OT: Counsels on living with wolves

melissa_thefarm(NItaly)February 18, 2014

We have a rapidly expanding wolf population and now have, almost literally, the wolf at the door. They ate three of the goats our next door neighbors have running around free. The goats have always stuck quite close to the buildings, so the wolves must have gotten close as well. Then a couple of mornings ago DH was out for a walk with our dog. It was full morning, the sun up, and they were walking along the highway about a mile and a half from the house, when he saw a wolf chasing a deer. In broad daylight.
All this is worrying me a bit, especially as far as our dog is concerned. There do seem to be a lot of wolves, their population in rapid increase as they feed on our abundant population of wild boars, deer, and the occasional goat. Does anybody know anything about living with a wolf population? This is farm country, in the hills.

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Wow - we have coyotes (which are taking over the wolves niche) and mountain lions here, and a few bears, but not real wolves.

The coyotes have come into some neighborhoods (evidently they like cats for lunch), and the word is just to keep your animals in and don't leave food out. The mountain lions have attacked a couple of hikers in parks (who were walking down a deer trail the mountain lions had staked out). Of course, the parks guys then went in with guns and killed a random mountain lion, who turned out to be a nursing female, so they had to go back and rescue the kittens...

The trouble with dogs is that they like to confront wild animals like racoons, and usually get the worst of it. I would be really worried about a dog if it was allowed to run free outdoors and there were wolves around.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 4:11PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Melissa, I would also worry about dogs being taken by wolves, would keep them inside at night (which is where I think they should be anyway) and on a leash or very close to you when you're outside. We have no fencing on our property and lots of coyotes, which will also take cats and small dogs. The Yorkie doesn't want to venture outside but the rat-terrier needs regular walks and he's never off-leash outside. In many years of country living with coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions I've never lost a single animal because of my vigilance, so I know it can be done. They must always be inside at night or you will lose them. Wolves are less timid than coyotes and having pepper spray with you when you're outside may not be a bad idea, especially when the dog is with you. Pepper spray will stop a grizzly bear, so it really is effective. My husband always carries a walking stick on our isolated road and that might be a good idea for your husband when walking.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 4:18PM
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I have lived in urban places with coyotes. I recommend a high-powered taser. They are very shy until the food runs out, then they will fight you for your dog or whatever else you have that they want to eat. I have never heard of them going after people for any other reason. Pepper spray may not work, so it isn't recommended to use against them.

A pack circled a friend of mine in a neighborhood and he had to hop a fence to get away. They wanted his Maltese.
The good news is that the population will drop quickly when the food runs out, with that short period of time when they get aggressive before moving on. Fences are important, as is keeping any food source out of their reach. Do not turn your back to one if it confronts you.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 4:26PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

My guy lives in wolf country.

He does not go out for a walk anytime other than when it is daylight. He uses a farm truck or atv to get around his property. He does say they rarely see a wolf, only see what they left behind.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 9:00PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

The chance of wolves attacking people is very slim, unless you live in the wilds of Siberia where the winters are so harsh that the wolves are literally starving. They seem to have plenty to snack on in most places. The only place I've ever seen wolves personally was in the wilderness in British Columbia and it was a thrilling sight.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:11PM
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