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After years of courtroom disputes, Wisconsin & Minnesota are set for a wolf hunt for the first time since recovery of the Great Lakes grey wolf. Opponents of wolf hunting seem to believe it is a slam dunk slaughter. But wolf hunting in Canada and recently in the Rocky Mountain states have proved that wolf hunting isn’t easy.
In fact, seasons are often extended because hunting success falls short of quotas. The bottom line is wolves may be the most difficult North American game species to hunt. Here are few tips that can make your Great Lakes wolf hunt more successful.
Wolves are tough to hunt but they can be patterned just like other game species. Look for travel routes and crossings. Wolves often use trails that run parallel to deer trails and will sometimes utilize deer trails. Find a heavily used deer trail and there is a good chance you’ll be in a good spot for wolf hunting. If you have trail cameras out for deer scouting, they can also tell you about wolf activity in the area.
Howling is a great way to locate wolves. But once you get a response, cut back on the howling. Fawn bleats and rabbit in distress calls can be highly effective. Call from high ground to increase your visibility and hunt with the wind in your face. Wolves have a highly refined sense of smell. Everything you use to kill odor when whitetail hunting should be utilized when hunting wolves.
If you’re lucky enough to put a wolf on the ground, keep hunting for a while. Where there is one, there are usually more. If you’re hunting with someone else, there is a good chance you can double up. A hurt pup call will often bring the second wolf right in.
Watch The Sky
Buzzards, ravens, and crows circling can be a good indication of a fresh kill site. Sneak in slowly, carefully, and downwind of the kill site. Wolves may still be on it or will likely be returning. If night hunting is allowed, kill sites are great spots for a night hunt.
Timing Is Everything
Wolves become more desperate for food as winter sets in. If we’re four or five days into an extreme cold snap, they will become quite receptive to calling. Another way to increase your chances of success is to specifically hunt wolves. Many hunters with wolf tags will attempt to fill their tag as part of a deer hunt. If you get the chance, take it. But hunting specifically for wolves is a more effective way to be successful.
Wolves have large territories. For that reason they can often be found on public lands such as national, state, and county forests. However, wolves tend to hang around farms as well. Livestock are easier to kill than deer. If farmers have spotted wolves on their property, there is a good chance they will be happy to let you hunt. Don’t be afraid to knock on a few doors.