“”It started out just with more sightings of wolves in the area,” Green said. “Then gradually we started to realize we were losing calves.”
It’s a problem that adds up in the pocketbook very quickly. Green said a steer can net $1,500 at the market.
Green believes a decline in moose and elk populations in the Interlake is forcing wolves to take bolder, riskier actions to get food. A wolf once had to be shot right in her yard. Another made its way into a calving pen, killing one calf.”
See Increasing number of wolf attacks spark concern among Manitoba cattle farmersYes, the wolves are coming closer. When I was a boy in the Interlake district of Manitoba, I never saw a wolf. When I was a man with a young family I saw a pair of wolves hunting the same edges I was for mice/geese. At the same time I saw fewer families living by farming. Farms got bigger and people commuted to the cities for gainful employment. Much of the land is marginal farmland. It’s good for cattle and not much else. Too rocky. However, wolves love all the edges farming creates. That’s where grouse, mice, and hares and deer abound but when there isn’t enough food gotten the hard way, wolves will pick off isolated/weak/young cattle.
We can’t turn back the clock to the time when families could live off a quarter section of land. We can’t increase the population trimming back the wolves. That leaves hunters/trappers. Fur is out of fashion. That leaves hunters. Manitoba should issue proper wolf-hunting licences for hunters and provide statistics/maps where the numbers are high. Then coordinate with farmers with some kind of permission to hunt protocol based on mutual respect and rules for hunting in proximity to farms/dwellings/livestock. It may even require permission to hunt at night. Wolves work 24×7… At the moment Manitoba permits big game hunters to shoot one wolf. That’s apparently not enough. This is the 21st century. Use technology to point farmers and hunters in the right direction. While they’re at it, they should publish those other game stats that they hide away each year…
The present regime requires hunters to gain permission from individual farmers/landowners. Remove that barrier in a robust manner. The wolves don’t stay between the lines. Restricting hunters severely doesn’t work.