Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Wolves kill 17 prized sheep in Price County, leave farming couple to rebuildSubmitted: 06/24/2016
Story By Ben Meyer

Wolves kill 17 prized sheep in Price County, leave farming couple to rebuild
BUTTERNUT - When sheep farmers Paul and Judy Canik checked on their pasture on the morning of May 31, their curiosity soon turned to shock.

Wolves had killed 17 of the couple's most valuable sheep. They had slaughtered 17 bighorn ewes.

"It was terrible to see them laying there dead like that, torn apart and stuff," Paul said. "They killed them all and never ate [anything]. Just killed them for the fun of it."


"It's almost like they just played with them," added Judy.

The couple has been married for 56 years, and has farmed their land near Butternut for 52 years. They had never seen anything like what they experienced that morning.

"It was just sickening, when you think of how they suffered," Judy said.

Last week, the DNR reported that Wisconsin's wolf population was the highest on record. But since a judge's ruling in 2014, wolves have been on the federal endangered species list, meaning lethal force is off the table to control the wolf population.

Bob Willging, who works SDA Wildlife Services' Rhinelander office, confirmed that the killings on the Canik farm were due to wolves.

"These [were] some of our main breeding stock, right here, for the future," Paul said.

All 17 were a variety of bighorn sheep, being raised to breed and give birth to more bighorns. The Caniks sell the bighorns to hunting clubs and game preserves across America, helping those organizations stock their lands for trophy hunters.

The Caniks' top rams sell for more than $5,000. The breeding ewes, killed by wolves, will cost more than $1,000 apiece to replace, according to Paul.

The DNR is in charge of determining the Caniks' compensation for the wolf killings. No matter what they get, they're still left with one feeling.

"[I'm] very angry, because we belong here, our sheep belong here, our guard dogs belong here," Judy said. "The wolves don't belong here."

"What I would like to see is if you got a group of wolves like is here, eliminate them," Paul added. "The others that stay where they belong and don't [create any] problems, I have no problem with them."

Now, the couple is left to rebuild its flock. And now, any time either Paul or Judy go to check on their sheep, they're wary.

"It's all of the time in your mind, because when we come down to check every morning, we're thinking, 'What are we going to find?" Judy said.

"It just makes our life miserable, is what it does," agreed Paul.

USDA Wildlife Services provided the Canik farm with electrified fencing to keep out wolves. Even so, Paul says he's far from completely confident it will prevent future attacks.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

KINGSTON, MO - A man charged with tampering with a vehicle used by two Wisconsin brothers who are missing and presumed dead in Missouri has waived his right to a hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence for a trial.

Court records show that 25-year-old Garland Nelson was ordered to be arraigned Oct. 7 after foregoing his right to a preliminary hearing during a court appearance Monday.

+ Read More

MENASHA - The Winnebago County District Attorney's office says an officer's use of deadly force in Menasha was justified.

Police fatally shot 43-year-old Shawn Blowers outside his apartment on June 25. Officers were executing a search warrant for child pornography at the apartment.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - An unlikely mix of fans bonded today at one local sports bar. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - NFL Sundays mean intense football, good food, and a lot of drinks.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Bikers leaving the annual Tomahawk Fall Ride made one last stop before heading out of town Sunday.

Deep in the woods, past a long narrow bridge, lies a 35-foot castle in Tomahawk.

Peter Kelley started building the castle more than 30 years ago. Every year he opens it up to the public during the Fall Ride weekend.


+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Winter is approaching, and that means farmers have to prepare for severe weather coming their way.

+ Read More

Play Video

THREE LAKES - Hundreds of thousands of Germans immigrated to the badger state in the 19th century. On Saturday, people in the Northwoods raised their glasses to Wisconsin's German heritage.

Hundreds of people came to Three Lakes for the town's 4th annual Oktoberfest celebration.

The event featured traditional music, dancing, games and even a sauerkraut eating competition. And of course, there was plenty of good food and beer.

"We have a lot of heritage here," said event organizer Heather Biro. "It gives people the exposure to see there are some ethnic restaurants here in the Northwoods. Everything is made from scratch and they get to have a little taste of it today."


+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: