Originally Posted by ToThe Woods
The past two years in Douglas County the wolves have killed more deer than humans have hunting them.
I believe this was a misinformation campaign run by a certain Lauri Groskopf. The wolves are just another DNR-managed animal, a revenue source to sell hunting tags because they draw a high number of out-of-staters at $251 a crack. For those that live in the various wolf zones in the North Woods the wolves have a high mortality rate from natural causes - usually lead poisoning, which is quite common in the North Woods due to the high concentration of lead in the air. They only got 37 in all of zone 1 running them with dogs after selling 1,100 tags. That's because the wolf numbers are not even close to what they claim. Wolves are noisy, stupid animals that can't survive outside the pack. They'll go after beef calves in a fenced pasture before they'll go to all the work to try to take down an adult deer when there's not deep snow, and then they usually die from the lead poisoning. The packs are quite small - usually only 3 or 4.
These are your main deer consumer outside of humans in the North Woods. A 180-200 lb cat takes down an adult deer about once every 3 days and it's all they eat. They only come out and hunt at night and there's way more of them than people think. But they are rarely seen during the day. These are not your scrawny western-states cats that have difficulty finding food and feeding their cubs. They are the absolute apex predator of the Wisconsin North Woods and they will track down and kill any coyote or wolf pack that dares intrude on what the cat considers to be its "territory". 50 years of living here and hunting in the North Woods, we find remnants of cat kills all the time. Cat kills are different from wolf pack kills - the cat only eats the choice parts, then goes and gets a fresh one. They don't actually eat the coyotes or wolves they kill. They'll carry those to the edge of their "territory", scratch a bunch of leaves and sticks over it and take a piss on it. Cat piss has a really strong smell that even a human can pick up a couple hundred feet downwind. That's supposed to be a warning to the ones still walking to keep out.
When a cat kills a wild dog they don't kill 'em right away. The cats can run 40-50 mph in a short 1/2 mile burst - if they get one in their sights there is no escape. They'll break its back and let it suffer for awhile. Sometimes the cat will even appear to leave and watch the wild dog from a distance while it drags itself around on its front legs yipping and whining. When the cat gets tired of it, it grabs the wild dog by the neck in back of the head, bites thru and it's all done. Taking down a deer they'll break the deer's back, then grab it by the throat and suffocate it. Same thing as the wild dogs, there's no whitetail deer that can outrun a big cat. Deer can only run about 30 mph. The cat can run 10-20 mph faster than that, it outweighs the deer by usually around 40-50 lbs and it is immensely more powerful with weapons built into its feet and jaws. It's why the cats never bother cattle in this area. There humans involved with cattle and the cats avoid humans like the plague - and their main food supply is easy prey.