Michigan Wolves Kill Five Hunting Dogs in Three Days

The first week of August was a gut-wrenching time for houndsmen in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where wolves killed five hunting dogs in three days.

The first week of August was a gut-wrenching time for houndsmen in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where wolves killed five hunting dogs in three days. The dogs—which included at least two bluetick coonhounds and one beagle—were killed in three separate attacks. Thirteen additional wolf attacks have occurred in Michigan this year, all involving cattle.

"It feels like a war zone. It’s scary man. It’s crazy," Bill Thome, who owns a resort near where the dogs were killed, told Michigan Live. "One was running right down the middle of the freakin’ road."

Thome's commentary to Michigan Live includes perhaps the saddest anecdote of all in this mess:

One of the dog owners, Michael Crippen, a guest at the resort, had two hunting dogs killed on Monday, Thome said. Crippen also had two bluetick hounds killed last fall.

The dog owner witnessed one wolf in the act of Monday's attack, and tried to collar the dog, which was killed.

“They were face to face for quite a few minutes,” Thome said. “One dog was baying up and barking at this big wolf. He (Crippen) could hear brush breaking all around him. They had him circled."

All five deceased hounds were participating in Michigan's hound training season, which apparently coincides with a time period in which wolves are particularly aggressive.

"It is not uncommon for wolves to become more territorial toward other canines during this time of the year, when wolf pups are left at a ‘rendezvous site' while the adults hunt," DNR spokeswoman Debbie Munson Badini told Michigan Live. "Other canines—such as hunting dogs training for bear or rabbit hunting—that inadvertently come too close to these rendezvous sites may be perceived as a threat by the pack."

That may be so, but five dead dogs in three days across several counties? If you ask me, that's a problem. And, on November 4, Michigan voters will have an opportunity to weigh-in: Both pro- and anti-wolf hunting referendums are on the ballot. Let's hope Michigan voters consider these attacks.

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6 Responses to Michigan Wolves Kill Five Hunting Dogs in Three Days

shootbrownelk wrote:
September 06, 2014

Kyle, count me in the 'Kill 'em All' crowd. Try to find a moose or elk in western Wyoming. Although our G&F tries to blame other things such as drought...it's really all the predators. We have Grizzlies & Black bears that take a lot of elk calves & deer fawns. But the introduction of an alien invasive predator like the Canadian Grey Wolf was the real reason for declining numbers of game animals. We have the Clinton administration to thank for it. I feel sorry for you hunters in Michigan. Kiss your deer hunting goodbye too! JMO.

John C wrote:
September 06, 2014

I would probably carry a firearm.My dogs are like family and no damb wolf, protected or not is going to kill them.where

Kyle Wintersteen wrote:
September 05, 2014

@JohnL I never said we should wipe out the wolves. They deserve a place in the environment, but their populations should be carefully managed just like other wildlife--through hunting.

John L wrote:
September 05, 2014

Obviously an anti wolf slant going on here. I can't weigh in on this as i don't live in Michigan. I can say that in Arizona we are trying hard to get the Mexican wolf re-introduced. We also have a healthy population of coyotes, mountain lions, bears and bobcats. Dogs are taken regularly if not near a human. I guess the question is do you want a natural environment, or do you want humans to be the only predators? Again, I live in the west without a tradition of hunting with dogs. We hunt fair chase and dogs don't enter the equation. Maybe it's just a midwest or southern thing. I don't know.

left coast chuck wrote:
September 04, 2014

I saw a web site that had actual articles from 19th century newspapers in the midwest in which wolf attacks were described by the survivors or by folks who found evidence of people being killed and eaten by wolves during that time period. I wish now I had bookmarked the site as I can't find it now. Our forefathers knew something about wolves that the bambiests seem to have forgotten or for some weird reason want to ignore. In my opinion, it will only be a matter of time until wolves are once again on the bounty list. Maybe when some bambiest's kid gets eaten in their front yard. The accounts that I read were chilling

Randy Jones wrote:
August 22, 2014

I don't harbor any particular dislike for wolves, that is until they are so out of control that they are killing 7 out of 10 new deer fawns, farmers cows, sheep, prized hunting dogs, and the inevitable: small children! It's just a matter of time............