Thought I had written my last wolf article but a few days ago I was told by an acquaintance that he has seen eight wolves crossing Channing Road three miles west of Channing.
This reminded me of my dad in the mid 1930s, west of Ishpeming by Little Garlic Creek. He saw the ferns moving in a circle around him and knew it was a pack of wolves closing in on him.
He was lucky to be in the middle of a year-old hard maple timber cutoff. He broke a couple of dry limbs over a boulder.
The high pitched cracks disbanded the wolf pack. A friend of my dad's was not that fortunate. While bait hunting wolves in northern Minnesota, he was found out of ammunition and partially devoured.
Also the Crystal Falls Mining Gazette had an article 50 years ago today about two men hauling broken mining equipment between Felch and Escanaba.
One man took the team of horses to Escanaba to get a new part. When he returned the other man was partially devoured with wolf tracks in the snow.
Yes, we people are suitable food for wolves when they are hungry.
We need a new approach to control the excess wolf population. Counting is not accurate and does not solve our problem but is the cause of the problem we have now.
In 1943 wolves were declared near extinction with two but no more than three and none below Koski's Korners.
In January 1943, I saw wolf tracks near Lake Ellen 30 miles below Koski's Korners and in May, 1943, a wolf growled at my friend and another ran across the river past me. I was less than four feet from the wolf which was 40 miles south of Koski's Korners, where we were told there were no wolves.
We should take a new approach to wolf population.
It makes no difference if we have 100 or 1,000 as long as they do not keep all the deer out of their natural winter habitat and into populated areas like Sawyer Lake, Kingsford, Iron Mountain and east where the farmers now have to shoot them because they are destroying their crops.
If we don't do something soon, in 20 years we will be a part of their food chain.
No walking through the forest, kids will not be safe getting off the school bus.
Take Sawyer Lake as an example. I have seen two of them running along the shore in the winter and just last week a huge wolf was see in a backyard just east of Sawyer Lake, and two weeks ago I saw a wolf on Sawyer Lake Road just west of Sawyer Lake.
As long as the deer and their fawns are around we are not in imminent danger.
We must have a solution to the wolf problem.
Just counting numbers will not solve the problem.
I am sure that most areas are not as bad as Iron and Dickinson counties and probably south-eastward where the wolves have chased the deer into the farming area.
In the meantime, it should be illegal to shoot deer in cities but the state should stungun them and send them into natural winter habitat.
I have 40 acres of cedar swamp, easily accessible, in the middle of 200 acres of cedar swamp which is mostly owned by the state that can be the dumping area for the stunned deer.
How do we know how many wolves to eliminate?
Easy, keep on eliminating wolves until the deer start back into their natural habitat.