A hunting dog was killed by wolves July 22 in the Jackson County town of Knapp.
The Department of Natural Resources confirmed that a five-year-old Plott bear hound was the victim of a fatal attack in Jackson County Forest land east of Potter’s Flowage. The DNR has posted a map marking a four-mile radius from the site of the attack and labeled it a “wolf caution area.”
DNR carnivore specialist Dave McFarland said the area remains open to dogs but advised caution.
“This is just a notice to be aware that there’s a caution area and heightened risk,” he said.
The area is one of the prime wolf habitats in the state. “That portion of Jackson County and the central forest is what we would consider traditional population, and there’s a healthy population there,” McFarland said.
While wolves are highly territorial and prone to attacking hunting dogs, McFarland said the risk of a wolf attacking a human is “extremely low.” He said there isn’t a documented case of a wolf attacking and injuring a human in Wisconsin and that human encounters with wolves are very rare. “The wolf population is low density compared to deer and other animals,” McFarland said. “Many people who live in wolf country will never see a wolf.”
The dog was the sixth killed by wolves in Wisconsin this year. A dog was killed in Clark County near the Jackson County border Jan. 1, and four others have been killed in northern Wisconsin. Dog owners are eligible for reimbursement from the state up to a maximum of $2,500.