Are Wolves Killing All The Deer By

Timber wolves have made a tremendous recovery in the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Wolves in Wisconsin has gone from a population of 25 wolves in 1980 to over 500 today. Wolves in Michigan and Minnesota have been equally successful with Minnesota now having nearly 3,000 wolves. [FWS] But what many deer hunters want to know today is how many deer are being killed by wolves.

The data on the subject might be a bit disappointing to whitetail hunters looking to blame low deer population numbers on wolves.

A few hunters continue to kill wolves, believing that such actions will help the deer herd. It is important to place in perspective the impact of wolves feeding on deer. Each wolf kills about 18 deer per year. Multiply this by the number of wolves found in Wisconsin in recent years (330), and approximately 5940 deer may be consumed by wolves annually. This appears as a fairly low when compared to over 40,000 deer hit by cars each year, and about 450,000 deer shot annually by hunters. [WI DNR]

So next time you are in your stand and see a wolf, try to enjoy the view and watch a predator at work.

If you wish to discuss wolf depredations on dogs or livestock, please do so here.

deerslayer - Wolves are killing far more deer than that each year.
September 29, 2009
watev - these things are killing way more than that & those are just estmates not the real fact!
April 27, 2010
Sean - I think they are the real facts as I read another article on another website that also stated that wolves kill about 18 deer per year. Because if you think about it wolves hunt in packs and most wolves go roughly 1 week between deer hunts as they could hunt other prey too, so as the meat from one deer should be enough to fill a pack of around 8 wolves for a week. So one pack would probably kill about 50 deer a year as they wouldn't only kill one deer a week. This divided by the average number of wolves in a wolf pack probably would average about that.
January 06, 2012
fasdfsd - Alright, first off, those 40,000 hit by cars and 450,000 by hunters are most likely national. I would like to know. And, 6,000 deer killed by wolves in one state is a lot.
January 08, 2012
Basketballstatsguy - That a wolf eats 18 deer a year does not take into face that most of their kills are fawns, which means what, 54+?
January 09, 2012
hunter - why would we protect something we never see? i have been an outdoorsman my whole life and seen two live wolves. If they are killing lots of deer kill them on site i say!!!
February 05, 2012
conronegro - well if you look at the large amount of deer even with what people do to the population of deer is not even a dent in the total population and anyone who think wolves are hurting the deer population should look in the mirror next time you wake up at 4-5 in the morning and go out to your stand cause we (people) are the biggest contribution to there deaths
February 13, 2012
just me - I think Sean needs too get a new calculator!
March 10, 2012
Chris - Nothing aggravates me more then the stupid hunting lobby, especially the deer hunting lobby of NW WI. These wit's would have you believe their lack of prowess is all due to "Peter wolf" savaging the deer before they can kill em themselves!

The WI deer herd is the largest in all of North America! It bounces between 1.2 million, and 2 million every three to five years. MN's is second to WI! The two highest populations of Whitetail deer in America have not even been kept in check by 1 million deer hunters each year, let alone a measly 4500 wolves!
March 10, 2012
WolvesRule - if it wanst for wolves there wouldnt be dogs!!!
April 30, 2012
huntinMN - the MN dnr found 45 deer skulls in a single coyote den in NW mn last year.
May 08, 2012
Rebecca - In 2011, close to 200,000 deer were harvested in Minnesota alone by hunters. Wolves are not successful every time they hunt. They can eat up to a quarter of their body weight at a feeding because they may not make another kill for quite some time. Hunters kill close to 5 times more deer a year than wolves do. It is also very hard for a wolf to bring down a healthy deer. Wolves have their place and purpose.
June 12, 2012
BruceMn - Failing to follow simple math - if only 20% of Minnesota has wolves, and those 3000 (of which we know there are more) kill 18 each, that is 54,000 in that small area - an area not know to have a lot of deer - in isolated parts where packs live, they completely wipe them out - I know - I went from 6 of us frequently getting deer to 6 days, 6 people, not even seeing a deer, but seeing several packs and individual wolves
October 09, 2012
BruceMn - This isn't an issue of wipe out wolves, but some controls - Montana has a fraction of wolve Mn has, but over much more land - and they are having a problem with them. Play the numbers all the way out and you see why hunters get frustrated
October 09, 2012
BruceMn - More details - In entire state of Mn - 200,000 harvest is a great number for hunters - in fraction of state - 54,000 by wolves (way underestimated) - we pity that fraction! All of the tourism dollars are way down. For those of you that don't see them - GET OUTSIDE where they live - I see them frequently - can walk a grouse trail up north without seeing wolf scat. Literally can't. Have friends who have had their dogs eaten off their leash outside of house. That sucks - I love my dogs.
October 09, 2012
2JXmjGEeX3r - An alternativeuse craaemgood luckps did go hunting as young teen but increasingly they have been found caring numerous diseases that are you destroying beautiful animal but increasingly they have an alternativeuse craaemgood luckps did go hunting.An alternativeuse craaemgood luckps did go hunting as young teen but increasingly they have been found caring numerous diseases that are slowly mutating into more serious pathogensbut do have been found caring numerous diseases that are you destroying beautiful.An alternativeuse craaemgood luckps did go hunting as young teen but never killed one.
October 30, 2013
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November 12, 2013
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November 16, 2013

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