Wildcat Mound Wolf LbNA # 9052
|Placed Date||Jul 4 2004|
Last checked/found: 23-MAR-12
Due to their growing numbers, wolves have recently been removed from the endangered species list in Wisconsin. Wolf surveys in 2003-04 indicated that there are approximately 373 gray wolves (also known as timber wolves) in the state. The majority live in heavily wooded areas north of Wausau, but a small number live in the central part of the state in the Black River State Forest area. These wolves are considered to be the southernmost breeding pack in the U.S.
In the unlikely event that you actually see a wolf while on this quest, here is some information from the state’s Dept. of Natural Resources:
“People who encounter a wolf at close quarters and are uncomfortable can make noise to ensure it is aware of their presence and slowly leave the area. Department of Natural Resources biologists recommend that anyone who encounters a wolf and wants to leave the area should not run but talk aloud to themselves and walk diagonally away from the animal in such a manner that they can see and monitor its behavior without turning their back on it. If the animal continues to follow a person can drop a personal article such as a bandanna, hat, or similar article to help distract the animal. Most animals, such as bears, trail people out of curiosity because they are unable to identify a person as something familiar. Remember that wolves are members of the dog family, and they cannot climb trees. If you are feeling very uncomfortable, climb a nearby tree.
Wolf experts advise the following: (1) never feed a wolf. While you may not be harmed by this act, you are training this wild animal to associate easy food with people, lessen the wildness of the animal and create a condition where a future episode involving this wolf and a person may be a conflict. (2) if you see a wolf on a highway and the animal does not retreat, do not stop and get out of the car . (3) Observe wolves and other wild animals from afar or from the security of a vehicle. (4) Avoid any behavior that encourages a wolf to approach you or your vehicle. (5) Do not throw meat scraps or animal products near home sites or campgrounds in areas occupied by wolves. If you observe a wolf that is not fearful of people, contact the local DNR office immediately with information on location, date, time and number of wolves involved.
Encounters with wolves are still rare, even in Wisconsin. Most encounters result in the wolf retreating as quickly as it can, once it discovers a person’s presence. Consider yourself fortunate to observe such a wary native animal.”
Although it is not unusual for the wolves to travel great distances in the quest to find a mate or start a pack, one of these wolves has only taken a short walk to take up residence on the Norway Pine trail. If you wish to locate this wolf, be prepared for approximately a 1-hour hike on some hilly terrain.
To get to the trailhead, take Interstate Hwy 94 to exit 128 (Millston). Take County Highway O east a short way, then turn left on North Settlement Road. Travel approximately 4 miles northeast of Millston on this road until you reach the Wildcat parking lot. The lot will be on the left side of the road.
Go to the large trail sign, taking a map if you’d like. Start on the Norway Pine trail, which is the left trail at the fork. Continue along the way, being sure to keep count of all the benches you pass. You may want to take a rest at some of the benches and enjoy the view if the mosquitoes aren’t too bad. Eventually you will reach a post with a small map of the trail system. [Update: I've received a report that there may be another post w/map. If this is the case, the one you're looking for is probably the 2nd one.] Multiply the number of benches you passed by 40 to obtain your bearing. While standing at the trail map sign, take this bearing, and then walk 45 paces in this direction until you reach a fallen hollow log. The lonesome wolf is hidden within. After making his acquaintance, please hide him well again, covering with bark to conceal him from view.
If you have time, you may want to explore the nearby Wild Cat trails. Otherwise you can continue on this loop in a clockwise direction to return to the parking lot via the Red Oak trail.
I won’t be able to check this box very often, so I would appreciate an update email if you do find the box. Thanks!