Michigan Rabbit Hunter’s Dog Bit by Wolf

The Michigan DNR confirmed that a wolf bit a hunting dog in a rare wolf-canine incident. (Photo: DNR)

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, or DNR, is reporting an incident where a wolf belonging to a known wolf pack attacked a dog in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The attack was on the Noquemanon Trail Network or NTN. The wolf attacked a hunter’s beagle while the hunter was training his two dogs to flush rabbits. The dog was not seriously hurt and did not need veterinary treatment.

“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,” said DNR deputy public information officer John Pepin. “The trail is in a non-residential area, where wild animals are often encountered. The wolves are part of nature living around us.”

“The hunting dogs were actively baying a hare, which likely attracted the wolf,” he said.

“As a rabbit hunter, I expected that this would happen eventually, but the way and where it happened was shocking,” said the owner, who described the wolf as “unintimidated,” and that his beagle was “carried away by a large male wolf, right within my sight.”

“At no time did the wolf act aggressively toward the hunter,” Pepin said. “This was not a human safety issue, as was confirmed by an investigation conducted by one of our DNR wildlife biologists. Rather, it was likely a wolf-canine territorial conflict.”

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“The wolf was displaying behavior typical of wolves in active pursuit of prey or a canine rival within its territory,” he said. “Snow and ice conditions allowed for easy travel by the wolf.”

Still, Pepin said these encounters are exceptionally rare. “We have had less than half a dozen each year over the past few years,” he said. “This was the first wolf-dog conflict in Marquette County since 2012.”

“Skiers and hikers frequenting the area are advised to keep their dogs on leashes,” Pepin said. “DNR conservation officers have been made aware of the situation.”

“Wolves and their management are a controversial topic but no matter what side of the issue, we all need to acknowledge that we share their territory,” said the NTN.

The DNR urges residents and visitors to report any attacks including wolf-dog depredations to their offices, which can be found online.

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Lonnie L Johnson April 26, 2022, 1:15 am

    I sure he was aware of the pack being in that area. It seems like an easy, very easy decision not to take your dog into the midst of it. Maybe the dogs owner should be charged with “cruelty to animals” for being that stupid.
    Or are we going to blame it on the wolves again?

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