Nearly twice as many hunting dogs were killed by wolves in Wisconsin in 2016 than any other year on record. Wolves killed 41 hounds used for hunting animals such as bears and coyotes last year. The closest year in comparison is 2014, when 23 hounds were killed.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources large carnivore specialist Dave MacFarland said state biologists aren’t sure what is causing the spike. He estimates the number of bear hunters in the woods at any given time hasn’t changed much, and though the wolf population hit a record high of 952 animals last year, he said pack growth rates don’t correlate with the sudden spike in hound deaths.