Gray wolf found hunting near town
By JOHN PEPIN
Journal Staff Writer
MARQUETTE — Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials say they
have no plans to trap and relocate a gray wolf that has been hunting deer for
the past week or so near Marquette Mountain.
“It’s been seen in parts of the Carp River valley,” said Ann
Wilson, DNR spokeswoman in Marquette.
DNR biologists said the first reports were received around March 18 from corrections
officers at the Marquette Branch Prison who spotted the wolf on restricted prison
The wolf was photographed by officers and seen on prison surveillance cameras.
None of the areas the wolf was seen by prison officials are accessible to the
The dirty-white-colored wolf, which appears to be healthy and weighs an estimated
80 pounds, has been seen numerous times. The wolf is alone and has been feeding
on deer that have naturally herded into a secluded pasture.
“They (prison officials) were first concerned about their dairy herd,”
said Brian Roell, a wildlife research technician with the DNR in Marquette.
“But the wolf has not caused any livestock damage.”
Roell went to the area and positively identified the animal as a gray wolf.
Eventually, the animal was also spotted on Marquette Mountain, was seen feeding
on deer carcasses and chasing a group of deer.
The wolf has no radio collar or identification tags.
Biologists predict the wolf will leave the area in a few days after deer disperse
from the yarding area once the snow melts.
“For a wolf to show up there, it would have been drawn there by the deer,”
Roell said. “I fully expect that animal will disappear once those deer
Unless the wolf preys on cattle, DNR officials will not try to trap and relocate
the animal. They have also decided against using other means to chase the wolf
from the area, including strobe lights and sirens.
A recent ruling by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reclassified gray wolves
from endangered to threatened species in Michigan. The ruling gives state officials
the ability to trap and move wolves, if necessary.
But despite the reclassification of wolves, they are still fully protected by
state and federal wildlife statutes.
Wildlife officials are hoping those people who do happen to see the wolf will
not try to approach the animal or try to feed it.
DNR biologists said this is the time of year when wolf packs are dispersing
their ranks to outlying areas to prepare for the birth of pups. As a result,
reports of wolves in oddball settings, like Marquette Mountain, can sometimes