MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, a wolf attack on a hunting dog occurred Tuesday afternoon as a hunter was training his two beagles about 200 yards off the Holyoke Trail. The trail is in a non-residential area, where wild animals are often encountered.
The hunting dogs were actively baying a hare, which likely attracted the wolf, according to DNR’s Public Information Officer John Pepin. The dog was bitten on a hind leg but is expected to make a full recovery. It was not taken to a veterinarian for treatment.
An investigation conducted by a DNR wildlife biologist confirmed that the conflict was not a human safety issue, as at no time did the wolf act aggressively toward the hunter, but rather a wolf-canine territorial conflict.
The wolf was displaying behavior typical of wolves in active pursuit of prey or a canine rival within its territory. Snow and ice conditions allowed for easy travel by the wolf.
The DNR has had no additional reports of wolf conflicts in that area. Skiers and hikers frequenting the area are advised to keep their dogs on leashes. DNR conservation officers have been made aware of the situation.
The wolf is part of a known pack that has been in the area for more than 15 years, ranging from the Forestville area to Anderson’s Corners near the Baraga County line in summer.
DNR wildlife division staffers contacted the hunter after posts circulated on social media. He did not report the incident.
Attacks on animals by predators should not be presumed to be wolves or other species without investigations by the DNR. It is important to report wolf-dog depredation incidents to the DNR.
To report incidents, contact your nearest DNR office 24/7, 365 days each year at the DNR Report All Poaching hotline at 1-800-292-7800.
To report wolf observations to the DNR, view a map of wolf-dog conflicts in Michigan, or learn more about wolves in Michigan, visit www.Michigan.gov/Wolves.