225 POW Wolves My Ass! - P.O.W. Report

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

225 POW Wolves My Ass!

Back in October we [reported] on wolf trapping limits and how the ADF&G measured that there were some 225 wolves on the island:

Data collected from October through December 2017 resulted in a GMU 2-wide population estimate of 225 wolves, with high confidence that the actual number of wolves in GMU 2 prior to the autumn 2017 hunting and trapping seasons was within the range, 198 to 264 wolves. This is the most current population estimate. Results of the autumn 2017 survey were similar to those of the autumn 2016 survey, suggesting the rapid population growth from 2015 to 2016 has stabilized. ADF&G and the USFS attribute growth of the population to conservative harvest management since 2015. Based on documented growth of the population since 2014 and the most recent population estimate, the RY2018 GMU 2 harvest quota was set at 45 wolves, the maximum allowed by USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

If the state of Alaska government officials are reading this little site (and I hope you are) THERE ARE WAY MORE THAN 225 WOLVES!!

There's two packs of wolves now just in Hollis. Three separate packs of wolves out towards Hydaburg (per a hunting friend of mine) and NOW wolves are encroaching and sighted in the neighborhoods of Craig and Klawock.

Photo courtesy of Virgil Burnham

This wolf was right across from Shaan Seet on the week of May 15th at the empty lot where the gas station was supposed to go.

Virgil writes:

It's outa hand when they move in this close to town without a care in the world!!! This was early morning right at daylight but still...my neighbor saw 3 at the high school about this same time this morning on his was to work!!! They've killed all the deer so now they move on to the town deer...I see deer in this exact same spot almost every day on my way to work.

I wrote in the past:

The thing that a lot of activists don't understand is that Alaskans know a LOT about sustainable management of our resources and CARE MORE about keeping it "sustainable" because it's our income at stake and we depend on getting "steaks" to the table. Be it trees, fish or dive fisheries we care about all living things and understand the dangers of not keeping predators in check....

The wolf population is 100% unsustainable and clearly the State doesn't realize this. Now, this isn't personal, we aren't blaming the state for not knowing wtf they are talking about when it comes to wolf population estimates.

Here is what I can tell you (and i'm sure you, dear reader, will back me up) there's 225 wolves JUST on the southern half of POW, God only knows how many more there are north of Klawock.

This begs the question, why doesn't the state ask locals how big WE think the wolf population is and then take that into account when they are doing their measurement. Perhaps they should be asking US where these sightings are first before flying around blindly to remote locations.

A good measure of the wolf population is how healthy the deer numbers are.

Ask any local how well they did last hunting season. And no, it's not because foreigners (out of staters) are coming up and shooting all the deer.

In Minnesota, each wolf eats an average of 15-20 adult-sized deer or their equivalent per year to meet their nutritional requirements. Based on this average, and the estimate of 2,400 wolves in Minnesota, wolves kill the equivalent of about 36,000 to 48,000 adult-sized deer per year. In comparison, Minnesota hunters take around 52,500 deer per year in wolf range (over 250,000 for the entire state) and several thousand are killed during collisions with vehicles. [Source]

There's quite a bit of debate on how many deer a year an average wolf takes (the numbers that make sense to me is about 50 deer per year per wolf). However, because I can't find any reliable sources on that data let's just stick with 20 deer a year per wolf x 225 wolves = is 4,500 deer a year that are eaten by wolves. 

Again, I can't find more recent statistics on deer hunting on POW however, it's roughly 4K:

A look at the numbers: Prince of Wales Island (GMU 2) and the ABC Islands (GMU 4) have the most hunters and the highest harvest rates.

So at bare minimum the wolves are eating MORE deer than we are harvesting and that's IF  there are only 225 wolves. Hypothetically speaking, let's pretend the number is actually closer to 400 wolves and let's do the math;

400wolves x 20 deer = 8,000 deer per year eaten by this apex predator.

What do you believe, dear reader, explains the sudden loss in deer population on the island? Do you think it's illegal deer poaching that's causing it (could be), do you believe it's foreigners taking more than they should (could be). 

Or Maybe...

Just Maybe

There's more than 225 bloody wolves on this bloody island! 

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