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Readers talk about wolves in area

A recent wolf population study conducted by the Minnesota DNR saw a 25 percent increase in the population from the prior year. Locally, more hunters are also talking of an uptick in wolf sightings in recent years. (Photo courtesy of the Minnesota DNR)

Editor's note: This "It's Your Turn" includes comments posted on the Echo Press Facebook page in response to the Oct. 4 Outdoors story, "Are wolves in the area?"

Roy Mayeda: Not consistent sightings, nor groups, but I saw one a couple years ago west of Wendell, and one was seen chasing deer that same year by some friends near Browns Valley. Would not be surprised that they had established territories in Douglas.

Melysa Helgerson: I saw one in 1996 in the ditch on Highway 27 between Holmes City and the Runestone Park turn off. He was a huge brute. No mistaking it for a coyote or domestic dog! Also saw one in Pope County a few years later.

Shawn Olson: I know this may not be a popular view with some folks, but I would argue that wildlife (including apex predators) have as much of a right to be on the land as we do, and we should respect that. Ten percent of species are now extinct, and half of the number of terrestrial animals have died off since 1970 as our species continues to take over and dominate entire ecosystems, giving no breathing room or living space to the natural world that was there previously. That's not good, we're all connected in the web of life, and life on this planet lives together or it dies together. The key is to find ways where humans and wildlife can live in concert.

Katie Noyés: If you live in Nelson, you can hear them at night! I've also seen them on the gravel road to Osakis.

Heather Bitzan: They were here first and we shoved them out. Such beautiful creatures.

Troy Jodi Becker: Although they may be beautiful creatures, they are apex predators that not only feed on wildlife; they kill livestock as well. Have confirmed killings by DNR, video of wolves, and about a dozen less beef calves to sell this year. Until it hits your pocketbook, you might rethink their role around here.

Patricia Chlian Bengford: They are here! Have seen tracks and heard one right behind us this spring!

Randy Lindemyer: The trouble is they can and will kill just to be killing.

Larry Hanson: Human beings are apex predators. We kill deer arguably for food but let's be honest; it's mostly for recreation. Wolves eat deer for sure for the survival of their species. Concern for livestock for sure is a very real issue and problem. Fear of losing a pet, yes.

Patricia Jost: I rode my bike at the trail going toward St. Cloud and saw one in the bushes but it had an animal in its mouth and I just kept on going.

Stephanie Gates Johnson: Do wolves eat pheasants? Because the pheasant population has decreased dramatically too over the last few years and we have hunted places that were full of dens. We assumed coyote, but makes sense that it could be wolves.

John Herrly: They'll eat whatever they catch, but fox and coyotes are the main eaters. Also skunks and feral cats are huge predators. ... I think a lot of people confuse coyotes with wolves too, especially howling at night

Chad Linow: I came up on one first hand pheasant hunting three years ago in between Brandon and Garfield. The wolf wanted my dog and wouldn't retreat when I fired a shot to try and scare it, we were able to walk away as the wolf wouldn't come toward me.

Brett Bogenrief: [Wolves are in] northwest Douglas County, Lund Township.

Jake Dusing: I got a few pics last winter of wolves chasing deer in northeast Douglas County. Could also be the half breeds that were run out of the protected area up north by wolves. Guess we'll know for sure when there's no more upland game, deer or coyotes by the end of this or next winter.

Brian Hedstrom: One killed my cousin's dog last year, so they are here.

Susan Jung Hedstrom: Are you all sure you're seeing wolves? Coyotes are similar, but lots smaller?

Jeffrey Fuhrman: I hope they expand into Anoka, Hennepin, and Ramsey.