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

Play Video

RHINELANDER - People in the Northwoods often travel a long way to get specialized healthcare not offered locally.

With the turn of a shovel Friday, Rhinelander's Aspirus Clinic moved one step closer solving that issue. A ground breaking ceremony cleared the way for a 21,000 square foot expansion.

The current facility opened in 2008 and employs 73 people within a 28,000 square foot building.

+ Read More

Play Video

ELCHO - Devastating storms hit the Elcho community back in July. Many trees are still down across the region and some people worry the cleanup process isn't going fast enough.

Life may be returning to normal for some people. Others wonder if the forest debris will ever be hauled away.

"The area was out of electricity for six days," said 38-year seasonal resident Ben Merry. "All my friends and family members and so forth that are up there told me, um, they recommended me that I not come up."

The damage left by severe thunderstorms that hit on July 19 shocked residents like Ben Merry and his wife.

+ Read More

PRICE COUNTY - We'll never know exactly why a plane broke up in the sky over Price County, killing six people.

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its final report on the accident over Catawba in July of 2017.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Wisconsin produces 90 to 95 percent of all the ginseng in the whole country. 

Ninety-five percent of that crop is grown in Marathon County, according to the Wisconsin DATCP.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Scammers hope to get their hands on your money and they'll try to reach you any way possible.

People from all backgrounds can fall victim to scams.

Scammers go where they can reach people, which means they spend a lot of time on social media. This puts people at risk of leaking their private information.

Many scams used to only attack the elderly and take away their golden years, but that is changing.

One law enforcement official says everyone is being attacked.


+ Read More

Play Video

CRANDON - The Ojibwe people want to share their culture with the people of Wisconsin.

+ Read More

Play Video

ONEIDA COUNTY - Following a summer filled with gun violence including deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, democratic lawmakers in Wisconsin are taking steps to end the epidemic.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: