Our home is located within the territory of a wolf pack in the UP. In the April 3rd article about a possible wolf hunt, Mr Bradley described an encounter with a wolf while bear hunting stating, “he was watching me—I'd say he was looking for a free meal”, implying that he felt threatened by the wolf. Although there are many factual accounts of individuals being injured or killed by bears, no one has been harmed by a wolf in Michigan.
Wolves are curious and have an instinctive fear of humans. If he felt the wolf was approaching too closely, a loud shout would have sent the wolf away.
Mr. Bradley was bear baiting. Wolves will eat corn, donuts and other products used as bear bait because this is an easy source of food. Bradley did not say how long it took for him to recover the bear he killed, but a dead bear would be an attractant for a wolf or other carnivores.
Bradley was concerned “There could be 20 more wolves nearby”. He surely allowed his imagination to run wild! The average Michigan wolf pack has 4-5 animals.
There is no scientific evidence to support Bradley’s claim that calves, fawns and bear cub populations are way down “due to the wolf” or that the wolf population has “devastated the elk and deer populations”. I don’t know where he is getting his information but there are no wolf packs within the range of the only wild elk population located in Michigan’s Northern Lower Peninsula and severe weather, not wolves, is the primary killer of U.P. deer.
Bradley stated, "Every mud hole near water or lakeshore or river bank has wolf tracks,” Seeing a lot of tracks does not equate to a high population of wolves. Wolves continually roam within their territory leaving behind numerous tracks. There 658 wolves across the U.P. equating to .05 wolf per sq mile compared to 1 bear per sq mi. There will always be some who want another target to shoot but most hunters understand the role of predators. Perhaps, Bradley should take the time to learn about wolves.