speaking of is that the study stated that predation by black bears in the study area was not detrimental to the deer population. I am trying to understand that conclusion.

The decline of the deer population in the study area, which happens to be a place with which I am intimately familiar, has me and many others looking for answers and solutions.

I was wrong. I just skimmed back through the study and mortality was 72% overall. 88% of fawn mortality was due to predation and 44% of the fawns that died due to predation and in which the species that was responsible for the predation was confirmed were due to black bears.
 
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SAJ-99

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Maybe in any zone with enough wolves to hunt, the state should eliminate doe/elk cow tags?
 
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