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Despite trapping 12, DNR offical says wolves not a danger in area

Published 11:15am Thursday, November 1, 2012

Twelve timberwolves were trapped by Wildlife Services in eastern Otter Tail County this fall, but Department of Natural Resources officials say Fergus Falls area residents have nothing to worry about.

“Occasionally we will see one pass through, but there are not a lot of wolves around the Fergus Falls area,” said DNR area wildlife manager Don Schultz.

Wildlife Services trapped the wolves because of livestock depredation issues. Livestock are easy meals for hungry wolf packs, he said.

According to Schultz, Otter Tail County’s “wolf country” is the northeastern portion of the county around New York Mills and Butler. This desolate area is where resident breeding packs have been found, he said.

Some residents have expressed concern that livestock attacks might become a bigger problem when the deer population is thinned out after rifle hunting season, but Schultz said even though deer are a common source of food for wolves, hunting season probably won’t affect the livestock issue.

“I don’t think the livestock issue has anything to do with the deer,” he said.

Schultz said he doesn’t think residents have to worry about human attacks either.

“I’m only aware of two instances where a person has been attacked by a wolf, and one was in Alaska and the other was in Canada,” he said. “They are very very rare circumstances. Wolves are predators, but attacks are rare.”

Dogs are a different story. Almost every year, dogs are killed by wolves in Otter Tail County. Schultz cautions residents living in wolf country to keep dogs inside at night and not let them get too far from home because wolves are territorial and don’t like other canines around.


    Trapping? What kind of trapping? Leg hold? Steel jaws? BOTH are inhumane so Can wildlife please explain how they trap wolves.

    • Ron Mexico

      Does it matter? Is it better to let them feed off of livestock and dogs?

  • Richard Olson

    I don’t believe for one moment that the DNR trapped 12 wolves or any wolves for that matter anywhere in Ottertail County. The DNR loves to increase it’s revenues by selling licenses. In this case they are attempting to scare people that there are a lot of Wolves walking around, hoping that more hunters will buy a license if they think the area is thick with wolves. They do the same thing with deer, bear and moose.

    The majority of so-called wolf sightings are nothing more than some scraggly Coyote just being a Coyote.
    What is amazing is the number of people who still believe in the old wives tales about wolves ripping people to shreds.

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